The Chamber Minute 04/07/23

The Chamber Minute 04/07/23

I love stories and Steve Hartman recently shared a great one that is worth repeating.

Enterprise, Alabama, is in the southern part of the state. All aspects of the town’s income have always revolved around agriculture. They grew cotton for generations. In the teens of the last century the boll weevil was sweeping through the South. It almost totally destroyed the cotton industry, which was the case in Enterprise. Today if you visit the city, however, you will find a monument in the town center dedicated to the Boll Weevil. Why do you suppose that is the case?

When faced with something which was ruining their life, they turned to others to help come up with a response. Their agricultural support community suggested planting peanuts, instead of cotton. Peanuts are the basis of their economic security today. The farms thrive as does the town. But without that weevil they would have never found this new future. Their focus was “when adversity comes your way don’t quit”. As one door is shut, another is open to you.

How many Boll Weevil moments have we faced, and continue to face, as a community? And still we grow so many types of tourism, the new forestry and fishing opportunities, the regional service center for Southwest Oregon we continue to improve, the development of our commercial Port and air services. With our coastal location, natural assets and entrepreneurial spirit, we can and should see sustained growth. So with apologies to James Earl Jones and “Field of Dreams” let me close with this.

“People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Coos County for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They will arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for a sense of place. They’ll pass over money without even thinking about it; for it is money they have and peace they lack. They’ll love the area and its opportunities. It’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The expectations will be so thick, they’ll have to brush them away from their face.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, have been our coast. America’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But the coast has marked the time. It reminds us of all that  once was good, and could be again. Oh people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”

Fear no Weevil!

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