Suzi Prozanski – Eugene Weekly
After high school in Dallas, Texas, Susan Turner was able to begin her studies at Texas A&M University as a sophomore, majoring in journalism. “I took AP classes in high school,” she explains. “I joined the first class that was 50/50, men and women, in a formerly all-male school. The men were mostly military-style or cowboys, but Floyd Prozanski had long hair and a beard. I met him there.” After graduation, she and Floyd got married and moved to Houston, where he entered law school and she worked as a copy editor with the Houston Post. “I helped Floyd through law school, then we both wanted to move,” she relates. “We did research on the best place to live in America, and came up to Eugene in 1984. Floyd got a job as an attorney and The Register-Guard hired me as a part-time copy editor.” The couple also visited the Oregon Country Fair that first summer, then returned the next day to see Bubbleman Tom Noddy and the Flying Karamazov Brothers. Suzi began volunteering at the Fair in 1990, when she helped staff Gil Harrison’s pottery booth. She joined the Fair’s Info Crew in 1993, and in 2003 moved to the Fair Family News crew, helping to produce its monthly newsletter. She currently serves as chair of the Fair’s philanthropy, the Jill Heiman Vision Fund. Floyd Prozanski has gone on to a 27 year career as a representative, then a senator in the Oregon State Legislature. Suzi Prozanski became a union leader in 1999, but got involved in difficult labor negotiations with the RG and quit her job in 2002. “I started thinking about writing a book about the founding of the Fair,” she notes. “Gil Harrison introduced me to folks who put on the first fair in 1969. I interviewed 300 people; their interconnectedness amazed me.” It took eight years to compile and publish the 447 page volume, Fruit of the Sixties, The Founding of the Oregon Country Fair, and another ten years to complete Brigadoon of the Sixties, Revelry and Kerfuffles at the Oregon Country Fair. She envisions a trilogy.