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July 5, 2013
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Editorial: Roses and thorns


Choo-choo chums

These two were meant to be together.

On June 27, an 1883 rail car that once made tracks on the Oregon and California Railroad pulled up outside the Douglas County Museum of Natural & Cultural History. And there it will stay alongside the 1882-built Dillard depot, which beckons potential museum visitors from Interstate 5.

The rail car arrived from Glendale, where it held sway as a town landmark for many years. Donated in 1997 to the Community Action Response Team of Glendale, the rail car was in turn donated by the civic group to the museum when team members realized they couldn’t afford to repair the relic. Last month the car was placed on the bed of a semitruck and hauled from Glendale to Roseburg. The restoration process is likely to be long and expensive for the future exhibit, but a campaign to rally volunteers and donations is under way. Advice from museum authorities in other states has been solicited as well.

It’s pleasant to imagine the depot and the rail car, meanwhile, are catching up on old times shared back when the car used to pull in on its O&C line runs.


Golden goodbye

Fans of a certain line of tractors are fond of declaring that nothing runs like a Deere. That traffic will continue in Roseburg, thanks to the sale of Hobi Equipment Co. to the Eugene-based Papé Machinery.

Bob Hobi retired a week ago today after selling the business, five decades after his father launched it on Diamond Lake Boulevard. The company started as a logging supply operation, but moved with the times, tailoring its services to the area’s needs and eventually landing in its current location on Northeast Stephens Street. Father Bob passed the company on to sons Herb and Bob in 1975. One of the Hobis’ many smart decisions over the years was to add John Deere products to the store’s inventory following the 2004 closure of the line’s Roseburg dealer.

With the retirement of the 69-year-old Bob Hobi, Papé made a few changes before reopening Monday with the 10 former Hobi employees continuing their jobs under new ownership. We wish Hobi a satisfying retirement, with thanks to the family for so many years of meeting Roseburg’s needs for various types of outdoor maintenance machinery. And welcome to Papé, which arrives with a 75-year record and good reputation.


Kitty, kitty

It’s a tale that might have fallen from the lips of Sheherazade. A lioness is given to the son of the emir of an Arab nation. She dies giving birth to twins. The sheik and his relatives raise the cubs until it’s obvious that young carnivores will not do well in a family home. The sheik seeks help in finding new homes for the cubs.

After spending six months in quarantine to ensure they carry no diseases, the cubs arrive in their new home. Meanwhile, in another part of their new land, female cubs are growing each day, preparing to take their places with the young lions so they can all be raised together. One day, their offspring may help boost a vulnerable population of big cats.

It sounds like fiction, but it’s true. African lion cub brothers Tsavo and Enzi are adjusting to life at Winston’s Wildlife Safari after emigrating from Qatar, with a stopover at the Denver Zoo. Their potential mates, young lionesses from the St. Louis Zoo, are scheduled to join them at the end of the year.

We’re glad the Safari and Douglas County have a part to play in a story all set for a happy ending.

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The News-Review Updated Jul 5, 2013 12:43PM Published Jul 5, 2013 12:24PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.