Not so long ago Eugene was “The World’s Greatest City for the Arts and Outdoors.” That exaggeration was short-lived and rescinded.
Now the principal of South Eugene High School touts the need to identify with another braggadocious placeholder: “Lumber Capital of the World.” But so does Aberdeen, Washington, Bangor, Maine, Williamsport, Massachusetts, Towanda Harbor, New York, etc.
That is clearly a long-since lost moniker for Eugene. The South Eugene High lumberman image needed the axe. The time was at hand for a more cosmopolitan imagination to take form. Instead, outdated provincialism keeps its hold.