Summer in Longview is in full swing! With Go 4th in the near past distance, the concerts at the Lake in motion, and dozens of other activities to come, that is only a small part of the big picture. I said it before, and it is still so true - this community has energizing generosity. Leaders that work quietly behind the scenes that Get-Stuff-Done are truly amazing to me.
Take Robert Alexander Long for instance, a man of multifaceted talents and gifts. We are celebrating ‘the’ planned city that he founded 100 years ago, at the seasoned age of 68 years old - an age many consider for retirement. Beginning in 1923, Mr. Robert A Long put into motion so many of the remarkable foundations of this great city: the infrastructure for the industry, modest homes, a civic circle hub, a library and hotel, parks, a business district, churches, and more. And who knew the population of Longview would grow to be over 38,000 and that Longview would become Tree City USA and Nation, and would include sixteen city-maintained parks, two high schools, theaters, a man-made lake (Lake Sacajawea), squirrel bridges, a hospital, a lovely downtown with incredible shops and restaurants and over 25 beautiful sculptures in an outdoor gallery. We also have a four-year college, golf courses, a regional transit system, a regional airport, major industry and businesses along the outskirts of town, and many businesses throughout the city.
I believe some of R.A Long’s greatest achievements go beyond the city he envisioned and built, and include his character - honesty, humility, fortitude, ingenuity, benevolence, team-building, spirituality, investor, intelligence, considerate, and what we might call a “Renaissance Man”.
Through the years, Longview has had its own Renaissance men and women that have been out and about doing good for the city. One of those great souls is Arleen Hubble. She and her Go-4th Team have been an amazing asset to our community for years and have blessed our community with outstanding celebrations. A beautiful plaque honoring Arleen was erected at Lake Sacajawea during the Go-4th festivities this year. Thank you, Arleen, from the bottom of our hearts for all you do.
Other notables this season:
Sue Piper- Celebrating 20 glorious years as founder and publisher of the Columbia River Reader (CRR) – a local newspaper- ‘helping you discover and enjoy the good life around the Columbia River region, at home and on the road.’ CRR recently published a book for the Centennial celebration, Empire of Tree’s by Hal Calbom, which is a commemoration of Longview’s 100 years. Thank you, Sue and Hal!
Reed Hadley- courageous leader of the Longview’s Centennial Committee – has helped coordinate with a team of individuals many activities to keep the 100 years celebration going in our community. Since the Centennial kick-off in January, there have been galas, tributes and there will be a grand celebration in September with another gala, dinner, drone show and dancing. Thank you, Reed!
Central Sandlot Baseball, brought to Longview by Fellowship of Christian Athletes of Cowlitz County, with local leaders Kane Ulrick, Mike Barbee and Mike Street, are giving back to help youth ages 6-12 experience the joy of baseball. Watching these coaches engage with the youth is inspiring! Their club motto: Character, Integrity, and Passion are clearly exemplified. Way to go Central Sandlot!
Ariel Large- Downtown business owner of Offbeat Antiques and Oddities, and Founder of the Broad Strokes Project, a local nonprofit, has helped bring gorgeous building murals to the City of Longview. Recent murals include: Kiser Building mural (Hemlock/14th Avenue), by Jeff Sheridan, The Major at the Pounder Building next to Café Guse on Commerce, by Jason Borders, Flowers Mural at the Pounder building, by Rather Severe, and the Longview Centennial Mural is displayed on the Maple side of the Pets, Pawns and Instruments building on the corner of Maple/Commerce, by Paul Nunn. These Murals are a fantastic blessing to our community. Thank you, Ariel!
I feel enormous gratitude for these individuals and others that quietly go about doing good in our community. Sometimes it takes a village to raise an individual, other times, it just takes one or two individuals to transform that village.
Many blessings to all for a healthy, happy summer.
Mayor MaryAlice Wallis