Peregian: on the Sunshine Coast with Jay and Debbie


Jay is the gentleman referred to in Nick's profile. For years we had heard about him and finally in September 2001 he visited the BootBoyz in Eugene OR. So the myth was put to rest.

I was able to visit Jay and Debbie in Peregian on the Sunshine coast a few days ago…

Jay is a musician. That is what he does…anything to do with music. He has been making his living doing this for his entire adulthood. He does it via guitar lessons, gigs on the Sunshine Coast, as member of House Prouds (he is touring for 3.5 weeks around Oz as I write this), the promoter and organizer of the Peregian Originals and the People’s Choice at the Peregian Surf Club. This guy is busy with music and life and it was a pleasure to spend some time with him and Debbie.

Before going into more about Jay, I’ll share a bit about Debbie. Debbie and Jay have been married for about 4 years. Debbie was the founder of a Steiner School in Peregian (in the States, we call them Waldorf schools) and recently published her first book, “Mama Kuma”. It is the story of her grandmother in Papua New Guinea. She won the 2001 Queensland Press Literary award with this book and even got a 1 page write up on her book in Time Magazine. She is a lovely woman, and cook, and it is neat to see these two in partnership.

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This was the first time I got to spend time with Jay, and just Jay. Nick has told me so much about him over the years, I felt I already knew a good deal about him. That did not stop me from learning new things about Jay. He is a thinker and a doer. After I arrived at the train station in Nambour, he picked me up in his white station wagon with a newly grown beard. Within 5 minutes of us meeting we were into a deep conversation about how it is great to be on the right path for oneself. For me, being involved with people and travel, and for Jay, people and music.

During the 36 hours that we spent together, we went to the beach 4 times (3 swims) and talked a lot about life, possibility of war, goals, familyhood, friends, travel, music, goals again, victories, defeats. It was great stuff and I guess I am still in shock that someone can actually live up to the stories that Nick told. Jay truly was a God figure in those stories and I often wondered. But having met him twice now, I realize that he is a superb human. He has faults like you and me, but the genuineness in his heart is what came through to me. The guy wants to help people, experience life to the fullest and develop meaningful relationships.

I did not mean to spend this entry all on Jay, I feel the same about Debbie. She too has these qualities and a hunger for life. Being around folks like them helps me appreciate friends and spending time with them.

If you ever make it to the Sunshine Coast, give Jay a shout and maybe you can visit with him over a cup of coffee or go to one of his many gigs. I think he would like that. As we walked around town, every 5 minutes he saw someone he knew and got into a 5 minute conversation with them. Even though he is a Yank, he is well liked in his community. I suppose giving back to the community the way Jay does (free music shows in Peregian every 2 weeks on Sunday and the people choice on Thursdays), folks grow to love Jay quickly.