It’s time for a new chapter in the Reedsport Main Street Program, the changing of the guard! I’m so excited to see what the next RARE coordinator will bring to the program and to the community. Whoever it is, their fresh pair of eyes will help us find solutions, ideas, and resources we haven’t tapped yet. Every time we hear another first impression, we learn valuable things about ourselves. What will their first impression be? I can’t wait to find out! I’m confident that Reedsport will welcome them in just like it has welcomed so many recent newcomers, weaving their new perspective into the permanent fabric of our little town.
The next coordinator won’t arrive until September, but so much happens before then! The biggest upcoming event is the ribbon cutting for the new Reedsport Cycle Stop. That’s right, the Bike Pods are ready for use, and other pieces are coming together. Join us at 10am tomorrow, Friday the 14th, to celebrate the accomplishment. The Reedsport Cycle Stop is right in front of Safeway or you can find it on Google Maps. What’s next for the site? That’s up to you! If you want fund raise, build things, donate things, create artwork, or otherwise help add improvements to this budding project (the potential is huge!!) please email me, contact the City of Reedsport, or come to a Reedsport Main Street Program meeting. Let’s go from great to amazing!
The Promotion Committee is planning Reedsport’s first (as far as we can remember) tree lighting ceremony this year on November 26th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, in Lions Park. This is a wonderful opportunity to launch a new Reedsport tradition, one with carolers and hot cider, lights and festivities. Live reindeer? (Does anyone have one?) The beauty of heading up a new tradition is that it can be anything we want. Do you want to help make it something? Contact the Promotion Committee or come to their next meeting…we would love to have you! So everyone gather up your contingency rain gear – yes, technology has advanced to the point where we can stay dry in the rain – and mark your calendars for November 26th to turn on the lights of Reedsport!
One final call for ordering your engraved brick before I leave! If you want it to come in the next order, contact me before 4pm on Friday, July 15th. If you wait until after that time, it will be ordered, but perhaps not for several months.
Everyone is invited on a trip to Salem to support Fred Wahl Marine Construction’s grant application next Thursday, July 21st. A free bus will leave City Hall at 6am and return at 5pm. You’ll get a free t-shirt to wear for the day, yours to keep! If you want to support the expansion of a Reedsport business simply by helping form a crowd in the room that makes everyone in Salem say, “Wow, Reedsport!” call the City of Reedsport to let them know you’re coming (better) or just show up (okay). Go Reedsport!
As a side note, July 21st, 1919 was also the date of the first election ever held in Reedsport. It’s a very good day to show your local pride!
Here are some more dates for your calendar:
July 15, Friday – Ribbon cutting at the Reedsport Cycle Stop, 10am. Also my last day.
July 19, Tuesday – RMSP Board of Directors meeting, 5pm in the conference room at City Hall.
July 21, Thursday – Trip to Salem to support FWMC. A free bus leaves City Hall at 6am and returns at 5pm.
August 1, Monday – Buzz on Biz, hosted by the South Coast Development Council. The topic for local business owners will be “Social Media Marketing and Outreach.” Time and location TBD. Please contact the City of Reedsport or SCDC at http://www.scdcinc.org for more info.
August 10, Wednesday – RMSP Economic Development Committee, 5pm in the conference room at City Hall.
August 15, Monday – RMSP Promotion Committee, 5pm at the Waterfront Restaurant.
November 26, Saturday – Tree lighting ceremony in Lions Park, time TBD.
Please remember that except for the above dates the Promotion Committee usually meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, Economic Development on the 2nd Wednesday, and the Board of Directors on the 3rd Wednesday.
Have you ever seen the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain? They come to Coos Bay every now and then, and it’s well worthwhile to pay them a visit. Several years ago I worked on another tall ship, the Adventuress, where one of my jobs was to stock the educational aquarium for the day. One morning I woke up early before anyone else to hop off the ship and hunt for marine critters. But when I stepped above deck, a terrible sight met my eyes. The five dock lines had not been drawn tight the evening before, and during the night the ship had pulled away much too far to jump over the water to the dock. What could I do? If I couldn’t get ashore, our program would lose an educational station for the day, leaving an entire class of 10-year olds wandering around aimlessly, wreaking havoc, starting down a lifelong path of moral degeneracy all because their young minds had never learned about the fantastic digestive habits of starfish. I thought about doing nothing, maybe waiting until everyone else woke up, but in a moment of panic and determination, I grabbed one of the heavy dock lines and began to pull. And pull. And pull. For quite a while nothing happened, and then very slowly the entire 133-foot ship began to inch towards the dock. Finally it tapped against the bumpers, and I was able to jump off to begin my day.
It still amazes me that one little person was able to move something that big. Imagine what several people can do! That can be the story of Reedsport, a community of people who see a goal and don’t give up on it. When I was riding my bike home from work the other day I took a route through downtown and along the riverfront. For just a moment I could see other bicycles on the road, the sidewalks filled with wandering pedestrians, cute buildings bright with color, music, artwork, and never enough parking for everyone who wants to be there – a vibrant waterfront community, rich with history and small family businesses. I could stand and look wistfully at that vision like it’s a leap too far to make, or I can start pulling on the dock line, even if it seems foolishly hard to do. That is what every day of the past year has been.
Thank you all so much for allowing me to serve Reedsport as the coordinator of your Reedsport Main Street Program. It has been a great year of learning and doing. Here is my parting thought: Whatever your vision may be, don’t just look. Start pulling. Keep pulling! The ship will move.
Reedsport Main Street Program Coordinator