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stories from a stay-at-home traveler

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Updated: Mar 6, 2022

Meet the people who make the place

“The library isn’t here to convince you of anything, except that there is something at the library for you.”

”I’ve lived here for 26 years now, and the library has always been a center of the community. Since Ruch isn’t a formal town, it doesn’t have civic buildings where people might have a meeting, or gather. So, the library has served that purpose more than anything else.

I know there are people in the community who have never set foot in the library and have no idea what it has to offer them—maybe because they think it’s a certain way and that it doesn’t have anything for them. But I’d be surprised if there is really anybody in the community that would not find something for them here.

Libraries are safe spaces for everyone, no matter what is going on in their life. They have outreach to the homebound, storytime for children, and provide a place where people can access the Internet, entertainment and knowledge. The librarians are here to help you for free. You can go and say ‘I’m looking for a job. and I know I’m supposed to do it on the computer but I don’t really know how’, or ‘I’m looking for resources about Alexander The Great’. They will help you.

Reading books is also said to be a big encourager of empathy. It helps you see someone else’s life from the inside. So, all of those factors-- from the very practical everyday factors, to the more intangible factors—make libraries very important to me. They are so important to me that that’s where I put my effort. I think a lot of us who volunteer for the Friends would say the same thing.

The library is free to everyone and nobody is keeping track of what you do. There is no record of what you check out unless you chose to have the computer to record it. Librarians have historically been strong supporters of civil liberties and of freedom of thought and freedom of speech. That is in their wheelhouse, that is in their DNA. The library isn’t here to convince you of anything, except that there is something at the library for you.” (Cynthia Cheney, Friends of the Ruch Library volunteer)

Meet the people who make the place.

"We're too blessed to be stressed"

"There is no way around it now: large, big-name companies want to cash in on weed now that federal regulations are giving them the green light. So, they are squeezing us all out, doing what they can to get our pennies into their pocket. Our pennies are way more valuable to us than they ever can be to them.

We were very much low profile-- not growing anything more than what was needed in order for us to keep our families happy and healthy. Growing good honest chronic. The way the market has gone has definitely taken a toll on the tribe.

Moving away from Williams is not an option. But this market is going to weed out some folks that don’t have their heart in it completely. There will be less wishy-washy people there trying to make an easy dollar in the weed game. There will be a lot of challenges-- a ridiculous amount of money that we are going to see vanishing. We still don’t know what the numbers are going to be like for our tribe, our community, and the stores.

It has forced us to diversify and get out there and find some niches. For me, my newest niche market is finding old planks of wood and turning them into art. There are plenty of old planks laying around. They don’t cost me anything. I can work with them and make them nice for others to enjoy. I’ve fallen into this little niche business because I had to start thinking creatively.

You can shake your fist at the universe and ask Why? as much as you want. You’re never going to understand in the moment what good could come from it. There’s always a flip side to the coin. We’ve got to keep striving for that silver lining. We’re too blessed to be stressed."--Alexander Colours Dreamer, Scrapsman, Craftsman, Entrepreneur ( #FootlooseFriends

Meet the people who make the place.

"Right now, I’m thinking about curiosity. Curiosity is my through-line between all the things I’m interested in: movement work, nature stuff, therapy. Curiosity is what puts you into observing what you don’t know yet. You know what I mean? Because you already know what you know, but if you can get curious about something then you actually open yourself up to being transformed. Everything that I find good ties into that.

Just now I was curious where a flock of birds over the vineyard went. What configuration are they in right now. In that tree? Over the vineyard? Somewhere else?

I’m from Minnesota. I came to the area to live at Trillium. I didn’t even know what the Applegate was and then my van broke down and I was like ‘Okay, I guess I’ll live here.’ And then from there, so much happened”—Jeffrey Schwinghammer, Feldenkrais student and documentary maker. #FootlooseFriends

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On the Loose: Alexander Colours
              (click photo)

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