"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)

Not many newspaper personality profiles, even the well done, are edge-of-the-seat reading. Today’s Oregonian piece – first in a series – about former KOIN news archor Jeff Alan, written by TV critic Peter Ames Carlin, is that and more.

And it’s not so much the writing (though Carlin is a fine writer) as it is, simply, the subject matter: A life with the kinds of turns and surprises a fiction writer wouldn’t dare try to craft. A television anchor, webmaster of a site devoted to bondage, a witness to the assassination of Robert Kennedy, a researcher for a conservative group into voter fraud . . . who went missing and was legally declared dead, by his wife, 16 years ago. And that only scratches the surface . . .

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