By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
To make it clear, Chris Eppley doesn’t swing the sabre to scare or intimidate visitors.
Eppley, Keizer’s city manager since May 2000, has a valid reason for waving his sabre back and forth.
“My predecessor had a baseball bat,” Eppley said. “I need to have something in my hand. Why not a fencing sabre? It’s become kind of a thing.”
Eppley has long had an interest in swords, so in that respect holding one in his office isn’t too surprising. But the sabre mainly represents the passion he discovered two years ago: the sport of fencing.
“I was 40, sitting at my desk one day,” Eppley said. “I was fat, not particularly healthy. I got high blood pressure warnings. I needed to do something to get exercise.”
Before returning to Oregon, Eppley had done mountain biking to stay in shape in Kansas, thanks to trails near his house. Such opportunities didn’t exist here, plus he wasn’t interested in going to a gym. That’s when he made the connection between the foil – the small French sword he had collected – and how to use it for exercise.
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