Lyssa had a rebellious phase herself once, but she liked to think hers had been justified. From a repressively traditional nuclear family, she had come of age in the early sixties when change was in the air. But she didn't follow the scent until she was married and pregnant with Hannah--named after the social philosopher Hannah Arendt; Lyssa was studying philosophy by that time and learning about the banality of evil. That didn't suit her idealistic soul for long, however, and in `69 she was in Woodstock supporting Hannah on her hip. Lyssa was there when the imminent birth of a new era had been announced so triumphantly, before it had miscarried and been flushed down the toilet bowl of history.

She had taken off for Eugene in the wake of that cataclysmic experience, emancipating herself and leaving home and husband behind. Then had come Watergate, and Lyssa changed majors from philosophy to journalism. A decision which turned out to be very practical; she could indulge in her weakness for demonstrations and other forms of public insurgence and actually get paid for it.

Unfortunately, the eighties didn't offer many of those kinds of opportunities. And Lyssa had become an entrepreneur, founding an artsy-fartsy regional magazine with a political edge, successful largely as a result of the detailed schedule of local events and perhaps the inspired personals. Lyssa's idealism was accompanied by a strong streak of practicality. She had come of age in Woodstock the legend, and now she lived in Woodstock the district, Portland's haven of comfortable liberalism. The houses were big and old, the lawns were well-tended, and there were very few blacks. Her neighbors believed strongly in helping the disadvantaged, but they didn't want to live with them. It was better for the crime rate that way.

Lyssa consoled herself that her magazine was an arbiter of political correctness--for those who cared to read the political articles, that is. She wasn't complaining. The clientele of Cutting Edges consisted of anyone aspiring to "culture" in the area or who wanted to be in on the local scene, and she made it her business to interview any available personality who might be interesting. Freelance work provided for most of the articles, a necessity with their small staff, but Lyssa did the interviews. She liked knowing everyone who was anyone in town, and she liked being known by them. On a small scale, she was even something of a local celebrity herself, a circumstance which assuaged the remnants of youthful longings for fame which she had never quite gotten rid of.