Eugene Temple / Personal Projects / Steve Temple Photography / Portland, OR
Eugene Temple, my paternal grandfather, was a motorman on the LA rapid transit system and briefly owned a laundromat in South-Central L.A. before entering the world of carpentry at a cabinet shop in Los Angeles. Due to the nature of his work, he and his family moved more than 20 times before finally settling in Simi Valley. By that point he was working carpentry full time and joined the union. Among the projects he worked on was the Topanga Plaza in Canoga Park and Atomics International on De Soto, also in Canoga Park. Due to health problems in 1961, he could no longer handle the daily rigors of carpentry and retired, however, his work with wood was far from over. My grandmother was full of ideas on how to change their home, and Eugene was more than willing to take on the projects. By the early 1970’s they had moved again, this time 3 hours north to Creston, CA. Immediately, he added a room onto the home just for my crib for when my parents came to visit. The upstairs got a half-bath, a door was removed, a tree house was built for the grandchildren, and more. Even places they rented weren’t safe. One house had been converted from a two bedroom to an illegal three bedroom, he converted it back. During a kitchen remodel at our home in Atascadero, CA he was a daily presence, even placing a penny inside the wall as a kind of copper time capsule. Eugene did this often on his projects. In 1975 they moved again to Shandon, CA, where much of his woodworking was in the form of small projects. He built dollhouse furniture out of popsicle sticks including rocking chairs. He constructed and lettered a new sign for the town church. Eugene was very driven to complete projects, perhaps taking less pleasure in the process than he could. I know I get that from him.