BRAD COOK / THE CHRONICLE - Tom opened for Buddy Guy last Thursday in Portland, and then played drums behind the legendary Blues artist.

I joined Dave and Lonn the other morning at Blue Valley Bistro off Melton Rd. in Creswell to discuss coverage of the upcoming World Athletics Championships.

Combining vision with grit, Creswell leaders have persevered through the pandemic and postponements to pull off a significant achievement: The city will be hosting the Finnish Athletics Team for a month ahead of the championships at Hayward Field in Eugene. This is the first time the world track championships have come to the USA, and they are in the southern Willamette Valley. How cool is that? 

Not only will the world’s track and field focus be here, the world’s geo-political focus might be on Creswell, too. The Finnish team’s visit might correspond with a NATO vote on the country’s admission. Pierre, who is joining The Chronicle in July as a sports reporter, joined us for the meeting last week, and Mikiah did a great job as our server.

The Chronicle’s coloring contests – each Spring and Halloween – always provide an opportunity to meet a few parents, grandparents, and children. Emily, Nancy, and Jacob all stopped by the Springfield newsroom to drop off entries. I also met Summer, a 6-year-old who finished among the top two in her age group.

We’ve been exploring more of the area, and met Monique and John at Jazzies, in the plaza off Pioneer Parkway. I had a haircut a few weeks ago at Mike’s Barber Shop near Gateway. Clint, who cut my hair, is a longtime Creswell resident who drives his red-white-and-blue classic dune buggy during the Fourth of July parades. 

Chatted with a few people by phone recently. Carol, a new subscriber, and Barbara of “Diana’s Circle,” a group that hosted a “symbolic seder” with a Passover/Earth Day event. Hope and Wendy, both of the Academy of Arts & Academics, spoke with me by phone on a few topics, and hopefully you’ll be hearing more about that in the future. Daphne came by the newsroom recently to purchase a subscription. I also spoke with Sandy, who is part of the printing press industry in Oregon.

We’re working on quite a few new projects, and Terri, a Creswell resident, and Oscar, a college student studying data science, are helping us out with data collection, scrubbing, and importing. It should make us more efficient and effective. 

I attended a bride/groom combination wedding shower party this past weekend, and met lots of people for the first time. Lyndsey and Rob, John and Theresa, Pat and Judy, Chase, and Jen were people I’d heard of but not yet met. All were friendly, and collectively demonstrated what good people the bride and groom must be to have family and friends of that quality. 

We were humbled and honored to see all of the people who turned out for our ribbon cuttings in Cottage Grove and Springfield. New faces included Steve, a realtor, and residents Dolly and Susan, who described themselves as longtime readers. Chrissy of Covered Bridge Brewing Group provided coffee at the Cottage Grove event, and it was great to see people who have been supporting us since our earliest days, including Jim and Mary, Chalice, Pam and Les, and Vonnie and Robert, and Steve. Denise, our accountant and business coach, was there, too. Honestly, I’m not sure we’d have been there without her help and guidance the past four months. It was good to speak with John and Elora of the Springfield Chamber, who helped lead the festivities at 655 A St. in Springfield. And Valerie and Alyssa did a wonderful job making sure it all went smoothly at 609 Main St. in Cottage Grove.

My wife and I attended a music concert for the first time since pre-pandemic days (not including the opening night of the Hippie Museum in Springfield a few weeks ago). Through our association with a staff photographer, we attended the Buddy Guy concert at Revolution Hall in Portland – a very intimate, cool venue inside an old high school. I was able to spend about an hour interviewing Tom – a producer, songwriter, drummer, and more. He was the opening act, and I picked up his latest CD, The NOLA Sessions, after the show. It’s been playing non-stop in the car ever since.

Another thrill was meeting Marty, “Today’s King of Chicago Blues Piano.” A gregarious, talented keyboardist, he also sings, plays guitar, and writes music. We met John and Diane, two local photographers who regularly shoot the music scene in Portland, with trips to the southern Willamette Valley for certain acts. 

We also met Katie and Tommy, who worked for the venue handling tickets and such; they were superstars in helping us with our seating situation. 

Noel Nash is publisher of The Chronicle.