Doing these interviews with people are interesting for me because it really becomes a confidence issue.  Jesse La Tour is a person that I’ve been interested in for awhile now but he’s also someone who I hardly know.  So approaching him was truly the challenge.  Luckily, he appreciates creativity and was wonderful to talk to.
Jesse has become a small icon in our little community.  Over the past two years he has made a concerted effort to give back to the community in the form of art, creativity and culture.  He co-owns one of the only art galleries in Fullerton, The Hibbleton.  Every month they present new artists and have a big late night art opening.  They have had some great artists come through there.  Check them out here.
He’s gone around town and convinced local businesses to stay open late one night a month and started what is now known as the Fullerton Art-Walk.  Tonight, I met up with him after a regular variety show that he organizes called “Nerdy Thursdays”.   It’s a night of random performances ranging from live music and poetry to overhead projector demonstrations regarding just about anything.  Tonight was an off-shoot theme “Zombie Thursdays”.  Zombie experts spoke on realistic survival tips, comedians told zombie jokes and there was a Pedro the Lion cover band!
I was born and raised here in Fullerton and I have a lot of pride for my humble town and over the past decade the main street that is old town Fullerton has transformed from a drag of pawn shops, antique, jewelry, music and book stores into a bevy of bars, bars and more bars.  I guess somebody realized that there was a few college kids here and perhaps some money could be made.  That’s all well and good but the street is end to end with them now.  It’s a real degradation in my opinion and any kind of culture being added to the area is a real boon.
A month or so ago I introduced myself to Jesse because I had heard about his involvement in a longtime local movement to save an area here called Coyote Hills.  Coyote Hills is a small strip of natural undeveloped land located in Fullerton that has been the subject of much debate between developers and community for a very long time.  Jesse got involved and gave, what I heard was, a very convincing argument at the hearing to save the land.  The decision was put to a vote that night and the court sided with the community and turned down the development proposal.  It was a major win for the Save Coyote Hills organization.
I respect that.  Jesse is a doer.  He gets involved.  Like the inspirational poster says “There are people that want things to happen but just sit there and then there’s those that actually make things happen.”  That’s another reason why I decided to persue Jesse for an interview.  I feel good to be able to say that I know Jesse La Tour now and I, as well as many other Fullerton-ites, appreciate his efforts and involvement in the spreading of good deeds and culture in our community.
Thanks a lot Jesse!
For more info on the many things Jesse’s involved in check out the links below, and have a listen to the short fifteen minute interview I do with him as well.
The Hibbleton Art Gallery
Jesse’s Blog