David Young, 35, at his home

Garret Caster, the firefighter, recommended I connect with David. I spent most of May on the road, so it took a little longer than I planned to connect, but we finally met at his house and chatted for a little while on his back porch in the company of his dogs and the peeping baby birds who provided a lovely background chorus. David and I share a number of things in common (we are similar in age and appearance, share a life outlook and philosophy, and speak in a rather matter of fact manner) and it was refreshing to connect with him over those points. David's got irons in a bunch of different fires. Keep an eye out for him and say hey when you find him. I get the impression he'd be glad to say hi and throw a smile your way. 

Who are you?

David Young, Bend native, 35 years old, married to an awesome lady named Erin Young. She's a teacher over at Miller Elementary. I currently own Bend Event Sound, which is an event DJ company. We provide services for Central Oregonians looking for their music and PA (public address) needs. I also am a marketing manager at a local digital marketing company. Yeah. I have a couple other companies, too, but they're just getting off the ground. 

Where do you come from?

I'm from Bend, actually. I was actually born in Colorado. My wife was born in Bend. But I grew up here ever since I was knee-high to a duck. So I have a lot of roots in this community. After having left, I am back now. Been back for about five years. I went to school in Seattle. 

What does community mean to you?

Community is everything. I believe that we have a strong sense of community in Bend specifically. I lived in several other big cities and I've made a lot of good friends and met a lot of good people, but since this is kind of home to me, it has a little bit more meaning. Community is important for a multitude of reasons. It kind of encompasses a whole lot of things. When you say community, it's such a broad term, but I also feel like when I go out in public, even today with my wife, we're more than likely to see someone we know, which is awesome. Always seeing a friendly face. Just having established connections in this wonderful town where we're able to reach out if we need help or if someone needs us to be a part of something or help moving or just however that looks. 

I used to sit on the board for the Bend Community Center and I helped with their senior projects, the food projects, the firewood projects, and stuff like that. Once I had a kid, I had to step down from the board just because it was too much of a time commitment for the new responsibility that I had. Just having your face and having your presence out there and letting people know that you're involved from an integrity standpoint and a personal standpoint has always been super important to me. Even when we were little with my family. We were raised in that way. We would always volunteer down at the Community Center, where I ended up working and being a part of for a little while. My dad would take us down to the Pilot Butte Nursing Center during Christmastime and we'd sing Christmas carols and stuff like that. 

Do you have a favorite memory from here?

I don't think it's legal to go there anymore, but Skyliner, which is where the first ski hill was, towards Tumalo Falls, used to be the sled hill. And when it would snow there was a pretty intense black diamond-ish sled hill. But it was littered with people always just because it was such a kick-ass spot to be at. Going sledding there during the winter times and then doing the PPP (Pole, Pedal, Paddle) when we were super little. Just being on the team with all my little friends, when we were like in 5th or 6th grade, was really cool. 

Do you have thoughts regarding Bend's growth?

Hey, they're most likely leaving a situation they don't want to be in. So everyone's welcome to experience what we grew up with that we took for granted, essentially. Having lived in different cities and traveled so much, bring 'em on. What are we going to do, say no? Just having a bad attitude towards it is not going to solve any problem at all. I can tell you that the infrastructure of Bend is not made to handle the amount of people that are here, but it will work out some way. So, learn to take the back roads. 

What do you wish for the future?

Freedom. I'm coming under some new philosophies as I mature and get a better grasp upon how I see things in the world. Being free doesn't essentially mean having millions of dollars, it means having next to no debt. There is a minimalist-type approach to my life as of late that is super healthy for me. Those kinds of philosophies are super important. That relieves stress which helps you focus on things that are in front of you, which helps you become more present, which helps you become a more engaged human being on a day-to-day basis. Instead of stressing about bills or stuff or anything like that. The freedom to do what you want when you want and just chasing after what you're truly into. It's just a series of asking yourself questions on a daily basis and being on yourself because, if you don't, autopilot kicks on and you're just going to become like everybody else. 

I think the community of Bend as a whole, so far, is doing a really good job. That's my personal take. With all of the concerts and events and pub crawls and 5k's and marathons and cycling events and beer events and all that kind of stuff, there's a pretty community-driven effort, for sure. 

Anything else you want to put on the record?

Stop wishing, start doing. Decide and execute. 100%.