After having a Baby Derby in the Journal for nearly 30 years we’ve come to a new record… with 31 days in January, and checking with all the local hospitals, we have yet to know who will be crowned the 2015 Baby Derby winner in San Juan County.
One of John’s gifts was a “Sneaky Pete” pool cue. The next day we foolishly asked John if we could go to the pool room. “Sure,” he said, “although I might be a bit rusty.” I should have known better.
Sitting in the audience at the Community Theatre, watching “On the Fringe”, the local playwrights festival, Journal columnist Howard Schonberger is reminded of the late Ethel Barrymore, and of the lasting impression that the accomplished actress made on him.
The Community Dinner’s Greek cuisine was a total dinner-winner! Where else for a $10 donation, can you get a pre-dinner concert by our high school orchestra followed by a Greek menu, prepared byFriday Harbor high schoolers who are trained to be chefs in our Food for Thought Program.
Maybe it was the fact that Helen and I were sitting right next to the bandstand at Mullis, but the best thing that got to me was how Tom’s local band could have such a tremendous big band sound. When they wound up the evening with Cab Calloway’s music, I could have sworn I was in the Cotton Club listening to the crowd echoing to Cab’s leads, sung by Jimmy (hidee) Moe.
The store has attracted 12 bids on the internet auction site Public Surplus. The current high bid, by someone using the bidding name “Altruism,” is $2,650. Bids are expected to rise significantly between now and April 20, when the auction ends, according to Liquor Control Board spokesman Brian Smith.
My mother, Ann, would be shocked to know how few people go to the polls (even if they only have to vote by mail). But worse, she would shudder to hear how easy it is to buy an election under the present “donation” laws, whereby the Supreme Court ruled that there is no reason to limit the money that unions and corporations can spend on their candidate.
Eureka! I remembered something that happened during the Great Depression.
Senator George W. Norris, a great legislator during the New Deal years, had long felt there was no need to have two legislative bodies in government.
Tuesday, Jan. 12, the San Juan Lions Club hosted San Juan Island School District Superintendent Walt Wegener and school board member Brent Snow to present their views on the M&O Levy coming up for vote on Feb. 9. Snow, who is manager of Roche Harbor when he is not devoting time to family and all sorts of community causes, kicked off what he called the “pony and dog show.” He was most persuasive.
A perceived one-size-fits-all approach to land use regulations in San Juan County is meeting stiff resistance from two growing groups in the islands — the Common Sense Alliance, headed by Planning Commissioner Mike Carlson, and the Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, directed by Frank Penwell.
What a wonderful job Director Helen Machin-Smith has done with Island Stage Left presentations through the years. “Rabbit Hole,” the winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize and five Tony awards, now being performed to perfection by a cast of five actors — three of them professional — is solid proof of that accolade.
Thanks to director Andrew V. McLaglen, a marvelous array of local talent and the great theater our community has generously established, we now have a boffo performance of a play by the most successful playwright in American theatrical history, Neil Simon. I kid you not: Our local performance of “The Odd Couple” excels the show I saw on the stage when it won all those Tonys, the great movie starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, the long-running TV comedy series, and, of course, the ABC cartoon series. Theater, anywhere, anytime, doesn’t get any better than this.
Newspapers, schools, government … all are among the many institutions who are chided if they don’t fly the flag on Flag Day. We used to fly it at The Journal when our offices were on Guard Street, before moving to Mullis Street a few years ago. Only trouble, we were on the first floor and we lost a few flags.
I was a bit ambivalent about watching a show about Patsy Cline, not being a strong country-western fan, although I remembered listening to a few of her songs back in the ’50s. I am now here to tell you that even if you never heard of her before, you will become an instant Patsy Cline fan if you attend director Merritt Olsen’s production at San Juan Community Theatre.
Everywhere this old dinosaur goes these days, he’s confronted with condolences about the death of the newspaper business, the “fact” that the Internet is taking over, that you have to know texting and tweeting and Blackberry lingo to keep up with modern times. Well, as I did when radio was going to be our downfall, and then television, I feel sure, as my mother used to say, “This too shall pass” (TTSP to you tweetybirds). Why, just last Saturday night, I had a great example.
Soroptimist President Debbie Staehlin introduced Joyce Sobel, who chaired the Soroptimist Club selection committee (which also comprised Nancy DeVaux and Lenore Bayuk), March 18. Sobel presented a certificate, flowers and a check for $750 to Charlotte Guard. The Friday Harbor High School senior was selected winner of the annual community service award, which is named for the president of the first Soroptimist Club in 1921, Violet Richardson.
I had my skeptic’s guard up Tuesday when I attended the San Juan Lions Club meeting, where Beth Williams-Gieger, superintendent and clinic administrator of San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1, was scheduled to speak about the proposed integrated medical center. Williams-Gieger was impressive enough to make a believer out of me.
If you don’t make it to the San Juan Community Theatre Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights at 7:30, or Sunday at 2, you will miss a meaningful experience that no islander should miss. It’s not just the fact that it’s one of the crowning events of the Friday Harbor Centennial Celebration, nor that a cast of 24 of our talented friends and neighbors have put in long hard hours of rehearsal these recent months to bring it off.
One thing you can count on after a general election: most of the speakers at this San Juan County Republican Party gathering like to face things as they are. That certainly was the case down the line Saturday at the San Juan Island Grange,
The production of five wonderful examples of Ernest Pugh’s playwright talents at the San Juan Community Theatre was a well-deserved tribute, Jan. 16-17. It takes a keen eye and sharp ear to have such talent. And, of course, an equally talented cast and crew to bring the playwright’s drama to powerful life.
When I first came to the islands, I lived across the road from Ross and B.J. Miner and next door to Jim and Bea Hitch. These two fine couples guided us as to the ways of the island. “There’s nothin’ to do in here in January,” said Ross, “except freeze.” I thought of that last weekend, after all the holidays including Epiphany, when Helen and I spent a quiet January Saturday that ran us ragged.
WSF is an iconic symbol of our home and charm to visitors. In fact, it could be one of the principal reasons to live here if it were improved and reliable. And a reason why the value of our homes would be secure, rather than shaky.
I love my Broadway — but oh, you C.A.T.S.! Coming back from a two-week sojourn with family in Poughkeepsie, Hudson Valley and The Big Apple for Thanksgiving, we wondered if we might feel like Little Appleseeds. Occasionally, we’ve heard comments that we go overboard comparing our local theater talent to the greats of the Great White Way.
What do you do when you are a creative retailer, wife and mother with two children? You work around the clock, you hire clerks for the times when the children need you and pay babysitters when you are at the store. That might work when sales are brisk during tourist season, but might be marginal at other times. Michelle Waldron and Megan Van Hamerssfeld have solved that dilemma by combining their two shops — Daisy Bloom and Creme Brulee — into one at 165 Spring St.
Let’s take a good look at what we can get locally before buying gifts elsewhere. Maybe we should have a “Blue Heron” poster and badges made, like in the 1930s, to show we believe that prosperity, as well as charity, starts at home.
It seems like only yesterday when I was a kid in Omaha working at the Omaha theater as an usher for the first time and Jimmy Hall, a star halfback on our football team, came in with his mother. I greeted him warmly and the doorman came over when they started forward. “Kindly take the stairway to your right, please,” he said gently. They nodded and started upstairs. The doorman turned to me and said: “Don’t ever forget those words when Negroes come in.”
Every once in a while, I see someone shaking their heads in disapproval when they see the weird costumes on the kids at the Homecoming Parade and game. “We didn’t do that sort of thing when I went to school,” they grumble. They probably think they didn’t, but it’s only because their memory bank doesn’t go back that far.
Some things in this life can be disappointing. The market. The weather. Your aching back. Forget it. If you go to a performance of a play directed by Andrew McLaglen, written by Neil Simon and performed by our local thespians at our beautiful theater, you can be sure you won’t have a gloomy thought.
Every one of our 61 vets in the Legion and any other local vets or widows or widowers of WWII service men or women, will be guests for a catered dinner at the Legion Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008.