In our last blog, we talked about the importance of Earth Day and Arbor Day. This time, we’re back to delve into the importance of our traditions and the history behind them. Delta Sand & Gravel has been serving the community for over 90 years, and during this time Delta has established its light display tradition and is now starting a new tradition on Flag Day.
Delta Sand & Gravel has been a part of the community since 1927, but our founder has been deeply rooted in the Eugene community for even longer. Our founder, Avon Babb, attended the University of Oregon before entering the US Army. When he returned, he began Delta Sand & Gravel to contribute to the need of aggregates in Eugene. Avon battled many financial difficulties in the beginning phases of the company, and made ends meet by selling milk, berries and other produce.
In 1965, Avon’s son, Alan Babb took over Delta Sand & Gravel, with the intention to continue his father’s legacy, and provide the community with a rock solid foundation. It was at this time that Delta Sand & Gravel was given its official name, because of the confluence of the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers.
History of the Lights
The light display started in the 1980’s by Alan Babb. On a dark December evening, Alan Babb took a Christmas tree into the surface mine (pit) to cheer up the team, ever since then the light displays have become a tradition. The display of lights gives us the opportunity to show appreciation for our employees and our community.
As many Eugene community members know and love, the Delta lights have been one of our favorite traditions since the early 1980’s.These displays can be seen from the Delta highway during several different holidays. These holidays include Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Fourth of July and Halloween.
Each holiday has a symbolic display of lights, and we frequently receive notes and letters from people about what each display means to them.
One of our favorite stories was from a woman who cherished the “Hi Mom” sign that we put up around Mother’s Day. The note filled our hearts with joy:
Thursday, May 6th, 1993 – Our mom died at the age of 63 from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Mother’s’ Day was Sunday, May 9th.
On Friday, May 7th – My sister and I were in a friend’s flower shop ordering flowers for our mom’s funeral the following week. The shop owner was happy about her cruise that started on Monday. Everyone else was there ordering flowers for their mom. Much joy surrounded our sorrow.
The following week after the funeral was the next memory of that time that stood out. It was when I first noticed the “Hi Mom” sign in the Delta Sand & Gravel lot. I’d been aware of other ones at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July, but the mom and dad days had not stood out in my mind.
That sign, over the years, took me through grieving and many tears, to now a warm happy moment of saying “Hi, Mom” that feels like a personal communication with Mom.
So, my greatest thanks. Which I’ve meant to send you for years— to the person who goes through the work of putting those signs up each year. They touch our lives, are a part of the community and are much appreciated.
This note and many others, are what inspire us to continue to light up the community. We hope our light display continues to inspire community members for years to come.
This year is Delta Sand & Gravel’s first annual Flag Celebration. At this event, our team will raise a large flag on Flag Day to celebrate the adoption of our Nation’s flag that took place in 1777.
The flag has significant importance in the United States. The 13 horizontal stripes represent the original 13 colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. Some historians say that the colors of the flag are symbolic, while others say the color symbolism is a myth.
The colors of the stripes may or may not be symbolic, but either way the flag as a whole is a symbol of freedom for all Americans. The flag has been seen as a symbol of hope and unity since it was first seen flying amidst the dust and rubble of early warfare.
Some say that countries from all around the world look to the American flag for inspiration. Our team strongly believes that everyone, regardless of your country, is in some way connected to the flag. Our team is excited to start this annual Flag Day tradition because it is a way of recognizing what armed forces members give to and have done for our country, and it acknowledges the sacrifices made by all armed forces people.
We are excited to celebrate the history of our flag in a special way for this Flag Day. On June 14th we will proudly display our 50 ft. flag pole which we received from the University of Oregon Erb Memorial Union (EMU). The Erb Memorial Union recently completed an extensive re
model and we were honored to be a part of it by performing underground utilities, mass excavation, footing excavation and hardscapes.
Everyone in the community is welcome to come and celebrate Flag Day with our team on June 14th around 7:15 am. Be sure to get there early because we will host breakfast between 6 and 7 am before the main ceremony. If you can’t make it, be sure to follow the event on our Facebook page.
Our team will continue to show our appreciation to the community with our numerous and special displays of lights . We will be sure to post about them on our social media accounts, so if you haven’t already, follow us on Facebook to see imagery of our displays of lights.