Jesse Eaves, 45, of Lostine, was born in Chico, Calif., and went to Las Plumas High. He moved here with his family and graduated from Joseph High School in 1991.
He worked with his father, Ron Eaves, and Gary Limbaugh to build the Mill Pond Apartments in Enterprise.
He decided he liked construction.
“I got a few compliments as a kid, and that’s all it took,” Eaves said.
He started learning Taekwondo with Dean Metcalf in 1998 when he was 25 and was the first Black Belt out of the school. Now, he teaches Taekwondo out of Odd Fellows Hall in Enterprise.
His career path in Wallowa County continued with a job at Burch’s Plumbing and then he began on what would eventually become his specialty — working with glass for Larry and Bonnie Davis at Mountain View Glass.
He worked there for more than eight years.
He’d married and divorced along the way, and when the Davis family sold the business, he moved to San Francisco for 15 years. He secured his contractor’s license and became a general contractor.
In 2017 the family called him back to Wallowa County to help care for his aging father, and he was primary caregiver for seven months until his father died August 2017.
He went back into construction, obtained his Oregon contractors license and decided to focus on glasswork.
He is the owner of Greenbough Glass and Doors of Enterprise and fixes broken windows, replaces windows, cuts art glass and mirrors, works with museum grade glass and more.
He enjoys Taekwondo and strength training with Olympic lifting coaches Michael and Donna Reams of Enterprise. He indulges his creative side with painting and pen and ink drawing and also took local wood artist Steve Arment’s carving class. He gets outdoors to fish and hunt.
He enjoyed working with the homeless with “Mission for the Homeless” in Oakland, Calif., while he was living there and his Taekwondo class in Enterprise is mostly a public service. He makes enough to pay the rent for the Odd Fellows Hall.
Q. Why live in Wallowa County?
A. I didn’t appreciate Wallowa County when I lived here in my 20s, but the last 15 years in California with its traffic and super expensive real estate and the high cost of living ... I moved here and the people are kind and there is the general courteousness.
“I woke up one morning when dad was getting bad, and I was thinking what I’d do next and thought I can’t imagine moving again; what’s better than this place?”
Q. What has Wallowa County taught you?
A. An appreciation for not only small town but also nature. Community is probably the better word –– the interconnection with people, seeing people you know in town, having conversation and knowing people’s parents and checking on them ... stuff like that.
Q. Can you remember a book you read as a kid that had a big effect on you? And can you recommend a book you’ve read recently?
A. Probably “Lord of the Rings.” Everything from then on was riding horses and wearing armor. It really affected my artwork.
A book I’ve read recently is “Easy Strength” by Dan John and Pavel (Tsatsouline) –– it was really good, written by somebody who uses science to teach strength training. Donna Reams assisted Dan John in one of his classes and is mentioned in one of his books. I was reading Dan John’s stuff 10 years ago because he talks about people who are over 35 and that was useful to me.