Rest in Power, Jay Thiemeyer

Authored by: 
Jay Thiemeyer standing with mountain in background
Published date: 
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 9:47am

Rest in Power, Jay.

Jay Thiemeyer was a long-time KBOO contributor, member, volunteer and Board member who passed on March 11th, 2021. He was one of the founders of the long-running KBOO program 'Hole in the Bucket', which focused on the issues faced by houseless people in our community and showed the many ways that the system fails so many people. Jay and his co-host described their show as follows, "Hole In The Bucket is a show about the many faces of poverty. Poverty underlies and aggravates practically every human ill. Something recognized and vocalized by every one of our guests. Consequently, 'Hole In The Bucket' addresses many areas of the human experience. War, for example, diverts money from domestic programs and creates vets returning with PTSD and brain trauma."

Here is an excerpt of Jay from one of the last episodes of Hole in the Bucket, in 2008. This particular program focused on the problems of elderly people living in poverty.

Jay was always hyper-focused on making visible those parts of society that so many people would like to just sweep under the rug or pretend don't exist. He would bring his microphone to the most vulnerable, the most untouchable people in Portland - houseless addicts, vets, families and elders. People who are ignored and maligned so often in the mainstream discourse about them. Jay worked to give people the chance to tell their own stories, to share their own narrative of their experiences.

And he was someone who came to this work having had a lived experience of addiction and houselessness - something he continued to struggle with throughout his life. But he came through it, and emerged a community leader with a sincere, honest and persistent voice that never wavered in its demand for dignity and equality for all people.

Rest in power, old friend. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience with us and with all our KBOO listeners.

Here is Jay's obituary in Street Roots