Noel Nash

There’s little doubt May kicked off the event season across the southern Willamette Valley, giving folks the opportunity to gather or mingle in whatever spot they chose along the safety scale. I saw a continued mixture of masks, small groups, mid-sized groups, and conscious efforts to remain properly distanced. 

One of the first events I attended earlier this month was the candidate forum hosted by the Creswell Grange. The candidates competing for a spot on the Lane County Commission were Heather, the incumbent, and Kyle. The Chronicle’s executive editor moderated the event, and Patrick and Martin deserve credit not only for the well-appointed and festive grange hall, but also for putting on such an important event.

While there, I chatted with Ken, Louise, Jeff, Ed, Patty, and Verlean, who of course finagled a private tour of the grange’s second story. She said it was well worth it, by the way. …

The most recent event I attended was the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet, held at the Cottage Grove Armory. This also had the joyful vibe of a “first-time-in-two-years” party. Shauna and Georgia, as well as a host of others, kept the action going throughout the night, from silent auction to dessert dash to wine wall raffles and – oh yeah – lots of awards and great food. Jason of the Creswell Chamber of Commerce was there, with other members of his board. …

I’ve mentioned a potential partnership with the Academy of Arts & Academics in previous columns, and now we’re off and running! Nissie’s class is helping The Chronicle turn its old newspaper racks into sidewalk art pieces. Our plan is to place the racks around our communities and at special events to further promote the fact there is a locally owned newspaper that covers our small and rural towns – the people and places the corporate media entities ignore. …

We met via video streaming this past Monday to brainstorm around the concept, and the students already had smart questions and creative ideas. The students working on this project include Sky, Josie, Rowan, Thomas, Aubrey, Maize, Cayden, Ezabelle, Arissa, Raven, Maya, Jasper, Sky, Annika, Persimmons, Raymond, Ikea, Bailey, Scarlet, and Edward​. …

Beyond that partnership with A3, two interns from the school started this week. Lilith and Alex will be working in a variety of roles through the next few weeks, getting exposure to journalism and working at a local, small business. …

Even though weather slightly dampened activity during Creswell’s annual Mother’s Day weekend citywide yard sale, Julie from the Front St. Dari Mart called early in the morning to let us know she had sold out of The Chronicle, which included a two-page spread of yard sale locations. …

We met with Sarah and Normal a few weeks ago about the big plans they have with The Hippie Museum on Main Street in downtown Springfield. Besides concerts, the venue is built to host video and audio studios, and there are plans for programming on both platforms, they also described plans to tour the country and collect “hippie memorabilia” to further decorate the museum here. …

Speaking of downtown Springfield, Cornucopia is a staple among lunch destinations for our team. Tana and Reina are always friendly and super-attentive. The whole experience is better thanks to them. Look for the Philly cheese steak special on Wednesdays. …

I recently had to go to Banner Bank and have a new credit card pressed, right on the spot. I don’t know how long that’s been offered, but it’s a game-changer. Stefani and Carla, at the Valley River branch, could not have been more helpful even to the guy who walked in at 9:00:05 on a Monday morning. While we were waiting for the new card to “dry,” I might have suggested that my wife was responsible for letting the card lapse, which they weren’t buying for a minute. They then shared a funny story about how they and their colleagues jokingly blame a recent ex-employee for anything that goes wrong. “She must have done it before she left.” …

The regular course of business brought me into contact with a few new people. Denise came by the newsroom to pick up old papers for packing, and I chatted with Deanna at Uplink Spyder, a web development company. I also spoke with Don and Rick on a few newspaper-related topics related to advertising and promotion. ...

Katee (who works for one of our photographers), Keevin (a longtime music industry veteran living in downtown Cottage Grove), Mike (also known as “Mr. Fix-It” in the Springfield area), and Jamie (a new office manager next door to us) were all folks I met around town during the month – both professionally and personally – who were out and about, enjoying their weekends.

Noel Nash is publisher of The Chronicle.