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INSIDE: Hometown Hero ... Island Life, A12 Record South Whidbey SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2012 | Vol. 88, No. 98 | | 75¢ Same-sex couples celebrate, wed on historic day Langley’s most famous gay couple make history “I can introduce my fiancée and people celebrate it.” BY JUSTIN BURNETT Staff reporter One of the most famous gay couples in the country added to their legacy this week when they became the first couple in Island County to acquire a same-sex marriage license. Camped out in lawn chairs and wrapped up in blankets, Langley residents Grethe Cammermeyer and Diane Divelbess showed up at the courthouse in Coupeville at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, insuring their place in the history books. “I wanted us to be the first legitimate first (to get a marriage license),” Cammermeyer smiled. “This is home.” Referendum 74, which was passed this November and upheld same-sex marriage in Washington, went into effect Thursday. According to the Seattle Times, more than 200 couples were in line at the Recorder’s Office in King County at midnight to get their marriage licenses. Although Island County was far less busy, the Auditor’s Office did open shop earlier than usual to accommodate a small crowd of couples like Cammermeyer and Divelbess who Fai Dawson, Coupeville Justin Burnett / The Record Grethe Cammermeyer watches as her fiancée, Diane Divelbess, fills out paperwork for a marriage license at the Island County Auditor’s Office on Thursday morning. were eager to take the first steps to formally and legally cement their relationships. “We’ve waited 15 years for this form,” said Fai Dawson, holding up a marriage license application. She and Becky Dawson, who live part time in Coupeville, were also at the Auditor’s Office before 7 a.m. While the application may be just a piece of paper, for a couple who were best friends for 10 years before they realized they were in love, it represented so much more. “All of a sudden, we can hold hands without people screaming at us; I can introduce my fiance and people celebrate it,” Fai Dawson said. “It’s like I’ve come out of a really dark space and stepped into brilliant sunshine,” she said. The couple has endured trials and tribulation. In 2004, they secured a marriage license from Multnomah County, in Portland, Ore., but it was a moment of joy that turned to heartbreak. Book’s fresh look at Langley history released in time for Centennial BY MICHAELA MARX WHEATLEY Staff reporter A new book is hitting the shelves providing a unique look at Langley’s history just in time for the city’s Centennial celebration in 2013. “Langley,” by local authors Robert Waterman and Frances Wood, is a photo history boasting more than 200 vintage images — many of them never published before. It is the latest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series. The idea for the book was born a little over a year ago, Wood said, who is the author of two other books focused on South Whidbey history. She had been interested in doing an updated book on Langley. “I knew no book would happen without Mr. Bob Waterman — Mr. Langley history,” she said. “I am hoping this is just the first in a series.” Robert Waterman co-author “Langley” Wood is a fourth generation summer visitor to South Whidbey who settled here permanently in 2000. Waterman is a former city council member and past president of the South Whidbey Historical Society. He arrived in Langley in 1999. The pair joined forces with the target to have the project finished in time for Langley’s 100th birthday in 2013. Waterman developed a special interest in Langley history during Photo courtesy of Bob Waterman Authors Bob Waterman and Frances Wood select photos earlier this year for their book. “Langley,” a photo collection with never before published historic photographs, was released this month. the 2004 Imagine Langley campaign and has since turned into an expert and collector of historic facts about the city. Packing the amount of information accumulated over the years onto 126 pages was not an easy task. “I’ve been interviewing people since 2004,” Waterman said. “I am hoping this is just the first in a series. Hopefully we will be able to tell more of the people stories.” Waterman said he is grateful to all the people who allowed him to scan their old photographs and shared their stories with him. The detective work, as he calls it, was See Same-sex, A8 great fun connecting with the families of people who lived in Langley years ago, but now are spread out across the country. Wood said the book showcases over 200 photos, many never before published, and the stories tell of the town’s first 100 years. And there are a lot of stories to tell. The colorful characters of today pale in comparison to Langleyites of the olden days. Waterman said he feels drawn to the early years. “The era from 1910 to 1920 when the city was growing rapidly and attracting so many colorful immigrants,” he said. Langley founder Jacob Anthes, a German immigrant, first purchased land here at age 15, helped plat the town in 1891, and built a wharf. As new families arrived, First Street filled with businesses and homes, and the town was incorporated in 1913. The community was thriving. Fishing resorts sprang up, but when the passenger ferry service shifted from Langley to Clinton, the town languished. See Book, A8

South Whidbey Record, December 08, 2012

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