James "Ike" Eichling

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James "Ike" Eichling is the owner of vintage clothing store Ike's Underground and a part of the area arts and acting scene.


Eichling was born in Evanston, Illinois to a botanist family. His father, Phil Eichling, was a florist until James was age 12, when he became a preacher and brought the family into rural Illinois. Eichling played football and wrestled at his high school in Yorkville, IL.[1]

Eichling used the GI Bill to help him attend Western Carolina University, where he studied sociology and also met his first wife, Mary. The Eichlings moved to Virginia, first to Mary's home town of Madison, then to Albemarle County, where Eichling was one of the first directors of JAUNT.[1]


While in Virginia, Eichling became involved with theatrical groups like the Four County Players and Culbreth Theater at UVA. He then relocated to Chicago to pursue acting, and landed many small roles and became a member of the Screen Actors Guild.[1] Following several decades in which he ran coffeehouses, gave tours, and went through a divorce, Eichling moved back to Virginia in 2006, moving in with his son Beau in the Charlottesville area. Here, he has served as a "mentor-coach" in VCU's film department and has appeared in several local films.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Web. The underground actor, Robert Boucheron, C-VILLE Weekly, Portico Publications, Sept 13, 2011, retrieved Sept 20, 2011. Print. Sept 13-19, 2011 , v.23, no.39,  page 15.