JAMESTOWN – A Jamestown family with the spirit to entertain has hit the road, traveling the country and documenting their journey part of a YouTube series.
Angelo and Ylsa Guiffre met 20-years-ago as performers in a musical. From there, they began doing small scale performances that eventually evolved into big scale productions.
In 2012, they bought the 150-year-old First Congregational Church building in downtown Jamestown and turned it into the Spire Theater, which eventually became InSpire Development Center, an arts and culture multiplex, a fitting name for an inspirational couple.
“We felt that we were inspiring a lot of young performers and artists and kind of just became a place of inspiration. We wanted to encourage performers to really get into their art and provide a platform for them to do that,” Ylsa said.
The wrath of COVID-19 hit many and the Guiffres were not left out.
“We knew we weren’t going to be able to do any of our businesses. Most of our businesses revolve around large gatherings of people,” said Ylsa. “All of the things we did were suddenly oh no, we can’t do these.”
Angelo and Ylsa knew they had to find a creative and unique way to keep their business going.
The couple came up with the idea to start a YouTube channel, and document themselves all while homeschooling their three children Rya, Logi, and Kati, traveling the country since early November in a 2005 Ford E350 shuttle bus that they turned into their own little home.
According to Ylsa, owning a bus had always been a lifetime dream of her husband..
“He always has crazy ideas. He was like we need a bus. I was like why? No! we don’t need a bus!” she said.
Ylsa’s mind was quickly changed when they saw the perfect bus in the lot, and knew it was the right decision.
The journey has also been a family one for Ylsa and Angelo, and they say have grown closer as a family than ever before.
“The silver lining to this is we are able to spend a lot more time with our kids,” they explained.
The family visited 13 states in 1 month, and said every time they crossed a border, it was like crossing a border into a new country.
Every state has its own culture that I wasn’t aware of. I didn’t realize how different every state is especially during this pandemic how every state reacts to the pandemic differently. It’s like a whole new world,” Angelo said.
The couple said the journey has also been educational for their children, and that seeing history is completely different than reading about it in a book.
“To realize we are walking on the same land that so many people walked on and seeing the troubles that they faced is eye opening,” Ylsa said.
The couple has been home since Christmas, since the kids wanted to be home for the holidays, and are making repairs to head out again soon.
“Our ultimate destination is to find Bob Wells. He’s a guru of fan dwellers and he lives in the desert southwest, but you can thank Dakota for this these winter storms that keep coming up on the path that we would take”
The duo says the best way to support their endeavors is to subscribe to their channel and join them, virtually, on the adventures ahead.