Meet Jeremy Tarver, player of Native American stickball, river enthusiast, and underappreciated treehouse architect.
Name, Company, Title, City
Jeremy Tarver, Infinity Interactive, Senior Developer, Athens GA
How long have you been at Infinity?
I started working for Infinity in December 2021, so nine months at the time of this writing. I’d been a software developer for the same company for the previous 12 years. The change in technologies, personnel, and projects has been exciting.
What are six words you think of when you think of Infinity?
Resilient, focused, dedicated, nimble, supportive, smart
What is one thing you think people might not know about Infinity, but should?
That we strive to form a partnership with the client, rather than just providing a solution and moving on. That kind of long-term relationship over multiple projects lets us provide better service because we understand and anticipate our clients’ needs.
Do you have a hidden talent? Juggling? Trapeze, perhaps?
Native American stickball, aka Toli.
How did you learn how to play Native American stickball?
I discovered the game while at UGA, where a small group of mostly anthropologists enjoyed playing. It was originally introduced at UGA by Greg Keyes, who had spent time living on the Mississippi Choctaw reservation.
Is anything codified?
No. Not the size of the ball, the size of the sticks, or even the refereeing. The sticks are hand-crafted from young hickory trees and the ball (or toa) from deerskin or leather. There are no pads, very few rules, and it is typically played barefoot.
How do you recharge?
By spending time in nature. I prefer canoeing but usually settle for walks in the woods looking for mushrooms. While I don’t actually enjoy the flavor of mushrooms, I find the variety, ecology, and various uses fascinating. It’s a great hobby that gives me an excuse to get out and enjoy nature.
Where do you canoe?
I really enjoy weeklong trips on big lazy rivers - typically in South Georgia. The Altamaha and Ocmulgee are two of my favorites. You get a sense of timelessness as well as continual surprises around every bend. There are also some beautiful black water (from tanin) rivers in northern Florida. You can often find cold water springs coming up from the aquifer that feed into the river and exploring those from the water can be exhilarating (and frigid). I live within a ¼ mile of the Oconee River, so that’s where I canoe most often.
What’s an accomplishment - big or small - that you’re particularly proud of?
I built my two girls a fancy treehouse. The squirrels seem to love it. It took around a month to build - working afternoons and weekends. Choosing an octagon shape made angles very interesting. Rather than trying to build it while 25 feet in the air, I assembled it on the ground. Raising the component parts up there was a trick, I ended up using a steel cable over a pulley and pulled it with my truck.
What’s the greatest (or most memorable) piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My grandfather once told me, in the name of marital harmony, to always, always, ALWAYS praise my wife’s cooking. Even if it was terrible, you tell her it was delicious.
Is your wife a good cook?
My wife’s cooking is delicious!
Right. But for real, or is that what you tell her?
My wife’s cooking is delicious!
Tags: culture people interview