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The new bridge of the San Juan Island Yacht Club

The new bridge of the San Juan Island Yacht Club

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. The San Juan Island Yacht Club held its annual Commodore’s Ball. I was all set to take my notebook and camera there when I received an e-mail from Carol Waxman the afternoon BEFORE the event, telling all about it.

Here it is, with editing in boldface by the Ferry Home Companion:

San Juan Island Yacht Club members held their annual Commodore’s Ball Saturday evening to honor Commodore Fred Bowen and his wife, Carolyn Bowen, for their four years of service on behalf of promoting, organizing and encouraging boating and social activities of the yacht club members.

Fred Bowen has devoted his professional career to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and, thus, this year’s ball theme was “Out Of This World.” The yacht club was decorated to simulate a galactic journey, complete with an entry space tunnel into the spaceship dining room. Each dining table was identified with a planet, circling the Sun in the center of the room where the SJIYC Bridge was seated. A multitude of stars and planets were suspended from the ceiling, (every time giant earthling George Johnson walked across the room, he was likely to knock a few E.T.s into the arms of dancers and other celebrants) while the windows appeared to reflect upon the starry heavens, enhanced by special lighting.

The French-fried mushroom and brie hors d’oeuvres, along with ahi tuna sushi, plus special cherrywood-smoked salmon, were served delightfully in pre-flight preparations for lift-off. Fine wine adjustment fluid was available prior to being beamed up. Event co-chair Carol Towson presented the commodore in ceremonies including a gift and recognition of past commodores present, and of course, a flute of champagne toast to Commodore Bowen. Event co-chair Lizz Divers-Smith introduced the members of the committee, who spent hundreds of creative hours for this “Out of This World” theme.

Bill Shaw lifted us off as we hurled through space, barely missing each planet in the galaxies as shown on the huge screen at the end of our space ship. He described each dinner course — including Kobe beef — on the way.

Roche Harbor Executive Chef Shaw created a unique dinner menu for a space journey. Each course, from salad to entree, represented a planet on the imaginary itinerary, such as “Oceana 564,” a planet covered by oceans and swamps, where guests savored seafood fondue. The return to Earth dessert was apple pie a la mode, served in individual pie tins.

Famed rock ‘n’ roll DJ and island resident Pat O’Day was the music maestro for this signature event. He summoned Commodore and Mrs. Bowen to the dance floor for the first dance of the evening, a waltz to the music from “Space Odyssey: 2001.” Vice Commodore Jim and Sue Corenman, Rear Commodore Bruce and Dianne Hall and Fleet Captain Bill and Maria Wertz then joined the Bowens for the remainder of the waltz.

The Doo-Wop sounds of the ’50s and ’60s followed, filling the club with rock ‘n’ roll, fast and slow, as ball-goers danced the night away. The “space travelers” departed for their respective “docking stations,” agreeing they had shared a stellar evening.

The music that O’Day selected on this gig was terrific. What a great save, since many of the regular musicians on the island were playing at the theater Saturday night. (This writer had to attend the theater Sunday afternoon rather than miss this annual event). All I can say is, we’ve come a long way from the days when we met at the Grange for potlucks and if you were a half-hour late you were lucky to get a crust of bread!

Thanks, Carol Waxman, for letting me be the first-ever person to edit a story written before the event occurred. I hope your husband and sidekick Bill gets some pictures of this great celebration before deadline. This new way to cover news enables me to dance more than ever when I don’t have to take notes or pictures.

Go with the F.L.O.W. (Ferry Lovers Of Washington).

— Contact Howard Schonberger at 378-5696 and hschonberger@sanjuanjournal.com