Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 71, August 2, 2017

For a downloadable, printable version of issue 71, click here.

 Interview with Patty Hodgins
Patty is a former editor, social worker, and a traveler who has recently embraced Yachats as her home.

TYG: So I hear you used to be a social worker?
That is true!

TYG: What was that like?
It was really good. There were a couple of really bad experiences, but it was a big career change for me, because I used to be a book editor. So when I went back and got a social work degree, it was totally different. Ultimately it was a really, really good change, and the last job I had especially, I just loved. It was with older people—of which I am now one myself—it was just really neat.

TYG: How did you get into book editing?
Well, I started out as a proofreader at the Geological Society of America, and they published books and journals. But then I became an editor there at the Geological Society, and then I just kind of morphed into regular, more general books. But mostly I did scholarly publishing kinds of stuff.

TYG: Just something I’ve always been curious about: How do you tell—especially in geology, you’re going to get a lot of abbreviations and stuff—how do you tell what’s a misspelling, and what’s an abbreviation and stuff?
Well, when you’re actually doing the work as an editor, you know what’s an abbreviation.

TYG: Okay, so there’s a list you have, a cross-check.
There’s a style, a whole style.

TYG-Graphic Design: Isn’t that like the MLA (Modern Language Association)?
TYG: Yes, true.
Yes. But it was a really good place to learn editing, actually, because there was a very clear-cut style, and I learned how to hew to that. Then when I got into more general books, I knew what it meant to be a rigorous copy-editor.

TYG: Often, in the fiction I read, you have crazy names!
I didn’t do fiction so much.

TYG: I imagine fiction is a lot harder than non-fiction.
I think it is [from] the few that I’ve done. Especially because—believe it or not—authors sometimes don’t even remember what the name of their main character is, from the first of the book to the last of the book. [laughs] Maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but not a whole lot! Like the heroine has blue eyes on page 43, and brown eyes on page 112. If you’re a good editor, you’re picking that up.

TYG: Wow!
Yes. So you have to be always vigilant for the details.

TYG: That’s amazing! I didn’t realize it would be quite that extreme.
Oh, there are all kinds of things that you have to be on the lookout for. There’s a really funny one that I’m remembering: Sometimes you can get a proofreader or an editor that doesn’t know exactly what they’re doing. One time I was working on a book—I was the project manager for it, I guess—and there was the term force de frappe, which means “striking force” in French. But the proofreader had thought that was a mistake, and she made it “force de frappĂ©” (with an acute accent over the “e”). [laughs]

TYG: In other words, something else entirely—I’m not quite sure exactly what that would mean.

TYG: “Force de frappuccino” or something? [laughter] In a thing like that, how do you address the author, or the proofreader?
For the proofreader, they’re working with you, so you can tell them, “This was actually correct the way it was.” But with the author, when you’re editing, you write little [notes]. Back when I was doing it, we weren’t all computerized yet. We actually used little sticky notes, and we’d write questions on little sticky notes and attach them to the pages.

TYG: That’s basically the same way we do it today.
It is, except not so manual.

TYG: Sometimes I’ve used the “track changes” function in Word, and it can be really complex! I’m guessing all the stuff comes from the old, manual way of doing it.
I guess so, yes. I’ve never, ever edited anything digitally, but I’ve seen how that works. And the whole left margin is full of stuff! You know, with the little lines going to where it’s supposed to be referring to. It’s very hard to make out where everything goes and what it all is.

TYG: It’s especially really cool when it’s one or two, which I can manage. [...] What happens if you’re reading [the book] when you’re editing it, and suddenly you notice the plot just starts falling apart and doesn’t make any sense?
You mention it. Tactfully, to the author. You have to kind of say, “Sense, question mark. Not sure if...” something, something, something. You have to be very tactful.

TYG-GD: But wouldn’t that be the work of the person who buys the book for the publisher?
You mean, the person that’s brought the book into the publishing house? That’s the development editor.

TYG-GD: I’d be surprised that they wouldn’t catch something like the plot not making sense.
Well, if it’s a really glaring error, that’s true. Again though, I’m talking about scholarly publishing—fiction, I don’t know how that goes at all. But yes, the development editor in scholarly publishing does that, and the project manager takes the manuscript, looks it over, gets a sense of what’s there to be done, to say to the copy editor, “Look, here’s what I’ve seen that you really want to watch out for, and go light on this thing (or whatever it is)...” You just give the copy editor some general instructions. And then you look it over when the copy editor brings it back and see whether it was done okay or not. And then the proofreader, after it’s been set and typed. It used to be that they would set galleys from the manuscript, galley pages that weren’t numbered. Then, after the editing, the type-setter would then make it into pages, and the proofreader would proofread it.

TYG: Now it’s all condensed into one process.

TYG: So that sounds like a really fun job.
It was. Well, it wasn’t always fun. You’d be pretty amazed at how many boring books there are out there, especially some of the scholarly ones. But there were some interesting ones too. Once, I got to edit a book on the ethnic groups of China, and that was fascinating. But you have to be very, very detail-oriented. And I am very, very detail-oriented, so that was fine, but I got to a point where I went, “Do I really want to be just becoming more and more detail-oriented for the rest of my career? Yes, I’m good at this, but.. so what.” It just wasn’t really feeding my soul anymore. So, there were some things that led up to my choosing social work as a change in career.

TYG: So how did you make the transition from book editing to becoming a social worker?
Uhm. You take a big, flying leap into the unknown. [laughs]

TYG: You just went straight for it, then?
No, actually it was a fairly lengthy process.

TYG-GD: You probably had to go back to school, didn’t you?
Oh I did, yes. But what led up to it was, first of all, being in a job... It wasn’t a book-editing job, it was a magazine job that a lot of people would have killed for, but it just wasn’t ringing my chimes. It didn’t feel like I was doing anything valuable. So I started thinking about, “Okay, what’s missing in this job? What’s missing in general?” And I went into this long, long process of reading career-change books, and then [going to] career-change workshops, deeply inquiring as to what I should do. But then a couple of things happened that made me see that in fact social work was going to be a really good thing, and the first thing was that my brother got ill with cancer. I was with him when he died, and I was able to be there, in that situation. Even though it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, I was also good at it in a sense—I could really sit with him while he was dying, and be present, and be okay. And then my mother was becoming demented, and shortly after my brother died I had to go down to Florida and clear my mother’s house out, and get her into assisted living. I eventually brought her out to Colorado. Both those things were extremely difficult, and I was good at both of them, so I decided that social work would be okay. And it was.

TYG-GD: So where did you go to school for that?
University of Denver.

TYG-GD: You grew up in Florida though, right?
[...] I just went out to Boulder one summer and fell in love with it, and moved out there and finished college. And that was that for 46 years, until I fell in love with Yachats!

TYG: How did you come to Yachats, and how did you find this place?
You know, it was one of those almost-random things, like so many people, so many stories... major serendipity. I had been curious about the Oregon coast for a pretty long time. I’d seen photographs of it, and I thought, “Oh! That looks so beautiful.” And so I finally decided it was time to come out and see it. I didn’t know anything about what was on the coast—I was just Googling around, and I happened to light on the website for Ocean Haven, which is eight miles south of here, is up on a one hundred foot cliff overlooking the ocean, and there was a photograph of the interior of one of the rooms with the ocean spread out before it, and I said to myself, “That’s where I want to be!” Very specifically. So I did get to be there, in that very room. [laughter] And that was sort of the beginning. And then there were several other times when I came out. Other people knew before I did that I was going to be moving here, but I didn’t really consciously know. So I came out one time on a little two-month road trip, and I stayed at Tillicum Beach, and it was wonderful. And then I came back in January/February, and stayed for three and a half weeks at Ocean Haven, to see if I could stand the winter, which everybody had said was so rainy and depressing, and I loved it and it was fine. [laughs]

TYG: The weather is one of the best parts about this place! You can get this kind of summer weather anywhere!
I know! And that’s part of what happened to me, in fact. I didn’t get any winter storms—I just got some warm, beachy weather. But that was really wonderful. And so then I ended up taking a year-long road trip and came back to Yachats, and camped at Tillicum beach again for six weeks. And that’s when I started realizing that I really, really wanted to move here. And then serendipity took hold even more, and I found the perfect house to rent, then I found the perfect house to buy, and yada, yada.

TYG: I guess you like to take road trips, then!
Well, the year-long one was only my second. But after I got done with the two-month one, I really didn’t want to go home, and I realized I wanted to go out a year, and so I did! And it was quite wonderful, absolutely lovely. And that feeling of, “I don’t know where I’m going to spend the night, and that’s okay because I have a roof over my head right now”—it’s wonderful! I had a little RV: a little bed, and a bathroom. [...] At the end of that road trip out here, I caravaned up to Alaska with a friend I had met on the road. That was really fun.

TYG: Woah! What was that like?
It was great! In large part because of this road buddy that I had unintentionally met back in Nevada at the beginning of the road trip. We just had a lot of fun traveling together. And then I got to see the bears, and the Dall sheep, and eagles of course. I got so used to seeing eagles; it was really cool. I realized finally that if you were looking at a tree, evergreen, and you saw some little white dot in it, that would be an eagle. So then you’d look for the rest of the body with binoculars. Sometimes you’d see a couple of white dots, and then you’d look through the binoculars and there would be like seven eagles. That’s one of my wonderful memories of Alaska: all those eagles.

TYG-GD: Did you do any fishing or anything?
No, fishing, heavens! [laughs] No, I went out on a couple of glacier-watching trips, but no fishing.

TYG-GD: I remember reading your book about that. [to the Publisher] She has a book about that.
Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Yes, why I’m glad you asked me about that Allen! I do indeed have a book about that! [laughter]

TYG-GD: Anyway, I remember reading in your book about the roads up there—in particular one long highway, or something.
There’s one highway, I think it’s called Top of the World Highway or something. That was exciting. But in general the roads in Alaska weren’t as bad as they’ve been [portrayed]. I just remember one that was a little hairy. But for the most part they were okay. But yes, while I was on the trip I started writing travelogues, and just e-mailing them to people.

TYG: And you condensed those down into a book?
That’s correct! It was very, very fun to do that, actually. I talked an awful lot about rocks, because I’m a rock hound. [laughter] It was really funny, because I realized that I wasn’t usually writing about people; I was just writing about rocks. I was gathering them up from everywhere. I was carrying I don’t know how many tons of rocks in my RV all around the country.

TYG-GD: Well that makes for good gas mileage...
Patty: [laughter] Y
es. But I still have many, many of those rocks. And then, what’s really interesting is that the house I’m living in now used to belong to Leslie Carter and Nancy. Anyway, Leslie was a big rock hound, and so in the yard there are some of the coolest rocks. I’ve been noticing them even more and more—the big ones that border [the garden]. And then there are the littler ones too—there are terraces in there with gravel, and you’ll be looking around in the gravel and there’s this beautiful little agate right there.

TYG: So, what was social work like for you?
As I said, I had a couple of horrible experiences, but the last job I had, I had a couple of wonderful experiences, where I was really able to be creative, just had a lot of fun. It’s a bit of a long story to tell you.

TYG: Sure, terrific!
Okay... The first job I had gotten out of social work school was with an agency that served older people with vision loss, partial vision, and I learned a lot about that that I had not known before. So when I got to this very last job, which served frail, elderly people, and I worked in a center where people came in for the day sometimes, I was able to start a little vision support group. So I did that for pretty much the whole time I worked there. One day, after I’d been doing it for a couple of years, there were a couple of women in the group who were total live wires, even though they were very, very disabled by vision loss. So one day, we were talking about music, and they were talking about how much they had loved to dance. I had this sudden brainstorm, and I said, “We could dance in our chairs!” And they got all excited by that idea, and so did several of the other people in the vision group, so I knew I had a good thing starting there. 

I left the group and was going back to the office, and I ran into my colleague Patricia, who had a degree in dance therapy. So I dragged her into my office, and I said, “Hey listen, I’ve had this idea.” And she was into it as well. It’s somewhat of a long story, so I won’t go into it, but we did start the chair-dancing group. It was huge fun. Patricia and I applied to make a presentation at an annual meeting at the kind of agency that was where I was working, and our proposal was accepted. So we choreographed three numbers that the group could do—we did a waltz, and a country song, and we did Peggy Lee’s Fever; three different dances with those styles of music. We rehearsed and rehearsed. Then when the time came, they took us into downtown Denver. We did the presentation, and the group did their three dances, and we got a standing ovation! Everybody loved it and was so excited.

TYG: Just because it’s increasing range of movement, and keeping people active?
That’s only part of it. The beauty of it was, beyond [the things you mentioned], it was something they could do to express themselves without it being about them being old, they got to just be themselves, and they could do it safely without having to stand up. They were expressing themselves and making stuff up; we laughed, we had the best times—it was just all about them as people, other than as old people singing You Are My Sunshine with the [waving the arms].

TYG-GD: Yeah, I can see there being a big wall in perception between being old—defined as all the things you can no longer do—versus being seen as a person, yeah, you’re old, but that’s part of you. So you’re doing things because you’re a person, and that’s what you can do—not that you are being restricted from what you used to be able to do. 
TYG: So it’s about viewing the present versus viewing the past.
Yes—and being the whole you. So that was incredibly rewarding.

TYG-GD: So were all of your clients elderly, in all of your jobs?
No, I also worked with developmentally disabled adults. So it was either with people who were disabled in some way, and/or elderly. I was more of a case manager social worker than a therapist. I never did therapy.

TYG: Was there anything else you wanted to talk about?
Why yes, there is! I’m so glad you asked. [laughs] The thing that I’m doing now that is the most fun is: I’m taking photographs of interesting clouds, and I’m sending them out to people who are interested in seeing them. The project is called Cloud du Jour, and I’m just really having a lot of fun with it.

TYG-GD: So it’s kind of like a travelogue, but it’s a travelogue about clouds.
TYG: About the various patterns that created them, and just their inherent beauty?
Yes, it’s more about the beauty than about the science. It’s not really a travelogue except the clouds are travelling—but I’m not. [laughs] But I’m not doing “in the shape of.” [...] There are some amazing clouds out there—when I first got to Oregon I didn’t think there were any great clouds. I started doing this in Colorado, because there are really, really wonderful thunderheads. But there have been a couple of days when I couldn’t get anything done because there have been such amazing clouds all day long. So—what can I tell you.

TYG: Sounds like a fun hobby!
One of the coolest things that’s grown out of that is that [I’ve found] an actual organization called the Cloud Appreciation Society, started by a gentleman in England. It has over 43,000 members now, and they have started organizing trips.

TYG: To see clouds?
Actually, the first ones are to see the aurora. So the first one was last year to Yellowknife, Canada, to see the aurora, and they’re doing it again this year. And I’m going, and Peggy Speer [another Yachatian] is coming with me! It’s actually out in the wilderness, a little plane ride away from Yellowknife. Maybe we see the aurora, and maybe we won’t, because you never know.

TYG-GD: Remind me again where Yellowknife is?
It’s in the Northwest Territories, on the shores of an enormous lake called the Great Slave Lake. And it’s right at the Arctic Circle. That’s going to be so interesting, because all these other cloud-lover people are going to be there.

TYG: Thank you so much for your time!
Thank you so much—it’s been a pleasure!

Interview with John W. Thornton

TYG: You were in the US Naval Reserve. What was that like?
I was on active duty for two years, from 1956 to 1958. I went to school first, in Pomona—guided missile school. My first duty station was at Crane, Indiana: Naval Ammunition Depot. I was in the Guided Missile Service Unit 217. I was there about a year. Nobody had any missiles at the time, so most of the year, they were just getting set up. And then I got orders to the Naval Ammunition Depot in Fall Brook, California, where I was assigned as the guided missile officer, and as the assistant ordinance officer. Since we just had a building, and not much going on in the building, I was mostly the assistant ordinance officer. A couple of things I did besides that job: I was the courier for any kind of classified material that came into the base or left the base—I was the courier for that.

TYG-Graphic Design: Where did you grow up? Why did you get interested in the Navy?
Let’s see. I was born in Boston and lived in the suburbs there. Graduated from high school, a place called Matick. Then I got an academic scholarship to Tufts College, which is in the suburbs of Boston. I majored in electronic engineering. Graduated in ‘56 there, then went to that guided missile school in Pomona.

TYG-GD:  So did you choose that, the missiles?
No! I knew nothing about it. I wanted to be on destroyers. I signed up for Destroyers—Atlantic; second choice Destroyers—Pacific; third choice was Destroyers—Mediterranean. Then I got the guided missile school instead.

TYG: Probably because you had that major in electronics...
Yes, I think so. Let’s see, what else can I tell you about Fall Brook... Oh—the other thing I did: I was assigned as a convoy commander for transporting special weapons up and down the coast of Southern California.

TYG-GD: “Special weapons”? What are those?
Nuclear weapons.

TYG: Wow! And you were the convoy commander?

TYG-GD: So on the ocean, you guys would...
Not on the ocean—we mostly got them down Highway 101. Mostly down to Seal Beach, which was about 80 miles away.

TYG-GD: Why did you have to transport them?
Well, I don’t know. The Navy wanted them in a different place. [laughs] Who knows!

TYG: Something I’ve never quite understood: How big are nuclear weapons?
Well, the ones we had were about like this [gestures with his arms].

TYG-GD: Oh, so they’re small!
Not very big. The first ones... Well, the very first one they detonated down at White Sands was huge, about three feet around because of the type of detonation that they used. In those days, there were two different kinds of detonation. That one was called Fat Man. The full outside of Fat Man was like a sphere, and it had detonators all around. You had to fire them in the right sequence, and then the whole thing would go “Boom!”

TYG: So that’s a less targeted one.
Oh no, it had nothing to do with targeting. It just means what kind of explosion you got. [Fat Man bombs] were made to explode 200 feet above the ground, something like that.

TYG-GD: So they were dropped from an airplane? How could they detonate in sequence when you drop them from an airplane?
Yes. Well, it’s all programmed in. The other kind, what they called a gun, they took two half spheres—you fired the gun, and it shoved the two half-spheres together. A simpler kind of thing.

TYG: So it’s a double detonation, in other words. One, conventional explosive; and the nuclear explosive.
I guess you could say that. It just pushed it down the tube. The two halves come together, and then you have a critical mass. So we tested both of those at White Sands. [...] At the end of the [Second World] War, the US managed to capture a lot of the scientists that were developing the V2 rocket, including Wernher von Braun. So they got them all to move to America. So we had a built-in group of scientists and engineers who helped us very quickly to develop ballistic missiles. That was taking place in Huntsville, Alabama.

TYG-GD: Why Alabama, of all places?
I have no idea. [...] In those days there was so much money being spent on ballistic missiles and all kinds of electronic stuff that there weren’t enough engineers, project engineers, or managers, or anything else. So there was a lot of recruiting going on. In fact, one time I got a call from a recruiter, and he wanted me to take an interview in Huntsville. My wife said, “I’m not moving my kids or me to Alabama.” That’s when all the racial stuff was going on, and she didn’t want any part of that. Anyway, so I didn’t even go for an interview. And there were other reasons—I didn’t really want to work for NASA. Yes, NASA was a madhouse. People were working 70, 80 hours a week. Later on, when I was in Oklahoma City, in the military communications department, that’s when we first started developing a military satellite communication system. I was the electrical system engineer and the project engineer on that job. At one point things weren’t going well, putting together the first system and getting it to work and whatnot, so myself and another guy were both working twelve hours a day, seven days a week. We did that for about seven or eight weeks, and my boss’s boss calls me one day, and said, “I understand you’re thinking about taking vacation.” And I said, “I have to take vacation if I want to keep my wife and family. I also have to have vacation to keep from going crazy.” He never said anything back to that, but about six months later we shut down that business. Most of the people I knew were invited back to work in Utica, New York again. I was not invited.

TYG-GD: Oh! That was your vacation?
I guess! I had to get a new place to work. By that time I had a piece of my pension, and I didn’t want to leave GE [General Electric Co.]. Of course, they treated me very well, and that’s when I got the job in Philadelphia with the missile and space vehicle division. My job there was what they call a subsystem engineer. My first project was for the flight test program for Minuteman-III.

TYG-GD: Huh. What is Minuteman-III?
Minuteman-III, for a long time, was our primary ICBM [inter-continental ballistic missile] program. What was different about it, from Atlas and some of the earlier programs, this one had three, independently-targeted ballistic missiles that separated during re-entry. You could direct where you wanted the missiles to go.

TYG-GD: Wow. I didn’t know you had worked on all this! So, what do you think about North Korea’s recent testing of ICBM’s?
I have no idea what’s going to happen. The Atlantic had a very good article last month about the options we have. And the conclusion was that we have no good options. 

TYG-GD: I understand that. I was just wondering, from a technical point, where you think they are right now.
I really don’t know. I don’t imagine they have multiply independently-targeted missiles, though. That’s a long stretch, and a lot of testing has to be done before you can get close to it. In fact, what I was involved with was what’s called a penetration aid system. This was designed to mask, or otherwise blank out, the radar that the Russians were anticipated to use to spot an RV [re-entry vehicle] coming in, and eventually, the ability to shoot it down.

TYG: So these are space-going missiles, then.
TYG-GD: They don’t go into orbit, do they?
No. They go up about one hundred miles, or something like that. That was some incredible stuff. In fact, we had a control room, where everybody in the whole group met every morning. It was interesting, because one wall was a simulator, showing all the different steps that had to take place, and it was so complicated that they had to have two technicians maintaining the simulator! [laughter] So, a lot of crazy stuff going on. 

TYG-GD: Who was president at the time?
Let’s see—that would have been Lyndon Johnson. Kennedy was shot in ‘63. And Johnson was re-elected for a full term in ‘64, so he would have been president at the time. So we had all this stuff going on, and my job was mostly involved with telemetry with flight test programs. They had system tests going on at Cape Canaveral for the different sub-systems, and they had a problem with my sub-system. There was a lot of noise on the channel—I’m talking about electronic noise, not audible noise—so they rushed me down to Cape Canaveral to solve the noise problem. At the same time, there was a hurricane supposed to come. [laughs] It was a little scary.

TYG: That’s the one thing I’m confused about: why they chose to put one of their greatest assets, their entire launch facility, right in the path of most hurricanes.
Well, they never got into much trouble with it. But I think it was because they wanted to not go over land very much. They wanted it to all be over the ocean in case something went wrong, in case something blew up. That’s my understanding of it. Anyway, I figured out what was the cause of the noise, and I got it fixed, and quickly rushed back to my motel, got ready to go, and headed for the airport as fast as I could—because of the hurricane. I got out of there, but the hurricane stayed out at sea, and we didn’t have a problem. I can’t believe what crazy stuff went on.

We will continue John Thornton’s interview in Issue 72.

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 70, July 1 2017

Click here for a printable version of Issue 70

Interview with
Jamie & Jesse Jager of Wrackline

Wrackline Curiosity Shop, Yachats, OR
Wrackline, a curiosity shop, is located on the corner of Forest Hill Rd and Hwy 101, just north of Yachats. Wrackline is open Thursday through Sunday.

TYG: How did you come to Yachats?
Oh man! So, we grew up in Philomath. Both of us actually went to school together, but we weren’t really friends or anything. I was one year above him. So I graduated, left; he was in Philomath still. We eventually got together, about five years ago now, we just lived 30 miles from each other at this point. We started dating and everything... what I’m leading to, is we decided one day to go on a cross-country, hitch-hiking kind of road trip to try and figure out “Where could we see ourselves for a good chunk of our lives? Where would we want to place down some roots?”

TYG: That’s always an important decision.
Jamie: [laughs]
Yes! So we went all around the country. We went the south route down through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas...

TYG: We did that!
Yeah! We did that, then moved back up the East Coast, and then back around to Oregon. There were places we fell in love with, but wouldn’t you know it, the whole time, we got back to Oregon and we were like, “So... Yachats?” [laughter] Right where we started. We started at the south end of town and just stuck our thumbs out, and we came back, and we’re like... let’s move here! [laughter] So we started looking for properties and stuff–we didn’t really know what we were doing; we just wanted to be here. And we found a house–a cheap, little, cute house–just right up the road. And so we’re there, and we were kind of trying to figure out a business opportunity, you know, what can we do? There aren’t a lot of jobs around here. What can help us survive? And we both were struggling with wanting to feel more part of the community. [We wanted to] get to meet and really know the people around here. And help out! And spur on new ideas, and get people excited about other things, and connect with these people. That’s why we love Yachats! So that’s what I think we’re kind of doing here. That’s how we landed in Yachats.

TYG: I certainly think this shop is amazing. I love the 50s feel of it.

TYG: I’m guessing you were going for 50s?
Well, not necessarily a certain decade, but an old era, but timeless at the same time–just a little bit of everything. [laughs] Organized chaos. Curiosities. We like to call it a curiosity shop. It just sparks interest, creativity in here.

TYG: So what got you the idea for this shop?
Jesse: Well, I think her! We lived in Bend right after our cross-country trip–we got a job there and created a house.
Jamie: It was quick–less than a year.
Jesse: And we created a feel within the house.
Jamie: And that was the first time that we really discovered this way of decorating, and realizing what we can do with older things that we find. We both love collecting older stuff–in a way, we like to save it from getting thrown away, because you’re never going to find anything of this quality, or sometimes of this character anymore. So we both–just separately, even before we got together–we both kind of naturally did that in our own lives. And when we moved to Bend, that was the first time we really lived together, and we both quickly realized, “Dude, with our minds together, we come up with some really funky ways of decorating.” And we’d put up a picture on Facebook or something, and people would be like, “How did you even think of doing that? That’s amazing!” So that’s kind of what happened here.
Jesse: And we both like the era, or vintage, basically.

TYG: And of course everything here has a character, a story behind it, just as the nature of being old things.
Exactly. And sometimes you know it, and sometimes you don’t... The other day, we were making up stories for certain things, like a bowling pin. We had this huge, extravagant story that never happened.
Jesse: Because it’s burned. So we were wondering, how was it burned? [laughter] But to tie it back in to why we did this shop: stories and people. We love the story behind items. The significance of an item isn’t always seen right away. You have to get to know who owned it, or where it came from–all those things. I think the reason behind all this is because we love people. We love connecting to people and learning from people, and being creative with people. And [...] we talk so many people who have stores like this, and we’re just blown away by their passion, and their creativity, and their stories.
Jamie: Their stories! It always seems to go back to that every time. And it becomes almost like an addiction: “I want to meet new people! I want to go out and find something I’ve never seen before.” It gets in your blood!
Jesse: A new mystery! Even if you don’t have all the information on a new item, you can research it. You know there’s a story behind it.

TYG: That’s part of the charm–just knowing that something has a story, even if you don’t know what it is.
The mystery of it, yes. Another aspect of this shop that was a personal thing for me was, growing up as a kid, I was a really weird kid. [laughs] I used to collect weird stuff and hide it in my room so they wouldn’t find it, because I found it so fascinating. Like–I hesitate saying this because it was so illegal, but it was innocent! It was complete innocence at this point. I was probably eight or so, and we came down here and there was a beached whale. At this point in my life I know to not touch it! But as an eight-year old, I was fascinated. So I ran up to it, and I plucked a barnacle off of it, and it came with a piece of blubber, and I hid it in my bag and I went home. Three weeks later, the whole house smelled like rotting, dead body. [laughter] And my parents are like, “What on Earth is in here?” I went to school, and my Mom combed my whole room and she found a ziplock bag that had a dead barnacle and whale skin in it, just rotting. And it was putrid, just terrible! But that was the first thing. [laughs] And ever since then, I just love going out and finding things. Obviously, I know the rules now! Curiosity shops played a big role in my life, like the one in Seattle, “The Old Curiosity Shop.” It just mystified me.
Jesse: So with all that, I got to know Jamie...
Jamie: You just fanned it!
Jesse: Yes–I wanted to give her a chance to blossom in all those areas. So I did that, but then I got into it.
Jamie: He started exploding as well, in creativity.
Jesse: I’m passionate about the picking and the people, and I just want to keep going. Hopefully, I want to keep inspiring and just connecting. I think connecting is the main thing.
Jamie: Especially these days. I feel like you don’t have a lot of connections anymore.

TYG: You’d expect more, with Facebook and that sort of thing. I don’t know why, but you feel a sort of distance.
Right? We’re more connected than we’ve ever been, but I feel, at times, that I’m more alone. [To a customer] It’s a porcupine quill!

TYG: That’s amazingly long!
Isn’t it, though? They’re super-sharp.

TYG: Okay, I had no idea they could grow that big.
Jamie: They get bigger! Those are small ones.

TYG: What? How far down do they go into the skin?
I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think super-far.

TYG: It must have to do with the white [part].
They’re all different colors, kind of mottled. They’re cool. They’re not a local species, though.
Jesse: And they have little barbs on them.
Jamie: Yes! Just like stingray barbs. I used to train stingrays.
Jesse: She was a marine biologist in Newport.
Jamie: I actually went to the marine science program down here in Newport, through Hatfield. I jumped all over the country and worked in all these really neat places. I met Jesse, and that’s when we decided to come back here.

TYG: So cool! So, how do you get in contact [with people] and get these items? Or do people come to you?
People come to us, or a lot of the time, we’ll just travel. We love traveling around; we love going to little general stores. A lot of the time what happens is [that] we’ll go to a little town. One town that jumps out in my mind that we went to last year is called “Looking Glass.” I’m not really good at directions, but it’s kind of out past Eugene, more southern Oregon. Looking Glass, Oregon–they have the oldest general store in the state. I think it’s the original business in the state–I might be mistaken.

TYG: So it’s actually passed down, family to family?
Yes! And it’s still there, and it’s the most gorgeous building. It’s just incredible–it’s so neat. Someone put so much time and energy into that–it’s not a quick build, like we do now. I love it. So, we went to Looking Glass, and it’s places like that that we go to check out. And you’ll go into a little general store, and you’ll talk to someone, and they’ll be like, “Oh, I know someone down the road that has stuff that you might like–I know they’re getting rid of things. And so you just meet people that way.

TYG: Garage sales are gold mines!
Garage sales! Estate sales–those are awesome too. We try to hit those as much as possible as well. But then people come in and talk to us too! “I have a collection that my kids don’t want anymore. I’m getting older, I want to make sure it doesn’t get thrown away. Are you guys interested in buying it?” So... a lot of stuff like that. [She goes off with a customer.]

TYG: This store is wonderful–so amazing!
Thank you–that just means so much to us. We just do it one day at a time... [There ensues some conversation about an oversized pack of cards, and several versions of Sorry games.]

TYG: You know, one of the most incredible board games I’ve ever seen, as just a work of art, is at the Overleaf. They have a penguin chess game. It’s chess, but all the pieces are exquisitely crafted and painted, and I’m guessing they’re made of wood. Penguins. It’s amazing.
I want to go there and check it out!

TYG: I don’t know if they still have it out, but it used to be that you could just walk in there and start playing.
We should have a Sorry game here pretty soon! We were thinking of having a game night.

TYG: Yes, this is a perfect space for a game night! [...] Is there anything else you wanted to talk about?
Well, one thing we haven’t talked about is our vision.
Jamie: Yes, the future plans for this place! Because this [gestures around] is like maybe a quarter of what we want to do with this place. This front area is always pretty much going to be our shop, the retail space. That back hallway-ish looking room, we want to turn it into the local history and oddities museum. There’s a big blank wall where we have all those scientific posters up.

TYG: Have you been to the Little Log Church Museum?
Yes, I love that place! [...] So we want to turn that wall with all the scientific stuff into a feature wall to showcase local artists. So every few months, depending on the theme–like June is Gay Pride month, so have a theme back there with maybe a local artist who’s part of the LGBTQ community, and Creature Features as well, like animals that practice homosexuality and weird things; odd, crazy things that you don’t even think of happening. And then there’s a big room back here that we want to turn into a classroom, where we’ll have resident artists come in and do classes, marine ID classes, Jesse has some ideas for like an outdoors exercise program–everything. There’s a geologist that wants to come in...

TYG-Editorial Assistant: I’d like to ask a question... What’s the story behind the posters and photographs of the lunar soil samples and micro-crater studies?
Awesome question, because it’s something that we just recently acquired and it excites us beyond reason. There was an estate sale that was south of Florence actually, of a geo-physicist who passed away, and it was his life-long collection. He was the highest-paid geophysicist in America during his career. He worked a lot during the Apollo 10 mission. And so we have those posters back there depicting some of the scientists that were working on that, some of the lunar dust they found that they blew up...

TYG: Yes, the zap craters!
Yes! And then we also have some of his sifting trays, different meshes to sift the lunar rocks and stardust and stuff like that. He’s a really cool man–we have a little pamphlet on him, [Gerald J. Wasserburg].

TYG: So, anything else?
On the 4th of July we’ll have this outdoor area open, and I hope to have ready by the 4th a kind of seating area, and then we’re going to have an herb garden on the side. And also we’re going to be expanding on the inside to have more retail room just for the summer.

TYG: Well thank you so much!
Thank you Allen! It’s been a joy!
Jesse: Thank you so much!

Interview with Morgen Brodie

TYG: So, how did you come to Yachats?
My daughter [Star] and granddaughter [Pi] had moved here, and they started campaigning pretty early on. I thought, “Yeah, you know, I’m not really ready to move yet, but I’ll think about it–I’ve always loved it here.” Then my daughter sent me a drive-by photo of a house with a teeny little hand-lettered “For Sale” sign in it, that had gone up the day before. I called the owner in California and looked at the YouTube. About a minute in, I knew it was my house! I call these situations the milagros: The people who get here despite all logic, despite all money, depite everything... and that’s how it happened to me!

TYG: I know a few of those as well.
Yes! It totally came together.

TYG: It happened for us, as well! We were in Washington, Kalama, [my parents] had dreamed [of coming] out here! [They had] been here before, and thought how cool it would be to work out here. And then it opened up!
See? How long ago was that?

TYG: 10 years–wow!
Isn’t it odd? I remember, I only came here four years ago, and you were a kid! And now I look at the pictures, and I think “Oh my god! Who is that young man?”

TYG: So, you’re a social worker! How did you get into that?
Quite by accident. I majored in medieval drama and philosophy and theology, so [makes a raspberry sound] job prospects, not so much! And I just kind of fell into it, over and over. I worked for a bunch of different non-profits, and ended up working for the state for a long time.

TYG: So what exactly did you do as a social worker? I’ve always been kind of fuzzy on what it is.
Well, I’m not a trained social worker academically. So my philosophy of it–and I became a trainer and a policy-setter, so I got to spread that around, is that you are able to come into a juncture of people’s lives when they’re having trouble. [It’s] maybe their own trouble, or somebody else is having trouble about their choices. You earn some trust with them, and you try to figure out what’s going on from their perspective, and what their options are. You offer them whatever choices you’re aware of, and listen to their own choices and why they make them, and just try to be helpful. A lot of it was crisis-oriented. I’ve worked in domestic violence, and elder abuse.

TYG: Always a hard place to work.
Very hard! But people have the right to make their own choices, and as they understand what they’re doing, and as they understand what their options are, it doesn’t always please other people, but I don’t think that was my job.

TYG: It’s always hard, especially in abuse cases. It’s like, why would you ever do this?
Yes, it’s pretty complex. And, why would you stay the first time somebody hurt you? But that’s pretty complex too. I think that being respectful to people and trying to help them see what the options are is the main thing.

TYG: Absolutely–that’s a worthy cause. So I hear you’re a local artist as well!
Morgen: [laughs]
I make things, yeah. I like to think of myself as a craftswoman–it’s less pressure. I’ve dabbled in a lot of media, and I’m partner in a gallery.

TYG: So what kind of stuff do you make?
Right now I’m mostly working in fabric, and I’m starting to play with ceramics. I have a friend who has a kiln, so we get together once a week and just make things.

TYG: That’s really cool! So you make pots and pans and stuff?
I do different whimsical things. I work with wool, so I knit and felt, and do wall hangings.

TYG: Wool is a beautiful material.
Yes, I love it. I have a shower stall–not my main shower stall!–full of raw wool that has to be processed. It’s so cool to just follow all the way from the sheep to the finished product.

TYG: So do you spin the wool yourself?
I do!

TYG: Wow!
Well, I’m lazy about it, so I can, and sometimes I do, but I have a friend who’s a good spinner who keeps me supplied, too.

TYG: That sounds amazing!
It’s very meditative, and I just like taking raw materials and seeing what can happen with them, what they want to be more than what I want them to be.

TYG: Because once you get into the status where you’re slowly knitting something, even though your hands are moving, your mind is free.
That is absolutely true, Allen. It helps me focus. I usually am knitting constantly, like if I go to a meeting or a talk. I have friends who went to medical school in Germany, and they said that it’s very common for people to be knitting during the lectures. If I’m not doing something with my hands, I’m not paying attention.

TYG: Was there anything else you wanted to talk about?
I really love being here; I find it’s a place to be really contemplative, which is what I’m about at this time in my life.

TYG: Trying to understand yourself? One has to understand oneself before one can understand anyone else, really.
Well, I think that’s true, Allen. And the work that I’m doing now is consciously trying to step outside of myself and look at the world from other perspectives, particularly with regard to racism, which is work that I’m doing right now. You know, you have this concept of the world that was given to you, and you operate as though it’s true, and you don’t recognize the harm that it does to other people and to yourself.

TYG: Sometimes you don’t recognize its inadequacies as well, where it doesn’t explain anything.
Absolutely! Or you think it explains everything, and you embrace it so tightly, and then you find out that there’s nothing there. It’s like the Wizard of Oz.

TYG: I still love that the whole thing behind that movie was a brilliant con artist. [...] Well, thank you so much!
Thank you Allen, it was an honor to speak with you!

Morgen Brodie is part of  River Gallery, at or 503-838-6171, located at 184 South Main Street in Independence. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11-5. Our August show is Eclipsing Color: Adventures in Black and White. We’ve invited all our artists to submit black and white work only for that month. We’ll be having a party starting at 9 am for the eclipse and have special eclipse T shirts for sale.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 69, June 1 2017

Interview with Katrina Wynne

 The Yachats Gazette enjoyed a wide-ranging conversation with Ms. Wynne, who wears many hats: “Forester, gardener, Soulful Counselor/psychotherapist, mediator, minister, officiant, Death Doula, Natural Health Educator, landlord, political activist, community organizer, Tarot & oracle expert and international teacher/writer/lecturer, professional radio broadcaster, podcaster, budding videographer, journalist, photographer, graphic artist, motorcyclist, bicyclist, hermit and aging Super Woman.”

TYG: So how did you come to Yachats?
That’s my favorite question. I think everybody in Yachats has some incredible story about how they landed here.

TYG: Seems like it!
I think it does seem like it. Okay, so... I was at a process work conference in Waldport, with the Mindells...

TYG: Process work?
Yes! Do you know Arnie and Amy Mindell? They’re delightful people, wise people—they teach all over the world. I’ve been studying with them since 1988. I was at one of their workshops in Waldport, while I was in graduate school up in Seattle. I came down on my motorcycle. And then I thought “Oh, I’ll go down to Yachats for lunch and find a nice, little place to eat.” But keep in mind, this was back in 1991. And when I came down here, there was no place to eat. Nothing that was really open for lunch that I would eat at. At that point Blythe had a cute little restaurant—I can’t recall what it was called—but that’s where I really wanted to eat, but it was closed. So right across the street there was this real estate agent, and with motorcycles you have to have a very wide radius for turning. So I thought: “Okay, I’ll just turn into that parking lot.” And then I thought, “Well, you know what, why don’t I just go in and see if there’s some property!” Because I’d been looking for some property for a couple of years, and I had very specific qualities for that property that I was guided by the trees to look for. I talked to the real estate agent, and he goes, “Well, we have either time to look at one property down in Yachats, or two down in Beaver Creek.” And I said, “Well, I’ll look at the one in Yachats.” And we drove through, we drove out, and I said, “I’ll take it.” And so like the Fool, I jumped in. And like the Fool, I ended up making Yachats my home, because the trees were calling to me, because the land had just been clear-cut. I didn’t even look at the house; I looked at the land. Trees speak to me, and they were crying, and saying, “Look, we need somebody to help us heal.” And so I made a commitment to live here, and to help those trees heal. And now they have a good 27 years of growth on them. They’re looking pretty good.

TYG: I think I know what you mean by the trees talking to you. I’m going to ask you if this is what you mean, but sometimes it almost seems like you can feel their radiant pain.
Yes, I agree with you. Sometimes you can feel pain of different aspects of nature and people.

TYG: It just looks wrong, sometimes.
Definitely; it’s a shocker. I know the first time I saw a clear-cut, I was absolutely shocked. And that was back in 1972 or 73.

TYG: It’s a bad practice, I think. I don’t have a problem using wood, but I think you should do it in an eco-friendly way, which to me means using a high tech solution that’s something like a multi-level farm, where you let them grow five years and then have a harvest.
Well, let’s just say that trees are a natural entity, and they have their own, natural way of growing, and the less we interfere with their natural way of growing, the happier they are. If you think of trees as the USDA does, as an agricultural product to be harvested. A lot of things in this world have been turned into property and turned into resources and ignored their own, natural calling—their natural way of keeping the balance. So of course, in my work—no matter what level of work I’m doing—balance, like it sounds like it is for you, is very important. Everything has its own sense of how much water, and sunshine, and air, and space it needs. And you know, people are that way too! And I like to work with people.

TYG: I absolutely agree with that. I think that treating these amazing natural forests as property is wrong. I think that if they have been specifically set up to be agricultural, I don’t think it’s so bad. Again, like one of those tile tree farms, where the trees are manipulated to make the maximum out of wood, and the least possible devastation to natural forests. I think there’s something special that the natural forests have.
Hmm. Well you probably like the idea of the bamboo commercial forests, because they do have a very quick growth period and are easily harvested.

TYG: I haven’t heard of it, but it does sound interesting.
Yes, a lot of products are made out of bamboo. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of glues and resins and toxic things that are used to put those products together, such as flooring, so it’s kind of like a mixed bag. [...] But anyway, I totally agree with you: the more natural, the better. And I’m the kind of person where I start asking questions like, “Well where did this come from?” and “Who grew it?” and “How were the people treated?” and “How was the land treated?” and “How were the animals treated?” and “Did they use fertilizers?” and “Did they use pesticides?” I probably ask more questions than the average person, which can be very irritating for some people! [laughs] 

TYG: I don’t have a problem with that. I think if you want to know more, more power to you.
Right on, brother! [high fives]

TYG: Also, there are very different kinds of fertilizers. Some fertilizers are these artificially made stuffs that are only designed for growth speed—there’s no balance implied. But if you’re utilizing natural fertilizers like manure, I’m okay with that. And even if you could somehow design a [fertilizer] that has balance in mind, that helps growth speed but also keeps the plant healthy, then I probably wouldn’t have a problem with that.
Let’s use an example since we’re talking about this. Let’s say you’re using chicken manure for fertilizer. Chicken manure itself can be an excellent fertilizer for certain applications. But then you would get, “What have the chickens been eating?” “Where did their food come from—is it organic or were they eating GMO grain?” So basically that’s being passed on from one level of digestion to the next. I’m very careful about those things as well. [...] I put myself through college the first few years by working at a natural foods store, and then when I graduated, I actually owned my own store for about five years. It was called Community Foods. One of the things we did was not only provide the healthiest food that was available, but we worked personally and distributed food from local growers that we knew were growing things in a certain way. We actually were very instrumental in supporting [an organization which was] at that time called CCOF, which was Certified California Organic Farmers. Later on, this influenced Oregon Tilth. They had a very, very high standard of what was considered organic growing. What’s interesting about that politically is that the USDA did not want to grant them their certification, because they were concerned that it would bring questions up for the general public about, “Well, if this is organic, what is everything else?” So that’s when the USDA decided to come up with their own label for organic, which is a sub-standard quality. They allow chemicals and things that, say, the CCOF would never allow. So as a store, we were actually purchasing food from those farmers who were CCOF-certified, distributing them to the other stores in town, and also visiting the farmland. This was in Santa Cruz, so down in Watsonville, there’s a lot of farmland down there. This is very political these days, but there are a lot of undocumented workers, and I got to witness first-hand how they lived, how they were treated, how they had these little bitty huts with no bathrooms, no running water, in the middle of a field where planes were flying over them and spraying them with chemicals. And I have to admit, that’s why I’m voting yes on 21-177, which is a measure that [came up] about aerial spraying right here in Lincoln County. I’m not in favor of spraying aerially, because I’ve seen it affect friends of mine; it would affect me where I live, it affects our water, the land, nature, everything. 

TYG: Very, very bad idea. It’s just too imprecise!
Yes. And there’s not enough of a policing—I’ll put it that way. It has no teeth. There’s no follow-through.

TYG: And there’s no good way to do it, either. Even if you had all the policing you wanted, there’s no real way that I can think of to truly identify the range of aerial spraying, because the planes move too slowly, and there’s too much spreading time, too much variability in the wind.
So you have the problem with drift, and not a lot of accountability. And then you have to know who to sue, and what people don’t know is that you can’t really sue the land-owner who hired the plane or the helicopter; you actually have to sue the driver, the pilot. Because they’re the ones responsible, ultimately, for any kind of drift.
TYG: Wow! That doesn’t work. That doesn’t make sense at all!
I can’t give legal advice, but this is just something I learned from a friend of mine who went through this and went to court and had a very, very difficult time of that. [...] Think of it this way: If you hire someone to do a job and they do a faulty job, are you responsible for the faulty job? Are you responsible for hiring those people? Anyway... So I’ve lived here since before you were born, and I plopped in here back in 1991, bought this clear-cut property, and it’s funny, because I’d just finished graduate school in Seattle, and I had my Master’s degree in counseling psychology.

TYG: So that’s how you made your living, trying to help nature.
It’s kind of like my primary job was helping the land, helping nature; but my day job was helping people deal with their own out-of-balanceness in life, and helping them find their own balance through counseling.

TYG: Two very interconnected fields.
They are for me, because both of them have to do with honoring peoples’ nature, and helping them find balance and find their own way of being, in a world that’s very out of balance.

TYG: Absolutely. There’s too much need for profit, and too much reliance on old ways, ways that would have worked fine before people understood. In terms of drilling oil, I can’t blame the first pioneers all that much. They had no idea! They had no idea what would happen to the environment. [...] So what kind of counseling do you do?
First off, I would say I’m rather eclectic. Also, in my 26 years here in Yachats, and practicing in Oregon, the laws have been changed. Currently I practice what I call “Soulful Counseling,” which means I’m a minister who also does spiritual counseling. My background and training, of course, is my Master’s degree in counseling psychology, as well as my background and training in process work as well as psychotherapy. Another thing that I bring into my counseling knowledge, but don’t necessarily bring into a session, is my background and training in metaphysics, and understanding people and life from a whole different point of view. That actually ends up being more of the work I’m doing these days. I’m doing less on the individuals/couples/family counseling, and also mediation (meaning personal mediation, not legal) and life-coaching—even though I’m still doing those things—and more in this other area, that is another funny story about moving to Yachats. For 20 years, before moving here, I was what one would call a solitary practitioner of metaphysics, tarot, I Ching. So I’ve studied tarot cards, metaphysics, oracles—many, many other things, and only practiced them privately for 20 years. And the ironic thing is that I moved to little, bitty, old Yachats...

TYG: ...and there’s a demand for it!
People are asking me to teach classes, to do private sessions, and I end up starting a little psychic fair here. And then I handed it over to Violet, and Violet turned it into a big, huge, wonderful event which is called Pathways to Transformation, which has been going on... this will be the 21st year. I actually teach all over the world. I’m invited to teach in China; I’ve taught in New Zealand, I’ve taught in Europe. I just came back from teaching in New York City at a tarot and psychology conference. I have a few books out on tarot. So that’s actually where a lot of my passion is, and it does tie in with the counseling skills, because what I’m doing in the tarot world is teaching [card] readers how to really raise the bar on their skills and their ethics, and how to turn tarot lessons from the stereotype of predictions and fortune-telling, and more into how it can be therapeutic and supportive for people in their life. So that’s a great passion of mine.

TYG: So could you explain to me and the readers what tarot is? I haven’t actually ever heard of it.
Certainly! So tarot cards typically are a deck of 78 cards. A playing card deck tends to have 52 cards in it, and what you call four suits. The four suits go from the ace to the ten, and then you’ve got what we call your three people cards, or court cards. So tarot cards are an interesting combination, going back some four or five hundred years, basically to northern Italy, where someone decided to combine playing cards, but they added another card for each suit because they wanted to add a woman, which is the queen. So you have your page, your knight, your queen and your king, which are the four people cards, then you have your ten and what we call the pips, one through ten, or the ace through ten. And you’ve got the four suits. But what they added to that, or combined with it, which makes it unique to tarot, is what we call the 22 cards of the major arcana. And the 22 cards of the major arcana, going back to deep, deep, metaphysical knowledge, represent what I think of as a visual book of wisdom, just like when somebody looks at the Bible or the Quran, or many, many other books of wisdom. There’s a great deal of wisdom, but they’re pictures. As they say, you know, a picture speaks a thousand words, so each one of those cards has a million stories in it. And when you combine the cards, it really expands the story in a very, very unique way. 

TYG: So it’s a very interpretive venture.
Ah, that’s a great question. For some people it’s very interpretive. For the way I work with the cards, with my background in psychology and especially in process work with the Mindells, I actually don’t try to interpret the cards, I try to bring in the experience the cards and my client’s intuition, and my intuition, and really bringing the lessons and the energy of the cards to life. So, remember earlier when we were talking about listening to the trees? And feeling the trees? That’s what we do with the cards. We listen to them, we feel them, and they speak to us in a unique language, so it’s not one interpretation fits all. That would be sort of like the old card-science way of working with them.

TYG: So, just explaining to the readers here: I feel like often this kind of stuff can sound like “whoo hoo,” but I know what you’re talking about. There is some sort of weird thing out there that science hasn’t quite uncovered yet. I don’t know what it is, and it may be people putting interpretations on things, but I choose to believe that there is something there.
Well, actually, quantum physics has tried to describe this, and one term that kind of that kind of fits with this picture—and I learned this from Arnie Mindell, who himself is an MIT physicist in his past—is this thing, called an entanglement. An entanglement means, there’s something going on way over there...

TYG: Two atoms that are directly paired.
Yes, right. So two things are happening. It doesn’t appear that they’re connected, but they actually are connected. So let me put it this way: So, do you dream? Do you have dreams at night when you sleep?

TYG: Yes, absolutely.
Katrina: Alright. And is it your belief that when you have a dream, there’s maybe a message for you there sometimes? Or it’s telling you something about your day? Or are they ever prophetic—that means, are they telling you about something that’s going to happen in the future?

TYG: I have never experienced a prophetic dream, but I would not be surprised if it happened. Just because, again, there are odds. And I have a very wild imagination. That’s just something I am. I choose to believe in the polycosmos, because it just makes sense. I’ve seen several very good book interpretations; they’re fictional books, but they are written by very strong scientific authors. One of my favorite authors is a person called Neal Stephenson, who writes amazing stuff. You want to learn more about a very good and intuitive, working interpretation of the polycosm, then his book called Anathem is very good for it.
Thank you. And along that same idea: Imagine that there are these different levels and different dimensions within our current dimension. And we, as human beings, are kind of limited, when you look at the spectrum for instance.

TYG: The spectrum of light.
: Well, there’s the spectrum of light, but then there are other vibrations that our eyes do not detect, right? We can see the rainbow, but we don’t see the X-rays, we don’t see microwaves. [...] So imagine that everything is vibration, and there are certain images that vibrate in your dream realm, and other images that vibrate in your waking, day-to-day life. Now imagine that there’s a dimension beyond your dreams that’s trying to communicate with you, but it can’t communicate in everyday language. It has to reach you through what I call a sort of intermediary language. It can be the language of your dreams. To me, that’s the way the tarot cards work: They’re an intermediary language between your everyday, conscious, linear thinking, and something that’s beyond that. So to me, each card is like a snapshot of a dream. [...] So the fun thing is, I’ve combined both of my worlds, and I call myself a “forest mystic.” [laughs] Because I live out in the woods, and I’m connected to the trees, and I feel very protective of the forest, and at the same time I totally vibrate with the metaphysical world, and all this cosmic consciousness, and caring about the Earth, and the people, and the universe, and understanding how to vibrate with it all. And it’s not something many people can talk about, and I appreciate that you kind of speak this language a bit.

TYG: To be honest, for me, part of it grows out of thinking further about the free will versus predestination debate. My final conclusion, you could call it, of one line of my inquiry, is that if there is no free will, there is no polycosm. Because if there is no free will, everything will happen one way. And that scares the he** out of me, to be honest.
How about this? You were born with your genetics, right? You have the gift of your mother and your father to make who you are. And that’s kind of like your potential in this lifetime, among other things. But guess what: You get to decide what you do with it, and that’s the free will. So you can’t change at this point who your parents were. Right? That’s the fated part in this sense. But what you do is completely within your hands. So there’s this beautiful dance between the two, I think.

TYG: Absolutely. Seeing what you are allowed to do, and what you can do. For me, what’s has been allowed to do, is to be a human being. I choose to believe that as long as you have a few basic genetic parts, you can do just about anything that’s physically possible. And the way I interpret that is that I plan to become a scientist and an engineer, and I choose to believe in the beauty of cyclical motion—cycles are cool, but I also love literal cyclical motions.

TYG: Spirals I like, but I’m thinking more about wheels, and gears. I’m fascinated by the scientific, and the hard.
Well see, that’s the cool thing about metaphysics. Because meta-physics means people, intuitive, having visions, who prophesied, or had a way of knowing other than linear thought. And it’s taken science a while to catch up with them.

TYG: That’s an interesting way of putting it. I think that yes, sometimes that happens, but also it’s logical outgrowth. Because I feel that outgrowth, in terms of what can happen, goes a lot faster than physical experimentation. The mind works a lot faster than the body.
It does! In fact, some people say that the mind works faster than the speed of light. I’ve been doing a little research in that area and I still have more to learn, but it’s a fascinating area for me.

TYG: I find that sometimes I [have to wonder] “How does this work?” then other times, Blam! It all comes to me.
Have you heard the word “synchronicity”?

TYG: I think so. I’m not entirely sure what you mean by it in this context.
Well, meaningful coincidence.

TYG: Yes, inspiring coincidence.
Yes! It’s like you were thinking about somebody, and the next moment, they call you.

TYG: I know what you mean about that—and it’s weird when it happens!
So you might actually find the work of Carl Jung interesting. That’s what my presentation was in New York, just a couple of weeks ago. I’ll give you the title: “Life Is But a Dream: Jung, Process Work in the Dreamtime, and Tarot.” What I was exploring, and what I was educating people about, were the actual theories behind Jung’s work, his actual ways of describing them. He was very interested in science, and being able to have repeatable patterns, but he drew a lot of inspiration from metaphysics, and from myths, fairy tales, and stories from around the world, because he started noticing, as Joseph Campbell did, these patterns that would keep repeating. And that’s why he came up with the idea of the collective unconscious. He’s saying, well, there must be some kind of connection going on between us that we can’t see. He used the image—or many people have used the image—of an iceberg. So what we know is that little piece of the iceberg above the water’s surface, but below is our personal conscious and the collective unconscious.

TYG: 95%. I think that the collective unconscious could be—I don’t know this for sure, because our science hasn’t progressed far enough—it could be built into genetics.
Oh, now you’re getting into the work of Carl Calleman! Carl Calleman worked for the World Health Organization. He was a Swedish cellular biologist, but he was also fascinated with metaphysics, and he studied the Mayan calendar. By studying the Mayan calendar, for him, it clicked, and it coincided with evolutionary leaps in biology. From there, he went on to come up with an amazing idea, which he calls the purposeful universe. Which is again this whole idea about how much is fated and intentioned, versus how much is free will. So if you ever get a chance to read the Purposeful Universe—I don’t want to give too much away, but he basically, ultimately says that in our own cells there are unknown aspects of our DNA, which themselves—and this is my interpretation—are like an antenna, that picks up these signals from the center of the universe. It’s fascinating.

TYG: The center of the universe, hmm.
The center of the universe, yes.

TYG: I wonder where that would be, because we think that’s somewhere within the light-radius of our universe, but of course we have no way of knowing that. It could be quadrillions of light years, far beyond what’s actually happened so far. Because we’re only in year 14 billion, or something like that, 15 billion. If it’s quadrillions away—because we’re pretty sure that the universe expands faster than light, or that’s what we think—so I’m wondering... I mean, we know that there are processes that operate faster than light—we know that for certain now. We have measured this, because we’ve seen things coming out of a black hole! [...] I feel like perhaps there may be two levels of logic. There’s the logic that we know of so far, that we can measure, which is the logic of conscious thought. And then I’m wondering if there is some sort of logic that we will eventually uncover, that is a much deeper logic, that is tied perhaps directly into our cells, or our genetics, or perhaps it’s some deep physical property of the universe. This is again completely speculative, but I would be surprised if that were the case.
That’s what I love about process work in psychology. It’s one of the few modalities in psychology that honors the Earth, and the universe, and all these unknown things, and realizes that there are ways that they are trying to communicate to us, and through us, and with us. And that kind of goes back to the Dreamtime, and the indigenous peoples such as the aboriginal Australians, who have a sense of the Earth dreaming us up. And so then you have to ask the question, “Are we the dreamer? Or are we the one being dreamed up?”

TYG: This is a question I’ve always had. [...]
So you can imagine, with all these fantastic thoughts that we’re talking about, these conversations... I don’t know about you, but I don’t get to have these conversations every day with people.

TYG: Huh.
There are only a few people that have the same fascinations. So that’s why I spend a lot of time out by myself in the woods. [laughs] [...] And so, back to the question of why I came to Yachats: it was a leap of faith, but also, I think Yachats was dreaming me up to be here. So, I just really appreciate that you reached out to me—I was surprised, and interested that you did it on my birthday, the same day I was doing the presentation in New York.

TYG: Oh, I had no idea!
I totally got that it was all kind of lined up. So that in itself was very intuitive of you.
TYG: Again, I had no idea!
Well that’s the fun part for me! I have students from all over the world, because I also teach online, and I have my podcast, so I have people listening to that all over the world. It’s just amazing with the new technology how we can really reach out and connect with so many people. Our sense of community truly expands. I’m very excited about that. And thank you for letting me be in the little old Yachats Gazette!

TYG: Thank you so much!

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 68, May 1 2017

A printable version of Issue 68 can be downloaded here.

The Little Log Church

The Yachats Gazette was pleased to be able to speak with Mary Crook, Events Coordinator, and Donna Hirschman, Saturday Volunteer, about the history of the Little Log Church, located on the corner of 3rd and Pontiac Streets.

The Little Log Church, Yachats, OR
 TYG: Do you want to tell us a little bit about the history [of the church]?
Sure. The Little Log Church was finished in 1930. The lot here was a double lot, and it was purchased in 1929 by a minister [Rolla J. Phelps] who became the first pastor here.

TYG-Graphic Design: Isn’t it unusual for a minister to purchase his own lot?
Well, he was able to do it, even though it was $200, which was a lot of money back in that time. He had to get permission from the group he was affiliated with. He served this area--it was called the Bay View Mission. He served Waldport, Yachats, and up Yachats River for quite a while. He and his wife lived in Summit, Oregon, between Newport and Corvallis, in the Coast Range. And [before moving here], they made this trip monthly, by wagon. It was not an easy trip.

TYG: Does that town even exist anymore?
Yes, it’s still here. But it’s small! [laughter] So, he came through Yachats and he wrote “As I was coming through Yachats, I was impressed by its need.” So he applied to have a permanent church here and serve this area.

TYG-GD: What denomination was he?
It was an evangelical denomination, the Oregon Conference of the Evangelical Church of Oregon. So they got volunteer help, of course, but Reverend Phelps put together the church pretty much by hand with logs donated from timber stands up the Yachats River. So he was then able to provide regular services, and Sunday School. Mrs. Phelps, his wife, played this organ that you see here during services. They were in their mid-50’s when they came here to start this church. The bell that is at the front of the church was donated by a church in Portland.

TYG: That must have been a trek to get it down here!
They actually had to use a ferry. The highway wasn’t finished, so it was no easy task. But they did it! And along about 1993, the building was condemned because it was unsafe. The logs were rotting, the foundation needed to be restored. So the City had to decide, “Well, should we tear it down and put a parking lot here? We always need parking...” [laugh] And the community said “No, you’re not getting rid of this!” And so they had a volunteer team, a lot of whom were retired people, who helped restore the church. They literally took it apart. They had to get logs to replace the rotten logs. They saved as much as they possibly could: you can see here some of the glass--that wavy glass--that’s the original glass, and as much as they could keep, they did. They’d had a wood stove here, but they didn’t have heat.

TYG: So they had to modernize the heating system.
Yes! And they put in track lighting so we have art shows and things like that. It’s been restored as close as possible to the original layout in the shape of a cross.

TYG-GD: When was the [extra room at the back] added?
That was in 1996, so after the restoration.

TYG: So the restoration happened pretty quickly, then.
Mostly. That was 5,500 man hours of volunteer time. [Mary gets up and shows us a picture of the volunteers.] These are some of the volunteers--this guy just happened to be riding down the street [on his bicycle].

TYG-GD: Aw, I recognize some of those faces! ... So, what happened between the 30’s and the 90’s? That’s quite a time span.
It turned out that there were more people with the Presbyterian congregation in this area than Evangelicals, and so the Presbyterian congregation took it over in the mid-1950’s. It remained a Presbyterian church until the congregation outgrew the building, and they built a new one.

TYG: That building is pretty beautiful as well.
It’s lovely! And it’s called the Church of the Agate Windows because, when they built that church, the pastor at the time said, “I want to have something that really reflects this area. We don’t necessarily want to have stained glass, but let’s have some windows that reflect the natural resources of this area.” So the whole community got together and started gathering agates.

TYG: I’m guessing it’s double-paned windows with the agates in the middle?
Well, I’m not sure exactly if they’re double-paned with agates in the middle. But they had to come up with a special epoxy so that the unpolished agates could adhere to the surface. And there are six panels--very, very heavy.

TYG-GD: Did they slice them? I can’t remember if they’re flat on one side.
No, I don’t think so. [Turning to the area behind the pulpit] This picture here [of the three wise men seated on camels] was painted by two art teachers in 1955, I believe. One of them was a very avid agate collector. He had a collection you wouldn’t believe, so he donated a lot of his private collection. He said, “Oh, finally, I can get rid of these things!” [laughter] So this was the seed, as it were, of the Church of the Agate Windows. So we have a little collection box in the corner there with some of the agates that were collected for that project.

Three Wise Men
So I’ll tell you a little story about that painting: There were two art teachers who lived at Ten Mile. They decided to provide a painting for the Christmas pageant here. So one of them goes to his wife, and says, “Could you give us some fabric that we could use to paint for the Christmas pageant?” So she just gave him a bedsheet, thinking that he was going to tear it up and use a piece of it. Well, they painted it on the whole bedsheet! [laughter] They came and they hung it; they had the Christmas pageant--well, they were going to have it. But this would be in December, and if you picture what happens in December... it was a dark and stormy night, and one of the artists woke up in the middle of the night, and he started to think about that painting. He calls his partner, and he says, “You know, we’ve got to go back into town and check that painting, because I’m not sure if we painted the correct number of legs on that painting.” [laughter] So they drove up here and counted the legs, and it was correct. [laughter] But you know how you worry about something in the middle of the night? So that’s the story of the painting.

TYG-GD: And then somebody got a frame for it?
Yes. And they actually put it on masonite. We do have curtains that we can pull across in front of the painting when we have special occasions like weddings. It works very well in December, but it’s a little distracting in June. We did have a very nice wedding a number of years ago, and it was the grand-daughter of one of the artists. It was in June, but she wanted that painting on full display.

TYG-GD: You perform weddings, correct?
I have a wedding service, called “Weddings by the Sea,” which I started in 1995. I do a lot of weddings here, and then I go to places like the Overleaf, or the beach, or the bluff by the Adobe, private homes, fishing boats, one--and only one--on horse-back. [laughter]

TYG: That wasn’t a good one, I’m guessing? How do you do that, logistically, on a horse?
Well, I’ll tell you about it briefly. It was over in Coburg, near Eugene, at a riding stable. The couple met; they were horse people. And it was pouring rain, pouring. We waited about an hour and a half in case the rain would let up, but it would not let up, and I was very grateful, because they had planned to ride one mile to where they wanted to have the ceremony. And that meant one mile back! So I only had to ride about 30 feet, because they had it in the indoor arena--and I was still sore for three days! [lots of laughter] [...] I decided that would be my one and only wedding on horseback.

But speaking of animals, that brings me to the Blessing of Animals that we have here on the grounds every October. It’s the first Sunday in October, which is the Sunday closest to the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Our [former] curator, Isabel Prescott, who used to live across the street here, was very fond of St. Francis. So when she passed away, we decided to have a sculpture of St. Francis created by Brian McEneny and we put it in the garden in her memory. So then we decided that since it was the garden of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals, that we would have an animal blessing every year. So we have had mostly dogs, but we have had the two ferrets, and a garden king snake, a bearded dragon, a rat, a tortoise, and one of Lauralee Svendsgaard’s donkeys. [laughter] Oh, yes, and the fire department goats.

TYG: I like how we can all just say “the two ferrets” and we all know what we’re talking about. [laughter] [The two ferrets belong to Council member Greg Scott, and the goats belong to Fire Chief Frankie Petrick.]
And we had a llama one year. So we’ve had quite a menagerie of animals being blessed. I can’t remember when I started this, but it’s an annual thing, and we usually have a dozen or so animals.
Donna: And this past year we had a lot of visitors in town who brought their animals; a lot of them are dog people.
Mary: You know, people will do just about anything for their animal, and so it means a lot. But I get in trouble, because every year for the past three years I’ve been blessing the moles, so the neighbor across the street said, “I wish you wouldn’t bless the moles.” [laughter]

TYG-GD: So when did the museum aspect enter into all of this?
When the Presbyterian church was finished, up on 7th Street, then this property was turned over to Lincoln County, which in turn turned it over to the City of Yachats. The provision was that it would stay a museum.

TYG: In 1989, right?
Yes, I believe so.

TYG-GD: Does it have a specific focus, as a museum?
Well, it’s twofold: to house items that represent local history, and items from families of this area that they might have donated, and to showcase local artists.

TYG-GD: Ok! I was just wondering, because I wasn’t sure where that electric hair curler fit in.
Mary: [laughs]
That was in storage at the Heceta Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast. Before it became a bed and breakfast, it was run by Lane Community College, and they had a lot of historical items there. So they had that on display, then they put it in one of the closets, in one of the bedrooms. Then they expanded, and added a few more bedrooms. They didn’t have room for the hair curler, so Michelle Korgan--I think we saw each other in the parking lot at the grocery store--said, “Would the Little Log Church like a hair curler?” And I said, “Oh, yes!” [laughter] So we acquired a hair curler. And that is one of our most attractive attractions! People go over there and they either say, “What in the world is that?!” Or they say, “Ohhh, I remember those! I have a burn on the back of my neck!” [laughter] So there are either memories, or curiosity.

TYG-GD: Well, it does look like a Medusa.
So the hair curler is a very strong attraction, as is our sea shell collection.

TYG: Yes, it’s a beautiful collection!   
TYG-GD: I remember when we first moved here, I came in and saw the sea shell collection and was really inspired! It took me a few years to realize that we don’t have any of those shells here! [laughter]
There was a Yachats resident by the name of Alice Stein, who passed away a number of years ago. She had a huge shell collection, down at Ten Mile. In 1964 she and her husband started traveling all around the world, and their object was to find as many sea shells as they could. I have been in their home--after he passed away--and I would not be surprised if she had one million sea shells. In the house, in the basement, floor-to-ceiling shelves... So before she passed, she parceled out as many as she could to universities, and libraries, and the Little Log Church. So we acquired a minute fraction of her collection. It took our curator, Karl Christianson, about one year, coming in on Thursdays, to identify the shells and make a list of their common name, their scientific name, where they were found, and then create a coordinated number list, so that people can say, “Oh, what is number four?” and then look at the list.

TYG-GD: That must have been a fun project, though!
Yes, it was--and it’s a big attraction.

TYG-GD: Are they lacquered?
I don’t think they’re preserved.

TYG: What else is really cool and a big attraction?
Well, this organ here is an operable organ, and it’s a pump organ. It’s used for things like weddings, or Christmas concerts.

Bellows Organ at the Little Log Church

TYG-GD: So you actually have to press the pedals in order for it to play.
Right. That was donated to the church by Virginia Gilmore, who owned the Rock Park Cottages down the street and is a strong member of the community. It was in her home for a long time.

TYG: Very odd proportions! Just considering the height of the bench section versus the key section.
Well, and you notice that the bench is tilted. That’s so the organist can get down and really pump.

TYG-GD: Do you have many organists who know how to do that?
I’m so glad you brought that up, because we’re recruiting. If you know of anybody... The organist we used when I moved here was Inez Lush. Her husband was also a musician. Inez just played that organ beautifully, and she was succeeded by Cheryl Wade, who was the organist for the Presbyterian church. And when Cheryl and her husband moved out of the area, we recruited another organist from Waldport, who retired about two years ago. It’s getting harder and harder to find people with that skill. 

TYG-GD: I don’t suppose that Milo, jack-of-all-trades, can play it?
Mary: It’s a completely different instrument.
Donna: Another thing on these too is that they have all those stops. You have to be able to [adjust] them while you’re playing, and while you’re pumping. And you’re using [this lever beneath the keyboard] too, like a bellows. So it’s not like a piano would be today, or even a modern organ. My grandfather had one like this, and he was marvelous at it. But he’d be playing, and then all of a sudden you’d see him pushing and pulling the [stops], because they have to be at a certain level to get the tones you want.

TYG: Are these the original benches?
These pews were given to the Little Log Church when it was built--it was finished in 1930--by a church in Philomath. It holds close to 60 people--I say 58 very good friends. [laughter]

TYG: If we go back in that other room, we really didn’t talk much about what’s in there...
I have something to tell you about that! [We move from the chapel part of the building back to the side entrance and the rear room of the museum.]

TYG: This is the sea shell collection--these are all numbered?
All numbered, and the coordinating list is here. [...] Now, a year ago November, so November 2015, we had a visit from this little girl, all grown up [shows us the little girl in an old photo]--her name was Marilyn Myers. This was what she looked like when she lived here, at the Little Log Church. Her father, Lyman Myers, was the pastor here in 1940-41. This is Dorothy Myers’s wedding dress. Marilyn Myers came to visit us, and she spoke to a group here at the Log Church about what it was like growing up in Yachats. And Dorothy and Marilyn came to visit us in 2001. I happened to be on duty as a volunteer that day. So they came in, they introduced themselves, and they had not been in this part of the museum ever, because when they lived here the manse was here, the house where the pastor and his family lived. So Marilyn and her mom were walking around the museum, and looked at all of the pictures, and they looked at this picture here. And Mrs. Myers said, “Hey, I think that’s Daddy in that picture!” meaning Lyman Myers. So I got a chair and pulled the picture down so they could get a closer look at it, and this man here, with his arm at a right angle, was Lyman Myers about 1940, smelt fishing. You can see the smelt nets [in the photo], how big they are. And here is a smelt net that was donated to us. You can see how big it was, and how heavy.

TYG: It’s a big piece of wood, but it’s interesting to see how they’ve done the netting, how light it is.
That was a hand-made net.

TYG: It’s beautifully done.
And so when Marilyn spoke to us, she brought us a few of the articles that were part of her memories here in this church. Marilyn brought a big, blue bowl--that was what her mother made bread in, almost every day. And she brought this toy chicken. That was given to her by the woman who owned the cottages where the bookstore is now, Planet Yachats, C&K and all that. If you put a marble in the chicken’s head, and push the head down, the marble will come out and “lay an egg.” [laughter]

Marble-Laying Chicken and Bread Bowl

Donna: And I think one of my favorite pieces is this crazy quilt.

TYG-GD: Why is it called “crazy”?
It’s all different kinds of patterns, and all different kinds of materials, silk and velvet.

TYG: It’s the quilt equivalent of collage.
It’s all hand-stitched, with all different kinds of embroidery.
Mary: And it took three years to make, between 1880 and 1883.

TYG: Well thank you so much for your time!
Thank you very much--it was a pleasure seeing you!

NOTE: The Yachats Gazette had a last minute update from Mary Crook about a potential donation to the Little Log Church: a carillon!  A Yachatian couple have offered to donate this recorded, state-of-the-art, bell chime system with up to 2,000 options, including chimes on the hour or at designated times during the day, or even special occasion peals. The City of Yachats needs to approve this, and the Little Log Church would of course make it suitable to the nature of West Third St. (and not Big Ben, for example). The Presbyterian church had a carillon system, but now that seems to have gone silent. The donors picked this carillon for the Little Log Church specifically.