Opinion & Editorial

Fifty first names only…’

One of the regular faces I see at Blue Valley Bistro is Lauren, mostly when I use the drive-thru window for a cup of morning coffee. My day simply goes better when it starts with a quick chat with her, and a 16-oz. mocha.
Delivering the paper around town each Wednesday gives me an opportunity to meet and see so many people. It’s one of my favorite parts of the job. People I see weekly (at least) when I deliver papers include Linda at the Dari Mart on Front Street and Wanda at the Dari Mart on Mill Street. I also met Tiffany, a customer at the Dari Mart who had just broken her pinky toe. Small appendage, big pain.
Roy is usually at the counter of the Fast Mart across the street from The Chronicle. And I usually see Jen working at the front desk of the Comfort Inn & Suites.
Juanita always has a cheerful, upbeat countenance; she’s at the Espresso Barn in Cottage Grove, and greets me about halfway through the delivery route.
Sara, Teresa and Alisha are at First Community Credit Union. We determined that the commonality of their names ending with the letter “a” means they provide triple A-plus service.
One of my final delivery stops is at the Creswell 76 station, and I almost always hand the new papers to Sheridan, who is attentive and engaging – all while juggling about 50 other things at the same time.
I stopped into a local watering hole the other day, just long enough to chat with Lupita and Sharon (the self-proclaimed “Bi-Mart girls”).
My first haircut in Creswell came courtesy of Haley at Panacea Barber Shop. I also was able to meet and chat with the owner, DeMarco, for a bit.
Jeanne, our local Kiwanis president’s mom, came through the newsroom a few weeks ago. Speaking of Kiwanis, I attended my first luncheon a few weeks ago at Creswell Clay Target Sports on Highway 99. Don, the president, and Ed, Don and Carolyn were a few of the people I met.
I’ve visited Hilltop Bar & Grill in Pleasant Hill a few times, and met Nathan there. Besides providing excellent service, he offered a few tips for enjoying Oregon for newcomers like my wife and I.
A big thrill was meeting Bradley, who spent about a decade travelling with Buddy Guy as his personal photographer. One of his photos was used for the cover of Guy’s most recent album. His shop has fantastic photos from a variety of live blue and rock ‘n’ roll shows.
I met Elaine at an open house as part of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. She has a terrific career story, and is now at National Transport. I also met Jim there, who tried to sell his business and retire from the printer repair business. Of course, he’s busier than ever.
I attended an after-hours event sponsored by the Cottage Grove Rotary, where I met Diana of HempWorx, a CBD-based business she runs with her husband.
Raye and Gary run Emerald Valley Armory on Oregon Avenue, with the help of two Great Danes – Mr. Jingles and Luger. Stop in and say hi to all of them.
Richard and Judy, longtime residents who live off Highway 99 and grow organic elephant garlic, are also well-known for their Polka band. Each play multiple instruments, and they once owned a nightclub in North Dakota. They came by the newsroom to talk about an incident they witnessed, and ended up staying for an hour talking about their music. Great fun.
Doris stopped into the newsroom to renew her subscription and chat. I learned she changed the “k” to a “c” in her middle name of Veronica when she became a U.S. citizen.
Ryan, Bonnie and Kari are right across the street, and it was good meeting them in their Farmers Insurance office.
Tom and Colleen have been helpful as I navigate payroll and other tax-related issues.
Thanks to the Creswell Chamber of Commerce awards banquet, I was able to meet quite a few new people. Rory at Point S Creswell Tire & Auto Service was a particular pleasure; I’d heard a lot about him, and he couldn’t have been nicer. He even posed for a silly photograph for me.
Speaking of silly photos, Lisa and Alesha of the Food for Kids program did the same. It was absolutely inspiring to meet these women who bring such a positive energy and work ethic to coordinating and leading such an important initiative.
The Creswell Chamber of Commerce luncheon was at Emerald Valley Golf & Resort a few weeks ago, where I met Laine. The Chamber awards banquet was a good experience, too, and we’re looking forward to the classic car show and The Chronicle’s food booth at the club next week as part of the big July 4 celebration. The banquet gave me the chance to finally meet Shelley; there are lots of exciting things happening at the airport, and I’m eager to get to know her better. Sid is a terrific guy, a funny character and a great part of the Chamber banquet. His auctioneering skills are amazing.
Only a few days after he was named Lane County sheriff, I was able to meet and speak with Cliff at a Rotary event. It’s always great to see a Creswell “kid” do well. It was great fun looking through past issues of The Chronicle and seeing his progression from high school Explorer to, literally, “the new sheriff in town.”
Jim introduced himself at a Cottage Grove event, and asked if I’d heard of yurt tents. I had not. I went home and looked them up online that night to discover the yurt is one of the most popular camping tents in the world – and they are manufactured right in Cottage Grove, at Pacific Yurts.
I always see Jennifer at the front desk at City Hall and can’t believe I haven’t mentioned her yet!
At a recent wedding I attended, I was able to speak with Donna, the partner of a well-known local nutritionist.
While having breakfast the other day, Wendy, of Bear Mountain Honey fame, stopped to talk with us. Another local entrepreneur with a great story, and product.
I was introduced to Jürgen again recently. He once walked from Oregon to California in 18 days, sleeping on the roads along the way.
Finally made it up to the PublicHouse in Springfield for a business lunch. Liz, handling the bar of the massive beer hall, helped us find the right food and beverages.



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