Since we’ve been reminiscing, I thought it would be fun to share this picture of Jeff selling his handmade jewelry at Stanford in the 70’s. I love this picture. Jeff has always loved making things and in 1974 started selling his artwork to make a living, and did that throughout his twenties. (He likes to joke about his days “going to Stanford.”) After that period of time he started working other jobs. He worked all sorts of jobs from working as a phone man, to working at a software company, to working at a mill, to working as a certified nursing assistant at a senior care facility and as a peer adviser at a community college. He also started a landscaping business and did odd jobs. Being the maniac (or “working fool” as we like to say) that he was, he often had three jobs at one time.
When I met Jeff he was getting up at two in the morning, delivering the rural newspaper, and then going to the post office after that and delivering the rural mail. He wasn’t getting enough sleep at that time and he was exhausted. One day we were cleaning up around his house and I found some of his old artwork in a drawer. I had no idea he was such an artist and was blown away. There was a long period of his life where his artwork had been forgotten about. I told him that he should start creating artwork again.
Then I encouraged him to make a living from his artwork once more, and joined him in that endeavor. And with that, he started bringing his dreams back to life. It was a leap of faith to start our business with hardly any money and to not have a steady paycheck. It was sometimes very stressful, yet we both knew it was the right path for us. We’ve had to work very hard to support ourselves this way, but it’s been incredibly rewarding. Every job he had taught him something and gave him a plethora of experiences along his journey, but out of all the jobs Jeff has ever had, making things has always been his favorite. And I’m very glad to see him doing what he loves.