The Dutchman and Portland’s Finest Rose

A Love Story Inspired by the Life of
Football Legend Norm Van Brocklin


Available now in
paperback and eBook!

“As the wife of Bill Curry, a football coach who played many years in the NFL, I was immediately drawn to this book. Carefully researched and well-written. Karen shares her parents’ early story from their meeting in a biology class at the University of Oregon, where Gloria was instructor and Norm a student. One learns more about the life of Van Brocklin the football hero, but it was Gloria, who gave up her dream of becoming a doctor to support his career, that intrigued me.”

~ Carolyn Curry, Ph.D., Author of Suffer and Grow Strong: The Life of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1834-1907

“A compelling love story…captivating, a must read.”

~ Herb Yamanaka, Associate Athletic Director,
University of Oregon

The Dutchman and Portland’s Finest Rose is a good read that made me cry. While Norm was a legend, Gloria was quite a lady. Their life together was way too short yet so full of love and devotion for one another. The football coverage is very good, but it’s the real-world aspects which reflect what is important in life.”

~ Ron Canakaris, Limited Partner, Atlanta Falcons; Defensive Middle Guard, early 1960s, University of Florida

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The Dutchman and
Portland’s Finest Rose

After WWII ends, two young people from different backgrounds, poised to begin disparate careers, collide under a Big Leaf Maple on the University of Oregon campus.

In a narrative equally rich in the play-by-play of both romance and football, Norm enthusiastically pursues the woman he loves while his star rises as the Oregon Ducks’ quarterback in 1946-1949. Gloria hesitantly falls in love as she struggles with whether to pursue a career path in medicine or acquiesce to the pre-war traditional role of wife and mother.

the dutchman

Norm and Gloria’s eldest daughter, Karen, writes her parent’s love story based on memories and research, as well as letters Norm sent to Gloria, sharing a nostalgic look at tradition and the daily trials to forge strength and live with integrity in family, academics, career, and a new world.

Karen J. Vanderyt was born in Eugene, Oregon one year after her father led the Ducks to the 1949 Cotton Bowl and was now completing his Master’s degree before his second season as quarterback for the LA Rams. The Dutchman and Portland’s Finest Rose is her third book. She lives a bi-coastal life between Atlanta, Georgia and Bend, Oregon.