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Jim Guthrie

"Anyone with a beating heart is a drummer," says Jim Guthrie, principal organizer of Drums Of Peace Eugene, a weekly drum circle on the Federal Building plaza at 7th and Pearl. "We welcome all ages and all skill levels. We're there every Sunday from 2 'til 4, rain or shine, until the end of the Iraq war. We're into rhythm, not rhetoric." A California transplant, Guthrie hit Eugene in 1972, "right after the Grateful Dead show." Since then, he has worked mostly at lumber salvage and forest restoration. He started out at the Oregon Country Fair as recycle-booth coordinator in 1976, and later served on the OCF board when the fair property was purchased. A pond on the OCF wetlands-mitigation area, visible from highway 126, is named "Lake Guthrie" in his honor. Since 1987, Guthrie has lived at "The Bulb Ranch," two-thirds of an acre in Glenwood, between Eugene and Springfield, where he hosts benefit concerts on a backyard stage during the dry months. "The very first party was 'Jesse Jackson for president,'" he recalls. "We've had half-a-dozen to a dozen shows a year since then. This year we raised money to buy an ambulance for a village in Guatemala."


happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 12 January 2006

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