Nick Nelson, 38, at Tin Pan Theater

I met Nick through his brother, Ebb. In an early conversation with Ebb, it became obvious that it was solely due to Nick's living here that he came to move here. Nick is soft-spoken and kind and currently going through some significant life changes, which are obviously weighing heavily on his heart. 

Who are you?

I'm Nick. I'm a father of a 15-year old amazing son. Yeah… I’m the dude number two. (Laughs)

What brought you to Bend?

I was born in Santa Monica and lived there until I was eight or nine. Then my mom moved us to Salem, Oregon. I grew up there. I went to middle school and high school and lived there for a long time. 20 years or something, lived in the rain and the depressed weather. 

My wife's mom lived here and said how amazing it was and how there were 300 days of sun - I'm definitely a sun guy. At the time, I was going through an addiction problem and my wife and I thought it might be good to just pack up and move and start fresh. So, we did. Her aunt had a place outside of Sisters with a little 5th-wheel camper and we stayed in there for like a month until we found something. My wife’s grandma had given us some money to find a place. At that time in Bend (6 or 7 years ago), the market was really good. We found this cheap mobile home and paid cash for it and moved in and just fell in love with this place. 

What do you like about Bend?

I fell in love with the people, the weather - minus the snow thing right now. I'm not really a snow guy, but I can deal with it. The people… everyone is so nice. And the sun and the mountains. My son and I like to go adventuring. And there's a million places to go. 

How do you contribute to the community?

I love helping people and giving. If I see someone that needs help, I'll help 'em. I guess I feel like that's my way of helping the community out. My wife got mad about it because I was helping so many people. Especially with the snow, you know? People are stuck, people are walking, I'm going to help them if I can. If I see something, I'm going to help. When it was really coming down outside and it was 5 degrees, a guy was walking, and I just pulled over and asked if he wanted a ride and I gave him a ride. Helped an old lady get out of a ditch. Helped clean off roofs for old ladies. (Laughs) Seems like all old ladies…

Do you have a favorite memory from here?

My brother used to live with us, my wife kicked him out and there were a couple years there where I didn't see him. And he lived like two miles away. My favorite memory right now is our breakfasts at Sidelines. It's silly, but it's just that knowing I have him. He's still here for me... after what all happened. And my favorite place with my son is the Twin Lakes - the North Twin. We go there in the summer and swim across the lake. It's a beautiful place. We love to swim. 

What do you wish for the future?

I've got dreams to leave this place. I want to go adventure some more. I want to go to Idaho - I've got a friend who wants to buy some property out there and says how beautiful it is. Right now, I consider Bend home base. I'll always come back here. It's so amazing. I don't know if that's just because I got clean at one point here and fell in love and found myself. Found out how capable I am and what I can do with my hands and my brain. I have dreams. I want to go get lost in the middle of the forest. Get lost for a while and just survive. 

I hate money, man. I'm so over the whole thing. My brother and I are good together. We are meant to do something, I just don't know what that something is yet. If it brings money in, cool. As long as I've got a warm bed and a little space, I'm fine.