A few weeks ago, Ray Adamyk, 52, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a historic home in La Verne that his Pomona company, Spectra Co., worked to renovate and restore.
The house, built in 1917, had been converted into a recovery home, called Izzy’s Place, for men who struggle with addiction and homelessness.
The grand opening went as such events routinely do, with 200 of Adamyk’s friends, family, colleagues and business associates on hand to celebrate and tour the 4,000-square-foot project. As Adamyk was closing his speech, he invited 47-year-old Michelle Jumper, his girlfriend with whom he had worked closely to open the men’s home, to the front.
Then he made an unexpected move. He took a knee.
“I said, ‘I’ve got something for you,’ and I pulled out a ring,” he said. “She jumped up and down and started hollering.”
And said yes.
The newly engaged couple, brought together by their passion for helping those in need, will say their vows next month in the backyard of the recovery home, surrounded by family, friends, and the men who live at Izzy’s.
“Five men live in the house now, and I’m thinking by that time we’ll have maybe three or four more,” Adamyk said. “We get to know these men on a pretty personal level.”
Cha-Rie Tang has been an architect her whole adult life. But in recent years, she fell in love with glass and tiles and became the owner of Pasadena Craftsman Tile. Her two workplace identities came together in 2005 when she won the decoration project for the Metro Gold Line’s Monrovia station.
She started to design and collect art for the station about seven years ago. Now that the Gold Line is halfway completed, she will soon start to install her design, called “River of Time.”
She will place a 7-foot rock in the north side of the light-rail station and surround it with a pool of glass, which represent the mountains and a river in Monrovia.
But the real trick will be to showcase the area’s history by using tiles in the station. The tiles will decorate column bases and entryways.
In the past few years, she went to residents’ homes and wandered around the neighborhood to get reproductions of tiles from fireplaces, kitchens and bathrooms.
“It’s really a community project,” she said. “I’m hoping the station will be a showcase of the place.”
Tang got interested in glass and tiles more than a decade ago. She first collected them and made art pieces in secret, but she became so obsessed with the craft that she found she spent more and more time at her studio and eventually formed the tile business.
Staff reporters Bethany Firnhaber and Kay Chinn contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at email@example.com.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.