Opinion & Editorial

Good fortune and great appreciation

Owners Noel and Denise Nash on the day they purchased The Chronicle.

Milestones are worth marking. At least some of them are, I guess. The threshold varies, right? Your age, marriage, perhaps your car are all noted, or ignored, as appropriate. Year One? Year 10? Big celebrations. Year 6? Year 14? Just days slipping by on the calendar.
So here we are, my wife Dee Dee and I, and our ”work family” at the newspaper, on the occasion of our one-year anniversary. It’s our first as business owners.
It’s tempting to wax poetic, with a certain air of importance, explaining the commitment to the institution of a free press in our town, country and world. A column akin to a State of the Union address, delivered from a virtual podium. Perhaps a line graph or pie chart or a bulleted list of items detailing something or other. Successes, failures and learnings?
Yes, calling attention to the institution and highlighting growth and development are good and valuable in their own rights. And you never want to pass up the opportunity to reinforce the ”brand” and the message, and our mission. Those, too, are important.
Really, though, we just want to say ”thank you.”
What we have most learned in our first year in the southern Willamette Valley is that we have giants, angels and saints among us. So many people have selflessly supported us, embraced us, lifted us up, offered valuable institutional knowledge and deep background on the area and culture, and so much more.
We’ve been treated like trusted friends. It’s hard to ask or expect more than that.
These behaviors by so many people around us have reinforced our belief that people in small and rural towns all over the country share intrinsic, American values.
Where a free press, where hyper-local information about family, friends and neighbors is delivered with integrity and credibility, has as much import as issues at the state, national and global level.
Yes, the value of hyper-local news and information is more evident every day.
Communities have been abandoned, journalistically. You don’t have to look hard to see the evidence piling up. McClatchy, owner of The Miami Herald and Kansas City Star among others, filed for bankruptcy last week. A month ago, the two largest owners of daily newspapers in the country agreed to merge. The new company will be busy finding efficiencies by cutting back on the costliest of resources – humans.
None of that bodes well for community newspapers.
Except here in the southern Willamette Valley, where we see a huge opportunity to super-serve residents and small-business owners with news that is useful to their lives, edifying and uplifting.
Our institutions are the pillars, or tent poles, for our society. Government officials, volunteers, faith leaders, local media, public safety, educators. They hold up everything, and in the best cases, work together to improve the lives of everyone in the community.
That growth and progress rarely is smooth. It’s herky-jerky, at best.
So we get to our big milestones by rolling up our sleeves and putting in the critical thought and elbow grease that’s necessary, one day at a time. A milestone of any kind, really, is made up of many smaller moments along the way.
We are more appreciative than ever for all of the unique people and experiences that have made our chosen path so meaningful.
There are the quick and fleeting moments, such as children carolling outside the newsroom during the holidays, the July 4 fireworks show, our first citywide yard sale, and the Creswell Winter Lights Festival.
We’ve enjoyed the counsel and insight from deeply rooted and invested community leaders.
We’ve been met with open arms at area Rotary, Kiwanis and Chamber organizations.
While casual dress has been the daily fashion statement, we’ve dug out the fancy clothes and attended hospital galas, fundraisers, auctions and banquets.
The nonprofit leaders and volunteers have been an inspiration to us, and demonstrated through selflessness just how much more we can contribute.
Yes, milestones are important. And we’re looking forward to achieving more of them in a way that serves our town.

Noel Nash is publisher of The Chronicle.



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