The nearly 1500 miles spanning between Phoenix, Arizona and Forest Grove, Oregon is a tale of two worlds, one Luke Peevyhouse has proudly written himself into. Every August, Luke trades in perpetual sun for perpetual rain, desert for forest. He trades the big city for a small town, financial freedom for hefty tuition bills, legacy for anonymity. With a grin on his spectacled face and a Routine Baseball cap covering his blonde hair, Luke packs his silver F250 to the brim with baseball gear, furniture, and clothes, eager to embark on another twenty hour road trip, solo. Once he hits I-5 he will stop only for In-N-Out and bathroom breaks.
Luke is a student at Pacific University in a place whose claim to fame is the world’s tallest barber pole. He pays over $200 in gas money just to drive there and once he arrives he pays over $500 a month for living expenses. He pays over $20,000 a year to pursue a journalism major he knows will not yield proper financial support unless he lands his highly competitive dream job with ESPN. He pays over $100 a year for his team's athletic attire because if he didn’t he wouldn’t be allowed to play Division III baseball.
“Why are you here, Luke?”
Luke sinks into the couch on the other side of the coffee table, fingers laced in his lap, wearing a black Pacific baseball sweatshirt and glasses underneath a Brixton snapback. Comfortable with the transition from interviewer to interviewee, he pauses and looks down, then back up, “I came here to make a name for myself in a state where nobody knew about my family.”
“You came here to make a name for yourself…”
“…Luke Peevyhouse, in Oregon because nobody here knew who you were.”
He crosses his leg, “That was pretty much the gist of it.”
“How many people knew who your brother was?”
“Here? As far as I knew, nobody.”