Jackie and Ron Wright bought property in Roy 35 years ago and built a log home on it themselves.
The house was destroyed in a fire Feb. 28, and since then, the community has stepped up to help the couple, who didn’t have insurance.
Since the fire, Jackie, 73 and Ron, 77, have been living in their store, Out Back Ceramics, where visitors can experiment with pottery and other art forms. When kids stop by, Jackie Wright shows them how to work with ceramics, and Ron Wright sometimes teaches them how to work on airplanes in the shed where he keeps his own plane.
Some of those pupils, Cub Scouts of Pack 634, will volunteer tonight at a benefit dinner in Roy for the couple. American Legion Post 164, which sponsors the troop, is hosting the fundraiser to help the Wrights get back on their feet.
“(Jackie Wright) is wonderful with the kids, and everybody who knows both of them are heartbroken,” said Kim Johnston, whose son is in Pack 634 and whose husband is the scoutmaster. “It’s just been really, really bad.”
The day of the fire Jackie Wright woke up sometime after 7 a.m. and smelled smoke. A fire had started fin wiring near the hot tub outside and spread to the house in the 3200 block of Tisch Road South.
“Ron went out and he grabbed the hose and told me to call 911,” she said. “I went through the smoke to get (the dogs) and then they followed me.”
Wiener dogs, Emmy Lou and Snoopy, Siamese cat Sammy, blue conure Chile and the love birds are living with the couple at the shop now. The Wrights’ two Persian cats died in the fire.
One of their sons brought a fifth-wheel trailer for them to use outside the store. And Roy residents have pitched in to make the shop feel at least a little more like home.
“It’s been wonderful,” Jackie Wright said. “People have brought clothes and food and a washer and a dryer, a chair and a TV — all kinds of stuff.”
What else does she need?
“I could use an electric frying pan, or something to cook down here,” she said. “I’ve been going to my son’s place and they’ve been cooking for us.”
Ron Wright hopes to reconstruct their home.
“I don’t know how, at his age and everything,” said Jackie.