Monday, December 1, 2014

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 40, December 01 2014

Click here for a printable .pdf file of Issue 40

Interview with Christine Roskam
The Yachats Gazette enjoyed a dinner discussion with Christine Roskam, a two year Yachats resident, whom we know from the Green Salmon.

TYG: Where is your last name from?
It’s German—actually, just north of the Dutch border. It’s actually where my ancestors are from—one half anyway. I’m half German, half Norwegian. I fit in the Northwest really well, I think.

TYG: Your look looks good in the Northwest—your hairstyle, your face, it looks good here.
Thank you!

TYG: Where were you born?
I was born in Virginia—my Dad was in the Army. I was born in a military hospital that doesn’t exist anymore—they closed it down. [By a strange coincidence, Christine was born at the same hospital as the TYG Graphic Designer!]

TYG-GD: What did your Dad do?
He was Chief Warrant Officer. He was in charge of food operations, and was working in Greenland. We were living stateside, and he would come back and forth from Greenland. But he retired when I was five years old, and then we moved to California. So we lived in the Bay Area, because he worked for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. They call it AAFES [ay-fuss] for short, and they run all the PXs and cafeterias on the military bases. It’s run very much like the military; the head guy of that whole organization is a general, and they’re really closely tied with the military. So we lived in the East Bay—my Dad worked at the Presidio in San Francisco until I was thirteen, and then we moved to Seoul, South Korea. We lived there for three years. […] That was a really fun, interesting time, and I have a lot of fond memories.

TYG: So what was it like in Korea back then?
It was in the early 70’s, and they were just starting to be an industrialized country. […] Seoul was a big city then; it’s even bigger now. You know that song, “Gangnam Style”? We lived on a hill on the other side of the Han River from the Gangnam district. It wasn’t the way it is now—that song […] is making a parody about the rich people who lived in that area.

TYG: You should totally see it on YouTube—it’s hilarious!
I know! He’s really funny. But he’s making a statement—here, I don’t know if they understand. He’s very political.

[…In Seoul,] we lived two miles from the Army base at the top of a hill that had embassies all the way up. […] My Dad was there because he ran the food operations for all the military bases north of Seoul, and up towards the DMZ.

TYG: The demilitarized zone?
Christine: Right.
So we lived there until I was sixteen, then we moved up to Washington, because [my Dad] got stationed at Fort Lewis. We lived southeast of Olympia in a town, and I went to my last two years of high school there. And that was culture shock, more than Korea! [laughs]

TYG: Why?
Because it was such a small school, and in Korea I was with people from all over the world. In Seoul, there were soldiers married to people from all sorts of countries; they had kids, and I went to school with their kids, or embassy kids, or kids of important business people in the city. So I got to meet people from all over. In fact, one of my friends, the daughter of the people in the embassy right next to where I lived—the Malaysian embassy—I never knew anyone from Malaysia! So that was really interesting. Then when I moved to Washington State, everybody was Caucasian, and they were wearing jeans and logging boots and flannel shirts, and chewing tobacco.

After high school, I went to school, then I worked for the State of Washington in Olympia for a while. And then I transferred with my job to Seattle in the early 80’s. All my friends were into playing music, and I knew somebody who introduced me to some people. I had picked up the bass, and was playing the bass guitar, and the friend introduced me to some people who had an all-girl punk band, and they needed a bass player. So that’s when I started performing in a band. I’d played music all through school: the clarinet.

TYG-Editorial Assistant: Not much call for a punk clarinet!
Well, you’d be surprised. [laughter]

TYG-GD: What was the name of your band?
That band was named “Baba Yaga,” after the Russian fairytale.

TYG-GD: So how long did you play in a band, and did that become your main income?
: Most people I knew weren’t playing music to make money. In fact, if you wanted to be famous, your odds of that were pretty low. Things are different now—there was very much an atmosphere in Seattle that everybody was just having fun, and it was all DIY, “do it yourself.” We had our home recording studio… not for [Baba Yaga], but for another band I was in. From the early 80’s until the mid-90’s, I was in bands. I worked in a music shop [during the rest of the time.] In the 80’s we did a lot of recording of cassettes.

TYG: Cassettes don’t seem too hard—you just have one input.
Actually, we had a board that had 16 lines.

TYG: Why that many?
Well, if you look into music recording, you’ll see there are all different kinds of machines you can use to do it. This one is called a mixing board. So you have the tape that it eventually goes onto, but you have all this ability to have different input from different instruments to layer things, so you don’t have to record everybody at once through one microphone. The drums could have one microphone, and the singers could each have their own line into a board. So we would mix our own. So I did a lot of shows—I was lucky enough to be connected to a really great group of creative people. Most people who were doing it were fun. Some of the people I knew back then went on to become famous; Nirvana hit it big, Soundgarden… name a band from Seattle, and I probably knew them. The last band I was in was called My Diva. It was a three piece, and the drummer from that band grew up in Tacoma with one of the guys from Alice in Chains, and they used to jam in their garage and talk about how they were going to be famous one day. Well, one of them became famous. My friend became famous in another way, but not rock star. He was in a whole other world of music. So I got to have a lot of fun, do a lot of interesting shows with a lot of touring bands from around the world.

Parallel to all this, through my 20’s and 30’s, I was always interested in mind-body health, and the mind-body connection in healing. I pursued that interest through a lot of different avenues, like astrology, and yoga, and hypnosis—I did training in all of those things. Then in the mid-90’s, I decided to go to massage school, to use my hands as a way to help. One of the main reasons I went to massage school was to promote “healthy touch.” I didn’t get a lot of that in my family of origin, so it was really important to me to be able to have good boundaries with touch, to promote the healthy use of touch in healing. The more I studied, the more interested I became in energy work. It was a way for me to be able to channel my sensitivity in a positive way, instead of being kind of a victim of it. I’ve learned how to be able to see how your energy flows through your body, maybe where it’s not flowing as well; and just by sitting with you, and maybe touching you—I don’t have to be touching you, but I can put my hand on your shoulder, or on your feet—I’ve learned to be able to access that energy flow from different areas in the body and to help. The great thing is, it’s like—say you have a friend who’s troubled, and they need someone to talk to. If you sit and let them talk to you, without trying to solve their problem for them, usually that person will come to a point where they have figured it out for themselves, and they feel better. And they thank you! They’re thanking you—and you haven’t really done anything but listen! That’s a really big gift to give somebody. Well, I do that with your body. I’m always looking for the health in the body. I’m not looking for any disease that might be there. In the way of healing I’ve learned, we look at the body [in terms of how] much health is there: you wouldn’t be breathing, you wouldn’t be alive! So by accessing that health, and what it’s doing in your body, it kind of helps inform the other parts. So you have a hip that feels tight, and sore, but your other hip might be feeling ok, or some other part of your body might be feeling ok. I can watch that energy flow, I can be with it. It will go around that area like there’s a…

TYG: Blockage? Obstruction?
I don’t like to call it blockage. We call it an inert fulcrum. It’s a place that usually has movement, but it’s somehow become bound, or blocked, so the movement isn’t as free; it’s contained. Basically it’s your body trying to protect itself. That can happen because of a physical thing, or an emotional thing; it can be from the outside or the inside. So just by sitting with that, and getting connected to the flow of the energy in your body, amazing things happen, and things will start to shift. It’s not always predictable what might come up during that session—somewhere else might actually be the center of that imbalance.

TYG-GD: Do you still provide these services?
One of the reasons I moved to Yachats is that I have a deep wish to help people who are in transition. The more I talk to people, after moving here two years ago almost… Yachats is a special place. People come here whether they know it or not, for transformation.

TYG-GD: That’s what Max Glenn was saying!
I liked that interview, and I agree with him! In Yachats, a lot of people come towards the end of their life—that’s one kind of transition. But I think a lot of people come here who have emotional and/or physical things happening. And whether they know it or not, that process is—I think—heightened by being here. I’ve experienced that myself.

TYG-EA: How did you come here?
Well, it was a process of exploring. I was exploring Oregon for about six weeks. I thought I was going to live in Portland. I went there to help a friend who needed an assistant to help her recover from surgery, and it just coincided with me wanting a change from Olympia. But I decided I didn’t want to live in the big city. So I just started exploring, and was making my way down the coast. Well, I kept running into people who told me how much I would love Yachats, once they got to know me a little bit. So what did I do? I went to Belovèd, two years ago in August…

TYG-GD: What is Belovèd?
It’s a festival that happens in Tidewater every year, for like the last seven years. Well, I met somebody from Yachats there, and then it was like “Okay, I’m hearing you, Universe!” [laughter] So I made a trip here, and that person was my first friend. The minute I drove into Yachats, my heart said “Yes!” It wasn’t a mental or logical thing at all. This is where it feels good to be. […] I got really lucky when I came to town, because I used to go to the Green Salmon all the time, I met Matt Buonaiuto, and he’s the one who told me about Steven Bursey and Michelle Korgan looking for somebody to be a caretaker at the bed and breakfast at Heceta Head. So toward the end of January almost two years ago, I moved in there to the apartment in the basement. So they hired me to be their caretaker, and I lived there for 15 months! Which is a story in itself. [laughter] It was amazing—such a beautiful place, and a really great experience.

I got a lot of great nature photographs while I was there, observing the birds. I didn’t know I had such a great connection to birds until I moved there. Well, I thought I did, but not as many. The peregrine falcon became like a friend.

So then last year, in the off-season—I was working both jobs—I started working at the Green Salmon two days a week. Then in April I moved to town, and started working there more.

TYG-GD: Is there anything else you wanted to tell us?
[…] I’ve found that I do have an affinity for people who are in some sort of transition, who really want the assistance that I can give: somebody who can witness, and support them—not telling them what to do, just supporting their own process. And I want to volunteer. I haven’t put myself out there yet, but I do want to volunteer with people who are close to passing. […] People have a hard time letting go in that transition, and the healing work that I learned calls that “portal sickness.” I work with tuning forks—it’s called accutonics—and you use them on the body where accupoints are, and also just in the field around the body. […] I’ve found I can ease that transition for people. I did for my Mom when she passed. This is one of my favorite stories—even if she hadn’t been my Mom.
My Mom was not a touchy person—she really didn’t care to be touched much. But when she was older, and declining, she would regularly tell me she was ready for a session—so I was giving her sessions two to three times a week. It was helping lower her pain level, and she was more comfortable. It didn’t cure anything—she was going to die anyway. But it helped her comfort level and [was] palliative care, basically. Then what happened to her, at the end of her life [was that] we would talk to her and say “Are you ready? Is there anything you need to say or do?” You know how people want to wrap it up. She would say she was ready, but there was still this fear that she had, evidently, of letting go, and she was just hanging on. So I did a session with her, just in the field around her with the tuning forks, and sat with her and watched her energy flow. She had some of the symptoms that people show when they’re getting close: she was agitated, and doing that [session] really helped her be able to calm down and get some rest. We left her alone—we had her on baby monitors—for about 45 minutes, and then we decided we’d better check on her. She’d passed! I’m sure that time I spent with her helped her be able to release, to go through her dying process with more ease. And that made it easier for me, too…

So that’s what I want to do: I want to help people who are suffering, suffer less, and also help the people who are helping them. Like my family members: everybody was tired, was stretched thin and stressed out. So, when I was staying in Portland before I came to the coast I was helping my friend who was still in the hospital. She was worried about her blood pressure. I would go into the room, and I could see on the monitor [that] as soon as I came in and sat with her, her blood pressure would start going down. And it wasn’t just her—that happened around my Mom, too.

TYG: One thing I think you’d be really good at is not only with older people, but with younger kids! I think you’d make a great volunteer at YYFAP!
TYG-GD: There’s a lot of transition going on!
Oh I bet, yes…

TYG: Thank you so much!
Christine: Thanks for asking me!

2nd Interview with Max Glenn
The Yachats Gazette is pleased to present to our readers a second encounter with Max Glenn.

TYG: Alright! Between that high school community, and when you moved to Oregon—we didn’t cover that at all.
TYG-Graphic Design: Right, all of a sudden you picked up a bride, and then you were out in Yachats!
Max: [laughter] Oh boy. We kind of skipped over my career, didn’t we.

TYG: Yes! So what happened immediately after you left high school?
Max: Well, I went to college. And as to what happened immediately, I told you I had a scholarship to the Oklahoma State University to become an Ag[riculture] teacher. I told you that, but then I didn’t tell you about my call to ministry.

During my senior year in high school, my best friend and I were scrimmaging in basketball at the noon hour, and I jumped up to shoot, and he ran into my knee—burst his spleen, and he died two weeks later. He had come from a large family in Arkansas, and worked for his neighbor on a dairy farm, and went to high school. His family was not a church family, so he went to church with us, and he really got excited about this Jesus thing! He accepted it, and got baptized, and he began talking about being a minister. He wanted me to be a minister too, and I say “No way, I’m going to be an Ag teacher.” Two or three months after he died, one Sunday morning, a power got ahold of me. I hadn’t even been thinking about it or anything, and [the inner power] just took me up front and I announced to the church minister and to the congregation that I was going to become a minister. Then I gave up my scholarship at the Oklahoma University, and because I was going to be a minister, I went to Bible college and then worked my way through college. In hindsight, I could have kept my scholarship and then gone to seminary, but I didn’t. I went to Phillips University in Oklahoma and graduated from there. Then I served my first church when I was a junior in college, and it was in Western Oklahoma, in Freedom—125 miles from where I went to school. So I’d drive out there on weekends, and in the summer I’d live out there.

Then I went to seminary in Indianapolis because I thought I was going to be a missionary to Africa, to Congo, but I was… linguistically challenged. [laughter] So I decided I was going to specialize in rural communities, working particularly with those isolated rural communities that are marginalized by society—kind of the tail end of states. So that’s what I did!
After seminary I went to Colorado, up in the mountains above Denver, in Evergreen. I was the first full-time minister for a church there. Then I was called to come back to our national staff of my denomination, the Christian Church Disciples of Christ. I was director of rural churches. We had about 5,000 congregations in the United States and Canada that I worked with. Then I became the founding director of CORA [Commission on Religion in Appalachia]. We had eighteen different faith groups—the first thing that the Catholics were involved in after Vatican II [the Second Vatican Council]. So we had all these different denominations working together in the 13 state Appalachian area, from the northern tier of counties in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia, clear up to the southern tier of counties in New York state. So that seemed like a small territory after I’d been working in the United States and Canada, those thirteen states, but that’s a big, big chunk of turf!

The purpose of our organization was to help these denominations and faith groups examine their current mission operations, and re-direct them to the current needs. An example of this was Presbyterians that created a bunch of hospitals. They turned their hospitals over to united mine workers. My denomination brought the first school into Eastern Kentucky—Wolf County—it was a residential school, so the kids all came and lived at the school.

TYG: A boarding school?
Max: Yes, it was a boarding school, and it was the only school in that part of Eastern Kentucky at the time. But it was established, and we were still putting several hundred thousand dollars a year into this boarding school, and there was a brand new public school just down the road. So we had to raise the question, “Should we still be operating a school when there’s a public school down the road?” Our purpose in providing the school had been [to] provide the first school! So, they closed that out and re-directed their efforts somewhere else. That was the purpose of the organization, to work with Catholics and Protestants and all these groups to help them re-assess their operations in the mountains of Appalachia. My background and training was in planning, research, and community development, so that was my focus—to help those religious groups re-direct their efforts to community efforts.

TYG-GD: It’s very meta-level, in a way. Were you still preaching?
Max: Oh yes, sure. But we worked with grassroots groups and helped organize local groups. The government came in; Appalachia was a laboratory for a whole new approach to government functioning; it was a laboratory and a pilot for the government’s approach to regionalization. Appalachia was one region; upper Great Lakes was another region.

TYG-GD: What do you mean by “government”? How did the government and a religious association combine?
Max: Well, we were non-profit. We had nothing to do with government. But the government’s approach was to put together multi-county approaches—like we have a multi-county approach here: Linn, Benton, Lincoln counties work together. The idea was that you would put more of the resources in those multi-counties. The government established pre-determined growth centers; in other words, they would determine [that] here’s where everything should grow. So maybe Newport would be the growth center for our area. And all the government money would go into Newport. It wouldn’t come out here.

TYG: That’s horrible!
Max: That’s right, I agree! And so our job was, then, to start what was called “head of the holler”. So we would start at the head of the holler and we would bring the people together in their community and their neighborhoods, and say “What do you want? What do you need?” So they often-times organized little cottage industries. The women did quilting, but they often only got about a quarter an hour for all the labor they put into the quilts! So there were two or three things that I did that really made a difference. One was, we were able to change the way the government allocated its money.

TYG-GD: How did you do that?
Max: That’s a good question. I had a professor in the graduate school of Economics at the University of Tennessee, where we were located in Knoxville (my office was across the street). He called one day and said, “Max, I have a graduate student and he wants his research to make a difference, not be on a shelf somewhere. Do you have any ideas?” and I said “Yes!” Out of that conversation, this graduate student developed a study of the 30 worst counties, the hard-core counties in eastern Kentucky: poverty, economics—he had about 14 different criteria to evaluate the counties. That was back in the days of mainframe computers. So it cost me about $300 of mainframe time at the university. The research was done free, because it was part of this student’s doctoral program. So when I got that report, I took it to Washington, sat down with the Director of the government’s Appalachian Commission, that worked with representatives for all the governors of the thirteen states. He liked the study so much that he took a copy of it and made a trip and visited with each of the thirteen governors. And they decided that they would change their policy. Always up until that time, whoever could write the best proposal got the money. Of course, the neediest communities didn’t have the expertise to develop fancy proposals and get the money. The result of our study was, they set aside a pot of money reserved for the neediest ones off the top, and then they allocated the rest on the best proposals. And it was that shift that changed the way they allocated their funds—it made sure that the neediest ones got the priority. That was significant change. Now, nobody wrote about it, nobody bragged about it, or got any credit for it.

So that’s been an important part of my work, Allen. I’ve discovered that if you don’t care who gets the credit, you can do a lot of things. But if you’ve got a big ego, and you think you have to get credit for everything that happens, you don’t get much done.

TYG: I think I know the feeling.
Max: [laughter] Another example of what we did: I got a call from Washington, from OEO [Office of Economic Opportunity]—this was back when government was really functioning, and there was a war on poverty, in 1972 or 73—and they said, “Max, could you put together a low-income crafts group? We’re putting through a dummy proposal for $300,000. If you’ll create an organization of low-income craftspeople, we will provide the funds. We will also provide an organizational consultant to help do the leg-work and help organize it (from the Booz Allen Hamilton Group.) So we put together an organization of about 5,000 low-income craftspeople.

TYG-GD: What do you intend by “craftspeople”?
Max: Largely women in quilting and crafts, like the kind of crafts we’re seeing this weekend at the Crafts Fair here—cottage industry. And then we had some connections with some Congressmen’s wives, and a Senator’s wife, and a couple of other women, who established an outlet for crafts in Georgetown. So women who were making quilts, and getting a quarter an hour for labor and not selling their quilts for very much, were able to sell them for several thousand dollars. This changed the whole thing. […] Those were the kind of efforts we made. We started credit unions among low-income people. One of the most successful things was that we had a revolving fund that was put together by several of the churches, and we would make loans of up to $500 to help start a business—micro-loans. It’s amazing—these were low-income people, and every one of [the loans] got paid back.

That was a fun time in my career, working in Appalachia. We fought strip-mining; a lot of environmental things happened. One time, Duke Power Company—the “Friendly” power company, in North and South Carolina—owned seven or eight coal mines in Eastern Kentucky. The miners went on strike, and it was becoming pretty violent. I was on national panel, in front of TV cameras, to try to resolve that, with the former Secretary of Labor Willard Wirtz and others. We were not able to get it resolved, but [the interview is interrupted by the sound of a blender.]

TYG: What is strip mining?
Max: They were just taking the top off of mountains. One of the tragedies in West Virginia [is that] there was a large dam where they put slag heap from their coal operations, and the dam burst, and it completely destroyed 14 communities [the Buffalo Creek disaster, 1972]. Hundreds of people died, but the company’s response was that it was an “act of God,” when in fact it was a dam that was not engineered and not properly constructed and that was faulty. […]

So we worked with the people, and listened to the people, and helped them get their voice. I was talking about being on this panel, called the Brookside Mine. It wasn’t resolved by this high-level panel, but when coal miners went to New York, to Wall Street, with their mining outfits on, and demonstrated in front of Wall Street telling people what the situation was, they started dumping their Duke Power stock! As soon as the stock began affecting the company, they settled the strike immediately. So those are the kinds of things I’ve spent my life supporting and helping.

TYG: So is that where you met Marie?
Max: No, later… After the Appalachian work, then I went to Buffalo, New York, and created a new, non-profit organization called the Buffalo Area Metropolitan Ministries [BAMM], and we had Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish communities all working together. I was there less than 24 hours when the federal judge court order for school desegregation came down. This was in 1976. It was a time when Louisville, and Boston, were having really violent desegregation efforts in their towns. And the Civil Rights Commission and Justice Department both came to Buffalo and examined the situation and it was going to be worse in Buffalo than in Boston or in Louisville. They came to me privately, and said, “Max, we need someone to work behind the scenes to keep things cool. You’re it.” I’d been in town less than a month when that happened. So we set about doing that. A federal judge appointed me Chairman of the Citizen’s Monitoring Committee, so we had, on my committee, the strong leaders from each of the ethnic groups: the woman from the Black Caucus, and a guy from the Hispanic [community], and all these strong people. We were the eyes and ears for the judge in the community. We did keep it cool. They developed some really neat things: magnet schools, etc. It was a very successful effort, but it was not easy.

TYG-GD: You said you kept it cool, but how? Did you coordinate a message in church, or how?
Max: The community got involved, and BAMM was asked to work with the community. CETA [Comprehensive Employment and Training Act] was a federal granting program, and they funded us for 150 staff to work in the community. A lot of them were former teachers. We had bus aides that were adults who rode the buses; there were teacher’s aides for the classrooms.

TYG-GD: So you’re talking about people directly involved with the schools trying to keep fights from happening?
Max: People working with the community.

TYG: Why would there be fights?
Max: Well, the word was that if the bridges aren’t there, you can’t bus our kids out of the community. So there was a thread that somebody would blow up the bridges. They didn’t do that…

TYG-GD: Blow up the bridges? I wasn’t here at the time, so I only have a vague idea of what’s going on here… This is when black students were integrated into white schools?
Max: Yes, they wanted a balance, so they were bused from one neighborhood to another, from the black neighborhood to the integrated school.

TYG: So who was threatening to blow up bridges?
Max: Well, that was people in the community who didn’t want their white kids going to school with black kids. But it worked out—they created magnet schools for specialized things, and that was helpful. That’s just another illustration of how my work has been working with communities in crisis, and helping them find solutions that the community wanted, and helping the government who’s involved with the community listen to them, and involve them in their planning. That’s where I’ve set my career.

TYG-GD: That’s fascinating!
TYG: So how did you meet Marie?
Max: That’s an interesting story! I was in Oklahoma, and I was executive of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches…

TYG-GD: Wait, hang on, let me get a timeline here… So you were in Oklahoma, and then you went to Tennessee?
Max: Well, I was born and raised in Oklahoma, then I went to Indiana for seminary. Then I went from Indiana to Colorado, for my first church in the mountains. After a year and a half, they were looking at me for national staff, so they brought me back to Indiana where our headquarters was in Indianapolis. Then I went from there to Knoxville, TN, to head up the Appalachian program. And then I went from Tennessee to Buffalo, NY. Then I came back home to Oklahoma as the Executive of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches.

TYG: And that’s where you met Marie.
Max: One of the things [was that] I had staff that monitored the Oklahoma legislature, but I was on the national board of the church’s Public Witness programs. Marie was in Colorado at the time, and she worked for the Colorado Council of Churches and the Colorado Hunger Program, and she was on that board too. So we were in Washington, DC for a meeting of our board. We had an afternoon free, and Marie invited me to go out to the zoo and see the panda bears that were given to the United States from China. So that’s how she hooked me. [laughter] Now, she tells the story differently. [more laughter] 

TYG-GD: We saw the pandas, didn’t we, Allen!
Max: We had done a study on hunger and poverty in Colorado in 1980, and we wanted to identify who and where the poor were. Marie called me from Denver—the study had gotten some publicity, and was very well done—and asked “If I came to Oklahoma, would you share your research methodology with me?” and I said “Sure!” I tease her that she had other ideas. [laughter] Her counter-response is that she had a son in school in Oklahoma. Anyway, we’ve been married for just over 30 years now.

I want to talk just a little bit about Oklahoma. First of all, you’ll be interested to know that when I first went, the image that this organization had was that it never did get outside the capital city, Oklahoma City. It was a state-wide organization, but people out in the state didn’t know about them, didn’t see them. So the first thing I did [was to] hold listening conferences all across the state to bring people together, to say, “What are your needs? What can we do to help your community meet the needs it has?” So we did all that, put all that together. That was a nice exercise. But it wasn’t until 1985 when the triple whammy hit Oklahoma. The first whammy was when the oil industry went bust. The second whammy was when Penn Square Bank went under. It was the first bank closure in Oklahoma, and we had more bank closures per capita in Oklahoma than any other state. The third thing, what we were involved in, was the farm crisis. The United Methodist bishop and some farmers came to my office and said, “Can you help save these farmers who are losing their farms?”

TYG-GD: Why was there a farm crisis? Was it environmental? Was it banking?
Max: It was economic. One example is a friend that wanted the Farmer’s Home Administration [FmHA]—they made operating loans to farmers so they could buy their seeds and operate—a farmer friend went in, and he needed $50,000 for his operation for the next year, and then when harvested his crops, he’d pay off his loan. Well, he was told by Farmer’s Loan, “We won’t give you $50,000. We’ll give you $200,000, because we think you need a new barn, we think you need new machinery, and all of this.” So the farmer was forced to take a loan for $200,000, rather than his $50,000. So then, when economics and prices and everything went down, he couldn’t pay it back, so they foreclosed on him! But anyway, that was the crisis.

Willie Nelson gave us $25,000 after his first Farm Aid to create a farm crisis hotline.

TYG-GD: [primarily for the Publisher’s benefit] Who’s Willie Nelson?
Max: Willie Nelson, the musician.

TYG: I’ve never heard of him.
Max: He’s a famous country musician—he’s older. He’s one of the Nashville country music stars, and he’s still going. Anyway, he had this Farm Aid concert to help farmers, and we got the money, and we set up a farm crisis hotline in our offices. We were averaging about 1,000 calls a month from distressed farmers. The woman that answered the hotline for me [her name was Mona Lee] was a former teacher and school principal, and she just lacked one semester of having her doctorate in counseling, so she was ideal for that—and she’d been a farmer, and they’d lost their farm. Her husband died in her office because of the stress of what they were dealing with. But Mona Lee documents over 500 lives that she saved from suicide. We didn’t save them all, but we saved a lot of them. So my background that I talked to you about in the first interview contributed to this. So, I worked all across Oklahoma and concentrated on the farm crisis. We did make a difference in saving a lot of lives and helping. I worked with the Save A Family Farm Coalition federally.

TYG: So how was this all resolved?
Max: Well, there were some changes in the federal law, and many farmers are just out of business.

TYG-GD: So is that when farms started aggregating into these huge agri-businesses?
Max: To some degree. The plains states were hard-hit, particularly. Oregon wasn’t hit quite as hard, but we did have quite a few. I came as a consultant out to Oregon from Oklahoma and helped work with the Oregon farmers, and the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. They were the ones who had a program working with farmers, so we did a lot of that.
I went from there, then, to Utah, and became a director of Shared Ministry in Utah. We had five different denominations, 59 different congregations within Utah, southern Wyoming, and western Colorado.

TYG: So, let’s get back to Marie!
TYG-GD: In your last interview, you said you’d moved here from Alabama. So how did that happen?
Max: Well, that was in 2000. Let’s go back to Marie. While I was in Oklahoma, and executive of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, Marie went back to seminary and got her degree from the same seminary that our new pastor, pastor Bob Barrett, graduated from recently. So Marie was on my staff, and she worked with hunger programs in Oklahoma. One thing that she did was that she organized women clergy, and provided a support group to them. But the major thing that she did was to identify all the homeless shelters in Oklahoma. She got an architect to work with her. She visited all those homeless shelters, and they had funds to help those homeless shelters upgrade and winterize and everything. The governor of Oklahoma gave us $800,000 to help homeless shelters, and Marie was in charge of developing a homeless program from scratch. Nobody had ever had that kind of a program before. Oil companies had overcharged for their oil—not the homeless shelters, but clients and customers—so they were fined, and had to come up with big money. There was no way the money could go back to the individuals who had been overcharged for oil, so it was given to governors to disburse to communities, for whatever they needed. Well, the governor of Oklahoma at that time was strongly wanting to do something for the homeless. So he gave us the $800,000—which was the Oklahoma share of that pot—so Marie set about developing a program to disburse that money.

When we went to Utah, Marie became a pastor in Ogden, UT, and I worked with her some there. Then, following Utah, in 1996, I decided to specialize the last of my ministry in working with congregations that were in transition. I took specialized training in helping work with congregations and communities in change. So if the pastor had been leaving, or there was a troubled situation, I would go in and help. So that’s what I did the last number of years. Marie also got some of the training, and she did the same thing. That’s why we were in Alabama: she was pastor of a little church in Gadsden, AL, and I was pastor of the church in Anniston, AL, where I was helping them envision their future. Their minister had gone, and they needed to decide what they wanted to do, and what God wanted them to be in the future—what were the needs of their community they ought to be addressing. It was my job to help them do that, in less than two years. So we called ourselves the “fast pastors”. [laughter] So we had to go in, get acquainted quickly, and help the congregation develop a new vision, a new purpose. So we came from Anniston, AL, to retire.

TYG-GD: Did you just retire here in Yachats, or did you actually preach here?
Max: No, neither of us were pastors in Yachats. I did do an interim over in Lebanon in ’96 and ’97. Then we went from Lebanon back to Miami, OK; then to Gulfport, MS; then we went to Hutchinson, KS; from Hutchinson, KS to Anniston, AL; and from Anniston to Yachats.

TYG-GD: Wow. And do you know what to do with yourself in just one place?
Max: Well, we are just doing lots of things, you know. I’m enjoying being on the YYFAP board. I served a term on the City Planning Commission, but I decided I could do a lot more by working with the community. My current project is working with the community to get a new bank in here.

TYG-GD: Any progress?
Max: Oh yes! I just got out of the City Council, and they’re writing a support letter. We’re asking the Bank of the West to do a timely and smooth transition to a new institution. What we’re offering is a turnkey operation, because we’ve got a building, we’ve got seven staff who are competent bank staff; they’ll be losing their jobs, so we want to keep their jobs. So we want someone to come in, buy the building from the Bank of the West, and set up an operation.

TYG: Well thank you so much!!
Max: Does that fill in some gaps for you, Allen?

TYG: It sure does—thank you so much!
Max: You’re welcome!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 39, November 2 2014


The Yachats Gazette was delighted to meet with Maryann Candito and discuss her approach to helping people lose weight through non-traditional methods.

TYG: Where did you first learn about EFT [Emotional Freedom Technique]?
Maryann: Let’s see…I was a life coach, and I started to get e-mails about it, started to read about it online. It just was one of those synchronistic experiences where once you hear about it from one person, you start seeing it over and over in different places. Then I was really interested in it, so I started researching it and studying it, and I learned to be a practitioner.

TYG: What is EFT?
Maryann: It’s just a tool. My business is Synergy Weight Release, where I help my clients release weight naturally and intuitively. EFT is just one of the tools I use, that helps people release those subconscious programs they have around food, to help them lose weight and naturally choose better foods and to not react to environmental and emotional triggers, like stress. A lot of people stress eat. […]

TYG: For a while, I was down to 20 foods, including flavors, because I had H. pylori and we hadn’t discovered it yet! I couldn’t eat grilled cheeses, I couldn’t eat cheese tacos, I couldn’t eat mac and cheese… almost anything cheese-related, I couldn’t eat. I was [getting sick] almost every night.
Maryann: Well you see, that’s where trusting your own inner wisdom about what you should eat is a good way! I teach my own clients to trust their bodies. One diet may be good for someone, person, and not someone else. Although… I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to diet to release weight. That’s what I teach, and that’s what I’ve experienced through my program.

TYG: I believe so too! You do not have to diet, you just have to exercise more.
Maryann: Maybe not. It’s not so much what you eat, although what you eat is really important. It’s more of the reason why you eat. Why you eat, why you overeat, why you eat to an emotional trigger. Some people stuff themselves. Why do they do that? They’re not comfortable. Some people eat foods based on emotional triggers, or stress triggers, or environmental triggers. That’s what I look at; that’s my specialty: helping people find why they’re eating. Not so much what they’re eating.

TYG-Graphic Design: That sounds very psychological!
Maryann: Yes! And once they get into alignment and clear those reasons why they eat at that subconscious level and energetic level, they naturally begin to eat better, healthier foods that are more nutritious and better for their body, because the cravings no longer compel them. They’re not controlled by the cravings, because the cravings start to drift away.

TYG: I don’t really have cravings, but when I’m at the TV set, I eat.
Maryann: And that could be an association you have, just like popcorn and movies!

TYG-GD: Can we backtrack a little bit, and ask: What’s your name? Where are you from?
Maryann: Sure! My name is Mary Ann Candito, and I live here in Yachats. I’ve lived here for about two years, and moved from Portland. I’m really loving the coast, really loving Yachats. […]

TYG: Why did you choose Yachats to move to?
Maryann: We used to come here for vacation! My partner retired from OHSU, and we thought that now was a good time to head on down here, and that’s what we did. We started looking around, and we found a house the first time we set out to look for a house, and the rest is history.

TYG-GD: What did your partner do?
Maryann: He was a surgical tech in labor and delivery at OHSU. […]

TYG: Where did you live before Portland?
Maryann: I lived in Eugene before Portland.

TYG: […] I was born in Portland!
Maryann: I’ve only met a few native Oregonians—my partner is one of them. But I was born on the East coast.

TYG: When did you learn about and become interested in EFT?
Maryann: I started it when I began my coaching practice about five years ago. My Synergy Weight Release, I started about a year and a half ago.

TYG-GD: You said you were a “Life Coach”—what is that?
Maryann: A life coach helps people to improve their life in helping them shift their mindset and helping them make lifestyle changes. I’m certified through Christy Whitman’s program, Quantum Success Coaching Academy, so I have a certification as a life coach. And I’ve had about 20 years in holistic health. I started off as a massage therapist, way back, and moved on from there […] to reiki, energetic healing work, cranial sacral work, then eventually got into meditation instruction, life coaching, and EFT.

TYG: Wow, interesting! What services do you offer at Synergy Weight Release?
Maryann: I offer many different types of weight release programs. People can work with me privately one-on-one, or they can work with me as a group—I actually have a group coaching program that is more affordable for people. They can still get the same coaching, but it’s in a group setting. They get lessons every couple of weeks. I also have home study programs, so people who like to do things on their own can sign up for one of my home study programs and have support that way.

TYG-GD: Do you have a website?
Maryann: I do: . An important part of the story—how I got started in all this—[is that] when I started [to study] massage therapy back in Florida, I was compelled to work with Deepak Chopra, so I moved to San Diego.

TYG-GD: Who is Deepak Chopra?
Maryann: Oh, he’s very famous. He’s a best-selling author, he’s been all over. He’s one of the major world new thought leaders. So I worked at his center in La Jolla, CA, a long time ago back in 1996—and that really started me in the process of Eastern philosophy and Eastern healing methods [such as] Ayurveda. So I’m trained in ayurvedic massage and meditation. [… It focuses] on a mind and body type. Even though I don’t teach that, that started me on my path of really expanding. There’s so much more than just our physical body. My path really started exponentially taking off after I worked for the center there in La Jolla.

TYG-GD: So are you associated with Jai Tomlin in any way, at the Yachats Health Clinic?
Maryann: No, not at all. Right now I just work out of my home. Our coaching calls are by phone or by Skype, because my clients are all over the country. I’m getting ready to publish a book, so I’m looking for speaking engagements to get out the word about what I do, and how you have the power to change your life. You have more power than you think you do! The main point of what I do, is that I really help people transform their minds so they can transform their bodies. I find than when we clear a lot of the core issues of why people eat a certain way or have triggers to emotionally eat, that we actually clear other things. And things improve in their life. So when it comes to the brain: the brain has a unique capacity to learn, and that’s called neuroplasticity. What I do with EFT and different meditation techniques, I help people to re-learn, and disengage that automatic pilot that takes over our lives. By the time we’re an adult, about 90-95% of what we think, do, and feel is a series of conditioned programs. So what I do is help my clients to disengage that automatic pilot. Then I help them energetically, and through the mind-body techniques to reinstate new, healthier purpose.

TYG: So you don’t do anything physical, like touch.
Maryann: No, not at all. Well, the EFT is tapping, but they tap on themselves.

TYG-GD: What is tapping?
Maryann: Tapping on the energy meridians, [accompanied by] statements, or phrases.

TYG-GD: So, if 90% of pathways are fixed by the time we become an adult, how should we be raising our children?
Maryann: Oh no, it’s not even like that. Think about driving a car. The first time you’re driving a car, you’re paying attention to every little thing: turning the key, steering the wheel, fixing your mirrors. After you do that a number of times, you don’t even think about it. And that’s the automatic pilot that happens.

TYG: Although if it’s auto-pilot, it’s good.
Maryann: Yes! On the one hand, it’s great, because it makes us not have to think about certain things. On the other hand, when we get these well-established bad habits, like the first time, perhaps, I use food to comfort myself from a painful emotion. That, over time, gets more ingrained, and then automatically, I react. If I’m stressed, food—I go to food. Automatically, without thinking! So it’s that area that we want to disengage, is the automatic pilot that’s not helpful.

TYG: Interesting! For me, it’s when I’m really interested that I go to food. Or exercise. I have two responses, basically.
Maryann: Right! And if it’s not healthy for you, or it’s something you want to change, you can change it. It’s about basically teaching the brain to relearn a new pattern.

TYG: Like when I’m done with school, I instantly turn on the TV, or the computer.
Maryann: Right—you don’t even think about it. [… Those] are the conditioned programs that we don’t even realize are going on—our responses to things.

TYG-GD: Well that’s why I was asking about raising children, because it seems to me that the time to nip a bad habit is in the bud. It seems to me there should be techniques for younger users.
Maryann: Right. And I actually do tap with my son. We have done some tapping together, some EFT work…

TYG-GD: So, what is this tapping?
Maryann: How it works is… say we’re going to deal with a food craving, for example. Say we look at sweets. Somebody has a sweet craving. We could put a piece of chocolate cake in front of them, and we could do a series of this tapping with the statements that we would do, and after we’re done with that, they won’t have that emotional charge, or that craving for that cake anymore.

TYG-GD: Because they associate it with tapping?
Maryann: No, no, we just clear that need to have that, that uncontrollable urge to have that.

TYG: Because it clears your mind, and you realize what’s going on, and you’re like…
Maryann: Right, but that would be tapping on the global issue. But what you really want to do, to have long-lasting effects so that sweet cravings don’t happen all the time for you, is to uncover the core issue that’s beneath that, and then we clear that event. The event could be anything, really. For me, what started my weight problems, was that I was at my grandfather’s house. I was five years old, four or five, when he had a heart attack and died. I didn’t have any weight problems until after that. That was a major event in my life, one that I still remember, and I was just a small child. [It was] one that clearly started some of my coping mechanisms with food, to soothe myself. So if you clear that event—there are other issues too, you know we all have lots of issues at the core of something big—

TYG: I’d like to sign up for a program like this!
Maryann: Well, this is my website. When I first started using EFT for my weight, I didn’t even know I was going to be teaching my clients, and I didn’t even realize I was going to be specializing in weight release until it worked so well for me! But I do have on my website different videos where I actually took myself through the program and put it up on YouTube, going through the different problems that I faced. So you’ll see me talking all very raw and emotional, because I actually went through some things of my own, personally, and they’re there on my website. And you’ll see: I was bigger then.

TYG: You’re brave!
Maryann: Yes! And I had a real carb… I don’t want to say addiction, but I loved carbs and overloaded on carbs. […] What I uncovered is that I missed the family, I missed the traditions, I missed the family celebrations: my family is all back East, so I compensated with carbs! And once I realized why I ate so many carbs, and I cleared it at the energetic, emotional, physical level, carbs don’t control me anymore. I’m eating more balanced, more nutritious foods—and I love carbs still, but I don’t eat and overload like I used to.

TYG: One reason I’m not 200 pounds is because I get a lot of exercise.
Maryann: That helps! [For] a lot of my clients, we work with motivation to exercise, too, because movement is good for everybody, and it’s just good for your heart, even! So to help people get motivated from that subconscious level is really powerful, to clear some resistance and areas like that.

TYG-GD: So what do you like about being in Yachats while you’re doing this work?
Maryann: I really like the community; I’m just getting to know people more. […] I’d love to find someplace local [to do group work]—I’m just talking to a center in Salem about doing workshops up there. […] In the back of my mind I’d love to do some retreats—a 3-day workshop would be great. I’m just not prepared for that yet. Eventually!

TYG: What kind of prices do you have?
Maryann: Well, that would vary depending on what the client needs. The lowest-priced products would be to do some home study courses. I offer an Emotional Eating course, a digital course, for $47, and it goes all the way up to someone signing on to do courses for a year. It depends on how often they would need to meet with me. Everyone is unique, and there’s not really a cookie-cutter answer. One of my clients was seeing me for two sessions a month, and what we realized was that for her, specifically, she needed to have more accountability. So we broke that one-hour session down to three “laser” sessions of 20 minutes, so I coach her three times a week. Once we did that, we shifted the way we worked together, her weight loss has been tremendous. That was what was needed for her. So it depends on the person. […] I will give you one price though, because it’s group coaching. It’s called “Synergize Your Life.” We meet twice a month. We have a Facebook support forum, and you get lessons every two weeks delivered digitally.

TYG: Like Skype?
Maryann: No, there’s a back office where you would log into your private area, and you see your lessons. That’s $67 a month right now, and next year that will be going up. That’s a really affordable way to learn what I teach, to have me help coach you in a group setting on the phone, but it’s still a way to have access to me at a really affordable rate. It’s really helpful, because everybody is at different levels in the group, and everybody needs help with different things.

TYG: Thank you so much for your time!
Maryann: Thank you!


The Yachats Gazette had the opportunity to interview Mr. Emmett Fitts, a resident of Sea Aire Assisted Living Facility in Yachats. Sea Aire’s sitting room has on display a working model, built by Mr. Fitts, of the mechanicals of a 19th century steamboat. 

TYG: That’s one impressive model!
Emmett: This is an actual model [of the works] of the Delta Queen. Now, the Delta Queen was a riverboat years ago on the Mississippi. And that’s an actual copy of the whole thing.

TYG: I wanted to know whether this thing actually runs!
Emmett: Now you see, there’s a tube down here where you [hook it up]. Instead of steam, we put it on compressed air. And  it’ll run. There’s a little [switch] that makes it go backwards or forwards. And there’s a control that’ll make it go either fast or slow.

TYG: And there’s a reverser lever somewhere?
Emmett: Right here is the reverse. It’s on the side.

TYG: I was wondering—if you hooked this up to the back of a boat, with a bunch of compressed air in it, would it actually propel the boat?
Emmett: Absolutely! Now, I don’t have rudders on it. There’s little engines that run the rudders. It fits on the same deck.

TYG: That’s amazing! In miniature, of course.
Emmett: Yes. It’s to scale, though. I had the exact layout of every one of those pieces. There’s 800 pieces in that. Well. I’m proud of it, because it’s all hand made, and it took a good many hours to do that. But—anyone can do it, and you don’t want to give up, ‘cause it’s awfully easy to get a little discouraged. Now, all those bearings on the back were hand cast, and that was sand casting. But you know, I belonged to a group of men in Corvallis that were like-minded. They all took this kind of work, and you could ask any question, and they’d show me how to set up sand to do that.

TYG-Editorial Assistant: So you did the sand casting?
Emmett: I actually did the sand casting.

TYG: Wow!
Emmett: It was a lot of fun. And the wood work, of course I had the machines to make all that.

TYG-EA: What was the hardest piece to build?
Emmett: Oh, these valves on the steam engine. Now, you can’t really see the valves, but there’s a rod here—it opens that steam valve, and then the other one’ll be shut…. Most of this, just like the cylinder, was made out of a pipe—but you might have had to ream that pipe out, to be exact size.

TYG-EA: So you basically bought solid pieces of brass and pieces of brass tubing—?
Emmett: No, you’d use a piece of copper pipe, but you’d have to ream that out, to make it fit.

TYG-EA: But all the little solid brass pieces you manufactured?
Emmett: [nods] I put it on my lathe or milling machine.

TYG: Wow.
Emmett: I say I was lucky to have all that stuff. But what I did was, each payday, I’d buy a tool.

TYG-EA: Nice!
Emmett: Well, I had a good job. I was in the service for five years—I didn’t do this until I was out of the service. Then I had to have a machine shop, and I had it.  [laughs]

TYG-EA: So this had nothing to do with your profession?
Emmett: No. See, I was a pilot, and later a carpenter, and that was all a different story.

TYG-EA: This was entirely a hobby.
Emmett: [nods] My hobby. Absolutely.

TYG-EA: Pretty serious hobby!
Emmett: Oh, yes—but anyone can do it if they really want to. … You know, I was twelve years old when I first had a dragsaw. You’ve seen dragsaws? I was twelve years old when they turned me loose on one of those. [laughter] They were made in the 1920s. It’s a saw that goes back and forth, and the engine lays against a log. Kids couldn’t do that nowadays—they’ve got laws where you cannot do that.

If you’ve got a computer, you can tune in on that dragsaw, and you’ll get pictures of it.

TYG: So basically it’s a scaled-up, flipped-on-its-side, jigsaw.
Emmett: Well, it’s a great big saw like loggers used to have; they were called crosscuts. They were six feet long. And they had to be filed just right, or they didn’t cut very good. The loggers started using the chainsaw after the war. That revolutionized the logging industry.

TYG: Yeah, because chain saws are so much more efficient.
Emmett: That’s right. So this is a wonderful hobby, if you could get interested in that. Now, it does not cost an awful lot—they have lathes pretty cheap now. There’s Chinese lathes, but there’s nothing wrong with them. And they have milling machines—all it does is true the tops up.
Not too many people can do it, but if you’re young enough like Allen, I know someone like you could do that. Now, you’re not going to do it overnight. I used to go down to…. There was an old machinist, in an old boat that made a machine shop, and I used to stand there for hours watching that guy. To cut a taper, he could figure it out, you know, how much you want offset—nowadays, you have that all built in your lathe, all you have to do is set a dial, and it’ll make the taper you want. Now, you don’t run into a taper many times, unless you’re into automotive machinery, and you’re adapting things to fit. But a taper has to be perfect, it can’t be haphazard.

I don’t know whether you’re interested in it or not, but I’m writing my story, about my life. See, my father died five months after I was born, and that left it hard on the family. My mother had to be the breadwinner. That was during the Depression. And my goodness, those days you didn’t have Welfare. You had to go pick strawberries, prunes, potatoes—anything to make a few dollars. Of course, I don’t really want to preach about my poorer life, but—you just can’t give up. The name of my book I’m writing is “It Can Be Done”—and it can be done, if you really want to do it. Now, do you think you would be mechanically minded at all?

TYG: I’m planning to become an architect when I grow up. Architect-slash-engineer. I’ll get a major in both fields.
Emmett: Well, that’s a wonderful trade. You see, I just took whatever was available. And that’s why I got into this. And it was fun, and it didn’t cost anything. But times were tough then. Well, it wasn’t tough when I did this [the Delta Queen model], but that was after the war.

TYG: When did you do this, anyway?
Emmett: That was in the 80s. I was pretty old at that time. [laughs]

TYG: One hobby that I can suggest, that I’m totally into, and that I think would be great for you, is model railroading.
Emmett: Well, there’s a lot of people, you know, that do that. Of course railroading now isn’t like it used to be, but it’s a good hobby.

TYG: Yeah. And that’s totally my hobby. I’m totally into model railroads.
Emmett: You’ve got all your remote controls, on your model trains, too. So I know you’ll get into that.

TYG: I prefer, actually, the old classic method, where you have to put all the wiring in yourself. And make isolation joints. I personally prefer just a bank of controllers over DCC. DCC is the newfangled controller method.
Emmett: You know, a hobby like that would be wonderful. You’d have all that wiring to do. Wiring isn’t too easy if you don’t know how. [laughter]

TYG: It’s not too easy at all. Especially because my old locomotives are starting to break down. I just bought a book on the repairing of locomotives and rolling stock. So I’m going to have to start doing that, because I’ve got a bunch of useless, broken-down locomotives.

[Extensive discussion follows of steam, diesel, and magnetic-levitation locomotives.]

TYG-EA: I have a question. If one were to get interested in machine work like this, what tools would you start with?
Emmett: A lathe. A band saw. And a milling machine. Now of course, milling machines nowadays, you can set ‘em up on a computer, set ‘em up to do the right thing...

TYG: I prefer the old classic way.
Emmett: … And it does the whole job. If it’s a bunch of little holes that has to be drilled, it’ll drill them for you.

TYG: Now that I wouldn’t mind using the computer for, but for the general stuff, like if wanted a pipe to be fit exactly, I’d rather do that by hand.
Emmett: You’re on the right track!

[We retire to Emmett’s room, and look at a picture of several seaplanes.]

Emmett: These are the planes I used to fly, right over there. I was an instructor down in Pensacola. The top one is what we used to teach the students in. The bigger one, it had 2000 horsepower. Those were the PBY, and the PBM. All seaplanes….

I got to learn to fly out of the service. During the war…. The government put on a program, that they were taking young men like myself—see, I was only about 20 years old—and they were having a program to learn to fly. Of course it didn’t cost us anything, and boy, I jumped at the chance! And it was really just as good a course as the navy, because they were more fussy with their materials, so you didn’t make any mistakes there! It was in Vancouver, Washington. And then you could put in for either army or navy. After we went to that, they sent us over to Swan Island in Portland. That was when it was an airport. And I had six months of that.

And then the war broke out. I’ve been lucky my whole life—when I applied for the navy, why, they put me right in as an instructor, because I’d had these other two courses. Well, all I had to do was teach these people how to take off and land in those big planes, and you see, that was duck soup, it didn’t amount to much, but it did give me a break, for I didn’t have to get into battle. Now, I didn’t know any more than anyone, only how to fly. And I knew a little navigation, how to go out and get back in there. That was half the problem, the navigation. You’d take these students out, and you’d go on a triangular course, and they had to find their way back. Then too, we had to tow targets, for the other fighters. In that day, the shot had to go through the propeller, and the propeller timed those shots. Now, they did away with that during my time…

TYG: …And they did the sensible thing, which was to put [the guns] out of the range of the propeller.
Emmett: That’s right, you’ve got it all figured out. How about flying, do you want to fly?

TYG: One day, yeah!
Emmett: Well, I’m sure you could do it. It can be done!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 38, October 1 2014

 Click here for a printable edition of The Yachats Gazette, Issue 38


The Yachats Gazette was pleased to speak with Linda Hetzler, owner of the Drift Inn, located on Highway 101 in downtown Yachats.

TYG: Where did you get the idea to build a full-blown hotel?
Well, I’ve been thinking about it for a number of years. I actually wanted to buy the old Landmark building and kind of have a interesting, cool, little boutique hotel, because it has really interesting bones and structures and little funny spaces. But it had a lot of problems, and I didn’t have that much money to give to that. So when this fellow that owns the old clinic building wanted to sell me his building, I wasn’t really sure exactly what I was going to do. I looked into shops, [but they] don’t make it around here very well, you know, little stores selling things; people come and go a lot.

TYG: Although the two shops [on this part of the street] are doing really well, though.
Yes, the Mercantile does well because I have a lot of things in there. And I have Stacey [Smith], who does a really excellent job.

TYG: And Dark Water seems to be doing pretty well.
Yes, and she has an internet, online thing. She’s had the online thing for years.

TYG-Graphic Design: Oh, the Alice in Wonderland store?

TYG: Together, those two are doing quite well. Pirate’s Bounty Boutique—she moved, but it wasn’t because she wasn’t getting enough business.
TYG-GD: Too much business!
TYG: She needed a bigger space—I think that’s why she moved out.
[…] So when I started talking to people about what to do there, some people really liked the hotel idea. I actually tried to open into a hotel over here a few years ago, and the neighbors didn’t really want me to do it and fought it quite strenuously. But this time, when I [made the proposal]—well, it helped that I had a lot for parking.

TYG-GD: You’ve just built a U-turn around that one house?
Well, it’s a circular kind of thing.

TYG: Are you going to destroy that one house?
Well, in about three years we’ll take the mobile out, and we’ll have it be parking.

TYG: Really, so long?
Well, I have an employee that’s living there. It’s hard to find places to live around here that are affordable. It might take a while to get all of the rooms up and going anyway. Because I’m just going to phase them in. I’m not going to just all of a sudden have all those rooms. I have a couple up here [above the Drift], and I’ll put a couple more up there [in the upper story of the other building] maybe in a year or so. In the meantime, we’ll start work on the other building.

TYG-GD: So you’re going to put in rooms, but keep the retail space downstairs?
We’ll keep Dark Water, but the other space that’s empty right now, we’re going to turn it into rooms with shared bathrooms.

TYG: Oh, kind of like a youth hostel thing?
Well, less expensive [than the other rooms], but still really nice. In fact, I was just talking to these bikers—there are a lot of bicyclists that would like to have that kind of thing.

TYG-GD: Access to showers, but not cost an arm and a leg… and better than camping.
TYG: So how many rooms is your new hotel slated to have?
Well, it was approved for 15.

TYG: 15? Not bad!
But I might only have 13. And it might take a while to do all 15. I’m just going to see how things go. The empty space [above the other building] that nobody is living in right now, we’re going to divide it in half, and have two spaces available for rent.

TYG: So, I had an idea while I was looking at your parking lot. I was wondering… perhaps you should build rooms above the parking lot.
That’s always an option, too! Maybe down the road… You know, all the building I’ve done here: the money that I make I just reinvest. So it takes a while to build up.

TYG: Of course! You wouldn’t do this immediately. Unless you found a fortune! I’m guessing it would be about a $100,000 project.
You got it! That’s about right!

TYG: I’m okay at estimating project costs… [laughter] Okay, so, when would you like your hotel to open?
Well, we’re actually going to put a sign out front, adjacent to our existing Drift sign—we’re going to have a Vacancy/No Vacancy sign. We have the rooms rented out right now as a vacation rental. So we’re just going to convert those to be part of the hotel. So those are already up and running, and they’ve been booked all the time. We hope to have two more rooms ready to go in by Thanksgiving.

TYG: I’d like to review your hotel sometime by staying the night.
There you go! If you wanted to see them, there are people in there right now, but if you came tomorrow I could give you a tour.

TYG: Who do you think will be your target customer group?
We’re targeting a broad range of customers. We’re looking at the lower end for the bikers, you know, the people that don’t have a lot of money.

TYG: Yes, that’s what I would do if I opened a hotel. And since I’ve played a lot of online hotel games, a lot of them have targeted customer menus. I generally target most of the customers, or at least as many as I can, so you can have a “Kid’s Free Weekend” or a “50% off Seniors Week.”
Oh, I see. That’s a good idea. My friends who are bicyclists have given me some clues about how to target customers in their bracket.

TYG-GD: You have a website, right? Are you going to have a hotel website?
Yes. I’m meeting with Lisa Gray on Tuesday. I’m going to revamp my existing website.

TYG: Also, I was thinking with the bicyclists, maybe you could have free bicycle parking or tuning.
Well, we’re going to set up a stand for them to put their bikes on, and we’re going to have air available for their tires.

TYG-GD: Oh, that’s a great idea! So who else besides the bicyclists, then? Just a general target? How long do you intend the stays to be?
Right now, on these [the vacation rental rooms], we have a two day minimum, because they’re kind of full-blown, with kitchens and everything. I think for the rooms in the other building, right now they’re apartments, and we’re going to keep the kitchens, but we’re going to divide them in half, so the room will just kind of have a balcony and a bedroom, and the ones in the front will kind of be like a studio.

TYG-GD: Personally, I really like the idea of the Drift Inn [coming back to its roots]—it’s been called the Drift Inn forever! Where did that come from?
Well, historically it was called that and when I got it I called it “Inn” because that’s how I thought it was spelled, but I came to find out, after many years of having it and some research, that it was “Drift In” with just one “n.”

TYG-GD: That’s funny! So now you’re turning it into the “Inn” with two n’s… that’s awesome!
TYG: I’m guessing I know why they called it that… “Drift” meant the stray pieces of logs, debris… and that would be the people!
Linda: [laughter]
That’s right!

TYG: What I mean by that, is that all groups are welcome!
Linda: [still laughing]
There you go, that’s right! All you who the tide washes ashore, are welcome to drift on in!

TYG-GD: Is there anything else you wanted to tell the community about the hotel and your vision for it?
I’m really interested in eclectic kinds of things, and having things be unique. I don’t want to have rooms that all look the same. I used to spend a lot of time in hotels when I was young; it was all very cold and sterile. I like making hotel rooms that are kind of fun, and interesting. I really enjoy science, and I worked in the woods, and so I thought it would be fun for people—especially when it’s raining—for them to have something to do that would be science-oriented. So in one of the rooms I have a microscope, and little slides of different creatures that you can look at, and there are books on all kinds of natural history [subjects]. There are [framed] bugs on the wall… and it’s going to continue to evolve. I had to get it together really quickly so it would be ready for the summer. But the more things I find for people to do while they’re here in the evenings, or when it’s raining…

TYG: What I was thinking is that you could have themes for each room! The Red Room, the Green Room…
That’s kind of how it is. The [room] upstairs, I call it Darwin’s Study. And the very top one is more like the Captain’s Room—there are collections of things from all over the world, as if the Captain had been all over, collecting.

TYG: Or you could have the Parlour Room, for example. That would be ultra-luxury room. Or the Transportation Room, maybe. [laughter]
That’s right! Trains and boats and motorcycles and cars…

TYG: Yes! Plus, I think if you want kids, you’ll need a playroom or something.
Oh yes, most definitely. […] I’ve got five [of these kayaks] that people who rent these rooms can use. If they don’t have racks, I’ve got wheels, and they can walk them over to the beach. […] I’ll maybe get one more that’s a double kayak, so if people have a kid and they don’t want their kid to be in the kayak alone, they can [share it].

TYG-GD: Wow, I had no idea! Are there any other perks for staying at the Drift Inn that we don’t know about?
Linda: [laughter]
Well, I’ll probably be bringing some bikes down, but I haven’t gotten around to it. We’ll have a little shed to put them in and keep them out of the weather.

TYG: You should go to Green Bikes [in Waldport] and get some bikes!
You know, I should look into that, because the Green Bike people wanted us to have an outlet here.

TYG: $5 for a perfectly good mountain bike!
I know, they’re an amazing resource.

TYG: And there are a lot of local trails around here! And you could have someone host bike tours once a week!
Yeah, the problem is just finding somebody to do all this work! There are so many great things that people could do here. So many great businesses that people could start, so many activities that people could participate in… 

TYG: Yes! I think that if you started to make not just a simple hotel, but an amenities hotel—like a resort type of thing—then you’d instantly be in big business.
Well the kayaks have been a good draw—people have read about it. But you’re right—it’s really nice to offer people things to do.

TYG: Yes, amenities like a little library/reading room. I think once you get the hotel set up, and rooms above the parking lot, and turn these rooms into amenities, I think you’ll have a lot of money coming in.
So, do you think it would be better to do rooms above this parking lot [on the old clinic location] or the other parking lot?

TYG: I think that both could work! Although I think that since the [ex-clinic] parking lot is so much smaller, it could be an amenity thing. The big parking lot up there, once you have the mobile home out of there, then you make that your actual places to stay.
Well that sounds good. I hope you include some of your ideas in this article! Because I think those are fabulous ideas! And maybe in a couple of years you can come work for me!

TYG: Maybe, as an architect!
Yes! Or be in charge of the amenities, like designing those spaces. […] You know, when we turned Heceta into a bed and breakfast, we had the high school kids. They actually did all of the architectural work for modifying that building.

TYG-GD: Really? Were you part of that?
I started it, it was my project.

TYG-GD: So before the Korgans took over?
Yes, I hired them. Because it was so successful that I couldn’t do my Forest Service job, and do that, so we hired them.

TYG-GD: When did you stop with the Forest Service?
In ’98.

TYG-GD: What were you doing for the Forest Service—were you a Ranger?
I did all kinds of things over the years—I worked for them since high school. I built trails and did timber sales, and when I retired I was head of Special Uses. So Heceta was under a Special Use.

TYG-GD: Wow, that’s fascinating!
So I already have experience in kind of setting up hotels.

TYG: Well thank you so much!
Thank you—it was very good chatting with you!
TYG-GD: I think I’ll call this “Interview with Two Yachats Tycoons”! [laughter all around]

Interview with Max Glenn

The Yachats Gazette was pleased to speak with Max Glenn during a recent early morning interview.

TYG: Shall we get started?
Sure! I’m ready! Allen, I feel honored to be interviewed by you. I am so amazed at what you have created with the Yachats Gazette. It’s a real contribution to our community!

TYG: Thank you! Where did you live, and what did you do before you came to Yachats?
Well, Allen, I was born and raised in Oklahoma. I’m a fifth generation farmboy. My grandfather homesteaded in Indian territory in Oklahoma, in Cherokee Strip, in September 1893. They all lined up on the Kansas-Oklahoma border, and they fired a gun at a designated time. My grandpa was a young man; he and some other friends got fast horses. So they went real fast across the border to get there. The best land in Oklahoma is along the northern border. There were sooners, or squatters, they called them, who had come in ahead of time. The further grandpa rode south, past those squatters who were in there early, it got real sandy. He decided he didn’t want that, and came back 10 miles from where he started. There was a man who had more than 160 acres, which they could homestead, and he rode over and said “You’ve got more than 160 acres.” And the man said: “I’ve got a Winchester that says I’m going to keep it.” And Grandpa says: “I’ve got a Winchester”—a gun, rifle—”that says I can have 160 acres, and you can still have your 160 acres.” So I know that my Grandpa wore a white hat. He was a good guy, because Mr. May, this other man, I remember him stealing meat out of my Grandpa’s smokehouse, and then he died in a penitentiary. My sisters and I still have some of Grandpa’s homestead, and my daughter has bought some of that original land too, in Oklahoma.

TYG: Wow, that’s interesting!
That’s where I came from, I was raised on a farm, I’d never been more than 25 miles from home until I got to show my livestock in the county fair, and district, and state. Then I got to go to the American Royal, in Kansas City.

TYG-Graphic Design: The American Royal?
It’s a big cattle show. It was awesome. I was a sophomore in high school. One of the kids’ mothers drove us up there. We got into Kansas City at night, and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen: so many lights on the hillside, and all! The next morning, when we woke up, it was the worst slum I’d ever seen! [laughter] But you know, I learned a good lesson while I was there. I had an Angus steer that I showed, and after I showed my steer I was up in the arena watching the show, and there was an old man sitting next to me. He had very little hair, and his skin—you know, when people have been out in the sun a whole bunch it looks like leather?—this old man, his skin looked that way, and the top of his head looked that way. He said, “Sonny, what brought you here?” I told him about my steer, and he expressed a little interest in me. And you know who he was?

TYG: Who?
He was Mr. J. C. Penney, himself. And JC Penney, in Oklahoma, in the plains, was the first big chain that sold clothes and all different kinds of things—kind of like Fred Meyer’s out here, you know. He was the owner of that. And the lesson I learned from him was that people that have already made it are just as common as me and you. He was just so friendly and so common. It’s the people in life who think they are somebody, and try to impress everybody that aren’t there. If you’ve already made it, you don’t have to worry about impressing people. That was a good lesson for me to learn. [laughter]

TYG: What was life like, where you lived?
What was life like... Well, it was on the farm, so we lived by the rhythm of nature. We woke up as soon as it was daylight, and I had chores to do: I helped milk cows by hand, and then the crops… The thing that has helped me all of my life was to learn about the rhythm of nature and know that everything is connected. Everything in creation is connected, and I’m just so grateful for all the lessons that I’ve learned in 79 years just being a lot of different places.

Every job that I had, every call that I had for responsibility was always bigger than me. I always wondered, “Why me?” I can look back afterwards, and see that my unique skill set was used in that particular situation. I was going to be an Ag[riculture] teacher—I showed my livestock in state fairs. I had a full scholarship to Oklahoma State University—the other OSU. And it’s orange and black too! [laughter]

TYG: Really? Seriously?
Yes! I like to fool people, because Marie [his wife] is a Duck, and she has a green Duck hat. So I wear my green Duck hat, and then I have a vest like this that is orange and black, so I wear that and it confuses people. They think I’m a Beaver. [laughter]

TYG: When in reality you’re not a Beaver, you’re a… what’s the name of the Oklahoma team?
Cowboy! I’m not a Beaver, I’m a Cowboy… [laughter]

But: I had a full scholarship. [pauses] I need to go back and talk about my Grandpas. My Grandpa Glenn, who I told you homesteaded, one of the first things he needed to do was to find a cemetery. They found the highest hill around—it was flat land generally, but there was a little bit of hills—so the highest spot around they made a cemetery, so they could bury their dead.

TYG: Really? That was the first thing they did?
Well, one of the first things. The first thing he did was build a dugout—my father was born in a dugout, before he built a house. So the dugout was the first thing he built, I’m sure.

TYG: Yeah, really. Because why build a space for the dead before you build for the living?
Max: [laughter]
That’s a good question! Then he got his neighbors together, and they started a church. Grandma fed lots of people—any stranger, or anybody come by, there was this great big long table where everybody would eat. The way he made money was to cut posts. It was along the river, where he could go to get trees—there weren’t a lot of trees around. He would cut trees and make posts, and then haul them in his wagon to sell, so that’s the way he made money. Then he built a house, and he was one of the first ones to build a house! So that was my Grandpa Glenn. And when strangers came to have a meal, when they left, they always knew two things: they knew that he was a Christian, and they knew that he was a yellow dog Democrat.

TYG: Yeah, Democrat in the old sense. Was he a slave owner?
Oh, no no no no, no slaves.

TYG: Oh, wait, that was 1893. That was way after. I’m sorry, Max!
And Oklahoma didn’t become a state until 1907. But my other Grandpa, who was the educated one on my mother’s side of the family, he didn’t homestead. He came just after the homestead. He surveyed the land and laid out all the [plats]. He was a surveyor. And he built the first school, and he was the first teacher in that school! My two Grandpas lived half a mile apart, so I would go out and stay on the farm.

TYG: You’re lucky! My closest relative who’s not immediate family lives down in California. And my other Grandma, and my Grandpas, live on the East coast.
Do you get to go see them?
TYG: Ah, occasionally. One of them I’ve never actually met.

TYG-GD: Max, I wanted to ask you from which country your grandparents came originally.
Well… I was born on my great-Grandmother’s birthday, and she had a twin brother, and we were born on St. Patrick’s Day! And somewhere I have some pictures of little Max standing, holding a cake with one candle on it, with Grandma Hyatt and Uncle Nate standing behind me. Next year, same picture, there are two candles on the cake, and little Max a little bit taller… Uncle Nate died when I was on my ninth birthday, and Grandma lived to be about a hundred. So… Scotch-Irish. And the reason I was named Max, and not Patrick (because of St. Patrick’s Day), was because my father was a boxing fan and Max Baer was the big champion at the time I was born, in 1935.

I was born in a little town, and my father worked at a gas station and carried gas. Then we moved to a little town nine miles away in a different county, and Dad ran the Co-op station there. We had a farm, but he didn’t move to the farm because he was of draft age, and could be drafted to the army. A lot of farm kids could get deferred from the draft, but he didn’t want to be a “draft dodger,” so he waited until after the war before we moved to the farm.

TYG: Yes, I was thinking that would be World War II.
World War II. When we moved back to the community that I was born in, I was in the fifth grade when we moved back, and I still remember kids telling me—and it still hurts—that “Our folks told us not to play with you, because you don’t go to our church.” When I was in high school, they were still preaching in German, and it was a German community. My family was not German, they were Irish. What I realize now, later in life, is that it was a very close-knit German community. The parents and the grand-parents went to another little German community, just like it, up in Illinois, near Peoria, Illinois, to choose the mates for their kids. So my classmates didn’t have boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. Their parents and grandparents went and chose the mates for their kids. So I grew up thinking there was something wrong with me, when I couldn’t get a date with these girls. But I look back at it now, and I understand: it was a little religious ghetto, and I was on the outside. There was nothing wrong with me!
So I was a charter member the first year we had vocational agriculture in our high school, my freshman year. Have you heard of Future Farmers of America? That’s a big thing in rural states. I was a charter member of FFA, showed my livestock, became president, and learned a lot of leadership skills in the FFA.

TYG: You became a president of the FFA?
I was president of my local chapter of the FFA. Then I ran for state vice-president, so I was vice-president of all Oklahoma FFA when I was a senior in high school. And I was also president of all FFA in northwest Oklahoma. We had contests, like parliamentary procedure contests at state level, and we had cattle judging contests, and wheat judging contests, and crop judging contests… I got involved in that. That’s the way I compensated for the little ghetto, and not being part of that, so I could become somebody outside of my community.

TYG-GD: And you’re still participating in boards and leadership and all kinds of stuff, aren’t you! [laughter]
I asked Marie yesterday […] what I should [talk about during the interview]. She was excited for me […], and she said “Well, you need three elements.” [laughter] “You need three features about your life.” So I wrote these three down:

Number one for me is helping others and inspiring greatness in others. That’s my number one passion.

TYG: That’s a good passion!
And my second is kind of like it: to support, to mentor, and to empower persons and communities that are marginalized by society, [such as] minorities, and women, and poor people. And the third one is connecting and empowering people to make a difference in our world and in the lives of people around them.

TYG: Those are some great goals!
So those are my three elements.

TYG: When did you move here?
We moved here—we bought a house—in July of 2000. We were living in Anniston, Alabama, and my bride Marie was raised in Oregon. She’d been gone for 50 years, and wanted to see if this was still her roots. So we got a campsite at Beachside State Park, for three weeks, and came to see. We weren’t 10 miles out of Portland airport, and I knew this was her roots. She was breathing better, and you could tell. So we bought a house, and moved here from Anniston, Alabama, the next summer.

TYG-GD: Are you glad you did?
Oh! I’m really glad we did. One of the amazing things is the power of the ocean. I like to tell people… One of my favorite things is to be a volunteer at the Yachats Visitor’s Center; every Friday I have the morning shift. So I tell people: you don’t choose Yachats—Yachats chooses you. […] People here are from many different places, and have done many different things.

TYG: How has life has changed since you came here?
What I have seen is more and more people being attracted here that connect with the spirit and all of the things of the universe. And I don’t understand it—maybe you’ll be the one to figure it all out! I don’t understand how everything is interconnected, how the Creator made this fantastic thing. I choose to call that Creator “God,” but other people call it “Spirit,” and other people call it other things. But I know there’s a Creator, and I know that there’s a power in the surf that connects all of that. So people are attracted here, that have that awareness and that knowing.

TYG: I think I might know how that connects… It’s what drives life here! Fisheries, salmon catching… it’s what drives life here! That’s why visitors come, that’s what pulls our community together.
And people love Yachats, and that ties us together. So I guess my response is, to how I’ve seen life change: I’ve seen more and more people identify this core thing about our community, the interconnectedness and awareness of all creation. My friend Karl Evans—he’s the intellectual one—he found the word “Yachats” in Sanskrit writing in 1200, and the meaning of Yachats in that Sanskrit writing was “Where the healers gather.” I know, from my own experience and my own background, that that is the true meaning. So Yachats is where people like your Dad, and others professionally, and others who just understand the connectedness and all of that [gather].

TYG: Although I often feel like I don’t belong.
Yeah? I know that feeling. But you know, there are people here who have a bigger understanding, and that’s how I see you. You have a bigger understanding of the world and of connectedness. As you interact with people, the way you ask questions, you help them. I saw something in you that was very special, Allen. Remember the night we had the academy presentation, the guy from NOAA [Commander Rick Brennan] was here? And remember the questions you were asking? After your first or second question to him, he knew that you were somebody special!

TYG: And then I got a private tour of his ship!
And he knew! And I knew, because I’ve been watching you since you were four years old! You have a special place here, and you’re one of those special people.

When I moved here, I asked, “What do I need to know to live in Yachats?” And I was told, “Put your suit and your tie away and save them for your funeral.” [laughter] So you can be talking to somebody at the post office, and it may be a homeless person, and it may a multi-millionaire: you don’t know, and you don’t care. We’re all the same.

TYG: Thank you so much, Max.
I’m happy to share with you!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 37, September 1 2014

Interview with

The Yachats Gazette enjoyed interviewing two new-ish residents of Yachats who both work for Blythe Collins’s Bread and Roses Bakery on 4th St.

TYG: Can I get your name for the recording?
Dominic: My name is Dominic Ojeda,
Derek: And I’m Derek John Ojeda. [laughs] Both initials DJO.
Dominic: John, and I’m Dominic Jacob. Don’t get us mixed up! [laughs]

TYG: We’ll call you Derek and Dominic in the interview. So, where are you guys from?
Derek: San Diego. Born and raised.
Dominic: Our family’s still down there in San Diego. Derek moved up to Yachats about a year ago, and I moved up just this past July, just before the 4th.

TYG: So you got to see our great 4th of July parade!
Dominic: I really did! That was actually one of the best 4th of July’s I’ve had. Just the small town feeling… and that fireworks show lasted quite a while too!

TYG: It’s that good every time!
Dominic: I look forward to next year too! [laughs]

TYG: At least the fireworks show. The parade can vary in size significantly.
Dominic: I didn’t get to see the parade, actually. We were up [Horizon] Hill—I think we’d just closed down and cleaned up. Then we went up Horizon Hill with some friends and watched the fireworks up there.

TYG: The thing is, the safety procedures are [such that] you can sit pretty close to the launch site and you can look straight up and see fireworks.
Dominic: I didn’t know that! That’s actually pretty cool.
TYG-Graphic Design: Yeah, if you go down 3rd Street, they allow you to sit by the ocean on 3rd Street, right at that intersection—it’s pretty awesome.

TYG-GD: Are you guys brothers?
Derek: Fully blood-related, yes.
Dominic: I’m the oldest. I’m 27, and Derek’s 24.Derek: There are five of us total. Three other siblings. I’m the second to youngest.
Dominic: I’m the second to oldest. We’ve got an older half-sister, Rosie. It’s funny the way it went: girl-boy-girl-boy-girl. Rosie, me, my sister Alisha, Derek, and my sister Alex.

TYG-GD: Your sister Alex?
Dominic: Alexandra, is her full name. We’re also Hispanic, with our last name being Ojeda.

TYG-GD: What region is that from?
Dominic: Spain. We’re Spanish, Mexican, a bit of Yaqui Indian. [Turns to Derek] Anything else you can think of? My dad’s convinced we’re all Hawaiian.

TYG: Are you serious about that?
Dominic: I am serious, because he has an infatuation with Hawaiian culture, and anything that has to do with surfing or being on the ocean. And any vacation or chance he gets, he’s going to Hawaii. The island of Kaua‘i is his favorite.

TYG: Do you guys go to Hawaii every time?
Dominic: I’ve only been there myself twice. He’s been there many more times, maybe about five or six [times]. But he’s planning on moving there in the next few years, for retirement. If he gets to retire. [laughs] It’ll be a working retirement.

TYG-GD: What does your dad do?
Dominic: Right now he’s a project manager for a contracting company in San Diego. But the company hasn’t been doing so well the last few years; they’ve actually gone through a bankruptcy. It’s just a big mess on the owners’ part. But he’s still hopeful, and he’s still positive. I’d say he’s gone through some evolution himself in the last couple of years. He seems to be a happier, more fulfilled guy. He’s not all about making money, and work. He knows what it takes to make himself happy. I can tell he’s kind of found that.
Derek: He grew up.
Dominic: [laughs] I know. We grew up, and we all changed, and so did he. I’m sure we’ve got more changing to do too! It’s cool to see your parents, your dad do that.

TYG-GD: So, why did you come to Yachats? San Diego to Yachats, that’s a big difference!
Derek: I prefer the cooler weather. It’s not easy being in San Diego where it’s a desert and you only get green trees a few months out of the year. It was pretty tough on me having to always be around crowds and other people. I really like the feel of the small town. Everybody’s kind here—it’s not like a dramatic little town or anything. And I had my good friend Krista, who brought me up here. I visited, before I ended up being offered a job by Blythe.Dominic: I guess it was about two years ago that we took a trip to Eugene for a music festival. And Krista said, “You guys are in Eugene, you need to come to the coast where I live and see my log cabin!” and we came over. I’d never visited a town like it; I’d passed through some towns that seemed similar but nothing really like Cape Perpetua right next door—that’s a back yard, right there! Just seeing it all, Derek knew he wanted to get up here. And after he got up here, he kept telling me all year long, “Gotta get up here! Blythe keeps asking about you!” I knew I needed to be up here, so I followed up.

TYG: What’s it like living here in a cold climate? What’s the change like?
Derek: In my opinion, it gets cool, but it’s not that cold of a climate. I lived in Germany for a little bit, and that was down to the negative degrees in Fahrenheit readings. That was pretty intense there. We’re right at the 45° latitude, so there’s so much more cold north of us!

TYG-GD: When did you go to Germany?
Derek: 2009-2010. And I was an au pair, so I took care of two kids. I did it to kind of get used to another language, get immersed and stuff. […]

TYG-GD: What else did you see in Germany? Did you go to any other places?
Derek: Yes! I had a good friend that was living in Switzerland, going to school in Switzerland. So between Germany and Switzerland, I was kind of 50-50.

TYG-GD: Oh! Did you know I’m from Switzerland?
Derek: Oh, that’s right, I forgot!

TYG-GD: But from the French-speaking part. You must have been in the German-speaking part?
Derek: I was mostly in Lugano, actually, so Italian.

TYG: Lugano? I’m sorry, I don’t know Swiss geography that well.
TYG-GD: Lugano—it’s on the other side of the Alps, in southern Switzerland.
Derek: It’s like an hour from Milan, Italy, a main city.

TYG: What is there for transportation?
Derek: You could take bus or train, even. Train would probably be just over an hour.

TYG: I would think car would be faster.
TYG-GD: Not really, because it’s in the mountains, and you have to go over all the passes.
Dominic: [The train] is a pretty efficient way to get from country to country, or region to region.

TYG-GD: [To Dominic] Have you been to Europe?
Dominic: I haven’t, no. I’ve got to make my way! Working in the bakery, you know, there are tons of travelers from Europe and all over the world, really. And the kind ones, the really nice customers that we get actually leave their information and say to call them. “Anytime you’re in Amsterdam!” or “Anytime you’re in this part of the world, call me!” Oh, Jamaica was another one… “Tell me when you’re going, and I have a free place to stay…” They’re always so nice. […]
Derek: I love the friendliness you get from people like that.

TYG-GD: […] So you have a surfboard on your car. Do you go surfing all the time?
Dominic: I do! I just got up here, and it’s taking a little time to get used to it. There’s a big difference between the southern Pacific and the northern Pacific. One, yes, the temperature. I already got stocked up on some more neoprene. I’ve got the hood, I got the gloves; I already had the booties and I’ve had a 5/4 [mm] winter suit, so that’s still doing me well up here.

TYG:  You have a dry suit?
Dominic: No. Surfers don’t use dry suits so much—those are more for kayakers and divers.

TYG: Why is that?
Dominic: It’s because they’re more baggy, and wetsuits fit tight to your body. The water’s still able to get in, but it uses the heat of your body, and it traps the water and warms it up so it’s insulation.

TYG-GD: So what else do you have to get used to?
Dominic: Well, wind is another factor. Specially right now, the northwest winds are coming in and that makes it hard to find a protected spot—you have to hide behind a cape.

TYG-GD: But I thought the whole point was wind and waves?
Dominic: Wind equals waves, but you want the wind to be far off-shore, to generate the swell. The long-period swells that move all the way across the ocean, minus the wind with it—when they reach the shore they’re clean, wind-swept, and it’s not like whitecaps everywhere. It doesn’t chop us the surface, but the waves are coming through still.

TYG: From the southwest wind, it’s more like that.
Dominic: Yes, I hear fall time it’s going to get better. The winds are going to switch, and we’ll have some swell coming from the Aleutian Islands that are going to be long-period swells. I’m looking forward to that! I’ve already checked out a few breaks around here—just getting familiar. Everyone tells me about the sharks! I know they’re everywhere, so I try to put that out of mind.

TYG-GD: [To Derek] Do you surf?
Derek: No. I would in tropical waters, but… [laughs] I have this thing where I don’t like wet stuff all over my body when it’s cold.
Dominic: He’s going to get used to that, because we’re going to get some kayaks and do some rapids!

TYG-GD: I think Beaver Creek would be awesome to kayak, too.
Derek: Oh yes.
Dominic: You’re right, yes! For stand-up paddling, too. That’s a stand-up paddle surfboard [on my car]. I’ve been doing that on the Yachats River, I’ve done it down at the Siuslaw. But Beaver Creek would be fun. I love how the mist hangs real low on the water right there. […]

This fall, Blythe is going to be training me how to do pastry, so I’ll be able to open the shop whenever we please, as long as we have pastry there. That might be the chance that we’ll be able to get, is during the week [at the moment, the bakery’s hours are Friday through Monday].

TYG: And the proceeds still go there, to Blythe?
Dominic: Yes, of course, to Blythe. It’ll just be one more thing I can do to help her out. One of the reasons she wants to train me is that she’ll be able to concentrate solely on her bread. That’s her love, is the bread. She doesn’t really have time to do it right now because she’s catering weddings, she’s having to do the pastry, having to do lunches [in the shop], and the only thing I do right now is coffee and the front of house [the customer area]. And Derek as well.
Derek: The more we can do to help out and keep the shop running…
Dominic: Because [the customer area] is what keeps the shop running, she can do her real passion, her true art.
TYG-GD: Oh, I love her struan. I even found out you can freeze it. [laughter all around] […]
Derek: The bakery is part of who we are, right now. I really enjoy the coffee aspect, I love coffee and tea. That’s what I’ve been doing since I was 16. A good number of years later, it keeps [being] fun, keeps interesting. Like Dominic said, the customers you meet are really kind of one of a kind here. We get transients, but it’s not the normal type of transients like you get in other towns. Like, I lived in northern California for a while, and it’d just be people hitching through and whatever. There are people who hitchhike through here, but most of the time they always have a purpose. Everybody always has a purpose when they come to this town.

TYG: What do you guys imagine doing in 2016 here?
Derek: [chuckles] Well, 2016 is when the next mayoral election will be, and I’ll be a registered voter by then. So maybe I’ll be running for mayor. [laughter all around]

TYG: Seriously?
Derek: Yes! It’s been discussed a couple of times…

TYG-GD: Really! What are your qualifications?
Derek: You know, I’ve been into, and in, business for a long time—managed a couple of business and such. I kind of want to jump into helping build this community. Even if it’s so great! Depending on whether the highway reconstruction goes through, there might have to be a lot of clean-up, a lot of chasing away of big business. [laughs] Nah.

TYG: Why should you chase away big business as long as it’s not affecting the coastline? Like, over the hill? Why not have some big business? It would really help the town’s economy.
Dominic: Over the hill it would be ok, but here in Yachats?
Derek: All of us are here for a reason, too. And we’ve made it our point to get away from the big hassle of cities and such. Even the bakery and such, businesses like this… I love, love, love doing it, but it would absolutely be awesome if I could eventually get into some kind of zero waste program, where you don’t really waste anything. It kind of saddens me to know what I’m still doing to the environment, to have these commodities, these conveniences that we really do enjoy, definitely, but…

TYG: So, what I’m thinking is, is something like this, for the future. We basically have two parts of town. We have this type of town, the tourist town, and this’ll be the fun part. But inland, a little ways—not in the valley, because that’s also a tourist part—but inland, up in the hills, I think we should build a bigger section of town, more lively.
Derek: One problem, though, is that it doesn’t stay a big town if you keep building up. Things get bigger, and more people flood in. Soon, the characteristics that we cherish so much about this town, they’re going to be lost, and the people, the types of people that will be here, that will be brought in and drawn here, they’ll be a different type, and [they’ll come here] for different reasons than most of us are here for.

TYG: I mean, there would still be good views.
TYG-GD: Well, I think people have a deeper reason for being here than just seeing a view. 
Derek: They want to see a view that’s still a gem—that’s why we’re the gem of the Oregon Coast!

TYG: […] Anything else you’d like to add?
Derek: I’d really like to thank the Yachats community for being so kind and welcoming to not just me, but my family as well. I’d love to show more of my family this beautiful place. Eventually they will be able to come and visit me, in their busy city lives.

TYG-GD: Are they not finding enough time to come all the way up here?
Derek: Not necessarily.
Dominic: My little sister is a dancer, and she went to Joffrey Ballet School in New York, which means my mom and dad have been over there a few times this year, kind of helping her to get settled and a bit more comfortable.

TYG-GD: How old is she?
Dominic: She is twenty years old, and actually on the 29th [of August], she’s going to be 21.

TYG-GD: All right, happy birthday to Alex!
Dominic: She still looks like she’s 15 though—she’s tiny! They throw her in the air! [laughter all around]

TYG-GD: So you guys—at least Derek—you’re planning on being a resident here?
Derek: Yes, definitely. I love the businesses that I’m a part of right now, and that are around.

TYG-GD: Where else do you work?
Derek: I work currently at Bread & Roses, as well as Ona Restaurant & Lounge, [as a] server, host, and bar-backing. Eventually I’ll get into some bartending.

TYG-GD: What about you, Dominic? Are you going to stay here for a while and move on, or what?
Dominic: Yeah, you know, I can’t see myself going back to San Diego… or, for that matter, living in a big city again.

TYG-GD: What’s changed for you?
Dominic: What’s changed? For one, when I was in San Diego, I worked in education, Special Ed. And now up here I’m working with coffee, and a little bit of customer service type stuff. It’s a lot different, but I’m finding that I like it. I could go back to education too, always, but…

TYG-GD: Are you involved with the YYFAP program [Yachats Youth & Family Activities Program] at all?
Dominic: No…

TYG-GD: They need volunteers!
TYG: I think they’d like you!
Dominic: I think I’d like it too…

TYG-GD: One of the things I like in this town is that everything seems intertwined. It’s not that people have their own separate lives, in their own little pockets, but that they seem to care about many different aspects of the community.
Dominic: I’ve seen that too.

TYG: So do you think you’re going to stay here, or move on?
Dominic: I’ll be here for a while. I think that now that I’ve met Blythe, worked for over a month and a little bit, and just seeing how cool of a person she is, and how she’s willing to teach me, I think I have a lot more to learn from her and here at the bakery. And the quality of life here is just… it’s hard to top it, you know? So many healthy things to do—and in cities, you find so many unhealthy things to do to yourself. I just really want to live a nice peaceful life with people who want to do the same thing, so I’m here, you know! [laughter]

TYG: Well thank you so much for your time, you guys!
Derek: Thanks!
Dominic: Thank you!

Interview with Jerome Garger, Part 2

The Yachats Gazette continues its interview with Jerome Garger, started in the previous issue.

Jerome: I met a lot of interesting, politically-aware, environmentally-aware… I would call them idealistic people involved in the civil rights movement, and the anti-war movement. I met a man who was a major in the army, and a dentist; his wife was a nurse. We got to know each other from going to concerts and having dinner with each other, that sort of thing. And he and his wife wanted to start a commune in Oregon—they wanted to start an organic farm. They had another couple lined up, and the other couple backed out, kind of at the last minute. I was married at the time, and [the major and his wife] asked my former wife and me if we wanted to bring our three kids out to Oregon and start an organic communal farm with them. And we said, “Oh yeah, sure!” [laughs] We really didn’t know these people very well at all. So I resigned my position, and in June of ’71 we moved out to Oregon, where we were the co-founders of a commune. It was called the no-name commune—we couldn’t ever agree on a name. [laughter all around] We were about 15-20 miles south of Cottage Grove, next to a big, big, well-known commune called the Rainbow Family commune. During the commune days, as a Midwife’s Assistant for a Nurse/Midwife living on the farm, I assisted in the birth of five children. Never having been allowed anywhere near the birth of my three children in the 60s because of the medical attitudes and practices at the time, this experience was an extremely powerful and transformative experience for me as I had no realistic conception at all about what was actually involved in childbirth. I met some of the most interesting, idealistic people I have ever known out of the commune. We used to pick up a lot of people hitch-hiking on I-5, and—I also have to say—I met some of the biggest moochers I’ve ever met at the commune.

TYG: What’s a moocher?
Jerome: A moocher is basically somebody who wants to be first in line at the food table, and who never, never, ever wants to do any work! [laughter] And there were a lot of those who showed up. But there were also some really, really interesting, neat, very admirable people too. More of them than the moochers.

TYG: What’s a commune? That’s what I don’t understand.
Jerome: A commune? It was part of the counter-culture movement in the 1960’s, where people who thought that America was heading down the wrong path with everything based on consumerism, and owning a lot of stuff whether you needed it or not, constantly needing to get new stuff or different stuff—that that wasn’t a very good path to follow. [They believed] there were other values that were more important, and we thought that by living communally, and sharing, by working together, and not getting caught up in all that—living a more simple kind of lifestyle—we could live closer to what our values were. So we tried to do that. But frankly, Allen, we didn’t know how to do it very well.

TYG: You said “thought” there, not “think.” Does that mean you no longer have these beliefs?
Jerome: No. I know that there have been successful communes; I still think that the counter-culture movement in the 60’s, and what was called the hippie movement, were on the right track. I still basically believe a lot in their principles. What happened was that we really didn’t know how to live together closely that well, and to share things well. So there were a lot of disputes and arguments. And as I said, there were a lot of people who showed up who just wanted to mooch and not really contribute much at all. But I also know of communes—there’s a commune outside of Mapleton, here—that has been in existence for 40 years, called the Alpha Farm, and they’ve been very successful. It seemed like the ones that had either a very strong, dictatorial leader were successful, or the ones that had a spiritual basis were successful. Ours had a lot of problems. So after a couple of years we gave up. My family and I moved into Eugene […] and lived there for a while. I kept teaching at Lane Community College.

TYG-Editorial Assistant: So you lived in more conventional housing?
Jerome: Yes. […] I taught at Lane Community College for 27 years, from 1971 to 1998. It was a very, very good place to teach. I really, really liked my students. I thought that instead of being the lecturer, I really was a teacher, and that my classes were very participatory. They were mostly discussion classes; I think I had some very, very good students and I knew how to get the best out of a lot of them. It was a very satisfying experience teaching there, rather than just being a lecturer, which I think I had been mostly in St. Louis. I learned not to be a lecturer from teaching in the ghetto. That method didn’t work there at all.

TYG-EA: You mentioned that before, and I’m kind of interested in that distinction—how do you see it?
Jerome: Well, when I was teaching in the ghetto—this was between 1965 and 1971—the Civil Rights movement was really steaming up. Not only that, but I had a lot of young, black men who were Vietnam vets coming back from Vietnam to basically the same old stuff in the ghetto and the way they were treated, and they weren’t having any of it. They wanted a teacher! They didn’t want somebody who was going to be lecturing them and telling them what it was about, especially if that person was white. So what I learned was how to facilitate and lead discussions. I think that I learned it from them, that I learned to be a teacher, and then I worked on perfecting it as I could when I taught out here at Lane Community College.

I taught writing and literature in the English department at Lane Community College. For the last 11 years, I was allowed, at the urging of the head of the Social Science department, to create a Political Science class called “Peace and Conflict Studies.” For that class, basically, I made it a very current, issues kind of class—whatever was going on. I would try to get the most controversial speakers to come to my class to present their viewpoints on it. I think that’s where I maybe did my best teaching, in those classes, because I was basically kind of a facilitator and a choreographer. There were supposed to be 35 people in the class. I always let 40 in, and I always had to turn more people away. That’s an indication that the class is a successful one. I had some of the most fascinating guest speakers. […] The way I taught the class was: Fall Quarter I taught international issues, Winter Quarter I taught national issues, and Spring local issues. The guest speakers I had… for example, Peter DeFazio, who was the representative in Congress for the district, talked every fall—every year that I taught. He was a wonderful, wonderful person to have in class because he would say what he had to say for about ten minutes, and for the rest of the class, for the hour and 20 minutes remaining, he would take questions from the class. No matter what was asked of him, he would answer it as accurately and fully as he could. You don’t get that from politicians a lot. He never knew what was going to be thrown at him, and some of them were pretty hostile questions. I had a lot of people like that, who were really, really good. I learned about teaching from them, too. The last eleven years of my teaching were enhanced, as far as I was concerned, because I got to create this Peace and Conflict Studies program. By the way, when I left there, a guy who has a Ph.D. in Political Science took over the course. It’s still going on at LCC, and he created a Peace Center there in conjunction with it. […] It’s really good to see that that whole idea is still going on. […]

Anyway, back to how we got to Yachats…

I retired in ’98, and in 2000, Vicky and I were living in Eugene, and she got this idea. She said: “Have you ever thought about having a place over at the coast?” And I said, “I’ve always loved the coast, but I’ve never thought about having a place there.” So she called a realtor over here, and […] we were told that she had four places to show us. So, we looked at all four places. The first one was right around the corner, and the other ones were on the other side of the river, and they were all too expensive for us. When we drove up Greenhill to go to the first place she showed us […] this place had been half-finished, when Vincent Bitle, who is a very skilled builder and carpenter, bought it and put the finishing touches on it. He built the decks, he finished the downstairs, and he did some really good work. Anyway, the day before, he had finished it to the point where he thought, “I can show it to people!” So the day before we drove up Greenhill, he stuck a little sign out there that said “House for Sale”! And when we went by, I was glancing that way and saw it. So I asked our realtor, and said, “What about that place we passed with that little “House for Sale” sign on it?” She wasn’t very enthusiastic about showing it to us, because it wasn’t her listing. She was kind of reluctant, and said “I don’t know if he’s home.” I was really kind of insistent, and said “Well, let’s just stop, let me go up and knock on the door.” It turned out Vincent was here. He walked Vicky and me through the place, we walked around outside… We loved it. And not only that, it was within our price range. I told him I was really interested in it, and we’d get back to him. We were going to go back to Eugene, and we drove down the hill, and we said, “Oh, let’s go sit by the ocean and talk for a little bit.” We talked to each other, and said “Well, we’ve only seen four places. We can’t buy a place without looking at more places, and seeing what’s available.” And then we looked at each other, and said, “Yes we can!” [laughs] So after ten minutes we came back and we said, “We’re going to make an offer on the place.”

And we did, and he accepted it, so we own this place. Now for the first three years, we went back and forth. We were here maybe about half the time, but we were still living in Eugene. And when we weren’t here, our five kids were taking turns using it, which meant we were kind of the care-takers. We did all the up-keeping and cleaning and taking care of it, and they did all the partying! [chuckles] At a certain point, we decided, “That’s enough of that.” [laughter] So we moved over here, and they were not pleased. That was in 2003, [when] we moved here.

Why Yachats in the first place? Well, first of all, one of the main reasons I liked it was that when we came through and stopped here, there were never any fast food places here. And to me, that was a really good sign. It seemed quirky, it seemed unique, it seemed kind of an odd little place. It was quaint, interesting; there seemed to be educated, politically, environmentally aware people here. But you want to know the really big reason why Yachats? When we would drive to Yachats or through Yachats, many times in those years, as you come north on 101, toward the bridge, I would always be fascinated by looking to the right, east, up the Yachats River. To me, it seemed like the most beautiful scene I have ever experienced. That was a lot of it. I mean, there was something about that view that touched me. In the past I bought homes on the basis of the kind of trees they had in the yard, which maybe isn’t the best way to do it.

We’ve lived here full time for 11 years now. We love it, we like the people, and that’s it!

Now, can I throw in a plug for something political here—do you mind?

TYG: I don’t mind.
Jerome: […] I’ve always been a very political person. I have, since the 1960’s, written tons and tons and tons of letters to the editor about political subjects, and things like that. I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback, and sometimes some very hostile, nasty feedback about my letters, but I’ve always had the kind of philosophy, Allen, that everybody is entitled to my opinion. [chuckles] All of my political activity also goes back to the St. Louis Browns and pulling for the underdog. And it seems to me—I don’t know if you know this, but LauraLee, Ron Brean’s wife—she was the one who started the Occupy movement here in Yachats. She sent out an e-mail notice to a bunch of people, probably three years ago, and I went to the first demonstration up on 101 there, and there were like 40 people there, with all different signs and things like that. What happened was that LauraLee got way too busy with all of her other projects and she couldn’t do it anymore, so that’s how I kind of took it over and for years was out on 101 demonstrating for Occupy. To me, Occupy is just an extension of pulling for the underdog, of being in favor of fairness and justice, rather than the system we have now. Allen, I think our system right now is basically pretty broken, pretty corrupt. It’s a system of legalized bribery: the people who have huge amounts of money basically control the decisions that legislators make. People who are supposed to be representing our interests are not representing our interests, [and this has been happening] for quite a while now—I would say since Ronald Reagan, back in the early 80’s. So I’m hoping to educate people about what the issues are, to show them that if you’re a working person, the way things are now is working against your interest, and that we need to get control back of our government, so that it will more represent our interests, and not just the interests of the 1%.

TYG: Or one half of 1%.
Jerome: That’s closer to it!

TYG: Or even one quarter.
Jerome: Well, the last statistic I saw was like .0634 or something like that. But it’s even lower than 1%, yeah.

TYG: Yeah, I’m remembering that in medieval England, it was one half of 1%, and then suddenly—I think it was in the 1500’s—it jumped to 2%. […] Suddenly, I think the king just started giving away land left and right, and in a couple of years it jumped from one half of 1% to over 2%.
Jerome: This was around the time of the Magna Carta, maybe?

TYG: Oh no, later than that.
Jerome: Later!

TYG: After 1500, actually.
TYG-EA: Henry VIII giving away a lot of land…
TYG: Yes, Henry VIII was the main set-off.
TYG-EA: He absorbed a lot of church lands, fought a lot of wars, needed to pay for them, so he sold them a lot cheaper.
TYG: Yes! Suddenly everyone had a lot of land. Well, not everyone…
Jerome: More and more people, yes. So, did you have any more questions for me?

TYG-EA: I’d love to know more about your interest in poetry. This is a whole shelf of poetry here, and you’re often quoting and sending snips of poetry.
Jerome: Well, I taught poetry for 40 years, in various literature courses. I write… I wouldn’t say I write poetry, I write verse. I write occasional verse, that is. I write a poem for Vicky’s birthday, or I write a poem for one of my kids’ birthdays, or I write a poem for our anniversary. I see something around Yachats, and I write a poem about that. Now I’m saying poems, but they’re really not poems, more verses. I do verse, what is called doggerel. I had a friend say that I am the top dog of doggerel poetry on Greenhill Drive. And I have a bunch of that! Every once in a while I write something that I think is a poem, or approaches poetry. But I would say that’s a handful of what I’ve written, and most of it is verse. But I really like doing it.

I don’t know if you guys have gone to it, but every third Sunday night, for years now, there has been an open mike happening at the Green Salmon, where there are local musicians and other people; people who read what they’ve written, humorous or otherwise; people who write poetry; people who write verse. I’ve been reading my stuff there for a few years now. People seem to like it—some of it is amusing. I wish I could call myself a poet, Eddie; I would call myself a versifier. Every, every, every once in a while I write something I would call a poem.

TYG: Well thank you so much for your time!
Jerome: You’re welcome, Allen!