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Magnolia Rainbow

"People who need stuff seem to fall in my path," says Magnolia Rainbow, known to her friends as a champion of the underdog, who takes care of wayward teenagers and animals, "and I find a way to help them." Her small house in Springfield currently shelters eleven people, including her sons Tanner and Mac, ages 21 and 15, and three dogs, including Paddy and Bernie, on the porch in the photo. "My parents were hippies," says Rainbow, who was born in a school bus and spent her elementary and middle school years in Ashland. Then her mother died, and she moved to Eugene with her father and sister. She started high school at South Eugene, but later transferred to the Opportunity Center, an alternative school. Strung out on amphetamine and cocaine, she was kicked out by her dad and took refuge with a friend in Santa Cruz for two years, then returned and found work in the woods. "I loved fighting fires," she says. "It cured me of being a junky." A car wreck in 1998 led her to study auto body repair at Lane Community College, and to finish a GED, but it also led to seven operations on a herniated disk and, eventually, a disability pension. She gave up drinking six years ago at the insistence of her son Mac, and has since started a career as a jewelry artist. "I donate 20 percent to Clean Slate Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation," she notes. See her jewelry at Mona Beads, 1712 Willamette, or on facebook, handmadeforhounds. Also online, her friends have established a gofundme campaign called Save Maggie's Home! to pay off a debt to her sister and give her clear title to her Springfield sanctuary.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 25 May 2017

Happening People has appeared in the Eugene Weekly since 1996. It's not always up to date on this page, but the archive dates back to 2003.

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