JulieAt first, Julie Jeanseau was worried about the age difference.
California and a love of languagesJeanseau grew up with the sunshine, the surf and the beach of Southern California, the only child of two parents who was always surrounded by a large extended family of cousins, aunts, and uncles.
He also developed a love of languages, beginning with Spanish during high school and continuing at San Diego State University, where he earned a degree in Russian and Eastern Studies. Jeanseau leaned to speak Russian fluently and traveled to the country for three weeks.
his appearance he's a sensitive soul who cares about people almost to a fault.
The love of languages is one thing, but love of a deeper kind also came about during his time at San Diego State.
lived comfortably on Jeanseau's salary with the VA while Julie worked as art teacher she has a bachelor's degree in art education from the University of Oregon.
For 13 years, the San Diego native worked a comfortable government job that provided a nice house and good lifestyle for his wife, Julie, and their three young daughters.
"If I never ended up using (the study of languages) that's fine," Jeanseau said. "They're things I just enjoy doing. I'd love to teach at a college someday, but I wouldn't be surprised if I never used it directly."
Today he still speaks Spanish and Russian, but is currently studying Biblical Hebrew, Greek and Ge'ez, a language of ancient Ethiopia, in a project examining the evolution of the Ethiopic Old Testament.
"My cousin was a drummer," Jeanseau said, "and between him and being inspired by U2, I knew that I needed to start playing music."
Salem artsThe first time Brian and Julie moved to Salem, about 15 years ago, the city's art scene left something to be desired.
"It's something we'd been talking about for a long time, and in a lot of ways I was just waiting for him to make the jump," Julie said. "It's scary having to think about things like getting health insurance for the girls and how they'd adjust to a different style of life. But I think they're proud of us for doing it."
Throughout it all, though, they were planning the art center, the business side and how it would work. Finally, when they moved back to Salem, the time came to pull the trigger.
"But it was scary."
Man leaves job at VA to open Salem art center
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"I'm grossly outnumbered, but it's pretty fun," he said. "I was actually happy to have three girls, just thinking about how my cousins and I grew up, going around raising hell and causing our parents grief."
"That he's a big, intimidating looking guy is very helpful because he scares off the boys interested in our 16 year old daughter," Julie Jeanseau said with a laugh. "But the funny thing is that he's almost the opposite of Basket Pumas
University of Oregon and he was a freshman at San Diego State. They were both working for the summer at Forest Home Christian Camp in the San Bernardino Mountains.
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Those cousins taught him to ride a BMX bike beginning a lifelong love of two wheels. And, while he was a 15 year old at El Toro High School, inspired him to pick up the drums and guitar.
"We were at one of the first staff events when I saw this cute redhead across the room," said Julie, a South Salem High School graduate. "I was a little worried when I found out how old he was, but it turned out he liked me.
"I've always been partial to redheads, and on top of it he was absolutely hilarious. A total ham."
Although the decision to upend their lifestyle might seem extreme, spend enough time with Jeanseau and the choice is less surprising. The 40 year old has a shaved head and long reddish brown beard the first impression is more motorcycle gang than Michelangelo and such a wide range of interests that placing him in any kind of box is futile.
The project is part of his Masters program at George Fox University. And the goal is to produce a first critical edition of Ethiopic Old Testament.
In between came three daughters: Hannah, 16, Abbi, 10, and Ella, 8.
But there was something about it the days spent sitting in the office that just wasn't him. And so, in one life altering thrust, Brian and Julie sold the house, moved to Salem and opened a tiny downtown art center called The Abbey, where they teach classes, showcase local artwork and devote time to helping kick start the art scene in Oregon's capital city.
A conversation that begins with his favorite places to mountain bike (Silver Falls State Park, the Dallas area) can end with a discussion on religious history and the evolution of the Ethiopic Bible (a subject he's studying at George Fox University). He also teaches guitar at The Abbey while playing and writing music in an acoustic folk band called "Rogue River Revival."
It was a major change, and not one that happened easily. Department of Veterans Affairs. I was created to play music and encourage other people to find their creative side, and I really love what we're doing now.
The couple was married in 1994. Julie had grown Puma Basket City Ind Sneakers up in Salem, so they moved there to start, eventually living in Salem, Silverton, Portland and San Diego.
"Everything he does, he does 130 percent. He loves to understand the subtle things, the small things, rather than what's big and shiny."
Even now, almost two years later, Brian Jeanseau talks about the fear.
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