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Bright & Brief

June 22, 1989

MISERY GORE, Maine (AP) _ One of Maine’s more colorful township names will soon disappear from the atlas, thanks to new legislation.

Misery Gore, on the shore of Moosehead Lake in northern Maine, was created in the early 1800s by mistake, according to legend. Two sets of township boundary lines established by separate surveying teams inadvertently left a sliver of land in between.

What remained was a 17-mile-long, string bean-shaped tract - only a half- mile wide at its widest point - that became known as Misery Gore. It’s not clear how the Misery part of the name came about, but gores are small, uusually triangular pieces of land.

The legislation, signed by Gov. John R. McKernan, corrects the surveying error and gives pieces of the area to adjoining unorganized townships, a designation for roughly half of rural Maine.

The bill also frees Scott Paper Co., which owns most of the land in Misery Gore, from having to maintain two sets of property lines.

Maine is not left without its gores, however. Still remaining on the map are Moxie Gore, Hibberts’ Gore and Veazie Gore, among others.


CENTRAL POINT, Ore. (AP) - It took John DeZell 25 years, but he’s finally passed the bar exam on his 10th attempt.

″It takes persistence and knowledge,″ the 56-year-old insurance salesman said. ″But I would always tell people I would trade some of that persistence for more knowledge.″

Neither the Oregon Bar Association nor the state Supreme Court keeps track of this kind of effort, but DeZell figures he holds the state record for most attempts on the bar exam.

Along the way, DeZell learned a lot about broken dreams. He received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, but was forced out by a medical problem.

He earned a law degree from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, but failed the bar exam three straight times, the maximum allowed. In 1966 he turned to selling insurance to support his family.

Then the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to restrict the number of times someone could take the bar exam.

So with encouragement from his wife, DeZell decided in 1986 to try again.

DeZell didn’t do very well in his first comeback bid, but did a little better the next five times until last July he missed passing by just one point.

″I thought it was within my reach finally,″ he said. ″I was studying and reading law books most of the time.″

DeZell said if he hadn’t passed February’s test on his 10th attempt, he still would be trying.

″I’m very committed to the practice of law, and I’m going to enjoy it,″ DeZell said.

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