Demea’s Bio

I was born in Seoul, Korea on November 21, 1959. My parents wanted a boy and a girl, and had two boys. They still wanted a girl, so they adopted me. I was brought over from Korea when I was 6 months old and my mom said that I was starving and would cry but no sound would come out.  Believe me; I’ve more than made up for that since then.   

When I was three, my parents adopted another girl who was nine.  She and another girl had been adopted from an orphanage in Korea when she was six.  Three years later, they decided they didn’t want both girls and so my parents were contacted by the agency and I had a new sister.  That made me the baby of the family. 

We lived in the San Francisco Bay area – Walnut Creek to be exact – until I was 11.  My dad was an organic chemist and inventor.  He had about 15 US patents and over 45 foreign, all chemical compounds of some sort.  He taught me to, “Open my third eye,” and look at all sides of any situation.  As long as we behaved, my parents would take us out to restaurants. Dad liked to try all kinds of food, which is probably one of the reasons that I have such a well-versed palate. 

I have all kinds of memories growing up like going to the Lafayette Seafood Grotto to pick out live Dungeness crabs. I learned how to shell them and make crab Louie, and to this day, it is the best I have ever had. We used to go clam digging at Bodega Bay for Horse neck clams, and I used to love watching my dad dive for abalone.  Parent’s rule: We had to at least try all food, with a few exceptions, escargot, and frog legs.  If we really hated it, we didn’t have to eat it again, with the exception of salads, fruits, and vegetables. We had to eat brussel sprouts, whether we liked them or not. Because of my parents, I am a lover of almost all types of food, even the vegetables and salads that I couldn’t stomach back then.   

From the age of four to 17, I swam competitively and started ballet when I was four until 9. I became the household chef, and started cooking most of the family dinners when I was nine years old.  When I was 11 years old, we moved to Auburn, CA.  My family started raising and showing purebred polled Shorthorn cattle. I was a member of 4H, and FFA. I was the editor of the yearbook my senior year, and began taking college courses at Sierra College during my junior and senior year. 

I wanted a break from school and went, “Fruit tramping,” with some friends.  We started picking cherries in Modesto, and followed the cherry harvest into Oregon and Idaho. I also picked nectarines & apples in Washington state, strawberries in Oregon, beans in central California, and then to Tucson for lemons.  By then the, “Glamour of travel,” had worn off and I went to work as a waitress in a local restaurant. 

I met Jim one day after I came home from work and found my boyfriend, his sister, and her boyfriend partying until there was no tomorrow.  I was renting a house in Tucson and the three of them all lived with me, although I was the only one who was working. They were supposed to be looking for work, but they never seemed to be able to find a job.  I was ready to kick my boyfriend out, as the glamour had worn off. I thought that Jim was really cute, and I think I fell in love with him right then and there. 

Jim gave me my first Harley ride on my 22nd birthday.  We dated off and on and became very good friends.  I lived in Tucson about 6 years, met a Marine, and moved to southern California.  We got married and he was sent to Monterey to the language school.  I went to work at the Old Fisherman’s Grotto on the wharf and soon after filed for divorce. 

On my own, once again, I started to waitress, and quickly became a manager for the same restaurant. A short time later, I became the director of their sales and marketing team, canning and marketing special seasoning mix, and clam chowder taking the products nationwide. We also opened a nightclub, which honed my managerial chops.   

I decided that I wanted to try working for a larger corporation so I went to work for Chevy’s Mexican Restaurants.  I opened their Carmel location as an Assistant Kitchen Manager and then became Head Kitchen Manager.  I opened their first Southern California location in Fountain Valley. 

I kept in touch with Jim and his family, and usually called him after I split up with a boyfriend, or husband. Jim lived in Salem MO, and after a visit in 1996, I made the permanent move and have been here ever since. After losing Jims brother Randy on Valentine’s Day 2000, we decided to get married on May 6 that same year. 

Jim and I bought our first Sears Hometown store on January 2, 2005 in Salem MO.  In May of 2006, Sears asked us to take over the Washington, MO store and turn it around. I served as Vice Chairman of the Hometown Owners council, won national and regional 5 star awards, and the Premier Dealer award ever since its inception. I was the owner and trainer with many of my trainees going on to win awards.  I was part of a contingent of Hometown owners who traveled to Washington DC to meet with our senators and congressional representatives regarding exchange fees. 

We have built the Washington store into one of the top 100 stores in the nation, winning the, “Reader’s Choice Award,” for Best Appliance store for the past 5 years.  We sold the Salem store in July of 2011 so I would have more time available.  I had been unable to visit my family in CA more than once or twice a year.  We decided to sell the Washington store this year, as I have to travel back and forth more often. 

After we bought the Washington store, we had very little time off, as the two stores were 100 miles apart. I suggested that Jim buy another motorcycle.  It would be a way for the two of us to relax for a couple of hours. Jim found a 59 Panhead on eBay in Wisconsin and bought it.  That was the first time that Jim had actually been on a bike in about 10 years.  That same year we flew out to California, and I suggested that we rent a bike instead of a car. Jim really liked the look of the Heritage Softail and wanted to rent that. There was one available, but we could only have it for half of the week. The dealer suggested we rent a Road King for the second part of the week. Jim always liked the, “Stripped down,” look of the Softail, but the minute we jumped on the Road King, we fell in love with the ride.  I suppose comfort comes first when you get older.  From that point forward, I knew that we would end up buying a Road King.   

On Christmas Eve 2009, we bought our 2010 Road King, and are still riding it today. Jim worked on rebuilding the Panhead from 2008 through 2010 and I pressured him to finish it before we bought the road king. He wasn’t happy with the end result and we ended up selling the bike in 2012.   

We rode with the Harley Owners Group on a portion of the Route 66 “Riding the Mother Road” ride in 2011.  We also rode with the HOG group on the “Wild West Thunder” ride in 2012.  On that trip, we rode our bike from Missouri to California, throughout Nevada, Utah, & Arizona.  We have toured up into Canada and around Lake Superior. 

We have four cats. One is a feral that I live trapped because she was living out of dumpster. We call her Charlie Parker after one of our favorite diners in Illinois. Although they miss us when we go on trips, they are well looked after.