INTERVIEW WITH JULIE DAVIES OF THE YACHATIAN STATION
The Yachats Gazette caught up with Julie at 665 Hwy 101, where she runs an indoor consignment market.
|The Yachatian Station Store Sign|
TYG: What exactly is the point of this store?
Julie: Well Allen, the Yachatian Station is [a] multivendor store and I guess it probably has 15 vendors in here right now.
TYG: Wow, holy cow!
TYG: They can’t each have their own booths…
Julie: And they don’t.
TYG: There is nowhere near enough space in here.
Julie: But I have plenty of space, we have two new, wonderful vendors coming in. The idea is to have everything from a teaspoon, to an artful decoration, for maybe a higher price. So we want to offer a myriad of things.
TYG: So basically anything and everything from Yachats. Because you have such a variety of stuff here.
Julie: Right, that’s the idea. And the vendors are wonderful, some of them are artisans, some of them are just “unique findings”, that you find at other places, but I try to remember that we all have a budget.
Julie: And so at the end of the day if it was just two dollars, that made your day, or $500…
TYG: You want the $500!
Julie: I would like the $500! But Allen, by walking to the store and walking out but having spent two dollars when I only had five, I feel good.
TYG: Yeah. Oh, so you’re not saying that will be all that’s bought.
Julie: Yeah right Allen, my goal is to have a store in which every budget can have something. [...]
TYG: Man, it’s amazing how much stuff is in here.
Julie: I know. Oh, and I recently got Green Bike, which I’m very excited about.
TYG: So what does that mean, “you’ve got Green Bike”?
Julie: The gentleman Rick at the Green Bike shop in Waldport was nice enough to give me some free green bikes, one of which is a tandem, which you’re looking at right now. Of course that means riding at your own risk because until you ride it you don’t know what that means, I can tell you I do. [laughs heartily]
TYG: So you’re saying tandem bikes are difficult to ride.
Julie: Tandem bikes are heavy, but they’re a lot of fun and say for a couple visiting town, how much fun to see the ocean that way, right?
TYG: Right, and there are two people pushing.
TYG: Which, face it, is not a very good bike to have, and it’s so long that you virtually cannot put it on any kind of rack.
Julie: Yeah, well I’ll tell you, it’s great for two people. I rode it as one person but I walked up the hill, let’s put it that way. [Laughs heartily] Also Allen, I went down the hill like no one’s business, WHEEEEEEE, but up the hill was a whole different ballgame.
TYG: Which hill?
Julie: This little hill that goes down Seventh Street. Going back up was like... [heaves with effort] I had to get off and walk it. Well, overall, I’ve got Green Bike and lots of interesting people here in town. Unfortunately I did get one bike lost recently, the night before last. So I would implore anybody that took it, please return it, because it’s on donation only and…
TYG: I wonder what could have happened to it.
Julie: I just ask that whoever dropped it please return it.
TYG: I see.
Julie: I’ve got a lot of things from jewelry, to Green Bike. I hope to soon have a call for vendors…
TYG: That would be cool because you have so much space out there!
Julie: Uh-huh! And you know that!
TYG: I see it, I go back there relatively commonly and you have a huge amount of space there!
Julie: At some point I would even like to have Friday night charades out there.
Julie: I had a deck built, and the potential use of that is that we can play charades all on Friday nights every week. Charades are where you have to act out a clue. [...] I’d also like to have the first adult Yachatian hide-and-seek league, where we wear different colored T-shirts.
TYG: I’d put it in The Skinny so that if anyone sees someone hiding in the bushes they won’t call 911. [Laughs]
Julie: [...] I also thought about having a Yachats kickball league.
TYG: Are you going to use the field?
TYG: I thought that would be where this game would be held, pretty fun! It would be great if we had two baseball leagues, because I mean we have a field big enough for baseball, I know we have the Smelts already [Yachats’s baseball league].
Julie: Oh yeah!
TYG: The Smelts aren’t much though!
Julie: Oh, you never know!
TYG: Although some of them really know how to play very very well! Some of them are really good! Mostly because some of them were obsessed with baseball all their life.
Julie: Oh yeah! It’s not me that’s why I’m doing hide-and-seek! [...]
TYG: Yeah. Fortunately they’re using different rules in the Smelts, so there are no outs and you can keep hitting until you hit the ball.
Julie: Now that sounds like my kind of baseball! Well I think with everything going on, this summer is going to be lots of fun. A lot of businesses, and townsfolk.
[The Yachats Gazette will carry the conclusion of the interview with Julie Davies of the Yachatian Station in next month’s issue.]
INTERVIEW WITH CICELY BERNARD OF THE YACHATS FARM STORE
TYG: So what kind of food do you have in the store?
Cicely: The food is, and is going to be, organic food. Even if it’s not certified organic, it will be raised as local as possible, so we’d like to get our produce from local farmers in the Yachats area, and the Waldport area, or south of here.... Local can also mean within Lincoln County—we have a farmer who’s in Toledo, and a farmer who’s in Siletz. And we’d like to have more farmers in the Yachats River valley and the Alsea River valley. We’re trying to keep our products coming from, if not from Lincoln County, then from the neighboring counties. So that’s quite a few options for getting food that may not be already here.
TYG: What kind of stuff will the greenhouse hold?
Cicely: The greenhouse will have pallets of bagged potting soil, bags of compost, and it’ll have shelves of plants.
TYG: What kind of plants?
Cicely: Mainly edibles. We’ll have all organically grown plants.
TYG: Will you have seeds?
Cicely: Yes. We have seeds now. We have herbs, and vegetables, and flowers… like sunflowers, and zinnias, and snapdragons, and nasturtiums. And some grain over there, and also root vegetables… In the greenhouse, when we have plants for sale, there’ll be little potted plants, either four-inch or six-pack, or maybe gallon-size, and there’ll be a lot of stuff in there that people would want to plant on their property, so they could grow food. Like, if somebody wanted to grow raspberries, and put in a row of raspberries, then we’d have gallon pots of raspberries. Or if they wanted to start a strawberry bed, we would have little four-inch pots of strawberries. We’ll have some native plants, so in case people want to encourage wildlife habitat in the area around their homes and they want to naturescape, which is a way of landscaping using native plants, they could find some plants here.
TYG: Will you be selling, like, roses, or hydrangea?
Cicely: You know, there are roses for sale already in Yachats—that’s what Blythe and Don do. But I would probably use the space for something that isn’t already here, like…
TYG: But what about hydrangea?
Cicely: It’s an excellent choice for a coastal plant. And hydrangea might be something that I do—because, you notice, I planted one out there in front of the door and I love them, so I might get hydrangeas.[…] One plant that was brought to my attention is a little violet that’s a food source for the larva of the [endangered] silver spot butterfly.
Cicely: So I’m going to try to have native plants like that, that would help re-establish habitat. Ideally I would have a whole flat, or two flats, of this little violet, and they would have flowers on them. And if there weren’t already butterflies in the greenhouse, coming to the flowers, I would put a picture of the butterfly right by the flowers, so people would know that if you plant this flower, you would be providing [habitat].
TYG: I would love to be a volunteer.
Cicely: Would you?
TYG: Yeah. I have a little garden patch. It has low light, though—can these plants survive in low light?
Cicely: Is it in full shade all day long, or does it get some sunlight?
TYG: It gets occasional sun—unfortunately there’s a huge butterfly bush right in front of it, where the sun would come in.
Cicely: Can I tell you about those? The butterfly bush is a really beautiful bush, that attracts butterflies, but it’s actually classified as an invasive weed, because it spreads and gets really out of control. And they get huge—so as beautiful as they are, it’s a good thing to keep pruned really far back, down to a smaller shrub. [long discussion regarding berries edited]
TYG: A question for the community: Will the out-back region be used for emergency food?
Cicely: Well, there will cellars in the back, built into the hillside, up against the basalt rock… so one idea that we had for the cellars, besides where our beer is stored, is having some emergency food in there….
TYG: Yeah, that would be a great idea.
Cicely:… Preserved food…
TYG: Yeah. Frozen food.
Cicely: Well, it would probably be more like fermented or dried… maybe frozen, we’ll see.
TYG: I think frozen would be better, because you can thaw it out, and it kind of preserves the taste, and that would allow greens to be stored.
Cicely: Have you ever eaten dehydrated greens?
TYG: I bet it doesn’t taste nearly as good.
Cicely: I think I have to make you some kale chips.
TYG: Oh, I’ve already had kale chips.
Cicely: That’s dehydrated greens! They’re dry and crispy. But anyway, we’ll see.
TYG: I heard you were going to expand this entranceway. What will the new storefront look like?
Cicely: That’s a great question for Nathan, because he’s the designer. I know that it will be a different door, that it may very well be those doors you saw leaning against the front of the building.
TYG: I didn’t see them.
Cicely: Well, we got some doors out of an old restaurant in Portland. We like to re-use materials that have been used in other buildings. […]
TYG: How long did it take you to complete all this woodwork? I mean, where did you get the idea for all of this woodwork?
Cicely: Nathan is a woodworker, he’s a carpenter—and he’s passionate about this kind of thing. He even milled some of the wood from trees on our property. He came up with some of the beautiful faces of the drawers out of alder. And a lot of [the flooring] is reclaimed. Did you notice that these barstools are made out of old recycled wine barrels? See the wine barrels up there? These are being taken apart and made into barstools.
INTERVIEW WITH NATHAN BERNARD OF THE YACHATS FARM STORE
Nathan: So right now, we’re in the main retail space for the Yachats Farm Store. Where you’re standing will very shortly be where the tasting bar for Yachats Brewing will be—it will be kind of an L-shaped bar that lives right here. There will be taps where beer is served. Over this way is more retail space for the farm store: we’ve got our produce and meat area as well as a book and gardening area here. We’ve got food preservation and cured meats and eggs as well as cheese-making supplies. This is the old vault from the bank that used to be here. This building was built for a bank, so this is the area that used to be the vault. There used to be a very expensive shiny door right here that locked this up tight.
TYG Editorial-Assistant: What happened to that?
Nathan: When the bank moved to where it is now they took their door with them, because it was a $70,000 door, is the story I was told. [Exclamations] So that’s where that door is today, over in the other bank. I will show you where the commercial kitchen is. This kitchen is where we will be doing a lot of food processing and preparing of foods to put out into the retail space for sale, in the deli case and out on the floor, and in the other coolers.
TYG: This tour will include the outside too, right?
Nathan: Yes, we’ll get there. So this is the kitchen, as you can see, so like I said this will be the area where we’re mostly processing and cooking food. The counter that you were eating at will be seating if you would like to have some food in the store or have a beer. Out of this door will be the greenhouse and garden area. So we’ll step through this door and out into the greenhouse area. This area here will all be enclosed under a greenhouse roof, a clear roof. This will be full of plants and garden supplies and tools and fertilizers. As we walk back this way, this area will still be greenhouse, and then a wall right here with a door. As you pass through that door, you will now be in the brewery. So this is where the main brewery will be. The big tanks will sit right where I’m standing. Another set of big tanks will be all along that wall.
TYG: I see.
Nathan: As we walk through here, this is the cooler. When beer is finished and is ready to be served it will go into this room.
TYG: And it will go into these taps!
Nathan: Exactly! It will go through these holes into those taps and there will be kegs and tanks and hoses—things like that in here. And then out here, this area where all this rebar is, is going to be the cellars. So there will be a doorway kind of right in front of us. That room back there will be a barrel room. There will be barrels with beer aging in them. This area right here will have a little bottling line so we will be able to bottle beer. That room over there will be for finished beer in bottles or kegs, that is ready to ship out. As we walk through the brewery we come closer to the back door of the kitchen. This will also be a kind of shared space where the food processing happens. There will be big tables and sinks here. Right about here there will be another wall, and when you come through a big overhead door there will be an elevator door right here so you will be able to go into an elevator.
TYG: [In a very excited voice] You’re using elevators?
Nathan: An elevator will go up to the second and third floors.
TYG: Oh, there are three floors!
Nathan: Yep. So the second floor will be mostly dry storage on one end. We’ll have a room that is for the mill and the grain for the brewery. So we’ll store the grain and we’ll mill it up there, and it will gravity-feed down into the brewery below.
Nathan: And then the very top floor, the third floor, will eventually be a tap room. It will be a place where you can go and sit and have beer and look at the view and have a nice area up there.
TYG: That’s nice! I wasn’t sure what the third floor was.
Nathan: Yep! It’ll be a taproom.
TYG: Will that be allowed for kids?
Nathan: Yes. This whole place will be for all ages. There may be some hours and certain events where we won’t do minors up on the top but most of the time it will be open to everyone.
Nathan: So as we come out of the brewery there and through this door, this will be the shipping and receiving area over here. So this will be where a lot of beer and food is coming and going.
TYG: So this is actually a full-scale business, not just for the Farm Store basically but for the entire county and state!
Nathan: Yes, we’re hoping to have our food in a lot of different places eventually. There will be products that we make. For example, Cicely makes sauerkrauts and pickles and things like that. Those are things that we’re going to be packaging and selling at other places also, as well as having them for sale here.
TYG: The third floor will be enclosed, right?
Nathan: Yes, there will be a balcony so you’ll be able to step out onto the balcony and get a nice o open view of the ocean.
TYG: When do you expect that to be finished?
Nathan: The building will be done by the end of the summer but that space up there will probably not be used—the tap room—for probably three years or more. We’re building the whole building now because we had to do that for the engineering, but we don’t really anticipate needing that space for several years. So it will probably be three years before we do the rest of the finished work on the top level and turn that into a finished tap room.
TYG: But the second floor will be done.
Nathan: That we will be using, because that is where the grain is stored. So we will have a special room as humidity control, so it doesn’t get too wet in there, and that will be where the grain is stored and where the milling is done.
TYG: Humidity control is essential around here!
Nathan: Yep, it’s very humid around here. The grain likes it dry.
TYG: Can you explain to me how exactly beer is made?
Nathan: I can tell you in the simplest terms. The brewer that is going to be brewing for us can tell you in very detailed terms. Basically, the way that it works is that water is heated and poured over grain which is basically malted barley—that’s just the type of grain that is used—and it is let to sit a certain amount of time. The liquid that comes off that grain is called “wort,” and it goes into another container that is called a kettle. That container is heated and it boils the wort. After a little while you put hops, which is a plant—a vine that has very wonderful smelling flowers on it—you put the flowers of the hop plant into the kettle and boil that all together. After it’s boiled a certain amount of time, you cool it down to a certain temperature, and then you put a type of brewing yeast in, and then you let it sit for a couple of weeks at least. And then it’s beer.
TYG: Interesting! So that time is to let the yeast grow, right?
Nathan: Right! So that wort, that liquid that comes off of the grain, is very sweet and has lots of sugars in it. The yeast loves to eat sugar. When you pour the yeast in, the yeast will grow and consume the sugar and eat that wort into beer. Part of what happens to the yeast is that it creates alcohol in that beer.
We can go back through this door and into the kitchen area. We’ll just take a look at the last few little spots here. Here’s one bathroom and here’s another. […] So that’s the tour of Yachats Farm Store and Yachats Brewing.
TYG: Thank you! When exactly was the construction started?
Nathan: That’s a good question! I guess we started in January of 2012, I think, or maybe December of 2011. It’s been a year and a half since we started. I don’t know if you remember back when we started but we did a bunch of tree work, because there were trees hanging off this cliff and leaning over the back of the building there. So we had a lot of work to do just to get those trees done. We did remove some giant stumps and we excavated a lot of material from the back as you saw—about 350 yards of the back [of the property].
TYG: 350 cubic yards you mean, right?
Nathan: Yes, cubic yards of rock.
TYG: Man, how did you ever find the time to do all of this woodwork?
Nathan: Well, it’s the thing I love to do the most! The woodwork was something that I have really enjoyed, and enjoyed taking the time that I thought would make it turn out the best. I don’t think I could ever afford to pay someone else to build all this woodwork, but because it’s something that I am passionate about and love to do, we were able to really just cut loose on the carpentry.
TYG: When do you think the beer situation is going to be done?
Nathan: We’ll be serving beer for the July 4 weekend, but it will be beer that was made at other breweries and not here on site. Around the end of July we’ll be able to start putting the equipment into the brewery, and by sometime shortly after that—August—we’ll be making beer here.
TYG: And of course it will be another two weeks after the time when you start that you’ll actually be serving beer that’s been made here because of the fermentation process.
Nathan: Exactly! That’s exactly right. You remember well. [...]
TYG: […] How did you ever find the money to do this?
Nathan: We borrowed the money. We wrote a very thorough business plan and then we found people willing to loan us the money to build this project.
TYG: I see. Why do you have the Bread and Roses business card here?
Nathan: Oh, because Blythe [the owner/baker at Bread and Roses] is a friend of ours, and we love her bread, and people ask where they can go to get some fresh bread or some soup or something, and we like to be able to give them one of those and send them over.
TYG: […] That greenhouse will be grand, won’t it?
Nathan: Yes, I’m excited to get it finished. I was happy to pour the concrete last week and now I’m ready to get the roof on it. […] Okay I need to go to the lumber yard to get some wood for some work I’m doing this afternoon. Thank you for talking to us!
TYG: Thank you so much!
INTERVIEW AT CLEFT OF THE ROCK LIGHTHOUSE
WITH DEB AND RAY PEDRICK (PART 2)
WITH DEB AND RAY PEDRICK (PART 2)
|Cleft of the Rock Lighthouse in Yachats, OR|
(viewed from the west)
Cleft of the Rock lighthouse, just south of Yachats, was the home of lighthouse keeper and maritime author Jim Gibbs, who died at home on May 1, 2010, at the age of 88. It is a private residence, not open to the public, as well as a navigational landmark officially recognized by the US Coast Guard. The Yachats Gazette staff was privileged to have the opportunity to tour the site and to spend an afternoon talking with Deb and Ray Pedrick, Mr. Gibbs’ daughter and son-in-law, who continue to live on the property. This is the second part of the interview, and starts out on the first landing of the lighthouse tower.
Ray: Now it doesn’t look like much: the light up in the lens came from Solander Island, which pretty much looks like a Seal Rock. It’s just a rock along the northwest coast of Vancouver Island [BC, Canada]. […] The Canadian Service in the 1970’s decided it was too hard to run oil up to there, so basically it was an aerial beacon. It was made in the 1950’s, made in Crawley, England by Stone-Chance—Stone-Chance used to make Fresnel lenses 150 years prior. But then they started making aerial beacons.
TYG (Graphic Design): What is an aerial beacon?
Ray: It’s just a light that you’re looking for—in airports, that kind of thing.
TYG-GD: But is it electrically powered?
Ray: Yes it is. […]
TYG-GD: So how did he get that light, and get it Coast Guard-approved?
Ray: That’s the million dollar question! I have been trying to find out—I remember when he got that lens, because he asked me “Where’s a welder that I can make a stand with?” and I told him where he could find one. I know he went up to BC, but you know… Jim has his artifact friends, and he has the museum friends, and all this, and they all talk amongst each other, and somehow somebody found out that they had this decommissioned lens that the Canadians wanted to get rid of… So he probably made a bid on it and got it. […] Anyway, so I’ll go up first and open the windows so nobody gets claustrophobic up there.
Ok, this banister came out of the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. They just had a room full of junk down there before they restored it. […] This [lighthouse] became operational in 1978—the house was built in 1976. Every year the Coast Guard comes, and they have to inspect it. Generally it’s really neat guys from the Coast Guard auxiliary that come here and do it, and it’s just kind of a fun time. But they usually come out and make sure it’s all up to snuff. We have a back-up lens in case the original one gives out—it’s this little tiny fellow right here—it just shines within a smaller area out there. If the light becomes un-operational for whatever reason—we have to do maintenance, or it just breaks down (which it never has)—we have to let the Coast Guard know immediately.
TYG-GD: What if the electricity goes out?
Ray: The light goes out. We used to have a back-up system up there, a big RV battery, and it would go on that automatically—it doesn’t draw a lot of electricity—but the battery boiled over once, so Jim got rid of it. […]
TYG (Editorial Assistant): So this is a barrel lens?
Ray: It’s a barrel lens. It has its own signature within a geographical area. Ours is red-white-red every 10 seconds. Now Jim and Cherie also constructed what was called the Skunk Bay Lighthouse up on the Kitsap peninsula in the Puget Sound, and Jim saved the iron lens-house off of Smith Island Light before it tumbled into the ocean. It’s kind of like the sandstone that’s down at Coos Bay, and it kept on sloughing off, and finally the lighthouse just fell in. So he was able to save the lens from the lantern house off of that. He built Skunk Bay Lighthouse out of Hansville, WA. Since Jim was editor of Marine Digest for years, which was a professional publication, he knew a lot of ship captains and stuff. He told one of the captains “I’ll shine the light for you when you come in tonight.” And so he did. Well, somebody complained, and the next day the Coast Guard was at the front door. All it was was this little one-room shack with a lens on top. I mean he had to bring his own water with him, he had an outhouse… and so the Coast Guard came and said “Are you the one that started the light?” and he said “Yes I am.” And he said “Well, you have a choice: you either put it out or you make it official.” And he said “Well, what do I do to make it official?”—so they told him, and it became official. So this is his second official lighthouse. This is one of two privately-owned lighthouses on the Oregon Coast. The other one’s down in Brookings, right above the harbor.
|Ray Pedrick and Allen Taylor, Publisher, viewing the Fresnel lens |
at Cleft of the Rock Lighthouse in Yachats, OR
[We climb up into the tower which has very, very little room for other than the light and its stand]
Ray: This has an automatic sensor which turns [the light] on at night. Now in all lighthouses you have the lens room; you have the rotunda, which is the actual tower; you have the gallery, which is the hand-rails around the edges where you stand and do maintenance.
TYG: Is there a way to get out there?
Ray: Yeah, through the window. You crawl out the window.
TYG-EA: We won’t do that.
Ray: No, we’re not! Now you can see where this thing is built to take the outdoors. It’s massive. It’s an acrylic lens. You can get in there, just pull that [gel] out, change the lenses to different colors—the whole lens piece actually lifts out. It’s a tight fit, but I have to bring it out about every 30 days. I clean everything down. I oil the gears in there and everything, which are just beautiful bearings. You can just turn them with your finger like that. So this shines out—on a good clear day, it’s about 8 miles, 12 miles max. So you can kind of get the bull’s-eye look. If you get right in the bull’s-eye, you get a good idea of how even the plastic prisms—acrylic, plastic, whatever you want to call it—they’re slightly damaged, but they do a good job.
TYG: What happened to them?
Ray: I think they just got a little bit wasted when they were up in Canada. I’ve tried to polish them out, but they just don’t polish out very well. But they do the job, for just a small 60-watt bulb in there it’s not bad.
TYG: How often do you have to change the bulb?
Ray: They burn out about once a year. […] We do have to refinish everything up here—it gets a little baked—all the heat in the house rises up here, and then this [light] puts out a lot of heat too. And like all lighthouses, there’s a lightning rod up there too. […] [We all move back downstairs]
Ray: Again, just what we want to stress, is this is Jim and Cherie’s home, and this was Jim’s dream, and Deb and I are nothing more than stewards of this lighthouse. It’s a gift to us, and we never took it for granted. A lot of people ask what we are going to do with it.
TYG: Yes, that would be a good question!
Ray: I’m going to be retiring this year, but we honestly don’t know what we are going to do. People say “Are you going to make it a bed and breakfast?” and the answer is “No.” “Are you going to make it a vacation rental?” “Probably not.” “Are you going to maintain it as an official light in honor of Jim and Cherie?” “Yes, we are.” And that’s about the best we can do for them—and of course enjoy it ourselves, and let our animals enjoy it [they own a snuffle of bulldogs]. It’s a beautiful place, and we know that we’re very fortunate—and like I said before, we do not take it for granted.
TYG: Where did Jim get the idea for this lighthouse?
Ray: Remember when I told you that when he was a little kid, he always looked [out his window at the ships coming into Seattle]? He’s always been in love with the sea, and with ships, and with ship lore, and sea stories and stuff like that. He fell in love with lighthouses when he was a little kid, and he always said “I want to build one.” And he also said he wanted to build one on the Oregon Coast. […]
|Young Jim Gibbs|
TYG: Why did he choose this location? I mean, it seems kind of desolate.
Ray: Yachats! [laughter] Actually, he was offered, in the 1960’s—those houses didn’t look like they do now; there were just a couple of shacks down there—I think he was offered the whole thing for $10,000. [Awed “wow”’s all around] But he and Cherie came down here close to when he retired and bought this property around 1970, 71. And then they moved to Hawaii.
TYG: He lived in Hawaii?
Ray: Yes, he did for a while. […] He got very sick in the late 60’s and had a type of cancer that most men didn’t survive.
TYG: But he did!
Ray: But he did. But he didn’t think he was going to live long, so he moved to Hawaii. [And then] he went and lived another 47 years! He kind of surprised himself. So they moved back to the mainland because Cherie wanted to come back—I think Jim would have been happy in Hawaii. […]
TYG Editorial Asst.: We were talking about [before we started recording] how you came here, how long the two of you have been together…
Ray: Deb and I will have been married 40 years in May. We moved to this area in 1975 when I got out of the Air Force. I worked in the mills, and Deb worked several jobs. I was working in the mill fulltime and going to school halftime—I was going to be a history teacher. That never panned out. Then we owned a business up on the Alsea River for 12 years [Alsea Power Tools], and then I’ve been a UPS driver for the last 20 years, and I’ll be retiring at the end of this year. We owned a couple houses, and then around, I think, 1985, we sold that bed and breakfast place that we talked about—it wasn’t a bed and breakfast then. We wanted to live up Yachats River and have horses, but we couldn’t find stuff that we could afford, or we’d find a place that needed fixing up, but we couldn’t afford to fix it up. And we got to that 2 year mark when we had to reinvest that money [from the house sale] and we were living in that cabin down the driveway [near the entrance to the property]. Jim and Cherie came up to us and said “If you want to build on the center point [of their property where the lighthouse is now], you’ve got our blessing!” basically—and we did! It was a good choice.
TYG-EA: How did you two meet?
Ray: Actually we met in 1968. You know Jim was somewhat of a faith-full person—he was a lay Baptist preacher right up to the time he passed away and he was very involved with the Yachats Baptist Church—but Deb and I met in a church when my family moved up from Los Angeles to Seattle. I remember seeing this little blonde-headed girl standing back there, and she was cute!
TYG: So Deb’s father is Jim [Gibbs]?
Deb: Yep. I’m the only kid.
TYG: Do you guys have kids?
Ray: We have dogs and cats. Those are our kids.
TYG: It was awesome meeting you guys—thanks!
Deb: Sure was nice spending the afternoon with you!