Two Themes have run together in my life – saving lives and weaving. Many know of my career in highway construction representing several safety product manufacturers for Coral Sales Company. But even before then, as supervisor of long distance operators in the graveyard shift I was constantly working with the police on emergency calls. In both jobs I would go home knowing I had made a difference and my efforts at some point would save lives.
In my late twenties I learned of Oral Histories and was able to get my grandfather’s favorite stories down into a book which I reproduced and distributed throughout the family. I, once again, had found a different way to save lives. Seeing how my grandfather relaxed, knowing his stories won’t be forgotten, gave me another layer of satisfaction. In fact, I felt a calling to save more stories of people’s lives, so much in fact, that I quit my highway sales career and started my own business.
A second passion in my life has been basket weaving. Sparked by a class on “weaving with natural fibers” at Portland Community College, I pursued an interest in weaving baskets, starting with pine needle baskets and cedar bark to yarns and synthetic fibers. I was extremely fortunate to be able to participate in two basket weaving symposiums in Washington State where I met several basket weavers from Oregon with a similar love of the art. We came back to Portland and founded the Columbia River Basketry Guild, still going strong for over twenty five years.
My work now merges these two passions, saving lives and weaving. I am now a weaver of stories. After hearing the memories of my client I weave them together into a story that captures a clear narrative of my client’s life. Each life is special and gives me an opportunity to call upon my creative skills to share the uniqueness of their story.
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