Kim Littlepage’s letter stating the Steve Prefontaine murals were something the town shouldn’t be paying for was her opinion, and she’s certainly entitled to that.
I do agree with her about potholes in the streets needing filling. What bothered me is that she was hurtful to his sister, Linda. Here’s a different version of Steve from my family’s point of view. Our first house was next to the lot where Prefontaines built their home on Elrod.
We watched Steve as a three-year-old, running around ‘’helping’’ his dad build the foundation. He was full of life and energy from the start. As he grew older and became interested in track, we continued to watch him. He taught our twins to swim and was so patient and kind. When he was even older, Andy needed someone to do insurance inspections … the kind where you just ‘’eyeball’’ them to check the condition from the street.
He hired Steve to do them while he ran all over town, training for track. He was cocky and blunt and aggressive while seeking his goals….and that bothered some people. I liked it!
He inspired so many younger people to follow their dreams where track was concerned. I love the new murals….it will help bring attention to the fact he was raised in Coos Bay, not elsewhere, and that this logging community helped make him tough enough to persist. When I posted the mural photo on Facebook, I had some people from out of town make comments like ‘’I knew he trained in Eugene…but is he from Coos Bay?” They also all liked the murals a lot. To me, the money spent on murals of him will bring more attention to the city, and the Pre Run in September, and even the displays in the Art Museum.