Opinion & Editorial

Scattershooting: Some hither, others yon … ‘

Jackie Sherrod was an institution at The Dallas Morning News, covering the Texas sports scene for decades. His weekly notebook, which hit on a wide variety of topics, always started with the phrase in our headline above.
It’s in that spirit that I offer these observations, five months into ownership of The Chronicle:
* Arriving at the peak of the snowstorm in late February told me a lot about the town right away: an indomitable spirit and a focus on helping neighbors. The reaction in the next weeks to heavy rains and flooding reinforced those perceptions.
* The first big “event” we participated in was the citywide yard sale. I’d heard all about it, read old newspaper coverage of it and worked closely with the Chamber of Commerce to make sure people had the most updated maps and information. I have to admit, I was expecting a bigger crowd, but the sale was spread out over three days, including a weekday, and encompassed not only the city limits but the Creswell countryside. That’s a lot of ground to cover. We spoke to residents all over the area during the sale, and reaction was mixed when it came to comparing 2019 crowds to previous years. Sellers and active yard-sale shoppers varied from neighborhood to neighborhood, but the sense was that there were fewer people this year.
* We’ve seen the Creswell community bond together over weather travails. But it’s the communal support around grieving families and friends that really shows our mettle. The community reaction toward the loved ones of Dr. Tamara Blum (who posthumously was named the Rose Barker award winner by the Chamber of Commerce) and Giovanni Mediati, a high school student, will forever be part of our story.
* The second big “event” we were part of was the Fourth of July celebration and fireworks show. We arrived early at the newspaper on July 4, and there was already a discernible buzz on Oregon Avenue and sweeping through town. It was fun watching people pour in and fill out the corners and sidewalks along the parade route. More surprising, perhaps, was the immediate departure of so many of those people when the parade ended — it reminded me of the seventh inning of an L.A. Dodgers game. The parade was great fun to watch and easily filled an hour, and Holt Park seemed packed all day. But it wasn’t all just hot dogs and exploding chrysanthemums. Public safety officials revealed low attendance allowed them to open up blockaded streets earlier than usual; the operators of the shuttle — which takes people from Oregon Avenue to Emerald Valley Golf & Resort — questioned whether it was worth the effort based on how few riders there were; and the car show and food venues at Emerald Valley had less business this year than last. But all told, the people I spoke with had a great time and it’s easy to see why this is the highlight of the yearly calendar.
* It’s been wonderful getting to know the Springfield area better, with its unique mural tours and vibrant downtown. The Chamber there is led by visionary people, and there’s an energy around commercial development and growth that is palpable.
* The Cottage Grove community feels interconnected to Creswell in many ways. There’s plenty of overlap in the civic organizations in both communities. On its own, the historic downtown of Cottage Grove is a friendly, cozy place mixing art and commerce. The Old West flavor of Bohemia Mining Days did not disappoint last weekend.
Overall, it’s the best of all worlds here: A lot to be proud of and enjoy already, and lots of opportunity for growth.
Hey, I’m looking forward to the tree-lighting!



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos