Exposure to society in a East Portland, Oregon enclave. A hoarder. A con artist. A drug dealer posing as a record producer. These are just some of the tenants Clancy Rohring deals with in the pages of The Quirky Landlord, an intriguing collection of real-life character studies drawn from renters, neighbors, and one particularly lecherous old man. Clancy's tenants range from the truly terrible to renters just trying to get by in a world where poverty levels rapidly overwhelm a dwindling middle class. Her genune concern for her tenants is apparent, as is her frustration with those who reward her help with mental (and sometimes physical) abuse. How can you trust an adult tenant willing to pose as a high school student to play varsity basketball? And how can you t feel for a disabled renter so desperate to prove his independence he resorts to transporting stolen goods? Clancy deals with these dilemmas and more, her unfailing optimism and trust in human nature often betrayed but sometimes, just occasionally, also rewarded. THIS MEMOIR IS MUCH MEATIER THAN ITS BREEZY TITLE, THE QUIRKY LANDLORD, would suggest. The first third of the book, Part I, The Road to Landlordism, deals with Clancy Rohring's crisis following a long-overdue divorce from a bully. The workplace, involving several jobs, proved disillusioning for Clancy, akin to swimming in a shark pool. Sixty plus hours per week employment came to an abrupt end with the 2008 recession, forcing Clancy to rent the largest bedroom in her condo with private bath to pay the mortgage. Clancy tells all, including visits to a dentist, with such a sense of urgency that one keeps turning the pages to learn what other catastrophes lay in store. Remarkably, she pens this tale of woe as though it were a thriller. There isn't a trace of self-pity. And more catastrophes lie ahead in the form of tenants from hell, misfits and miscreants who turn Clancy's condo upside down. She had kwn quite well she was taking risks. Her sense of reality and humor is illustrated as she names Part II. Landlord, Avoid the Ropes and Stay Out of the Corner. Being a progressive, she turned to social service agencies to refer those in need offering a superb place to live at a reasonable price. Alas, these individuals bring too much baggage...including the nasty emotional kind. A couple of ruckuses erupt in which Clancy has to call in fireman and police. The Quirky Landlord is a -holds-barred account where Clancy bares heart and soul in ways few writers would dare. She has a unique style of writing and a very original voice. She takes us down a road we've never traveled before and isn't that what we seek when we open up a book? Moreover, Clancy's portraits of people, from a barracuda female boss to her bizarre tenants, are crafted with sharp, telling detail, and great ecomy. They are so vivid I find myself returning to the book to reread them. The verdict: Compulsively readable. Review by Leland Blanchard 1435 N Killingsworth St. Apt. 418 Portland, OR 97217-4584
Clancy Rohring is the penname of a semiretired history teacher living in a condo of thirty units, where she acts as vice-president of the condo association. A volunteer for Meals on Wheels since 2006, she also campaigned for major candidates in the 2010 and 2012 elections. Born in Montana to a registered nurse and a World War I veteran, Clancy moved to Portland, Oregon, with her family when they sought work at the shipyards. She recived her BA in economic history from the University of Oregon and an MA in education from Portland State University. After graduation she worked briefly as a Pan American World Airways flight attendant, and spent ten years as a history teacher and counselor. She has 47 years of documented work experience. Clancy is an active member of the Portland Rose Society, winning ten ribbons and two first places for her roses in June of 2013.