Happy election day! It’s so satisfying to fill in those little ovals on the ballot! The first time I ever voted, I was studying abroad in the jungles of Central America. We had no electricity, but my cabin did have one of those fancy votive candles encrusted with pictures of angels and the Virgin Mary. I sat down on the floor and voted by that candlelight while mosquitoes hammered against the screen windows and birds filled the night with strange music. After that, I knew I would never have an excuse not to send in a ballot. How lucky that we Oregonians can vote so easily!
How did people around here manage to vote 100 years ago before there were roads? Maybe that’s a story that was told last Friday at our second community historical collection day. Thank you to all of the people who came to the Lower Umpqua Senior Center to share their history, and thanks to the volunteers who worked hard to record it. I can’t wait to listen to all of the stories people told. My favorite item of the day was a batch of glass plate negatives that perhaps no one has seen since the 1930s! With luck and a little computer fiddling we’ll be able to develop them back into photographs. Check out the online archive at Reedsport100.omeka.net as we continue to upload great materials and stories from these events.
Another big (and belated) thank you to the volunteers who helped us at our last community volunteer project day, when we edged the pathway at Champion Park. The grass had really crept onto the pavement over the years. In some places we made the path twice as wide as it had been! That was hard and hot work, but I have already seen people walking side by side, bicycles, joggers, and someone on a motorized scooter making good use of the work we did. If you have an idea for the next project(s) we can work on and you would like to take the lead to help us make it happen, please contact me.
Our next RMSP board of directors meeting is tonight at 5pm in the conference room at City Hall, when we’ll have a brief visit from guest speaker Tom Hogue of the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. Nothing official on the calendar this week after that, but if you’re in a fishy sort of mood you might go volunteer to clip fins of salmon fingerlings this Thursday at STEP in Gardiner. It’s a fun way to help our local hatchery that everyone should try at least once!
It’s easy during election times to get sucked into big national issues almost beyond our control, so easy to feel like we’re getting blown around in a storm. How reassuring it is just to step back from a hard day’s work doing something to make our town just a little bit better and think, “Yeah, we’ve got this.” This is the level where real change takes place, when people give up their day to volunteer, when we choose to spend at a local business, or when someone takes a minute to fill in those little ovals on the ballot. Wherever you find yourself today, I hope you feel that power you have to make a positive difference in the world!
Reedsport Main Street Program Coordinator