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Courtney Minnehan (left) and Collin McDonald.
Charlie’s get its Mountain back posted on 09/07/2017

It seems like an improbable journey. Artistic, for sure. But possible, not likely.

Courtney Minnehan is an art teacher in New Hampshire. She owns her own art company, Island Roots Designs, that she started in high school on Martha’s Vineyard.

Collin McDonald just graduated high school in Boise, Idaho. He is headed to Boise State University this fall to pursue his education in the arts – focusing on comic design and concept art.

Then there’s Perrin Stronach, a bartender at Charlie’s Mountain View in Government Camp, and Andrew Loaiza, the camp director for High Cascade Snowboard Camp.

If you’re thinking that in some way they all collided in Government Camp, you’d be right, and also, possibly, prescient.

It all started with the Charlie’s bartender.

“Perrin saw the opportunity for a mural when High Cascade Snowboard Camp (HCSC) built their annual skate park in the parking lot across from Charlie’s, exposing a giant blank wall,” Minnehan wrote in an email to The Mountain Times.

“When I arrived in town, Perrin explained to me how incredible it would be if I could paint Mount Hood on that empty space across the street.”

Charlie’s view of Mount Hood was taken away with the building of the Government Camp General Store in 2006.

Minnehan was taken with the idea. She talked to Loaiza of HCSC to get approval, and having secured the OK, she talked McDonald into joining her on the project.

“It took Collin and I three days to paint it, about fourteen hours in total,” Minnehan wrote. “In those three days, we had so many people stop and compliment us on our work. We even had a crowd of people, including Charlie Jr., watching us paint all day from the bar inside of Charlie’s.”

Minnehan knew when she asked to paint the mural that it was only going to be up for a month or so until the camp was done.

After seeing how much the community enjoyed looking at it, that month didn’t seen long enough to Minnehan.

She asked Charlie Jr. if he’d like to hold onto the mural so they could keep the view.

“With the approval of Charlie and the help of Perrin and a few HCSC employees, the mural will be moved to Charlie’s backyard,” Minnehan wrote. “So, when you are playing a round of horseshoes, you can enjoy the beautiful view of Mount Hood.”

Minnehan will return to the East Coast to her teaching position and continue to supply art to six shops in the area, but she has plans to expand to stores in Oregon in the near future.

And McDonald will pursue his dreams of comic design stardom and concept art.

But in the meantime, their artistic endeavor in Government Camp precedes them.

By Larry Berteau/MT

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