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David Kayfes

Shortly after graduating from UC Berkeley in 1963 with a BA in journalism, Bay Area native David Kayfes joined the National Guard. He had the good fortune to be stationed for two years in Italy, where he met a Dutch girl, Anneke. "I got out in October of '66," he says. "We were married in December." Returning to the US, he found work back in Berkeley, in the UC sports info department. "I worked 12-hour days a lot," says Kayfes, who grew tired of the PR spin expected in the sports info realm, and moved north in 1974 to be a sports writer at the Register-Guard. "Honest journalism appealed to me." He covered local high-school sports for 25 years, then retired early, in 1999, to devote time to volunteer activities. "I thought that I would work with kids," says Kayfes, who appears in the photo with family pooch Abby. Intead, he has spent more time with older people, as a hospice volunteer, and with Lane County's Elder Help program, driving home-bound folks to errands and appointments. He took a master gardener course in 2001, and began teaching composting classes for the Lane County Extension Service. "There's something about compost, turning rot and waste into good soil," he says. "Something about resurrection and new life." Since teaching a composting class at Sponsors Inc. three years ago, Kayfes has become a mentor to five young men, newly out of prison.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 31 October 2013

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