Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Yachats Gazette, February 26, Issue 7

FEATURE INTERVIEW: Jacquee Christnot
of Touchstone Gallery and One of Us Productions

TYG: Tell us about One of Us Productions.
Jacquee: Well, it was founded in the mid-90s by a group of people who wanted to do performance-type fundraisers for different organizations in town. About five years ago it was officially re-formed as a non-profit organization. Our mission is still the same—we do performances in order to raise funds to give back to the community.

TYG: What’s your role in it?
Jacquee: I’m president of the Board of Directors of One of Us Productions, newly elected.

TYG: Are you an actor?
Jacquee: I am an actor! [laughs]

TYG: What kind of acting have you done?
Jacquee: I hadn’t acted since I was 18 years old, and since I’ve been in Yachats I’m now working on the third play I’ll be acting in. There was Vintage Hitchcock last year, which was a radio play performed on stage; and then there was Daddy’s Dying, Who’s Got the Will? and that opened Labor Day weekend. And now we’re working on American Idle, spelled I-D-L-E, written by local business owner and actor Cris Torp, who’s directing the play.

TYG: Where are you from?
Jacquee: I’m from two small towns in northern Maine, called Ashland and Presque Isle.

TYG: How can you be from TWO small towns?
Jacquee: Well, I lived in one small town from the time I was one year old until I was 14 years old, and then from 14 to 18 I lived in the other town. My high school days were spent in the other town, so I consider both of them to be my hometowns.

TYG: How did you get over to Oregon?
Jacquee: When I was out of college I wasn’t ready to move back home, and I thought of everywhere that I had friends or family, and I had a high school friend who was still going to college outside Seattle, Washington, so I ended up moving to Seattle, and lived there for about ten years. Then I moved to Portland and lived there for about four years, and then I bought a gallery in Yachats!

TYG: How do you like it?
Jacquee: Love it! I’m probably experiencing the most creative time in my life since I got out of college.

TYG: Are you an artist yourself?
Jacquee: I am.

TYG: What kind of art do you do?
Jacquee: I do acrylic on canvas, mostly.

TYG: What themes?
Jacquee: Mostly nature themes, but I stay away from landscapes and seascapes. But if you can imagine any sort of natural element that isn’t a landscape or a seascape, I’ve probably painted it.

TYG: Like a tree?
Jacquee: Yep, I’ve done trees, I’ve done close-ups of leaves...

TYG: Flowers?
Jacquee: Yes.

TYG: Roads, perhaps?
Jacquee: Roads? A few roads, yes. I’ve done lots of animals, and I do portraiture.

TYG: Pathways? Like the one in your backyard?
Jacquee: I haven’t painted that exact one, but yep!

TYG: Did you paint that? [points to a painting on the wall]
Jacquee: Nope, I don’t have any of my work hung in my gallery right now.

TYG: Do I remember correctly that you speak some Native American language?
Jacquee: I’m studying Lakotiyapi.

TYG: What’s your favorite thing about Yachats?
Jacquee: Favorite thing? That’s a tough one. I don’t think I could have one favorite thing. Geographically and geologically I like that it’s at this intersection of the mountains and the ocean and the river, and everything kind of converges in this almost triangle sort of pattern, in my mind at least. [laughs]

TYG: Had you imagined owning a gallery in Yachats?
Jacquee: No. [smiles] I studied fine arts in school, and to pay the bills I got involved in business marketing for a mechanical contractor and service company, and then for a geotechnical and environmental engineering firm. And I always thought in the back of my mind that now that I know all this business stuff, and I have a fine arts background, that I could own a gallery someday, but I always thought it would be a really high-end, expensive, show-type gallery in Seattle or Portland, and it was always outside of my reach.... And then my friend Hannah told me that her aunt was selling her retail gallery on the Oregon Coast! And that’s how I found out about Touchstone and realized that... just by modifying my dream a little bit, and looking at a different reality, I could make it happen.


The Yachats Gazette spoke with John “JD” Deriberprey of JD Computer and Cellular, which recently opened at 153 Highway 101 North, next door to Toppers Ice Cream.

TYG: What do you do?
JD: We fix all types of computers, and we fix cell phones as well. So if you have a computer or a cell phone that’s broken, maybe running really slow, or if you just want to find something a little bit better, we can also do trade-ins. And we have a few little products—cables, chargers, and cases for cell phones, also for sale. I have 25 years of experience working with computers, and eight years working with cell phones. I fix all kinds of cell phones, like the iPhone, and Android phones, and even the Windows Phone 7, which is brand new. We also have special PC tune-ups for your computer—only $25.00. We clean your computer and get it running as fast as possible. Also, we can remove viruses, and even fix the hardware on your computer, put in more memory, or fix your monitor, or anything you need.

The Yachats Gazette spoke with Bonnie Jean McVay of Turtle Island Candle Company, which recently relocated.

Bonnie Jean: Turtle Island Candle Company is now doing leather crafts and stained glass, all of which people can come and watch happen, and maybe have lessons at some point. We’re going to try to be open by the beginning of March, in a much bigger store, right between the ice cream shop and Luna Sea Fish House, and right next to the new computer store. We welcome everybody to come see our new store and see what we’re up to!


The Yachats Gazette spoke with Nathan Bernard of the Yachats Farm Store, which is under construction.

TYG: What kind of products will you sell?
Nathan: Our focus will be on selling locally produced food—locally grown fruits and vegetables, locally raised meat, and locally produced dairy products. We’ll also have a small farm and garden center, a greenhouse with composting and gardening supplies. We will also have another business on the property, that will be Yachats Brewing Company—a small craft brewery with a little tasting bar in the store.

TYG: How did you get the idea for this?
Nathan: My wife Cicely and I have been growing food on our small farm up the Yachats River for the last seven years or so, and we were buying food from various local farmers and producers, and started to realize that it was kind of difficult to go and buy your beef here and your eggs there and your milk here and your salad greens there, and trying to piece together enough food to actually stock a kitchen was kind of difficult if you’re trying to buy local foods. So the idea came to us about two years ago to create a hub for local food, so that we can provide a retail space for farmers to be able to sell their food to local eaters. 

TYG: How long have you been living around here?
Nathan: We bought our land in 1998, and spent as much time as possible here, but weren’t full-time residents until early 2005, when we moved out here full-time and built our house up river.

TYG: Where were you before?
Nathan: I lived in the upper Hood River valley before moving here. I grew up in Portland and then lived in Washington State for a while, and then up in the Hood River Valley.
TYG: Have you done anything like this before?
Nathan: Uh, no! No, this’ll be our first retail storefront. I owned an automotive business about ten years ago that had a retail component to it, but it was nothing like this. This’ll be our first store.

TYG: Is it fun?
Nathan: So far it is fun! It’s exciting! It’s going to be hard work getting everything ready for our grand opening, which is the week of July 4. So we’re excited to be doing that, but we’ve sure got our work cut out for us.