Summer isn’t 100 percent guaranteed on this coast where the North Pacific and Columbia River marry, but during years like this one when the sun is victorious, all things are possible. Warmth, rain and volcanic soils combine to make these mountains and valleys some of the most fertile in the nation. The land nearly vibrates with health and wealth, every twig and dream sprouting with the unstoppable enthusiasm of ivy vines.

            Activities unimaginable in much of the winter — lounging in shirtsleeves eating ripe berries in a swaying hammock, sweating in the yard while battling jungle-like lawns — suddenly become routine. Coastal people cautiously hang our foul-weather gear in closets, superstitious that we might trigger a backlash from the mean demons that make stepping outdoors in December into an adventure sport.

            Summertime and our personal reactions to it are reminders we aren’t separate from the world, that our wellbeing is to a considerable extent tied to what’s going on around us. We can prosper despite conditions, but it is oh-so-much more enjoyable to succeed when nature seems to be on our side.

            This edition of Coast River Business Journal is themed “Summer Fun.” It is, we suggest, a whole lot easier to be grateful for all our natural advantages when the sun is shining. We recall that we choose to live here, and for a great many excellent reasons.

            Furthermore, July and the months that follow are rich with opportunities for profit, as nice weather and school vacation brings a tide of happy visitors to our shore. In the glow of their enthusiasm for this region’s scenic and cultural riches, we can take legitimate pride in the fact that we live here all along. We’re the smart and tough people who have figured out ways to live in paradise the whole year through.

            This edition has many stories about our neighbors and friends who are winning this long contest by building successful businesses. We can all celebrate their victories and possibly learn from their examples. At a minimum, they prove opportunities exist for those with the ideas, energy and integrity to capitalize on the coast’s natural and human assets.

            One of our favorite success stories is that of Shawn Teevin, a Knappa logger who has followed his instincts to become an international success story. Visiting Teevin’s Rainier shipping facility with reporter Edward Stratton and Daily Astorian Publisher Steve Forrester on May 30 was a window into a comparatively unknown industry operating in plain sight.

            All of us have seen Teevin’s businesses — descending the hill toward Longview, his main sorting yard stretches before us like every boy’s dream sandbox, loaded with equipment that looks incredibly fun to operate. Beyond this, the facts of the operation spark the imagination. These men and women on their giant machines load barges that travel to the Orient, to Southern California, to Hawaii. It is a modern-day version of a Robert Louis Stevenson tale, with Northwest logs and other products outward bound to build homes thousands of miles across the ocean.

            Teevin makes this exciting prospect even better by remaining thoroughly grounded right here in the soil, rock and pure water of the Columbia and Pacific shore. He makes life better for his employees and neighbors, helping pull others along on the road to prosperity.

            His story and those of entrepreneur bakers, bankers, junkers and others are all essential aspects of life on the coast and of this month’s issue of CRBJ. Thanks to all of them for sharing their stories with us.

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