Joe Frost of Joseph was born in Spokane, Wash. in 1977 to Christine Frost (later Christine Geyer). His mom was head nurse in an intensive care unit and his dad, Tom, was a commercial fisherman and land surveyor.
His parents split shortly afterward and he and his brother and mother moved to northern California where he attended school in Grass Valley. He began his associate degree at Sierra College and finished it at Blue Mountain Community College, majoring in music.
He continued his interest in music, playing bass with “Daisy Maker” in Wallowa County. The group put out a few albums and were even offered a record deal, he said.
He had spent his summers as a youth in Lostine with grandparents John and Dorothy Dulin and went fly fishing with his granddad and learned to love the county. After graduation from Blue Mountain and a short stint working in construction in Lake Oswego, he came home to Wallowa County in 2002 and began building a hometown career.
He worked with Jake Hobbs of Joseph, Rimrock Construction, Bronson Log Homes and Chris Borgerding before going out on his own in 2016 with Uppercut Construction of Joseph.
Being a contractor in Wallowa County has worked out “pretty good,” Frost said. Right now he’s finishing his parent’s (Christine and Chris Geyer) “show piece custom home” on Camp Street in Joseph and several other homes are in the works for later in the year.
He met his wife Pam Henwood when he was on a 2012 mushroom hunting trip in Trout Lake, Wash. and the couple hit it off and married in 2015. They have no children.
Pam spent her early career working as a public relations manager for Fortune 500 companies and has taken a step back from that for a few years. They enjoy helping out in community projects, such as the Joseph Park playground.
“I like to chip in where I can use my skills,” Frost said.
They’re also involved in fundraising for the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce.
Joe still loves the sport he learned from Grandad Dulin and enjoys fly fishing the Wallowa River. “One of the best fly fishing rivers on the planet,” he said. He also enjoys live music and hunting mushrooms in the mountains.
Q. Why settle in Wallowa County?
A. I love this place. Every time I leave, I’m really thankful to come back. Sometimes I think, ‘Oh I want to go do something else,’ and then I leave for a little while and I’m ... nope ... and I want to come back. I like that it’s secluded, it seems safe and protected from the outside world. It’s a sanctuary for me.
Q. What has Wallowa County taught you?
A. Respect. It’s a small community, and in order to get along, we all need to respect each other, respect each other’s boundaries, respect the land –– I know if you’re not respectful, people around here won’t put up with you. We kind of teach each other respect; I think that’s a good thing. Sometimes, these guys who come in here from the city, throwing elbows around and trying to be the big guy and whatever ... it’s like they better learn some respect if they’re going to hang out around here ‘cause we’re not going to put up with this.”
Q. Can you recall the first book that really had an impact on you, and can you recommend a book you’ve read recently.
A. “Where the Red Fern Grows,” by Wilson Rawls. My mother read that to me when I was about nine. We didn’t have TV, so that’s what we did at night. Rawls also wrote a book called “Summer of the Monkeys.” I just liked the adventure of it.
I haven’t really had time for much reading recently, but I like anything by Tom Brown. He wrote “The Tracker: The True Story of Tom Brown, Jr.” a memoir about his apprenticeship with an Apache scout –– the elite survivalist on the planet. They can tell if you move your eyeballs just from your tracks.