Rolf Heer sits before a woodstove inside a teepee made of tarps. Outside a wooden sign says OPEN, inviting customers to check out his latest wooden wares.
In November a fire consumed Mr. Heer’s Home Of A Thousand Faces, which doubled as his shop.
Now, two and half months later, the wizard is back in business. A trailer next to his teepee is lined with boards that hold a selection of the new faces he’s been making since his life’s work went up in smoke. He has business cards now too, ones where the background is a photo of the inferno destroying his home.
It’s not the only fire Mr. Heer has been far too close to lately. When he turned his back on a cozy fire, his red La Senza robe – one of the few items he saved from the house fire – started to smoke. Mr. Heer twirls in his worn robe, showing off the missing chunk at the back.
He’s in good spirits and feeling well, he says, so well that he’s heading out to a party and making all kinds of plans for his future, plans that include bringing goats back to his land and going to council to request permission to build a small place.
“I don’t want to be living fancy,” he says.
Instead he envisions building a tiny shop, maybe 12 feet by 30 feet, with a shelf where he can sleep.
“I hope to have a building there by Easter,” he says.
That’s longer than the terminally-ill wizard expected to live even a few short months ago.
“I still have lots of cancer that’s alive,” he says, but he’s hopeful that a new medication he will be starting this week will buy him more quality time.
“Right now I feel like I’m probably going to live another 10 years,” he says.