Jake Postlewait, senior vice president and chief lending officer at $240 million-asset Oregon Coast Bank in Newport, Ore., grew up surrounded by colorful creatures. Now he preserves them in his spare time.
My grandfather had an 80-acre hobby farm and had a thousand different birds, everything from peacocks to African cranes. I remember geese everywhere, and emus and rheas.
I come from a family and background of outdoorsmen and hunters, and I got into hunting at a very young age.
When you’re little, you walk by something on the wall or in a showcase, and you don’t really realize that that is an animal in there. I thought it’d be neat to know how to do this. After learning and understanding what taxidermy even was, I just got the itch to learn how. I got a couple of magazines and a video and read and watched them and tried a few projects. The first ones didn’t turn out so well, but, over time, I got better.
Anything with short hair is more difficult. With that short hair, every blemish shows. I’ve done kudu, springbok and gemsbok, and a few others. With a warthog, they don’t have much hair, so that skin has to be set perfectly and painted.
I now do taxidermy just for friends, family and a couple of bank customers. It is truly a hobby. I work five days a week, take care of my kids and go to baseball practices. Taxidermy is done on weekends and evenings when I can sneak out and do a little bit.
—Kathryn Jackson Fallon