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Lara Howe

Roseburg native Lara Howe recalls her first visit to the Oregon Country Fair, when she and the fair were five years old. "My brother said the rides would make me puke," says Howe, who was disappointed to find no rides but delighted to get a Monster Cookie. "That's what turned me on to the fair." In her teens, she hitched rides to the fair with a neighbor and hung out at the main stage for music and dancing. At age 18, she met her husband Kenny Howe. The following year, they moved to Eugene with their three-month old son Dylan. For 14 years, she has sold home-sewn purses and done hair-wraps at the Saturday Market. In 1995, Kenny volunteered for the OCF recycling crew. "It's the hardest work I've ever done," says Lara, who likes the work well enough to have co-coordinated the recycling crew since 2002. "I've never been so happy to be so filthy." Howe's pet project has been the use of washable cutlery by all food booths. "Last year, we rented a trailer with three triple sinks," she says. "It took forever. This year we'll pay to use the conveyor-belt dishwasher at Elmira High School."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 12 July 2007

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