Return to California

In 2006, Vicki and I placed our careers on hold and moved to Indiana to care for her parents; Keith and Priscilla Hawley.  After six years in Richmond we are returning to California.  I have accepted the job of Manager at Lenz Arts in Santa Cruz.  When I was a student at the University of California I used to buy my supplies there in the ‘70’s.  I had a few friends who told me it was the coolest place for artists to work, and now I have come full circle and can verify that they were telling the truth.  After 44 years in the retail business, Andy and Cynthia Lenz, and their sons Andrew and Matthew, have not only managed to survive, but have created an amazing resource for artists and crafters throughout Northern California.  I have worked continuously in the art materials industry since 1978 except for the years in Richmond.

An incentive for our return is that three out of four of our kids live in the San Francisco Bay Area, Vicki’s son Bill was married on April 21 and my daughter Oriana gave birth to our first grandson, Mateo Martin Gliessman, on May 12th in Santa Cruz.

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After the passing of Vicki’s mom, we cared for her father who was a resident of Friends Fellowship, and over the years became involved with the Richmond community.  We purchased two commercial buildings downtown and invested in their restoration and reuse.  I worked on a number of projects that I hoped would improve the quality of life in Richmond, and Vicki opened Unwind Yarn Shop. 

The most recent project I have completed, and one of the most rewarding, is a series of thirty video interviews of Veterans for the Library of Congress through the office of Senator Lugar, at Ivy Tech College in Richmond and Muncie.

Vicki has worked long hours creating Unwind Yarn Shop, which sadly is now for sale.  Every year it has been more successful and has developed a following of knitters who have come regularly from Ohio and Illinois as well as throughout Indiana.  www.unwindrichmond.com

The community of Richmond, Indiana has also experienced a growth in business and creative reuse of historic buildings, so we are also sad to leave just as things are starting to take off.  The historic 1902 railroad depot designed by Daniel Burnham was saved by the community and is being restored, an early fire station, RFD #1 has been transformed into a BBQ and Blues club by two active duty Richmond firefighters, and the Model T Museum, which hosted the world-wide Centennial Celebration of the Ford Model T in 2008 has relocated to the Depot District and will be opening in the next few months.

We look forward to being close to our kids, and now a grandson, but in the six years we lived in Richmond, feel we are also leaving another family of friends and a community that unexpectedly became an important part of our lives.

Best Wishes,

Jim & Vicki Hair

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