Donald Dow

Donald Dow, was the first person to get a new home in Blue River, Oregon after the Holiday Farm Fire destroyed the entire community in late summer of 2020. I interviewed Don the day after his home showed up, ten months after his last home burned. “I’m stronger than I gave myself credit for.” “Back on September 6th or 7th, we had a major wildfire … Continue reading Donald Dow

Melanie Stanley

Melanie Stanley lost her home and business in Blue River, Oregon in the Holiday Farm Fire of 2020. The Meyers General Store and Liquor Shop had been in her family for 29 years. I interviewed her on the cement slab that remained. We talked about the fire that devastated the town of Blue River, her commitment to rebuild and both her dreams and fears about … Continue reading Melanie Stanley

Kelly Britt Davis

Kelly Britt Davis works in a rural health care facility in Blue River, Oregon. After navigating the first six months months of Covid, the clinic burned to the ground in the Holiday Farm Fire, a wild fire that consumed 175,000 acres and more than 500 structures at the end of Labor Day weekend. Our interview started by talking about the wild fire and moved on … Continue reading Kelly Britt Davis

Kentucky

The day before the tragic storm in Kentucky, we were working with Extension agents at a statewide conference in Lexington. Extension programs are a division of land grant universities and their goal is to educate entire communities. These folks are charged with integrating the research of an institution into the day to day lives of the state’s residents. Extension agents offer nutrition programs in rural … Continue reading Kentucky

Sean Davis

Sean Davis is a writer, a veteran and a wildland firefighter. He lives in McKenzie Bridge, Oregon. In the summer of 2020, the McKenzie River Valley was devastated by a forest fire that quickly burned 174,000 acres and destroyed more than 500 homes. Sean says he has been to the apocalypse four times. He has seen difficult things and you will find that he shares … Continue reading Sean Davis

Kristen Sandstrom

Kristen Sandstrom is a self-professed word geek. She is an avid reader, writer and seller of books. I interviewed her in Bayfield, Wisconsin. We talked about her love for Lake Superior, her understanding of community and the ways she has moved toward healing after surviving trauma in her teens. “I don’t use the word victim, I always use the word survivor. That’s very important for … Continue reading Kristen Sandstrom

Michael Reid

Michael Reid played bass in a punk band and became addicted to heroin. He was strung out on the drug for ten years. His days revolved around petty crime to feed his addiction, which eventually landed him in prison for more than a year. After his release, Michael started volunteering at a food pantry. Over time, he was given more responsibility, and now Michael is … Continue reading Michael Reid

shame on you

I had coffee with a friend the other day. He lost his grandson to a heroin overdose a short time ago. The young man had struggled for years with addiction. He had been in and out of treatment and recently finished 90 days of rehab. When he got out, his grandfather asked him how was doing and he said, “I’m scared.” The next day he … Continue reading shame on you