Rex Armstrong tells a story of what happened to him that foreshadowed his future, years before his career as a lawyer and a record 27 years as a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals.

At age 18, he had just completed a summer near Raymond, Wash., as a choker setter — a person who does the dangerous work of attaching cables for retrieval of fallen logs — and was en route home to Portland when police suspected him in two burglaries. He had been seen near the jewelry stores. But he was not arrested, because a Washington State Patrol trooper had stopped him earlier for a broken taillight.


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