I thought this would be easier than it has been. First off, there are many things I can call favorite; secondly, trying to fit them into neat buckets just isn’t happening like I want. So today I think the topic is going to be passion. Yes, passionate. I have never come across such a large group of people who are following their passions. There were others in San Diego, in Las Vegas, but even early on in Seattle I either didn’t see them or they just weren’t there yet. Now I see a lot of them and I see them all over the place.
There are those that left other jobs, safe and secure jobs, to make an incredible leap into doing what they loved. Some retired into it, yes, but some left jobs and uprooted to come here. Some even sort of fell into it. My joy is that I am lucky enough to hear the stories; stories that always leave me with a smile and a sense of wonder at how amazing it can turn out when you have the courage to make the leap. Which is another thing that I love, that these incredibly talented folks are willing to take the time to tell those stories.
They run the gamut, some on that amazing upward run, some rounding out their time, some just starting to dip a toe in. It is the guy in the tasting room who is working on his degree at OSU’s winemaking program and loves everything about wine. It is the chef at Lincoln who takes five minutes to talk with our group on a busy evening and is incredibly gracious about it. It is the guys who came to Portland to learn about microbrews and became winemakers instead. It is Jon and Laura Jennison at Thistle who not only are happy to talk about their wonderful wines, but even pulled my truck out of the blackberries when I was a little too timid on that hill of theirs.
The stories I hear are just amazing. There is the guy who started out selling fish who ended up becoming a distiller when his clients became more interested in the spirits he brought them, thus creating Fremont Mischief . It is one of those funny, interesting, unbelievable tales that sound more fictional than real. There are the folks behind the SE Wine Collective in Portland who, looking for a new place to make their wine, ended up creating a great place that houses three other winemakers and is aiming to be an incubator for more.
They are doing what they do because they have a passion for it. You can see it in their faces when they talk about it. The light that seems to illuminate from within because they can’t believe they are really getting to do what they are doing. Not every day is a joy, sure; and I would wager there are days they wonder why they stick with it, but they do it because they really can’t imagine doing anything else. We should all be so lucky.
So yes, passion. Some folks call it quirkiness or hippy ideals or other names that seek to make it less appealing, because imagine what it would be like if we were all doing what we love. Imagine.