Janyel Share touched the edge of Wallowa County back in 1993 when she graduated from Enterprise High after a year in the county.
Her mother, Judy Lenz, had come from Las Vegas and once Janyel graduated, she went back there to begin her career. She started in computer engineering, managed property and eventually worked into a position where she ran a resort at the Grand Canyon in Flagstaff, Ariz.
But, just touching the edge of Wallowa County was enough. She’s back and has opened a new business in Enterprise, The Flannel Lantern, just around the corner from the DMV office.
She loves her Volkswagens, as anyone can tell from the distinctive light green colored ’66 Volkswagen bus parked outside her new business,
It was at a Volkswagen Camp Out festival she created in 2003 that she met her husband, James Share. He retired from the military after 21 years last September and wanted to go somewhere quiet, beautiful and good for raising their son, Ethan Share, 15.
Janyel knew just such a place. The couple quickly bought Bill Thompson’s house in Enterprise. Ethan now goes to Joseph Charter School, and James will be working in the parts department of Main Street Motors.
“I’m an Enterprise girl,” Jaynel says with pride.
Jaynel has done clothing drives for battered women’s shelters, been involved in green initiatives. She was interviewed on NPR about the resort she managed, which was the first certified green resort in America and Arizona, and enjoys volunteering to work on Volkswagen events.
Her favorite good work, however, consists of supporting the business ventures of other individuals. To that end she carries as many products made locally as possible and often invites other home businesses to join her for a sales weekend.
She also counts every penny she spends on products and shops around extensively for bargains.
Q. What brought you to Wallowa County?
A. We came last year for the Joseph Car Show and came back to house hunt. It’s quiet, it’s peacefully, it’s safe, there is not a lot of crime. I feel safe with my son here, I feel safe with him going to school and that nothing is going to happen, he can play outside. I don’t have any anxiety. Living out of the country comes with a lot of anxiety; a lot of stress and external pressures. Of course, there is also the lake, the beauty, the scenery.
Q. What has living in Wallowa County taught you?
A. Mind my own business and don’t listen to anyone else’s opinion of others because I’m probably not going to agree when I meet these people. If I’m ever in need or my family is ever in need that I have an unlimited supply of people I can turn to. The people are very, very good to one another here. That’s something you can’t find everywhere – the sense of community – and it’s prevalent here.
Q. What has surprised you about Wallowa County?
A. I think I came here assuming people are going to think I’m weird: I have tattoos, I drive a Volkswagen bus, people will have preconceived notions about me. But I’m a good citizen. I’m just a normal girl.
I found an odd mix of old school conservative values mixed with new school people who have come into the county with liberal values. I think there is some strange tug and pull between the types of people who live here.
They may be very concerned about what you are doing or have opinions strongly about you but as long as you’re good to them, they don’t care. As long as you’re a good person or a good neighbor or a good friend it doesn’t matter. I find that to be across the board here; whether you’re a republican, conservative, gay, straight, it doesn’t matter, they’re going to help. It’s a community feeling, all that other rhetoric doesn’t matter. I love that about Wallowa County.