By Heila Rogers
Wendy Mike says she feels like she lives in a bed and breakfast when a rainbow glows over the Patty Jewett golf course across from her house while she and her family enjoy summer meals outside. The way every house in the neighborhood is different never gets old for her, although she’s lived in Patty Jewett with her husband for almost 20 years. Chris Mike has lived in the neighborhood for 37 years.
The Mike’s are visited regularly in their yard by “Cujo” a crazy squirrel who likes to try to come in the house. The squirrel will take two almonds out of their hand, run away and bury one and then come back and eat one. Occasionally Cujo spreads out like a bearskin rug to eat while lying down.
Wendy is an artist who works in a studio downtown in the Saks building. Her husband’s work is also close to home.
Their two sons liked the autonomy of growing up near the downtown corridor. They biked to school, or rock climbing at City Rock. Bicycles featured heavily in the Mikes’ lives. Their children went “from cradle to burley [bike trailer] to little, tiny bikes.” And Wendy and Chris like to join the Wednesday night McCabe’s fat tire rides.
Chris Mike likes the history side of bicycles and has developed a side business restoring vintage and antique bikes. He’s known locally as “The Bike Guy.” The couple own two old-fashioned high wheel bikes which they’ve ridden in local parades.
The life of the community is important to Wendy as reflected by her music and other art activities, as well as her upcoming joint exhibition with De Lane Bredvik in July at the Fine Arts Center. As well, she and her husband can’t wait for this year’s Patty Jewett Porch Fest.
Wendy’s exhibit at the Fine Arts Center opens July 15th. Formal opening festivities for the show are to be held September 8th.