Boys from Home
Laff and Jesse both grew up in the Tobacco Valley, having gone to Lincoln County High School. They were frequently involved in community activities growing up.
While in high school, Laff filmed school plays, the Creative Arts Center annual dance recitals and even made a sales video for a local rancher. Jesse served on the Sunburst Foundation board of directors as the high school representative. He was in the school’s Speech and Drama Club and helped out older people in need. Then they left the valley to go to university. Laff studied cinematography in Denver. Jesse studied astrophysics in Boulder. And now they are both well on their way to having fulfilling careers.
They both come back to Eureka from time to time visiting family and friends. While here whether for Thanksgiving or during a summer break, they not only use their time in the valley to visit, but also to actively re-engage in this community. They are going to volunteer at the Community Soup Night this week.
Laff is helping Gary Henderson on his latest film. They pitch in where needed such at the Creative Arts Center during the annual Trash-to-Flash event. It is clear from the efforts that they make while home visiting, that the Tobacco Valley is still an important part of their lives. And it is clear that the valley and the values Jesse and Laff adopted growing up in a small town have had an impact on them.
It can be bittersweet when our young people move out of the valley, but it is heartening when they carry a piece of this community into the world.
About the Author: Rita Collins. I am a believer in the power of community and for now I call the Tobacco Valley home. I have lived in nine states and three counties and this community here amazes me - how people reach out to neighbors and even travelers. I've never lived in a place that demonstrates people caring for each other so well. And I've never lived in a place that has such a high percentage of talented musicians and artists. I work with the the Sunburst Community Service Foundation, a nonprofit that began in Eureka twenty years ago and now serves numerous communities in western Montana. And I just started a new business, St. Rita's Amazing Traveling Bookstore and Textual Apothecary. I never could have imagined life being this exciting in my sixth decade.