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Monday, June 9, 2014

The Four-Eyed Frog Thrives in Gualala

The Four-Eyed Frog in Gualala rescued Joel Crockett, a workaholic who loves to play, from having to choose to do one or the other. As a teenager, Joel worked as manager of an amusement park in Venice, California. He went to work at 6 a.m., worked four hours, took four hours off for lunch to go surfing and then back to work for four more hours.

Joel never lost his love of the ocean. Eventually, he figured out a way to combine that love with his love of books, acting and community involvement by starting a book store in Gualala. Joel and his brother, Jeremy, beat all odds and have kept the Four-Eyed Frog going since 2003.

"I learned to read when I was four years old," says Joel. "I was painfully shy and I escaped into books. To own and run a book store blended my wife, Linda's dreams with mine. We leased property in Cypress Village while the center was still in the planning stage. We began brainstorming names for our new store. Many independent book stores have critter names. Linda and I had a running joke about frogs. We realized that a frog cannot read without glasses so we decided to give him glasses and call him "The Four-Eyed Frog."

The Four-Eyed Frog opened its doors in November 2003. It quickly became a hub of community activity. Joel, who had never acted before has had parts in a number of plays put on at the Gualala Arts Center. He has given sermons at his local church when his pastor has been on vacation. He has a weekly radio show. Not bad for someone who describes himself as painfully shy at age four.

Sadly, Linda died in an automobile accident early last year. Joel and Jeremy work hard to keep the Four-Eyed Frog alive and well. Stop by when you visit the California north coast. You can buy our books as well as many others at this unique book store.

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