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Peggy Mory and more than a Trinity of fascinating facts

I am a Mory’s recidivist. I admit it. The folks there put on a cheerful face and perform all sorts of magic on their color copier. Somehow they make what I paint look much better than the original. Plus, it is shrunken.

Mory’s is our very own local treasure: it is an Art/Office Supply/Frame and Gift Shop. It is also the “I would be happy to order that for you” shop.

One day, taking advantage of the new hours (open at 8:30 Monday through Friday) I was greeted as usual by Trinity Sylvester, aka The Flash. The place was rife with eager customers. Ever smiling and professional, Trinity was working her magic, and one by two by one, we left, satisfied customers all.

I had a trinity of thoughts:

•“Wow, that woman can move!”

•Trinity and her staff never roll their eyes at me and snarl, “You want what?” and

•I’ll bet this woman has a great story to tell!

It was a perfect Brookings day, golden sun, blue sky, sparkling ocean, soft breeze: All the requisite special effects that make people like me love living here. Two women with an obvious mutual affection are drinking iced tea at The Snug and reminiscing. I just took notes:

What do former Texas art teacher Peggy Mory and environmental scientist Trinity Sylvester have in common? Mory’s.

Peggy Mory studied art at Texas Western University, and followed that with a 10 year career teaching elementary school art in Fort Worth, Texas.

In 1972, Ralph and Peggy Mory found their way to Brookings. They began their operation in their two car garage along Highway 101, north of town, with a gallery, art studio and frame shop. Gradually they expanded their business to some outbuildings on their property. They called it Mory’s Arts.

Eventually they moved first to the building that now houses our Chetco Pelican Players, and finally into the old Appel’s building, where Mory’s still is today: 810 Chetco Ave. Peggy’s gallery was where Tangles Hair Salon now is. The store was 11,000 square feet and Ralph also had a Xerox distributorship. He built all of the cabinets in the frame shop that Trinity still uses today. At the suggestion of a Xerox rep, they expanded into  office supplies. In their heyday, Peggy and Ralph employed 11 people. Incidentally, our own Buzz Stewart designed their logo which is still in use today.

In the 30-plus years that Peggy and Ralph owned the business it evolved in a myriad of ways.

Trinity DeHaseler was born at Curry General Hospital and, except for her first-, fifth- and sixth-grade years in California, she is a hometown girl. Her dad was a commercial fisherman and Trinity was inspired to study at Southwestern Oregon Community College and Oregon State University where she received a bachelor’s in Environmental Science with a focus on marine biology. (I’ll just bet that you didn’t know that!) 

Peggy met Trinity when she was a Brookings Harbor High School senior. Upon graduation, Trinity came to work at Mory’s. She left a lasting positive impression and was employed there until she went to college.

(Incidentally, Trinity is named after California’s Trinity Alps. This caused Peggy Mory to think of the young Trinity as “Heidi.”)

In 1990, Ralph and Peggy sold their landmark store to Richard and Renate Guyro in order to retire to Arizona.

Trinity worked for the Guyros for a year while attending SOCC. She left town to attend college in Portland, resulting in a no Trinity at Mory’s gap of six years.

During that time, the Guyros expanded the frame shop and Renate filled the gift area with Alpaca wool creations. You can still see and purchase them to this day. 

It was Christmas 2001 when Trinity received a card from Richard and Renate asking her to call them. They had a “proposition” to discuss with her. The couple decided to leave, to farm Alpacas full-time. They invited the young high school girl, now college grad, to continue her Odyssey at Mory’s.

Trinity DeHaseler Sylvester is the new owner and manager of Mory’s. She has realized a longtime dream: owning the business where, as a high school senior, she first went to work.

Peggy Mory is “extremely comfortable” to have Trinity Sylvester at the helm of her creation. She cites just a few of Trinity’s attributes: “cheerful, extremely efficient, always busy, moves fast!” (Which is why I think of her as The Flash.)

Trinity whipped right into the framing area after Richard and Renate sent her to become a master framer at Framer’s Inventory in Portland. She is expanding the gift selection and has enlarged and improved the art gallery space.

Ralph Mory has since passed away, but the illustrious Peggy Mory graces us with her presence and new paintings every summer.

Through the years, Peggy has been back to visit, and watched Trinity grow up and into the business. She has also been generous in sharing her advice and expertise.

As their visit concluded, Peggy hugged “the girl who never sits down.” Trinity went back to work. And I maintain my opinion that there are way more than a Trinity of reasons why Brookings is blossoming as a destination Arts community.

The spirit of Ralph and Peggy Mory continues on, as does the friendship of Peggy and Trinity, two amazing women.

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