NPR reporters are returning to their hometowns this summer to find out how they’ve changed – from job prospects to schools and how people see their community and the country. Once home to thriving timber and fishing industries, Gold Beach, Oregon now subsists on tourists and retirees looking for a quiet beach, a nice river trip and, in a few cases, marijuana.
I left Gold Beach after graduating from high school in 1985. Back then, it was a blue-collar town dominated by the timber industry. Returning 32 years later there are fewer log trucks on the roads, the big mill outside town is gone and the economy has fundamentally changed.
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