Elmo Williams Day Committee Chair Carolyn Milliman announced that plans for the fourth annual commemorative celebration scheduled for the fourth Sunday in April have been canceled due to COVID-19. Following is a transcript of remarks by former City Manager Gary Milliman from the first annual celebration.
Elmo lives on!
He lives on through those physical contributions made to the community that bear his touch:
• The formal gardens at Azalea Park
• The Capella by the Sea
In his invitation letter for the dedication, Elmo described the Capella by the Sea as follows:
“Capella by the Sea was conceived as a quiet sanctuary where troubled people can come to meditate and sort out their problems without the distractions of this frantic world.”
Elmo lives through his contributions to the arts community. Through the Chetco Community Players…the special narrated screenings of films…and through his theatrical creation…The Corner Pocket.
He lives on through his contributions to the spirit of the community. Through his Brookings booster persona. When I interviewed him to be a part of the City’s promotional program to attract new residents, here is part of what he said:
“My wife Lorraine and I discovered Brookings during a casual drive down the Oregon coast in 1983. We fell in love with the town, and with the people. We moved to Brookings and built a house, and have enjoyed living here.
“We found many opportunities for involvement in the community, from working in the botanical gardens at Azalea Park to participating in live theater
“I’ve traveled around the world…could have lived anywhere in the world…but made the right decision to make Brookings my home. We have a wonderful arts community and great restaurants. But mostly it’s the people. Brookings people are friendly. I just love Brookings and its people.”
He loved Brookings and its people, and he wasn’t shy about it.
Elmo lives through our remembrance of those hundreds and thousands of selfless acts of kindness. Cards received in the mail, little notes left at the office, personal poems, informal chats and patient listening. He lives through his interaction with the diversity and sometimes quirkiness of the people he encountered along the trail. He once loaned me a copy of his film documentary on cowboys. Somehow…he thought I would like it. I still have his note.
My wife told me that someone should write a book about Elmo and his interaction with the Brookings community. It would all make for a wonderful script, wouldn’t it? Think about it. Elmo: The Movie.
Thanks, Elmo. We’ll be seeing you again a little further on down the trail.
Hugs from Carolyn and all of your friends! Happy Birthday April 30.