Nate Green and Liz Green
DescriptionSpouses Nate Green (44) and Liz Green (40) talk about purchasing the Starlight Canyon Bed and Breakfast and how their lives have been since running the B&B and having kids.
Subject Log / Time Code
Recording LocationVirtual Recording
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00:03 Okay. Hi, my name is Nate green and I'm 44 years old and today is Tuesday, November 24th, 2020. We are out in the country between Canyon and Amarillo, Texas.
00:22 I'm here today with Liz green. She was my wife.
00:27 Hi, my name is Liz green. I'm 40 years old. Today is Tuesday, November 24th, 2020. We are currently located in the canyon at between Canyon and Amarillo Texas. Give the sorry. I'm here today speaking with an 8. My husband Nate green.
00:49 Okay, so
00:52 We want to talk about our adventure. I think when we first met cuz we have a pretty interesting story. We met up in Keystone, Colorado. I went to a group in Canyon Texas where we are now. I'm in then went to Texas Tech University and got my degree in restaurant Hotel institutional management and then move to Colorado to manage condos at the ski resort there and I met Nate and I went to born and raised in, Minnesota.
01:28 I tell people that.
01:32 Whenever whenever my mom broke the news to my dad he rushed out and got me a pair of skates and we grew up on a pod.
01:39 And play hockey hockey and then I moved to Colorado when I was a freshman in high school.
01:47 And live there and
01:50 After High School just kind of wandered around
01:54 Couldn't figure out what I wanted to do ended up in Fort Collins working and paying bills and thought if I I'm just going to work a job.
02:03 Pay bills I might as well move up to the mountains and start working at Keystone Ski Resort, and that's where I met Liz and we had some fun up there for quite a while.
02:16 And then what we do our jobs there I was a manager of the properties and then worked Rhett wedding was a pizza delivery. Can I have to have five jobs when you live there? Cuz it's so expensive to live there and being asleep on his kind of hard. So we had four five jobs each mate worked in a lot of restaurants there snow mechanic worked at the golf course, so that kind of lettuce to where we are today. We we first moved to Denver got a real estate license to sell real estate opened our own property management company managed to self storage facility, which was really fun. We got to live on side and flip the house. What the hell I was that what you think of that was really funny. We would wear overalls overalls. We worked in every time in that house was
03:14 Definitely a flipper it had never been cleaned. I don't think backyard was covered in carpet. They didn't want to mow so they must have put carpet down in the backyard. So was it like 9 we had to open the storage.
03:44 I think it was 9 so 4 a.m. Run over to the flip house.
03:54 Do some work and then come back and get open and then go back there at night. That was pretty crazy.
04:03 And we made money.
04:06 I think it was a couple hundred bucks experience how tall we were able to purchase Starlight Canyon bed and breakfast to when we got a real estate license and I think
04:34 Folks our age will remember an older will remember that was pretty rough time to start get started in real estate everything but the but we got good experience.
04:51 For sure and then
04:55 You know your parents were here. Your family was here in Texas, so we would come down to visit quite a bit.
05:07 You know those years your parents will talk about star like Kate and quite a bit when they saying that we should check it out.
05:18 And you weren't really interested. Where you
05:30 One trip that we came down here and
05:34 And while we're here cousin passed away.
05:38 So we extended our stay.
05:41 For that
05:45 With little extra time from we were convinced to go look at the Starlight.
05:53 Are you okay? We'll go Sheridan.
05:56 Yes, it was we thought that was it was pretty much a done deal.
06:02 Here in Amarillo in the Panhandle Texas where we're in the powder Canyon which is the second largest canyon in the United States and it's it's quite a sight to see
06:19 Mega Lotto
06:21 Why do people that come through Amarillo don't really get off of the main drag I-40 and so I don't even know it's there and I think people's impression of Amarillo is is that it's just a flat Prairie.
06:42 The funny ass cuz I was just thinking of that joke. So the favorite joke is here in the Panhandle. You can sit on your front porch and watch your dog run away for days cuz it's so flat but not where we are. I was a pretty wild ride so that so that trip was in August of 2012.
07:15 And done by Halloween. Oh, another thing that that happened during this time was that we were expecting Tegan. I first daughter.
07:36 So it was
07:40 Wonderful. Wonderful
07:45 But we came here in August and then it was kind of a wild time in our lives. Not really sure what was going to happen, but
08:00 So August and baby on the way. We went home to Denver.
08:06 And decided to pack up.
08:10 And we were back down here in Texas by Halloween.
08:19 So that was pretty quick turnaround.
08:27 Course, we didn't own star LED quite. Yeah, but we knew.
08:33 That we were going to
08:37 Zoe moved in with your parents temporarily
08:51 Tumor even sure if we're going to get Starla. I mean we were convinced but there are a lot of other people that we had to come.
09:02 And the owner was a real close family friend, and I think she was convinced to she was ready for us to take over.
09:12 But then there was Banks and things like that. So those are the ones that were hard to convince.
09:22 But we made it happen then we and so
09:27 We going to do we've had it for 8 years. What I was going to say. There was another little thing to throw into the mix too, because I had just finished in Denver had just finished my associate's degree.
09:40 At the community college there and had planned to go to back to Fort Collins and finish a degree in agriculture at Colorado State University and then start and it showed up and then so would we were on that trip and I think I was pretty convinced right away.
10:07 And I thought well, what about this College college degree that I want to get?
10:14 So we went and toward West Texas A&M and kind of checked out the egg program there which was moved here in.
10:28 October the end of October in 2012, and then I started classes in January at WT.
10:40 And then
10:45 What's the weather like at Spring break was when Tegan was born, which was perfect. She was born the first day of spring break vacation. I guess there are no classes to deal with and we can just have a baby but before spring break happen.
11:07 We've we did get Starlight and it was a would like to February 11th 11th Yeah couple days before Valentine's Day and my parents came up to help us move move in and then the day we're supposed to or that we're supposed to spend our first night and it snowed like crazy and we got snowed in at your parents house and no one knows how to plow and maintain the snow living with your parents.
11:54 Which I love your parents so much.
11:58 But I know that they were their sickly sus out of my truck 4 wheel drive truck big truck and I said I'm going because my parents were at Starlight.
12:18 They're going to stay there. So we so.
12:26 The dog so sus are dog and I got in the truck four-wheel drive truck and I don't think we even made it out of the truck.
12:39 With her tail between her legs
12:47 But you know how it always is here in the Panhandle if we get a good snow and then usually by the end of the next day, it's all gone. You're stuck one night and then it's sunny and you're playing off the next day. So we did get was the beginning to and it was such an amazing.
13:12 I don't know. It's been such an amazing journey has been so much fun.
13:19 And really found how
13:22 Starlight Canyon toes us cuz we're so perfect that place than what we've created for that place even more than what it was is
13:33 Yeah, we we moved in. So we live there on side.
13:40 With and teaching was born while you know that next month two months after we moved in.
13:47 And that was that was really fun.
13:50 I haven't eaten there.
13:52 And then what do you like most about having living in that building the historic building?
14:00 Yeah, I guess since you mentioned historic building. I guess I'll kind of tell a story to where we are.
14:10 Is a part of the powder Canyon that's outside the boundaries of the state park on a lot of folks will know that Elder county is a state park in, Texas.
14:20 Somewhere Upstream a little ways from that state park but
14:26 Back in the 1930s is when the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of the new deal was being activated all over the country to develop infrastructure.
14:42 And things like that, but also to develop Parks state parks and things like that and back in the thirties. All this Candy Land was privately owned most of it was Ranch Land and and I know that the state was was busy trying to get that piece the Acres that we know as the state park today, but it was I guess a tough negotiation and then some business owners.
15:13 Local business owners here in Amarillo decided that they were ready to get the CCC projects started until they bought are part of the canyon and invited the CCC down to start building and they built our Stone Lodge what used to be a picnic Pavilion and a concession building?
15:32 And the ranger quarters with the park ranger left and then build some roads and picnic tables and stuff like that.
15:43 The the the beauty of the deal
15:47 Since we own it now, I guess this is what became the beauty of the deal is that those business owners all made it contingent on the land being operated as a stay Park and development and well wasn't much longer.
16:05 After they had started to that project that they finally did secure that land for the state park which I mean is it's such a gorgeous part of the canyon you can you can see why that they had their sights set on that part of the canyon is beautiful.
16:22 But that being said since the state got that land they just kind of shipped all the resources over there and started developing that and
16:30 Arlo place which was called Palisades State Park just coming out left behind and those business owner said well irregardless is take it back and they take it back in the private ownership kind of split it up and and I got passed around little bit until we finally got it.
16:48 And it's such a great story and that's a big part of why I like living in that building to was because it was such a great history.
16:58 You know, I like to I like to tell that story and
17:03 No, living there exploring there. We found we found a arrowheads.
17:10 And we found
17:14 I think it's called a
17:18 I know the kitchen tools called the mortise and pestle or you know, you grind your grains, but there was a big rock.
17:27 That was totally rounded and mom was polished and I must have been them from the Native Americans that lived there and was Kiowa and Comanche that kind of ruled the canyon for thousands of years. And and so all that evidence that we found of their presents.
17:49 Leaves me to tell people that people that that humans have been in this Canyon enjoying the beauty of this Canyon for thousands of years and I love thinking about our building being built in the thirties cuz they had no cranes or machines and that was hard work and it's beautiful and the Rocks they brought from the yeah, they certainly didn't have the same equipment that we think about today. Yeah. It is a beautiful building $25 when week cuz we did the thesis of we got the marker. It didn't have that when we purchased it last Oracle Commission.
18:41 It's a historic marker.
18:45 But ours since it's a building that considered a landmark Historic Landmark, so it's recorded with the state of Texas as a historical landmark. We had to do some research quite a bit of research being built in pictures of it being built that we have here in our building and we would have a picture of The Troop that was that built our building and then moved over to the canyon but we really
19:23 Initiate the history
19:32 The dead of such an awesome piece of History
19:36 Never be available to us and how
19:48 People ask me.
19:52 And I've always said not if anything not in a bad way, it would be good. I've never felt.
20:10 I mean, there's been so many humans around at that. Can't imagine there's anywhere that's not a little haunted. So it's been a bed-and-breakfast wedding venue for over 20 years.
20:29 Going Strong building r
20:33 Reputation. I remember when we first took over and we would talk to people about start liking it. So I've never heard of that. What's that? Where is that people that would come visit us come stay with us ever. Do this was down here, but now it years later. It's the more often we hear I think we're doing a pretty good job spreading the word dinners made as the chef. Which did you ever picture yourself?
21:14 Being a chef of your own. I still don't really picture myself in your Chef. I've never had any training and I don't ever call myself because
21:27 I worked with some incredible chefs, you know, they've dedicated.
21:32 Their lives to their craft and I promise school and you know, I mean, I guess the word Chef kind of is just the best way to explain. Yeah, you know what you're doing in the kitchen by job, but I know that it means a lot to do so.
22:00 I guess I consider myself while I cook my like an Ambiance of people are amazed well.
22:22 I'm not going to I'm not going to say you can't call me chef but I I'm going to have a hard time to call myself even though I have the code.
22:33 But you know, that's just that's the presentation. It's all part of the Ambiance, but it's really fun. And I think about some of the chefs that I've worked with over the years and you know, usually we're just cooking like one dinner.
22:52 It was a breakfast and we have a cook for all the cabins. And so we're doing 8 sometimes 10 breakfast in the morning. But when we do this does dinners are really only doing one.
23:05 Well one couple one couple night and I I just imagine those chefs that can cash if that was all I ever had to do is to cook.
23:15 You know Jennifer one couple at night. I mean, I just imagine how many amazing things do you have other jobs?
23:36 So yeah, but that's up.
23:45 How's the housekeeper?
23:48 Can't make it which has happened.
23:52 Then when we get to get in there.
23:55 Clean it up with you know, it's a hard job for sure. But you know, it's got to be done.
24:03 It definitely gives you a
24:06 High level of respect for our housekeeper
24:12 Because they do during early good job. I have a great job.
24:18 So what animals do we see at Starlight? I think people are always surprised by some of the things we come across here.
24:30 It's someone to develop neighborhood, but it's still pretty.
24:34 A little girl pretty wild. We definitely see a lot of deer lot of mule deer around here.
24:45 And that's really fun.
24:48 Babies having the babies
24:52 And summer a big bucks will be coming out here pretty soon towards the end of the winter and they're really cool.
25:01 Then one night we had a couple getting a massage on the gazebo in arm assistant is a picture of two little waddling armadillos. They weren't all that little though.
25:16 Yeah, and I think
25:22 Historically armadillos are kind of rare in this part of Texas, you know Southeast Texas there. They're all over the place, but I think with
25:36 Was it getting warmer?
25:39 That they're starting to make their way up here and
25:44 They do a little running rooting around in the lawn, which is the biggest problem. But really, I don't know. I think they just kind of aerate the lawn a little wild turkeys raccoon mountain lions.
26:08 Our neighbor said he caught a 300-pound Pig like a wild boar Oreos and Cardinals Blue Jays coming through over at Tanglewood. There's also I've heard the vet up the road takes care of them like that injured bald eagles come in the spring. They're pretty cool the buzzards.
26:53 But I got to go back to the night. We had the couple getting a massage and then we had a dinner. I can't turn on the Gazebo that next night and Nate and I were cleaning up and saw the armadillo. We thought we're going to try to catch this thing.
27:18 And a plastic trash can
27:25 The first the first Army that City's armadillos can't see very well so you can sneak up on them.
27:33 But there's surprisingly quick the first the first shot that I had. I put my net over the summer dillow and he quickly I don't know damn his nose under the net through it up off of them in and ran away. So then there was the second armadillo and I thought well, I'm going to be ready for it this time and in so that time II armadillo I got to sneak up on and got my net over him or her I don't know and this time I scooped it up and put it in the net that was hanging in there. And then I was trying to dump it into the trash can and he grabbed the edge of the trash can that is all hands on the edge of the trash can and pulled himself up and out and ran away. And so I was over to on armadillo hunt but it was pretty exciting those little things are well, they like prehistoric, you know, there's there's like
28:29 Little dinosaurs almost and really weird looking but it's surprising how quick they are and how strong they are so bad. They're like little bundle of muscle now. That was fun. I don't think I'll get into the armadillo catching business.
28:54 It was fun skunks.
29:01 And then
29:04 Yeah, I guess you know we mentioned Teigen.
29:08 Are first born but we added to others to while he's lived here. So we've got
29:16 Those three wild animals that we live with and all three girls at 3 on the grill.
29:24 And we got Teagan Harper and Dylan.
29:29 And we're basically just
29:34 Training them to help us at Starlight when we get older. Yeah, I think I think they're picking up some good lessons having a family business to work on. You know, they're learning learning about hospitality.
30:03 Learning about
30:08 Upkeep mom place, you know what it takes their learning about cooking.
30:19 You know, we're always talking about the meals.
30:23 They come over and work with us a lot. When we do cabin dinners. They can help us with those and are they there their while we're doing this? So this past summer we start hosting concerts out on our lawn, right? I think the girls really love those concerts.
30:48 But then there's music playing to you know.
30:52 And they have artist their henna artist than we had the hardest henna tattoos that everybody we got one every week and wondering what the teachers thought, but then I decided, so they're all over there.
31:17 So that's been really fun. What other things did we have we added to?
31:23 Starlight some weddings, but I don't think the package them the way that we have come up with.
31:34 This what we've improved in the layout to with the dance floor and the pond area for like pictures and has really nicely in the way we set up for weddings this phenomenal people always comment how well we manage those and red nose and we've never had a crazy wedding. We've had some crazy guess at some of the wedding's but we've been able to handle those pretty well.
32:09 Yeah, you know, what's your favorite part about Starlight Canyon in owning this and working here?
32:17 Favorite job
32:20 I really I love cooking. I do love cooking. It's been fun to build all the menus and all the different breakfast that we put together.
32:34 I just I really like the the potential of it all to you know, we always talk about what we want to do next and what's next for us.
32:46 You know, so we started our
32:50 Studio like our design studio and made some big barn quilts.
32:58 And that's been a really fun thing and then we've got some underutilized Acres want to put
33:07 The Napa theater down there and really get serious about live performances, I think going and some more cabins I think going forward.
33:18 Performances and and Gatherings are going to be outside more and more. I'm so happy that we have such a great outdoor space that we can share.
33:34 Thanks, things will be different.
33:37 It will it is so my favorite Parts the potential in and just coming up with?
33:46 Our next venture and part of that potential I think is in the ties into my agricultural degree is to kind of incorporate some more.
34:00 Locally-sourced ingredients and even grow somewhere on ingredients
34:08 I think that that's something that's going to be really fun to get into.
34:13 But then I think I was at this point. We really just been
34:17 Working on our foundation are solid foundation and I think we've done a really good job.
34:24 And we've survived.
34:26 Covid so far, which is pretty incredible cuz I know a lot of small businesses or not.
34:33 But then
34:35 Yeah, we're we're doing okay.
34:39 We're doing all right.
34:41 I'm hot. I'm just have to get to be here.
34:44 What's the temperature?
34:47 I like all of it because I don't have a favorite job. I like all of them girls here is just always.
35:05 The dream come true. We still feel like you're dreaming.
35:15 Yeah, I feel like there's a lot of blessings that have come out of.
35:20 The situation out of the pandemic, you know, I don't think I don't think we would have ever been invited to do a storycorps interview if it hadn't been for covid-19. Maybe maybe it would have come around somehow, but but we always try to find the positive and the dead out of everything everything sets the tone, you know.
35:59 When you when you put positive out, do you get positive back on the opposite Street tube?
36:14 Well, wonderful. Thank you so much. I love you, and I love you.