Wednesday, January 9, 2002
Thank you, Ladd Henderson. You hit the nail directly on the head with your opinion of the CRG clarification. There was the statement about Wal-Mart and the other big chain stores not giving anything back to the community. The other one was no one stopping at the Columbia Gorge Hotel likes to look out their window and see a large Wal-Mart.
For three years, I was the chairman of the Toys for Tykes portion of the Hood River Christmas Project. Part of my job, which I started in October, was to distribute collection boxes both for toys and for money. I started in the upper valley and worked my way down the valley. Most of the businesses were happy to help. When I got downtown is where I got the least amount of help. Many business owners said they didn't have room for my boxes. There was one business on the Heights whose owner wasn't in but their employee thought it would be alright. So I left a toy box and a money box. When I returned to the store a few days later, the boxes had been thrown in the trash. They didn't have room or time for it.
Wal-Mart was my biggest contributor, both in free toys and the biggest discounts when it came to buying toys.
Now about the unsightliness of a big Wal-Mart across from the Columbia Gorge Hotel. Back in the 1930s when I was a boy growing up in this "quaint" little town we had numerous fox and mink farms along the south side of Cascade and then old Highway 30. The last fox farm was located directly across from the hotel. I didn't hear anyone complain about it or the odor. Mink give off an odor similar to skunks. Early in the 1940s the farm closed down. Shortly after this the Hotel closed down. It didn't open as a hotel for some 30 years. Do you suppose it was because the fox farm went out of business?
I looked up the word "quaint" in my dictionary and it means strange or odd. Back in the 1960s I was in business for eight years in Hollywood, Calif. Now there's a "quaint" place if there ever was one!