Scott Landfield and David Rhodes
After three years of college in his home town of Quincy,
Illinois, Scott Landfield moved to Eugene in 1978. "People
were coming out to plant trees," he says. "I planted trees
for 20 years." Chicagoan David Rhodes was a student in
Berkeley when he hitchhiked to Eugene for a 1984 Grateful
Dead concert. "It was a hippie wonderland," he says. "I knew
I'd live here one day." After a few years back in Chicago,
Rhodes made the trek west in 1993. He played saxophone in
several bands and worked days at the Black Sun Bookstore,
where he met Landfield, a part-time employee when he wasn't
in the woods. Black Sun owner Peter Ogura helped Rhodes open
Tsunami Books in 1995, and Landfield joined the business a
year later. More than just a bookstore, Tsunami has become a
cultural center, hosting writing classes for adults and
kids, literary readings, theater, political events, and
concerts. Nearly bankrupt in early 2005, Tsunami was rescued
by an impromtu "cabal" of investors. "Mostly poets,"
Landfield observes . "Now we're a community-owned business.
This is the first year we've made a profit."
photograph and story by Paul Neevel
Eugene Weekly / 16 November