Written by Jim Evangelista for Reality Kitchen Nonprofit
Dear neighbor and friend,
We live in a community of “choice rather than chance of birth. Reason found each day on the side of cooperation, conservation and community.” It is said that ‘we see further because we are standing on the shoulders of giants’ and Bill Wooten, a visionary and local legacy spoke of “reason that stands with those who reduce their wants and simplify their needs; who lessen their demands upon the world’s resources.” He crystalized a vision for our community’s future that we enjoy the fruits of and regularly harvest today.
Together with his wife and partner, Cindy, they owned and operated the Odyssey Coffee House. They are credited with spearheading the establishment of the Eugene Saturday Market, as well as the Oregon Country Fair, both essential events that characterize and support much of our community today. Together the Wootens served as the Fair’s first managers and it was their belief that the “movement” had to institutionalize itself economically to sustain into the future. Bill reflected “reason stands with those that treat neighbors as friends, friends as brothers and sisters, and this earth as our one and only home.” Believing this deeply, he urged us, “let us so stand together.”
Please be part of our effort at building community, here in this section, and submit a 500 to 800 word essay on the topic of community: visioning, inclusion, activism, planning and building. Many perspectives should be represented: education for those with and without disabilities, business and financial, land use, development and resourcing, housing, growth, sustainability, agricultural, personal and spiritual faith, the spectrum of arts and cultural expression and knowledge sharing. We all bring so much to the conversation and these thoughts ought to be represented and brought to our homes, gatherings, kitchens and places of celebration and worship. Letters to the Editor will also be published as well to encourage ongoing conversations and sharing of ideas.
Please consider offering something you’ve recently written, preparing something new, or perhaps submitting art, poetry or a favorite recipe for a meal or the future. I encourage you to share this opportunity with others you know that should participate. Feel free to call or email me with you thoughts, questions and submissions. In advance, let me thank you for your consideration and the time you’ll take to help this first publication find a welcome response in our community.