Opinion & Editorial

Fifty first names only …’

I’d heard his name spoken reverently since the first days we arrived in southern Lane County. Particularly whenever someone was talking about community service. “Have you met The Cowboy yet?” was a frequent question. In the month and a half that we’ve been here, I’m grateful to say I’ve met Don many, many times now. Whether it’s the Rotary club in Cottage Grove, the Friends of the Carousel, the Creswell Chamber of Commerce or frequent chats in the newsroom, he’s a constant source of humor, support and wisdom.
Speaking of Chambers and civic organizations, they’ve been rich sources of new relationships. I’ve gotten to meet and know Don, Joel, Elena, Sam and Raina. I’m humbled to be a member of the Creswell Chamber board. I’ve also met Chamber members like Jim, who also works at City Hall.
Karen is someone I’ve met at various civic functions, in Creswell and Cottage Grove. Joe, Cindy, Christine and Ruth were all welcoming at the Cottage Grove Rotary. Diane and Peggy also are dedicated community leaders who I’ve seen at Creswell and Cottage Grove events. I also seem to see Tiffany everywhere, even though she’s based in Cottage Grove.
A particularly exciting encounter was broadcasting a live, online video with Rick. He’s so natural in front of the camera, and makes the people he’s interviewing feel comfortable. He’s a dynamic, passionate leader often shining a spotlight on those in need. It was great meeting him at HealthMart, where Jeannie, and creative friend, Kelly, were working on their spring designs.
The local post office is an important partner in delivering The Chronicle and Emerald Valley Magazines. Gerri, Mike and Rich have been super helpful.
We attended an artist’s exhibit a few weeks back. Martha has such talent behind the camera, and the support of the community is equally impressive. I met Shari at the event, too, and later, Dan, and Lezlie and Rick.
Yaakov stopped by the newsroom to introduce himself. His Nutritionally Speaking column is one of the paper’s most popular features.
I’ve gotten into a good routine delivering the papers around town Wednesday afternoons. I met Dave, the former mayor, while leaving papers at Farmlands. I also leave papers at Meadowlark, where I met Tony and Dennis.
Still getting to know everyone in the “neighborhood” on Oregon Avenue, I met Sumer from the Thai restaurant. She’s always dropping off lunch for someone in the newsroom. And I finally met Kelly at the Round Up, as well as Clarity, Dee and Robin.
Choir director Mary Ellen has become a fast friend, in spite of her ties to Florida State. Nobody can talk sports like she can, and I love it when she pops into the newsroom to chat me up about the NCAA basketball tournament or some piece of Florida history.
Had lunch with Tim from the school board, and then saw him again at the photo exhibit event. Good to know his hand has healed up from a classroom chemistry incident!
Speaking of meeting people at the school, I had the privilege to chat at length with Alan and Scott, who help lead the Bulldogs athletic program, among other responsibilities and roles.
A special treat was touring the Creswell Area Historical Society with Monica and Suzanne. We also met Georgia, another volunteer there. The history museum is such a great resource, and if you haven’t been there lately, don’t waste another minute. It’s not just nostalgia, which is fine in its own right. The artifacts and information and storytelling is outstanding.
Gus the pug was too cute, walking down Oregon Avenue. Tara said he was hot, but the weather that day was pretty glorious.
Got a glimpse of Creswell’s future; we’re in good hands, folks. Bailey was a pleasure to meet, and she seemed thrilled to be at the Creswell Wellness Center’s grand opening. She’ll be out of college soon, focusing full time on helping others. Ethan and Aram reflect so well on their parents. It’s great to see kids so supportive of their mom and dad, and so committed to their family. Kelsey and Megan are two impressive young women, one just out of OSU and the other in the midst of her college career. And Jade, the leader of the Future Business Leaders of America team at Creswell High. I’ve seen top-level executives struggle speaking in front of groups. She was so composed and professional in her presentation to the Creswell Chamber. Great job.
Two for review: I made a mistake with two names in my first “Fifty first names only …” column: Chelsea was mis-identified on her second reference; Susan was misidentified on her one and only mention, when I noted how selfless she was in helping drive initiatives to help feed the hungry in our community.



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