Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 74, November 1 2017

Please click here for a printable version of Issue 74

Interview with Laren Leland

Laren Leland, who goes by Leland, is a native bee conservationist and a former OSU master gardener.

TYG: So, what made you decide to move to Yachats?
Leland: Oh! We had been looking for farm property for about a year. I actually wanted to be closer to Portland because we still have a house there, and I kind of wanted to be able to go back and forth. But Cedar, my partner, grew up in Newport, and she’s a surfer, and she really had it in her mind that she wanted to be close to the ocean. So we started looking in Manzanita, but didn’t really find farm property that we liked. Eventually we ended up down here to look. I kind of asked her at one point, “If you could live anywhere in Oregon, where would it be? And she said, “Yachats.” She had worked at the Green Salmon before, she loved the community here, and we were also really interested in finding a place that has a culture that was comfortable for us, being two women as partners.

TYG: Yachats is certainly that.
Leland: Yes. And we don’t know if we might adopt some day, so our kids might be a different color from us, and we just didn’t want to be anywhere where that would be a problem. And this property that we found has amazing water rights, and it’s beautiful. It’s just gorgeous.

TYG-Graphic Design: Hmm. What about the water rights?
TYG: I was about to say, I don’t know what those are.
Leland: We have access to the north fork of the Yachats River. We’re allowed to irrigate one to two acres of our property with that. And we also have multiple springs, one of which we have the right to use as household water. And there was supposed to be a well, but the well doesn’t work, unfortunately. But we could fix it or put one it at some point if we needed to.

TYG: So I’m guessing you can irrigate from the other springs?
Leland: We can only use one of the springs; the others flow off of the property. But it’s still nice to just have lots of water available.

TYG: So when did you move down?
Leland: My family bought this place a year and a half, two years ago. Our plan wasn’t to move at that time; we were just going to sort of have it as an investment property, and an Airbnb; we have made it an Airbnb. But about three months ago, we just decided that we were kind of done living in the city. I’ve always lived in cities, and didn’t think that I would ever not want to live in the city. [laughs] But as my interest in environmentalism has grown, and... I really love gardening. I did the Master Gardner’s program in Multnomah, and our little one tenth of an acre just started to seem really small.

TYG: That is small!
Leland: [laughs] My priorities shifted too; instead of wanting to have a big house and not very much space outside, I wanted a lot of space outside and a smaller house.

TYG-GD: So how many acres do you have here?
Leland: This is 42.

TYG: 42?! I’m presuming it must go into the woods, then.
Leland: People reading the article won’t be able to see which way I’m motioning, but it goes all the way to the top of the ridge. [visible in the photo accompanying the article]

Blossomwood Farm

TYG: Okay! I was thinking that there’s no way that this field is 42 acres.
Leland: Yes, the field is only about ten to twelve acres.

TYG: I’m guessing the forest is pretty low maintenance.
Leland: Well, I’m sure we could be doing more! [laughs] You know, we’re trying to establish a native bee sanctuary. So that’s where most of our time and effort is going.

TYG-GD: So you say “native bee.” What is that?
Leland: Well, it’s funny. When we say that we’re doing a native bee sanctuary, people ask us if we have honey to sell. And we have to laugh, because honeybees aren’t actually native to the United States. People don’t know that. In the fossil record, there was a honeybee that lived in the Americas a long time ago, but it’s not related to the current honeybee that people keep.

TYG: I wonder where it came from, then.
Leland: The colonists brought it over, when they settled.

TYG-GD: From England?
Leland: Yes.

TYG: Important crop. I imagine it does well for pollination, though.
Leland: Actually, the native bees do it better. They’re more efficient pollinators, however they can’t really be managed as easily as honeybees, so that’s why honeybees are used. One fun little fact is that the indigenous people called honeybees “White man’s fly.” [laughter]

TYG-GD: That’s funny.
TYG: That’s weird, because they don’t look anything like flies.
Leland: Well, if flies are your only reference...

TYG-GD: So what are the benefits of native bees versus honeybees? You said more efficient pollination.
Leland: Yes, more efficient pollination, and they’re the ones who evolved to live here, so they have ongoing relationships with the native plants.

TYG: That makes sense. Presumably evolution has adapted them more to the native plants so they can mesh more easily.
Leland: Right. Honeybees will pollinate our native plants as well. Also, unless honeybees escape from domesticity and become feral, they’re only going to be where the keepers are keeping them. Native bees are spread throughout—they’re everywhere.

TYG-GD: Does Oregon have a particular species of native bee?
Leland: We have sixteen bumblebees, and quite a few of others, too. There are actually over 4,000 kinds of native bees in the United States. I’m not sure how many in Oregon.

TYG-GD: So bumblebees are part of what you call native bees?
Leland: Yes! There are bumblebees, sweat bees, leaf-cutter bees, cuckoo bees, mason bees—all kinds of different types of bees.

TYG-GD: Wow, I’ve never heard of most of those!
TYG: I think I may have heard of leaf-cutters before.
TYG-GD: I’ve heard of leaf-cutter ants, in the Brazilian forest, but... [laughs]
Leland: Yes, the leaf-cutters are really adorable. They cut almost perfect circles out of leaves, and they carry them through the air. They lay one egg, and they collect pollen, and they make a little capsule around it—a little hibernation thing.

TYG: So I’m guessing all these bee species have very different hives?
Leland: Actually, none of them have hives.

TYG: Really—that’s a European invention?
Leland: Yes. You know, even honeybees, in a natural circumstance, would live in a tree cavity, and they would create a colony there. But hives are very unnatural. They’re just a human’s idea about where bees should live. The only social native bee is the bumblebee. Every other native bee is solitary.

TYG: What do you mean by “social”?
Leland: Meaning that they have colonies where they work together, and they have one queen and then a bunch of workers.

TYG: So is it all bumblebees, or just one particular species?
Leland: Most of them. There is a type of bee called a cuckoo bee, that looks like a bumblebee. They’re kind of like a cuckoo bird, where they go into established bumblebee nests and kind of take over and turn the worker bees that are there into...
TYG-GD: ...their personal slaves?

TYG: So they replace the role of the queen.
Leland: Yes. Bee biology is pretty fascinating.

TYG-GD: So, do you focus on other pollinators besides the bee type?
Leland: Yes! Actually, this Saturday I’m teaching a class on native bees and butterflies. You know, it’s almost like butterflies are too pretty; everybody loves them. I’m not as interested in them, honestly, but I really like caterpillars. [laughs] So my interest in butterflies focuses on the caterpillars.

TYG-GD: But the caterpillars don’t necessarily pollinate, do they?
Leland: No, they don’t. Adults do.

TYG: However, I feel like if you can get it through the caterpillar stage, it’ll probably be alright at the butterfly stage.
Leland: Well, only ten percent of caterpillars actually make it to the butterfly stage.

TYG: That’s what I mean. If you can get a raising facility for caterpillars, then you can make a lot more butterflies a lot quicker.
Leland: Yes! You can help them along by putting them in a mesh laundry basket or something, make sure they have food and water...

TYG-GD: Do you remember when you had a chrysalis?
TYG: Yes, I remember—I think it was two or three. [to Leland:] Are you taking any interest in hummingbirds?
Leland: Yes, I love hummingbirds. I mean, there’s no pollinator that I don’t like, really. And I’ve thought that maybe we should change it to a pollinator sanctuary, but... I don’t know. Bees were my first interest, and that’s kind of what we named the farm for. But we’re doing things definitely to support all kinds of pollinators.

TYG: Because that’s probably the most common kind of pollinator we see at our house, is hummingbirds. We see at least one hummingbird almost every day. We try to keep up the feeders, but it’s really hard.
TYG-GD: Well, we have fuchsia bushes and escalonia, not feeders.
TYG: If you ever need a spot, I’d highly recommend fuchsia. Not only are they good pollinator plants, but they produce some beautiful berries.
Leland: They are very easy to propagate, too.
TYG: Oh my gosh.
TYG-GD: We know! We have one fuchsia bush that’s bigger than the kitchen.
TYG: They actually produce really delicious berries. They’re small, but they’re really sweet and delicious.

TYG-GD: So, how did you get interested in all this?
Leland: I decided I wanted to become an environmentalist just because I’m so concerned about pesticides, and herbicides, and our food system. Environmental justice, like the inequity of where pollution happens, and all these different topics. But when I dwell on all the negativity, I get really angry and it doesn’t feel productive to me, so I decided to focus on the positive side in promoting the care-taking aspect. I’m just specifically really interested in bees. I found out first about the Portland Urban Beekeepers before I knew that honey bees weren’t native, and I started going to the Portland Urban Beekeepers, and I became part of the club, I became a honey bee keeper. I really love honey bees—I’m not trying to say anybody shouldn’t be a honey bee keeper, and we still have a hive in Portland at our house there. But, since my focus was on environmentalism, it just kind of made sense to switch over to native bees once I learned more.

TYG: Are honey bees the only ones to produce honey or anything like it?
Leland: Yes! There are different species of honey bees though—there’s a native bee in Australia, a stingless bee, that produces honey. They have sort of a spiral look to their hive—it’s really different.

TYG: That seems like it could be a serious crop! I feel like one of the big problems with honey bees is that they sting.
Leland: [laughs] I mean, it’s not really a problem, it’s how they protect their hive.

TYG: I understand that. I’m just saying that for purely practical reasons, for gathering honey, that’s a problem.
TYG-GD: So, what do bears eat, if they don’t eat honey? I have visions of Pooh in my mind, and I’m having a problem with it. [laughs]
Leland: Well, the funny thing about the bear situation is that they’re actually going out for the grubs when they go after a hive. They’ll eat the honey too, but the grubs are so much more what they’re focused on.

TYG: There’s so much more protein.
TYG-GD: Oh, no wonder. Duh. [laughs]
Leland: Bears eat salmon, and berries, and whatever else you can find in the forest. Famine, I think, is the thing. [laughs] I read a really interesting article recently about how they have tested trees and forest fertility, and how much is tied to the salmon being kind of thrown all around by the bears. The salmon becomes a fertilizer for the forest. Everything is interconnected in way more ways than we’ll know... I thought that was particularly really interesting.

TYG: Nature’s had four billion plus years to figure all this out!
Leland: Yes. And it’s only taking us a few hundred years to mess it up...

TYG-GD: Yay, us... [laughs] That’s really funny. I can see the messy eater, totally see the fertilization happening. Things I never would have thought of.
TYG: Yes, that’s the kind of fertilization we need to shift to, instead of ... Well, manure’s pretty good, actually. I feel like manure’s pretty eco-friendly.
Leland: Depends on what they’re feeding the animals, but yes.

TYG: We need to stop using these chemical fertilizers.
Leland: Well, it would be great if the government would switch their farm subsidies into farms that build soil, instead of destroy soil. I think that would really change the world.

TYG: We need to switch to bio-fertilizers. I wonder if you can make fertilizer out of plants?
Leland: Yes, absolutely. It’s called green manure.

TYG-GD: Is that different from composting?
Leland: No—I mean, that’s another way to do it too. Green manure refers more to when you have crimson clover or fava beans or something like that, and then you chop them into the dirt. It turns into a compost, for sure. Also making compost piles is another great way to do it. Or, I just read an amazing book about worms, The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms by Amy Stewart (2004). It was basically about how, if we take things like human waste, even, that has all the water taken out of it so you just have these solids, you can run worms through that and they convert it into the castings, and it’s actually a really good garden compost, and it can be done safely.

TYG: It probably gets ammonia back into the soil, at least in limited quantities.
Leland: I think they have to get rid of the ammonia first because it kills the worms.

TYG-GD: Hmm. How do they purify the bacteria?
Leland: The worms actually have stuff in their guts that helps with that. So yes, I think there are a lot of biological ways—and they’ve been using fungus for remediation too—growing mushrooms on super-fund sites.

TYG: On what sites, sorry?
Leland: Super-fund. Places where they’re contaminated by humans.

TYG-GD: Like Hanford, with nuclear waste.
Leland: There are super-fund sites all over the place, especially Portland has a lot of them. Anything where they were doing manufacturing. [...] 

TYG: So, I know that you do real estate for a living. Where do you work?
Leland: My brokerage is called Advantage Real Estate, and it’s based in Newport.

TYG: So what kind of properties do you want to sell and buy?
Leland: I really like to help people buy their first homes—I’ve done a lot of that. Of course, I’d love to work with high end beach front properties. [laughs] I really like rural properties with farms, too.

TYG-GD: So what does a real estate broker do, anyway?
Leland: We facilitate somebody’s ability to buy. There’s a lot of legal documentation that needs to happen, really too much to learn for somebody who’s just trying to buy a house. If I’m helping a buyer, I walk them through the entire process. I make sure all the deadlines are met. I educate them on what’s happening, because a lot of people don’t even know what an escrow company is, for example. That’s the third party company that holds the deed and the money to make sure nothing untoward happens during the deal. There are a lot of deadlines, a lot of contingency periods, large sums of money being exchanged. People are really emotional. Maybe not every real estate broker would answer the question this way, but I hold space, to be like, “Hey, I understand that you’re going through something really emotional. I’m helping you with the legal side so you don’t have to worry about that.”

This interview will be continued in Issue 75.

Interview with Dave Cowden

Dave Cowden is a Yachats-based musician who currently plays with Creighton Horton (TYG Issues 65 and 66). This is the second half of his interview, continued from the previous issue.

Dave: I did have a really serendipitous thing happen. At work, I’d been transferred to Omaha, Nebraska, and I lived up there for eight years. I started playing with a group up there. I wanted to increase the sound palette of what we were doing. So I thought, “I’ve got some piano skills.” I hadn’t been totally away from it. So I bought an electric piano and parked it in my family room and I just started working on some of the stuff we were currently playing. And I got to where I could play maybe 25 percent of the songs we did on piano, where I’d normally play the guitar, and then I started working that in with the band. Well, my parents came up for a visit and we chatted for a few minutes, and I said, “Dad, come here, I want to show you something.” So I took him down to the family room, and I turned on the piano, and I played a little bit for him. And he’s standing behind me, and he’s very understated, quiet, and, “Well, I guess those music lessons didn’t go to waste after all.” And I stopped right in the middle of what I was playing, and I turned around and looked him in the eye, and said, “Dad, no they didn’t. They didn’t. This is what I love to do. I don’t own a fishing boat, I’m not a golf addict, I don’t do all these things that cost a lot of money. This is my hobby that I love to do, and I get paid to do it!” So I think that’s the first time—he was, gosh, probably in his seventies by then. But I think that was the first time that he recognized that he had pounded the money down the right hole, that he’d really felt like it had been a wash. I was really, really grateful to have had that exchange with him before [he died.] I played piano and sang at both my parents’ memorial services. There was a song that was picked up—I can get into some of the stuff that the bands did, but I’ve had a couple of runs, I’ve been on billboard charts nationally, twice, in groups that I’ve been in. They’ve had national release records, one from each group. The second one, we did a concert with Ricky Skaggs, a big country artist at the time, and he had a song that just resonated in a really big way with me. So I played it, and it’s called “Somebody’s Praying.” It’s about how you go through life, and there are people around you who care about you, and want the best for you, and you may not even be aware of what’s going on in the background. That’s kind of the theme of the lyrics, and it just resonated with me in a big way. Because prior to that, my Dad had passed away—my Dad was 92, my Mom was 96—so I’ve got some decent genes going on there. I had a conversation with my Mom several years before she passed away, and I said, “Mom, I’m just infinitely amazed that being a teenager in the sixties; going into the military when Vietnam was at its peak; playing in a rock and roll band in the sixties and seventies, with all the drugs and all the stuff that was going on—how in the world did I navigate through all that and not be a victim in some fashion or another from one or more of those things?” And my Mom reached out, and she put her hand on my arm, and she said, “Well, you know David, there was never a day that your Father and I didn’t pray for you and your sister.”

TYG: Awww!
Dave: So, that’s why that song really resonated with me, and I had a hard time getting through it at the memorial service. But I managed to do it, and I’ve had several people say that was awesome. So it was a good thing.
Anyway, to get back to the music—and I know that’s what Creight put you onto me about [laughs].

TYG: Oh, there is no agenda.
Dave: No expectations? Okay. I told you about meeting Creight, a little bit about how my wife and I connected... I mentioned how I started playing in a group after I got out of high school. A couple of these guys were in the Conservatory at the University of Missouri, and I’d taken some theory and harmony when I was in college, so we felt that we had more than just a passing knowledge about structure. But there a couple of guys that wrote songs and were really good lyricists. I can write music, but I’m a terrible lyricist. My lyrics are pretty inane. [laughs] They’re pretty juvenile-sounding; I just don’t have the gift. I’m not a poet. But a couple of them really did well, and we had some recordings that did well. We got a single released in 1967 that made the Top 100 nationally.

TYG: Wow!
Dave: Didn’t go anywhere. [laughs]

TYG-Graphic Design: Nobody picked you up?
Dave: No. We were hoping to get picked up by a label, and we got shopped around, and it didn’t happen. The one thing that it did for us, though, was that it upped our exposure on the live shows that we were playing. We got to open a lot of concerts for some big names, and along with that, the money goes up. So it served a purpose. So I was with those guys, and I got transferred to Omaha. One of my customers, who didn’t even know I was a musician, invited me to go out with him and his wife to hear a band that they had followed around, and we were sitting there listening to them, and he said, “How do you like these guys?” and I said, “Oh, they’re really good! They’re great singers. They’ve got really nice harmony and I like that, because that’s where I come from. I used to play in a band in Kansas City.” And he said, “Really? What do you play?” And I said, “Well, I’m a guitar player, primarily a lead guitar player.” And he said, “Seriously? These guys are losing a guitar player in a few weeks. Do you want me to introduce you to them?” So I said, “Sure!” So it was just one of those planetary alignment things, you know. [laughs] So he introduced me to them, and three weeks later I’m rehearsing with them and starting to play. So we played along there for a while, and we did some recording of some original stuff, and [then we had] almost a repeat deal of the band in Kansas City. We had a single that made it to the national charts, and again, it didn’t go anywhere. But we did some big shows, and had a lot of fun with it. It was an interesting time and an interesting ride. But it kind of wound down and ran its course, and I had a chance to transfer back to Kansas City, and I was kind of inclined to want to do that because I had my family mostly in Missouri, and I had a sister who lived there, and my parents were in Springfield, Missouri. So I left that group and moved back to Kansas City, and that’s when I started playing in church. That was how I got my musical fix. I did that for a while, then I left that and when Johnni & I... And I had sold all my equipment at the time. I had that piano, and I had like three or four guitars, a bunch of amps, and a whole bunch of just stuff that you accumulate. When Johnni and I went to high school... She said, “Well you were the guitar guy in high school. That was your thing!” I was sort of pushed along that path, because [in] my senior year, we did Bye Bye Birdie—the musical. It’s a comedy musical—it’s a spoof about Elvis Presley, about him going in the army and being a teen idol and all that kind of stuff. So we did Bye Bye Birdie, and because I was in choir and all that stuff they tapped me to be Conrad Birdie, who was the main guy. Kind of a play on words between Conway Twitty and Elvis Presley. So [Johnni] said, “You were the guitar guy! Where are you playing now?” and I said, “Well, I’m not.” “What, you’re not playing?” “No, I kept one acoustic guitar, and I sold everything, and I don’t play anymore.” “Well that’s not right!” So she bought me an electric guitar when we first got together and it’s been downhill ever since! [laughs] No, I’m just kidding. I now have lost count, but I think I have nine guitars, and a piano, and a violin. I played a little of that in a country rock band.

TYG-GD: That’s a different instrument!
Dave: A little bit! But I managed to pick that up pretty quickly. It didn’t take a lot of work. It was a country rock band in Omaha and Alabama [the group] was huge back then in the eighties—I transferred up there in 1980. That band was just killing everybody, so you had to have a fiddle in the band if you wanted to play. So I bought a violin and just wood-shedded it at home on my own, and learned enough to be able to play a couple of Alabama songs. But I’ve got the piano and the guitars and the violin, and maybe four, five amps, I don’t know. And a bunch of... I call them toys, but they’re sound effects things: digital delays, and chorus units, and graphic-y cues, and 12-string simulators, and a whole bunch of little pedals that are all plugged together. If you want a 12-string guitar, you just stomp on a pedal and you’ve got one. So I’ve accumulated all that stuff. It’s been fun. I’m starting to see some problems with the fingers [Dave winces], a little bit of arthritis. Once I limber them up they’re okay, but it’s starting to creep up on me a little bit. It’s a sign of the times, I guess.

My kids are all musical. One of my sons has a degree in music. They all play guitar, and three or four of them play several instruments. The sixties band had a reunion concert, and then we did a couple of benefits for The Parkinson Foundation in Kansas City. The last one we did, I floated the idea to the other guys in the band. It was in an arena, and it was a big crowd. I thought the regional audience would really get a kick out of seeing the second generation perform. The name of the band was The Classmen—this is one of the pub shots that we had—these are the brothers that were the leader of the band. That’s our manager, their father. He sold his insurance agency and started managing the band full-time. This guy, Drew, was the leader, and he had two kids that were musical. This guy [points to a different young man] had two kids that were musical. I had five. Anyway, so I floated the idea. Our audience—everybody knew The Classmen. We were kind of a big deal, regionally. We did tour a little bit—and actually, after I left the group they did a Far East tour: they went to Japan, and South Korea, and traveled and played. They did some big stuff after I left the group! [laughs] But no more records, so I was in on that. I said, “I think the crowd would really get a kick out of hearing the second generation Classmen, because we have enough kids—I’ve got a piano player, I’ve got guitar players, the daughter plays flute and guitar. One of the guys’ kids is a drummer, and he’s a drummer in Nashville, does some studio work in Nashville—he’s a really talented guy. And then one of the other guys is a base player.” So we got them all together. I did kind of the production end of it. I rehearsed them, and they picked out the songs they were going to do, and I got them all together and “Okay, you need to do this part, and you do this part, and...” They just killed it. They did a really great job. It was fun to leave the stage, and just go down into the audience and watch them play—it was a lot of fun.” And at the end of the show, we had collectively brought all of our remaining 45’s; we had five different 45 records that had been put out—only one of them made the national charts. But between us collectively, we had hundreds of those things left. So we just sort of handed them out. Anybody in the audience that wanted them, they could have them. We didn’t have enough to cover everybody in the arena—it was a pretty big crowd. But we probably gave away three, four hundred records. Freed up some closet space. [laughs] The thing for me that’s really poignant is this guy Drew, who was the leader of the group, and his brother Doug, who was 11 years old when I started with him. He was already a very accomplished drummer. And his Dad, who was the manager, had been a drummer in not really a dance band, but a small band back in the forties—he was a pretty good drummer. Doug was a good drummer, Drew played bass. And out of this group, the youngest one and me are the only ones still living. Drew was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about 16, 17 years ago, when he was still pretty young; his younger brother, five years ago, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Drew passed away, this guy passed away. He was the writing force—he wrote all the songs on the records we had, Denny. So their family, the Dimmel family, got involved in The Parkinson’s Foundation in Kansas City. They have a sister, Suzanne, who’s involved in it as well. They came up with the idea for us to do a benefit for The Foundation. So we ended up doing three different benefits. The first one was kind of a small deal; it wasn’t that big. The second and third ones were quite large, and the last total I heard was that we’d raised $100,000, so that was a good feeling.

Yeah, it was fun. They arranged for the arena, we had a sound company come in and set up all the sound equipment, we had smoke and light machines and the whole shooting match. It was a regular, big-time kind of concert feel. For me that was fun, but the kids got a kick out of that, because none of them had even played anywhere close to that kind of venue. Some of them had never played publicly before. The one son, who’s got the degree in music, he played a solo with the Kansas City Symphony several years ago when he was in high school. He was the first chair, all state, clarinetist in the State of Missouri three years in high school. Beat everyone in the state. So I’m really proud of him. He’s involved in music in his church, and he doesn’t do anything other than that. He’s working for a company that’s like air traffic controllers for the shipping industry, shipping traffic world-wide globally from Norman, Oklahoma.

TYG: That is weird.
Dave: Who would have thought, from the middle of the country! The oldest son, he’s a research scientist in the medical field; Number Two son went to Korea and taught English and came back, got Braille-certified and taught visually-impaired kids, then he left that and is working for a start-up bakery, baking bagels. He’s always been our culinary kind of guy, and he was baking his own bread at home well before that ever happened, and doing a really nice job. I guess teaching wasn’t creative enough for him. He enjoyed it—he got employee of the year at one of the school districts he worked at—and he was very well-respected and did a good job. But he decided that baking bagels was his cup of tea, so I said, “Knock yourself out!” I told all my kids: “Look, whatever you think you might like to do in life, if it’s something that you really enjoy doing, that’s what you need to grab onto. If you can figure out a way to earn a living to the level you want to live at, whatever that is, doing something that you really enjoy, you’ve got a leg up on so many people in the world. I enjoy what I do—I’ve been at it long enough that it’s kind of second nature, it’s easy for me now because I don’t have to look up things. I just know the nomenclatures and chemistries, and I’ve just been down that road enough that it’s easy for me to work now as opposed to when I was on a learning curve. But if you can get out of bed in the morning, and go, “Wow, what’s going to happen today?” [rubs his hands], you know... I like what I do, but I don’t really love it.

TYG: That’s why you do your music.
Dave: Music is my love. Selling metal is my wherewithal to be able to play.

TYG: Well, great talking to you!
Dave: Nice talking to you too!

Some of Dave Cowden's memorabilia

Yachats Celtic Music Festival Announcement

The 17th annual Yachats Celtic Music Festival returns to the beautiful coastal city of Yachats, Oregon, November 10—12, 2017. A glorious weekend of Celtic music awaits you. The festival is always a delight featuring world class traditional and contemporary music of the Celtic countries, showcasing the influence of Celtic music throughout the world. This year festival entertainment features: The Seamus Egan Project, The Bronnie Griffin Band featuring Bronnie Griffin with Cary Novotny and Johnny B Connolly, Kevin Carr and Family, Lindsay Straw, Na Rosai, Bob Soper and Elizabeth Nicholson, plus many surprises. The entire town of Yachats embraces the festival. Experience a new "pub style" format at the Yachats Commons, along with mini concerts at the Little Log Church, and dance workshops on the wooden floor of the Yachats Lions Club. Experience the "Piper on the Point"  at sunset.  Enjoy workshops, story-telling, dancing,  jam sessions, whiskey tasting, gourmet food and drinks, plus a variety of vendors.  Friday activities start at 12 noon this year with a mix of free and paid events throughout the weekend. The Yachats Celtic Music Festival is produced by Polly Plumb Productions. 

Tickets are now on sale at:  BrownPaperTickets.com
Please visit us on Facebook  or on our website:  http://yachatscelticmusicfestival.org/
events@yachats.org           541-968-6089

Oregon Lodging & Restaurant Association (ORLA) honors

Oregon Coast hotelier as Employee of the Year

The Oregon Lodging & Restaurant Association, (ORLA), held its annual awards convention at the River House on the Deschutes in Bend, honoring exceptional leaders in the industry. This year Heather Tincher-Overholser, a 21 year veteran and assistant manager of the Yachats hotels, Overleaf Lodge & Spa and The Fireside Motel, was awarded the distinguished “Employee of the Year” award. Heather was one of many nominated for the award.

Some of the words used to describe Heather, by owners Drew and Kristin Roslund are, “dependable and honest”, “one who supports her staff in just about every way possible”, “her integrity is impeccable”, “She has the biggest heart”. Some of the values that Heather expresses in what it takes to provide exceptional hospitality are honesty, an incredible work ethic, sacrifice, caring and being your authentic-self.

The Overleaf and Fireside have earned a loyal following and are well known for celebrating a genuine Oregon coast experience. The Overleaf Lodge & Spa is also known for their third-floor hot soaking pools and spa with sweeping views of the ocean. The Fireside Motel is best known for being pet-friendly. Both properties are revered for being people-friendly, and Heather clearly leads the team with this spirit.

YouTube: ORLA-Employee of the Year:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btlywsYuypU