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Jon Bryan's Profile

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Hi, I was born in 1942 and every year that goes by I enjoy life more. I've pretty much been on my own since I was 15. It beat going to any more foster homes. I supported myself mowing lawns and selling encyclopedias from door to door. It wasn't to bad because I was cute and the ladies liked me. I went from that to hauling hay and then on to cement mixer. I did some roofing-that's how I met Marilu. I was on a roof and she was walking by with a cute little wiggle. I told my boss I was in love and was gonna marry her. The next day she walked by I was at the corner gas station across from her apartment, I jumped out o' my truck and said " I wanna go out with you. She wasn't too impressed-I was dirty and smelled of tar, but she said she would if I could remember her phone no. and she rattled it off real fast. The rest is history. That was 1967 and we married in '68. It's been a wild ride and never boring. I'd like to be married to her for…

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  • Male
  • Joined March 29, 2010

Favorite materials

cedar, galvanized metal, paint, clay, wood, willow

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About

Hi, I was born in 1942 and every year that goes by I enjoy life more. I've pretty much been on my own since I was 15. It beat going to any more foster homes. I supported myself mowing lawns and selling encyclopedias from door to door. It wasn't to bad because I was cute and the ladies liked me. I went from that to hauling hay and then on to cement mixer. I did some roofing-that's how I met Marilu. I was on a roof and she was walking by with a cute little wiggle. I told my boss I was in love and was gonna marry her. The next day she walked by I was at the corner gas station across from her apartment, I jumped out o' my truck and said " I wanna go out with you. She wasn't too impressed-I was dirty and smelled of tar, but she said she would if I could remember her phone no. and she rattled it off real fast. The rest is history. That was 1967 and we married in '68. It's been a wild ride and never boring. I'd like to be married to her for another 47 yrs. I went from roofing to logging and it was hard work but I enjoyed it until a log coming down off the mountain in a high lead show got caught on a cable, snapped lose, caught me across the hip and pelvis and threw me 20-30 feet in the air before landing on my back. I begged them to leave me there and let me die My hip and pelvis were shattered beyond repair - the doc just tried to push it around with his hands to get it to look the most like it should but there were too many small pieces to fix so he sent me home on crutches and told me to hope it would heal and slowly it did.
After that I started hauling logs down off the top of the hill instead of yarding them out. It was pretty challenging because of the steep, narrow winding roads but I was good at it until one day I lost my brakes coming down of a steep mountain. The truck just kept going faster as it sped down the hill and I tried to control it around a particularly sharp curve it rolled and then slid down the mountain road ending up caught on the edge of a steep precipice. After that rollover and then the slide the truck was flattened. I was barely able to craw out the shattered, flattened front windshield but I got out with just minor cuts and scratches. I thought maybe my luck had run out and went back to driving mixer. But I also did some side work in land clearing. One day not too long after the truck deal, I was hauling a 55gal. can of diesel in the back of my truck. I slowed to stop for an oncoming train but the diesel slid through the back window and knocked me cold. So of course my foot came off the break, the truck rolled onto the track and got hit broadside. The impact of that sent the truck flying about 20 feet into a telephone pole. I woke up in a hospital. flat on my back. They wanted to keep me there but since I saw no reason to stay, I got dressed and left. Marilu wasn't too happy about that and took me to see my dr. who gave me a thorough exam and exrays and told me that by all rights I should be paralyzed because my neck was broken, so he made me wear a neck brace and told me not to work or turn my head until the bones healed. And they did.
It wasn't long after that that my wife decided I needed to get checked out for colon cancer. My father had died of it when I was 1 and she told me she was pretty sure I had it. I wasn't having any symptoms but she wouldn't let it go-telling me that she believed God was telling her I had colon cancer. So we went to see my doctor. She was still pretty shy at that time, but she marched in to that office with me and told the doctor to check me out for colon cancer. So he humored her. He told her that colon cancer was not hereditary-they didn't know as much as they do now about genetics. He did an exam and said I was fine. But she wasn't satisfied and asked him to look further into it. Long story short, after a very uncomfortable test they found a large mass; I had surgery and had it taken out along with huge section of my colon; and that doctor was a wreck when he walked out of surgery and told my wife. They sewed me back up and sent me home and 44 years later I am still cancer free and I credit God for telling my wife and credit her persistence. The Dr. told us that the cancer was very far advanced and by all rights I should have been dead.
All those close calls so close together can wreck havoc on your head and I sincerely thank God for my life and make a point to enjoy and thank Him for every day.
Before we retired to the art show circuit I also started an excavating, building prep, and road building business which I thoroughly enjoyed and did well at.
O-and we operated an import business for about 12 years-it wasn't real profitable but we got to go to some beautiful and interesting places, experience other cultures, and make a difference in some people's lives- it sure was a great adventure!
I started making birdhouses about 9 1/2 years ago. I had 'retired' a few months earlier and our oldest son had recently left with his wife and family to go teach school in Indonesia. We'd spent allot of time together and I wasn't real happy about them leaving. My wife was watching me out the window just kind of wandering and looking forlorn, so she came out and suggested we make birdhouses together to get my mind off the kids. People liked them and here we are.
My grandkids started calling me Papa Jon and now most people call me Papa Jon, except for my wife Marilu. She calls me Mr. Bryan ("Mr. Bryan, you're wanted on the phone," " Mr. Bryan your lunch is ready", "Mr. Bryan, get off that roof") and 'honey' ("honey would you mind driving up to the mercantile to see if there's any chicken scraps" you get the picture. And Jonny, (Jonny, I love you so much, Jonny, you're so handsome.") And sometimes she calls me "Studmuffin" One time a few years back we were exhibiting at an art show and it was my birthday, so she decided to surprise me. She wrote, with a dry erase marker, across the front of our white pop up tents "HAPPY BIRTHDAY STUDMUFFIN' Well if that wasn't enough, dry erase markers do not wipe off of pop up tents, so every show we did with those tents was "stud muffin's" birthday.
We have left the art show circuit and retired to a small 6 acre farm on the North Touche River in Eastern Washington. We are slowly upgrading and remodeling our 1925 farmhouse, I have a small herd (4, soon to be 7 if Fabio did his job) certified, Full Blood, Low Line Angus. We also have 20 chickens, 1 rooster, and 2 rescue English Bulldogs that are like family to us and a whole lot of fun. I set irrigation lines, fence posts, hang fence wire, cut and bale my own hay, and we grow raspberries, strawberries and a small garden. I suppose someday we will have to slow down but I believe staying busy and working keeps you healthy. And we are blessed to be able to do what we enjoy doing together.
Marilu also assists me with my work All of my birdhouses are our own original designs. I strive to provide you with unique, quality birdhouses that are functional as well as decorative. My birdhouses are quirky, humorous, colorful, and FUN-ctional. Each birdhouse is intended for outdoor use and ready to grace your garden and your life. Papa Jon’s bird shelters are hand crafted of premium, long-lasting cedar. Each original bird shelter is completely functional as well as decorative, featuring an easy open clean out door as well as efficient ventilation.
The roofs are hand hammered galvanized metal, rust and leak proof and insulated to protect birds from the heat. The entrance holes in our “FLY INNS” are sized to invite chickadees, nuthatches, finches, wrens, and other small cavity birds and are small enough to exclude predatory ‘pest’ birds such as starlings and other predators.
Great care is given to make your bird haven a cool and safe refuge for nesting, however, we recommend that they be placed in the shade if possible. Though my bird shelters are made to withstand outdoor weather, it’s a good idea to take them in for the winter months.
We hope your new bird shelter will decorate your garden and your life, giving you enjoyment for years to come.

My wife Marilu is also an artist, for over 40 years now, creating original oil paintings, a few of which can be seen in that section of my store. More of her work can be seen at her etsy store, MariluBryanArt.

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