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APRIL 2012

JACOB NAVARRO “Anacortes, born and bred.”

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

The Art of

TRACY POWELL

Learn more about this accomplished stone carver and his collection of works, including gallery pieces and the highly visible “Maiden of Deception Pass.”

Our Town’s History in Photos

ANACORTES TODAY Photojournalist Steve Berentson shares a colorful online journal highlighting this community’s residents and events.

A LONG LOST FRIEND Children give their points of view on “What Makes a Good Friend”

Published by

Creative Thought & Design

Online at www.Anacortes.net


ON THE WEB

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Along with the publication of our magazine, we have given Anacortes.net a fresh new look. Visit this vibrant website to enjoy a growing menu of features including stories, community events, local photography and more.

Music, Art, & Community Events

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IN THIS ISSUE Maiden Changes the Way Tracy Powell Sees the World

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Photographer Spotlight

In 1983 Powell collaborated with members of the Samish Indian Nation – and his career as artist and stone carver has never been the same.

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Anacortes Photography

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Our Town’s History in Photos

Take a look at local photography submitted by our readers.

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Jacob Navarro - Anacortes Born & Bred

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Karla Locke shows us the world through her eyes.

Anacortes native Steve Berentson approaches the 10-year milestone of a journal spotlighting some of this community’s noteworthy residents and events.

A Long Lost Friend

A mix of violin lessons, expo­sure to Middle Eastern culture and a love for all types of music led to a pivotal point in Navarro’s childhood. At age 10, he discovered the guitar.

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Fidalgo Island Writers Guild asked the youth of Anacortes to write out their thoughts on friendship. More than 100 children responded.

Welcome to the first issue of

ANACORTES MAGAZINE

“I believe the people who are here in Anacortes are meant to be here.” CHRIS TERRELL

Our vision with Anacortes Magazine is to bring people together in a special way through the creative arts, including music, art and photography. I love to help people tell their stories. When they have a chance to share what’s in their hearts I can see in their eyes how they have been waiting to tell that story – waiting for someone to listen. We don’t make their personal stories interesting. They ARE interesting.

To me, the heart of Anacortes is a passionate sense of community. We have an amazing creative spirit in this town, a spirit that makes us strong. This magazine represents our latest effort to collaborate with creative people who are inspired by a common love for our island home. We hope you will enjoy this premier issue of Anacortes Magazine, distributed in print and online. Please know that our door is always open and we are eager to listen and share your stories.

Anacortes Magazine is published by How It Works, a communications, marketing and graphics company established in Anacortes in 1995. Other How It Works ventures include www.Anacortes.net, Northwest Image and the Heart of Anacortes, an extraordinary gathering place located just a few blocks from the Guemes Channel in the historic Old Town area. PUBLISHER: Chris Terrell - How It Works - 1014 4th St., Anacortes, WA 98221 www.howitworks.com, publisher@anacortes.net LAYOUT/EDITOR: Kenneth Davenport PHOTOGRAPHERS: Chris Terrell, Steve Berentson, Kenneth Davenport WRITERS: Steve Berentson, Ronda Rae Franklin PRINTED BY: Premier Graphics © Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. To advertise or share story ideas please call 360-293-3515 or stop by our office at 1014 4th St., Anacortes, WA 98221. Anacortes Magazine / Online at www.Anacortes.net

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FEATURE

Maiden changes the w Powell sees the world

BY STEVE BERENTSON

He is an accomplished stone carver, as evidenced by the impressive collection of works in his Snee-Oosh Road gallery and at public places including the Tommy Thompson Trail and Anacortes United Methodist Church. But it was a wood carving almost 30 years ago that forever changed the way Tracy Powell would look at his art. It was 1981 when Powell, who had been carving small wooden pieces such as canoe paddles and masks, was introduced to the Maiden of Deception Pass. “I had just started to make a go of it,” Powell recalled, when he and wife Maralyne moved back to Fidalgo Island. “I worked with my brother Kenny, a shipwright and a phenomenal woodworker.” Among the 1963 Anacortes High School graduate’s initial interests was Native art. That interest was soon to become a consuming passion. About the time Powell started pursuing his art in earnest, Anacortes muralist Bill Mitchell, having heard a Samish Indian tale about the Maiden of Deception Pass, conceived the idea of a totem. “Bill wanted public art work all over the place,” Powell recalls. “He dreamed up the idea for the Maiden project. Then he introduced me to Ken Hansen (chairman of the Samish Tribe). I jumped into that monster project – I don’t know what possessed me.” Then he laughs, and says: “She did.” “She” was “Ko-kwal-alwoot,” the maiden of the Samish story. According to tribal tradition, the maiden saved her tribe from starvation by agreeing to marry a man of the sea who had fallen in love with her as she gathered sea food. Using Mitchell’s ideas as a starting point, Powell and Hansen and tribal elders including “Grandma Laura” Edwards began to collaborate. “The design Bill had was what we started with, but it changed pretty dramatically,” Powell recalls. What started out as a totem estimated at about 12 feet soon doubled in size when it was discovered that the U.S. Forest Service would donate a cedar from a recent Baker Lake cut. Powell and Hansen made a visit to the site of the timber harvest and selected their tree. “The loggers agreed to haul it to my Reservation Road 5

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shop for the cost of labor and material,” Powell said. “That amounted to about $250.” The tree donation, coupled with efforts by local historian Dick Fallis to talk the county into investing some money in the project, as part of the Skagit County Centennial celebration, helped the Maiden project “snowball.” Before long, Washington State Parks officials had agreed to allow the tribe to place the story pole at Rosario Beach, one-time location of one the Samish Tribe’s biggest settlements. Powell’s selection as totem carver was not without controversy among tribe members, but given that no one knew of a member with carving skills, the decision stood. Powell began “training and testing” under Hansen and Edwards, whose father-in-law Charlie had carved a totem that included the Maiden (in the 1930s). “Grandma Laura’s father-in-law was famous around the Puget Sound, mostly for his canoes,” said Powell.

“Coast Salish art is more naturalistic, more about telling stories than boasting about one person’s achievement.” “She passed on to me a lot of things she learned from him. Under Ken and Grandma Laura I was tested and trained, tested some more, trained some more …” In regard to objections that a non-tribal member was selected as carver, Powell said: “Ken and I came to an understanding that I would follow tribal instructions, images and techniques. For me to do other things on my own, such as miniature totem poles – that would be wrong.” Once the Baker Lake cedar was delivered, Powell began the carving that would consume him for a year. “Coast Salish art is quite different from what I’d been studying,” said Powell. “Coast Salish art is more naturalistic, more about telling stories than boasting about one person’s achievement.”


PHOTOS BY STEVE BERENTSON

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The scene at Rosario Beach in 1983, shortly after the unveiling of Powell’s “Maiden of Deception Pass” carving.

One “concession” in the design, said Powell, was a “tail” on the Maiden that would help non-natives better understand the tribal story. “The original story does not talk about Ko-kwal-alwoot becoming part fish,” said Powell. “The four years she comes back to visit her family, she walks out of the water. The tail on one side of the story pole wraps things up in a way people from a European culture could understand.”

“The kind of work I like to do most now is something that tells someone’s story or honors an idea.” TR ACY POW ELL

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Elements of the project that posed special challenges: there would be no paint, and the wood was not to be sanded, but it would be okay to treat with oil in order to avoid splitting as the green cedar began to dry. “I slathered linseed oil and turpentine on as I exposed new wood,” said Powell, “to keep it as moist as possible.” The Maiden was completed in a painstaking carving process that took about a year. A dramatic unveiling ceremony was held in 1983. A visit to see the Maiden today at her Rosario Beach home reveals a massive carving that has “adapted quite well to its home,” said Powell. “She looks beautiful, better than the day it went in, with a silver patina like driftwood. Somehow or other, there has been no checking or falling apart.” Powell’s “commission” for this carving remains among his most prized possessions: “Gorgeous, hand-knitted sweaters, one for me and one for Maralyne, made by the Samish ladies.”


For more photos from this article go online to Anacortes.net

Powell’s gallery on Snee-Oosh Road

Powell was honored by the Samish Indian Nation in 1983 with gifts including a ceremonial blanket.

He also helped the tribe put together a carving manual, complete with photographs of tools and examples of artifacts including house posts, canoes, eating utensils and spindle whorls. On a few occasions, he has responded to private family or tribal requests, including carvings on the face of Samish tribal headquarters. The greater reward from the Maiden project, said Powell, was a new way of looking at his art. “It changed my whole world, turned me upside down,” he said of the Maiden project. “It inspired me to study my own heritage, which in turn led me to be more respectful of other people’s heritage. It taught me that any art – sculpture, painting, writing – for its own sake, is just nonsense, in my humble opinion. These things must serve a purpose, such as telling the story of the Samish through the Maiden, helping them to reclaim their dignity. That’s what that project meant to me. The kind of work I like to do most now is something that tells someone’s story or honors an idea.”

Note: According to the Samish Indian Nation website, Samish’s status as a federally recognized Indian tribe was lost when through a clerical error in 1969 the tribe was left off a list republished by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Again in the late 1960’s the BIA left them off the list of Federally Recognized Tribes. It took more than 26 years of administrative and court proceedings to finally regain recognition for the Samish Indian Nation in April of 1996.

MORE ON TRACY POWELL

www.stonebard.com

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PHOTOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT

In 2005, my husband and I coasted in to Anacortes thinking we would hang out for a year or two. At the time, I wasn’t sure how a big city girl would adjust to a small town. Well adjust I did. After opening up That Photo Shoppe, I started organizing photography workshops and I became involved with the Skagit Valley Camera Club. At first I had no real interest in taking up photography. My talent and passion was in organizing workshops. I teamed up with photographers and instructors, Dick Garvey, Vince Streano and Tony Locke and after years of watching, learning and absorbing - I found I was hooked and I got my first camera. I am no longer a city girl. I love living in Anacortes. I love the community, the people and the arts. I am actively involved in the arts, the Anacortes Arts Commission, the Skagit Valley Camera Club and the community in which I live and photograph.

MORE ON KARLA LOCKE

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PHOTO BY KARLA LOCKE

KARLA LOCKE


ANACORTES MAGAZINE

PHOTO CONTESTS Your photos... featured in our magazine and online!

Every day we see and share moments that pull on our heartstrings. For official rules and prizes visit us online

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ANACORTES PHOTOGRAPHY

EDDIE MURDOCK, fb.com/eddiemurdock

DEL ZANE, delzane.com

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KENNETH DAVENPORT, kennethdavenport.com


Enter Our Photo Contests: www.anacortes.net/photo-contests/

BRANDEY LINDBERG, brandeymichelle.com

CHRIS TERRELL, picturesthatmatter.com

KEITH EYER, keitheyerphotography.com

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FEATURE

The Past, Present & Future of

Anacortes Today The year was 2003, and the Internet was not yet a universally shared passion, but at the prompting of How It Works founder Chris Terrell photographer Steve Berentson launched a photo journal titled AnacortesToday.com. Berentson acknowledges with a smile that he’s “missed a day or two along the way,” but nine years and more than 4,000 images later, his commitment to the digital chronicle still finds him swinging the strap of his camera bag over his shoulder each time he leaves home. “I would use the expression ‘labor of love’,” said Berentson of the website, “but the reality is I love posting

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daily images that reflect life in and around Anacortes. From Cap Sante panorama to Homecoming parade, trail walk to Chamber of Commerce meetings, AnacortesToday gives me opportunity to share glimpses into the life of a very special American community.” Berentson is a fourth generation Skagit County native, born in 1952 in the hospital once located where the City Library stands today. Childhood memories include walking from his 33rd Street home to Mt. Erie School on an unpaved street. Ace of Hearts Creek ran through the back yard and Sunday afternoons were often spent at Grandpa M.O. Berentson’s massive home next to the Lutheran Church on “O” Avenue. “I had an awesome childhood – years I have come to appreciate even more as I grow older and compare notes with others who were not as fortunate.” Circumstances took the family away in 1960, but Berentson “always knew” he would return to his hometown, and he came full circle in 1980. A photography “hobby” during college years turned into a profession/ obsession during a journalism career that included 10 years off and on working for Wallie Funk at the Whidbey News-Times. “Wallie had a passion for photojournalism,” said Berentson, “and he encouraged all of his writers to hone their photography skills as well. It was very difficult for me to set the camera aside for a while when I went to work as a staff writer for the Skagit Valley Herald in 1980.” “I still love talking to people of all ages and backgrounds,” said the self-employed PR consultant, “and I still get great satisfaction out of opportunities to take a photo of my new friends and acquaintances, too.”


PHOTO BY STEVE BERENTSON

Look to a recently-redesigned AnacortesToday.com and you will see clear evidence of Berentson’s heart for Anacortes and his fellow Anacortesans. “Time flies when you’re having fun,” said Berentson. “I love the redesign the How It Works crew has done – and as always I’m looking forward to framing up tomorrow’s images. I’m also grateful to a city full of people who invariably say ‘Yes’ to my request to being part of the AnacortesToday adventure. It’s been a great run and there’s no end in sight.”

“AnacortesToday gives me opportunity to share glimpses into the life of a very special American community.” STEVE BERENTSON

MORE INFORMATION website: www.anacortestoday.com facebook: fb.com/anacortestoday twitter: twitter.com/anacortestoday

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FEATURE His birth certificate reads Fort Bragg, California, but in terms of his identity as a musician, Jacob Navarro is

ANACORTES, BORN AND BRED BY STEVE BERENTSON

Navarro, the Fidalgo Island half of the Spoonshine Duo, was three years old when his family moved to a new Anacortes home on Happy Valley Road. Two years later, parents Fred Abelman and Bobbi Lauducci arranged for their young son to take violin lessons. “Music and the arts were always held in high regard in my family,” said Navarro. In addition to the investment in their son’s violin lessons, Abelman and Lauducci invested some of their own talents in a belly dance troupe. The mix of violin lessons, exposure to Middle Eastern culture and a growing love for all types of music led to a pivotal point in Navarro’s childhood. At age 10, he discovered the guitar. “I was taken by it right away,” he reports. The violin lessons would continue for a few years, but it was a passion for the guitar that found this Fidalgo Island boy practicing for hours alone in his room while his friends pursued more typical childhood interests. “John Malone was my first instructor,” Navarro recalls. “That went about a year, long enough to get me going. John was good at instilling confidence, making me feel like I had talent. Honestly, I think I was a pretty slow learner at the beginning. There were a few other instructors, briefly, and then I was introduced to Thom Gustafson from Mount Vernon.” “By the time I was taking lessons from Thom I was already head over heels in love with the guitar,” said Navarro. “I learned a lot from Thom – the fundamentals of music theory and how it related to the guitar neck. He’s definitely the big teacher, but more on the technical side of music. I was notoriously bad at doing what I was supposed to. I never practiced what I was supposed to practice.” While he had a tendency to “stray from 15

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the script” in regard to lessons, Navarro quickly grasped a foundational truth in his music career: “A large part of success playing an instrument is the desire to learn, a willingness to practice,” he said. “More important than natural talent is putting in the time.” “I remember my breakthrough moments of learning the tools to be able to improvise and compose what Thom taught me,” said Navarro. “I remember playing a pentatonic scale and thinking, ‘This sounds like a guitar solo!’” As a teen, there were a lot of musicians Navarro liked. As he listened he “tried to emulate some of their ideas.” Among his heroes was Scottish-born British musician Mark Knopfler, perhaps best known as co-founder of the band “Dire Straits.” Then there was Malian guitarist Ali Farke Toure; Greg Brown, Mark Ribot, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, David Lindley and Doc Watson … “But from a songwriting perspective,” Navarro emphasized, “nothing has had a greater influence on me than John and Alan Lowmax and their collections of folk music. I spend a lot of time reading the songs they collected, picking out the melodies. These collections are treasures.” Closer to home, teen-aged Navarro finally started looking for musicians with similar dreams. “I didn’t connect with other musicians until the end of high school. Then Brian Tottenham and I were playing together. I was taking lessons from Thom at the time and I asked, ‘Do you know any bass players?’ He said, ‘I know this guy Karl Blau. He reminds me of you … a great musician and a terrible student’.” Karl Blau is an indie rock and folk musician also based in Anacortes, and a member of the Knw-Yr-Own/K Records collective. In Blau and others Navarro not only gained inspiration, but he glimpsed the possibilities of commercial success. His list of other


contemporaries at this time included Dave Mathews and the Gift Machine, Mytzlplk, Krusters Kronamid and Nate Ashley. Still, the demands of independent life crept ever closer. After graduation from high school in 1992, the young musician opted to attend community college. “I took about two quarters of music theory at Skagit (Valley College), and that was that,” he said. “I guess I never seriously considered a career (outside of music). I did carpentry, worked in a factory painting strips of trim. I ran a travel lift at a boatyard, taught music at Secret Harbor School … I just bounced around. But all those things were just a stop-gap with the hope I would just be doing music at some point.” “We had Captain Fathom going when I was maybe 17,” Navarro recalls. “We had our own little regional following. The Rexville Grange was the place to perform, not just for us but for other bands in the

area. We were always excited about any local bands that were playing. We were big fans of Gravel. To this day, I still consider Karl and those guys a big influence on me in my formative years of playing. There was a handful of contemporary bands in the area from Bellingham to Anacortes. There was a real sense of community.” The “early years” included performances during “fai do dos” at How It Works, the graphics and multi-media business located initially behind a Commercial Avenue bakery (“fai do do” means “get-together” in Cajun). “Definitely a very large swath of the community turned out for those,” said Navarro. “It was one place where I saw circles sort of cross over, for sure. People who like music such as bluegrass, standard jazz, are not necessarily going to comfortably rub shoulders with someone who plays punk rock, but occasionally it happened.”

(above) Fai do do poster from 1995

WHAT IS A “FAI DO DO”? How It Works founder Chris Terrell recalls: “People told us, ‘This would be a great place for music,’ so we built a stage and hosted fai do dos (Cajun for get-together). We had an open mic … some shared poetry, others told the stories of how they ended up here … we sold kool aid and baked goods and everybody had a good time. There were musicians, people like Karl Blau and others … lots of musicians.

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“Americana is what we’ve sort of focused on, but certainly there were a lot of other influences.” Jacob playing at The Edison in 2010.

Then came “Spoonshine.” “I met Bill Cook, and we’re still playing together today. Spoonshine, at some point, was made up of me and Bill and James Harper, Matt Ambrose … that was the format for a number of years. Now Bill and my platform is to sort of add to the group as we see fit.” “We deal almost entirely with original music,” he said. “Americana is what we’ve sort of focused on, but certainly there were a lot of other influences. I have listened to music from all over the world. Mark Knopfler was, still is, a major influence. Tony Rice – flat picking and bluegrass – led to a turning point with Americana in mind.” “I try to play every day,” Navarro says. “I spend a lot of time playing and writing. Bill and I try to get together regularly. That keeps us on our toes. I do some solo 17

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performances, sit in on guitar with others once in awhile, but my main thing is collaborating with Bill.” Both include composition among their many talents. “We each write complete songs on our own, then we get together at my studio,” said Navarro. “Sometimes the song stands as it is, sometimes we collaborate – add a bridge here, change something there – until we bring it around to its finishing point.” On question of whether Anacortes – its natural setting and people – have any influence on his music, Navarro responds: “That has a big influence, for sure. I was more nostalgic about it early on than I am now, but I’ve always been interested in industry here – the fishing, logging – the sort of blue collar aspect of the area.” That fact is apparent in songs with lyrics

Jacob playing at the Heart of Anacortes in 2011.

that make reference to the city’s natural assets as well as trades including fishing, forestry and refineries. But Navarro is quick to point out his “stories” rarely have anything to do with his personal life. “For me, writing is 99 percent pure fiction,” he said. “It’s not autobiographical, but purely out of the imagination. Certain things inspire you to come up with a story. If I wrote songs about my daily life, they’d be very dull, very boring.” Increasingly, the road of success means trips away from Fidalgo Island … past the marina and a shrinking fleet of commercial fishing boats, past the refineries and their lighted columns, over the Swinomish Channel and through the rich farming area of the Skagit Valley. But Navarro embraces the change, welcomes the draw of the unknown. Besides, ventures into the urban world are not without reward. “I love Anacortes, but I also love being in the city,” he said. “This last summer we spent most of our time in Seattle, places like the Tractor Tavern and Columbia City Theatre. On one occasion we were playing at Brad’s Swingside Café. Mark Knopfler and his band came through, kicking off a


North American tour. They invited Bill and me to a back room to do some of our show. That was cool. About a week after that I recorded mandolin with Eddie Vedder on the song ‘Better Days,’ which was used in the soundtrack for ‘Eat Pray Love.’ It was a good couple of weeks!” Future plans include a mix of time spent on and off the island. “I definitely like both small town and city,” said Navarro. “There are ups and downs to both ways of living. One thing I love about a small town is that it holds you to a higher standard. Everybody knows you. You’re not anonymous. You have to be part of the community, and in a good way.” Navarro, who plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, a little bit of banjo and saxophone, said he has never suffered stage fright. Perhaps that has something to do with this community’s reputation for embracing its artists. “It seems that since I came through the school system there were always young bands writing original music and rocking out,” he said. “That seems to still be the case. Others, those who like music like bluegrass, jazz – exist in separate circles, but they contribute to a surprisingly vibrant music

The Spoonshine Duo, William Cook & Jacob Navarro

scene for a community this size. I’d like to think it’s a symbiotic relationship. As far as the arts go, especially in this town, people err on the side of being supportive.” Wherever the road leads, Navarro will be grateful for the contributions his family, friends and community have made to the realization of his dream. “I’m extremely happy,” he says, “to be doing music full-time.”

PHOTOS BY KENNETH DAVENPORT

For more photos from this article go online to Anacortes.net

MORE INFORMATION website: www.spoonshine.com facebook: fb.com/SpoonshineMusic youtube: youtube.com/thespoonshineband

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FEATURE

A Long Lost Friend STORY BY RONDA RAE FRANKLIN

PRESIDENT & CO-FOUNDER OF FIDALGO ISLAND WRITERS GUILD

When does the age of innocence and blind trust get lost to the age of busyness and mistrust? As we grow older, many of us shut ourselves off to true friendships, hiding within ourselves the best gift we have to offer. With this in mind, the Fidalgo Island Writers Guild asked the children of Anacortes to share with all of us what makes a person a good friend through the eyes of their youthful hearts. More than one hundred children responded‌

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I’ve received essays, stories, poems, letters, and drawings from Anacortes children in my mailbox nearly everyday for the past five weeks about “What Makes A Good Friend?” to them. They openly shared with me in their own words and color-crayon drawn pictures, knowing I would eventually share with you. From the beautiful simplicity and innocence of a young child’s heart to the age of the breaking of innocence of a young adult, the words and pictures say more than what is physically on each page. The younger ages (K-2), who are allowed to share their thoughts on this topic through the form of pictures just might have the upper hand on sharing what’s in their hearts. I find myself wondering if in next year’s contest the older students should receive the same opportunity – a picture to accompany a well-written essay. If a picture says a thousand words, then the Kindergarten through 2nd grade students are allowed 1,000 words plus an extra few sentences to tie it all together, while the 3rd-8th grade students are only allowed a maximum of 500 words to tell us their heart-felt stories of a truly good friend. In response to parents and students who have asked me why we chose this exact question, know that we chose the writing prompt with care and good reason. As simple as the question sounds, to truly answer from the heart requires much personal thought, delving into issues of the heart, and an inner search for what really matters. In essence we were asking many questions within one. We could have asked what makes them a good friend, but we switched it around to make them think about what makes them feel cared for, loved, trusted and comforted. Within thinking and writing about it from that direction we hoped they would more readily realize what they need to work on in themselves in order to be a good friend in return – and a genuinely good person. After reading many of the children’s entries, that is exactly what happened. Island View Elementary mom, Megan Ufkes, upon sending in two of her boys submissions, wrote this: “My youngest son, Owen, is only 4 and isn’t in Kindergarten until next year but he really wanted to weigh in on this topic. I think that speaks volumes to the topic chosen!  “ What makes a good friend?”  Great choice! Everyone in my family had an opinion on what did make a good friend. What a great dinner conversation for all my boys.  My one reluctant writer may submit later this month. But I think he learned that a great way to start writing is to have something worth writing about…that it makes the effort seem effortless. Thanks much.”  As most of you reading this are likely adults, what would you write on this subject and would you feel as eager as 4-year-old Owen? Do our daily duties so encumber us and past hurts duly haunt us too deeply for us to recognize a good friend? For that matter, do we remember how to be one? If we do remember, I wonder if we allow ourselves the same vulnerability that a child does to actually be that friend or accept that friendship if it’s offered to us. As adults we often say that childhood was tortuous, the mean-nature of other children brutal, and the awkward childhood moments have us not wanting to go back if we had the chance. From these experiences we often learn to close ourselves off in order to walk through this world less scathed by heartbreak and embarrassment. The result is walking through life not only less touched by it’s heartache but by it’s beauty. Do we understand and experience friendship at its peak during our youth? Maybe if we all had to enter this contest, forced to reach into our hearts and really search ourselves, the remembrance of friendship would inevitably resurface. A child’s heart is a beautiful and breathtaking thing to behold. They trust,

they befriend, and they love. Even when hurt they quickly search out and offer friendship and love again with a willing and hopeful heart – a heart that believes. “We went to see my friend [who had Leukemia]. She had lost all of her hair and she was weak from the medicine. I helped [her] go up and down the stairs…made her laugh…made her smile…that is my friend…” Matthew Rutz, 2nd grade The stories I have in my possession from our very own Anacortes children are stories from these hearts that still believe in pure love and forever friendships – hearts that hope without the need for proof and often in spite of it. All of these stories, whether written in words or through pictures, will soon make up a book for them to have and for all of us to read. I challenge you to pick it up and read it. These children who chose to write or draw from their hearts about friendship – these children we often look at as childish – live life with more wisdom than most of us. They may act childish at times, they’re supposed to, but they get to live with childlike hearts. As we grow older life can become an obscure picture of what we used to know to be truth blurred with what the world tells us is truth. I think we live with the most wisdom when we are very young, and again when we are very old. During those middle years we experience a different kind of sensory overload. All that surrounds us serves to distract us and blinds us to the simple things that matter most as we slip into autopilot mode. Four-year-old Owen tells us simply that, “A friend is nice…and love…and being brothers.” If we make a point to reconnect with our childlike heart we would all abundantly benefit. I am not saying to behave with a Anacortes Magazine / Online at www.Anacortes.net

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For more photos from this article go online to Anacortes.net

Left to Right: Juliann Conrady (7th grade, AMS), Michael Mantell (6th grade, Fidalgo Elementary), Amelia Rurey (6th grade, Fidalgo Elementary), McKayla Maddox (6th grade, Fidalgo Elementary), Aidan Ufkes (4th grade, Island View Elementary), Owen Ufkes (4 years old, honorary entrant). Not Pictured Here: Connor Bishop (5th Grade, Island View Elementary) and Madison Jenkins (Kindergarten, Mt. Erie Elementary)

careless and childish nature. I’m asking that we find our fearless, childlike hearts. I am asking for each of us to go out and truly be a good friend. And these children’s words and picture stories are here to help us do that. So from the words of our own Anacortes children and young adults, from Kindergarten through 8th grade, this is what makes a good friend: “A good friend...likes you for who you are… cheers for you and celebrates with you… tries not to hurt your feelings… forgives when you are sorry…stands up for you…is thoughtful and kind…is someone who you can trust and believe…listens to you…enjoys your sense of humor…splits their last piece of gum with you…helps you, includes you, worries about you when you’re not feeling well and thinks about you when you’re not there. A good friend is someone you want to spend time with. A good friend is loyal…never ignores you…shares lunch with you if you don’t have one…never pressures you or makes fun of you…respects you, believes you without question, and does not keep secrets from you or lie to you. Loyal…loyal…loyal.” “A good friend is always respectful…always there…sometimes you will need a friend and sometimes they will need you! Do not let a friend down.” Alyssa Digweed, 2nd grade. ON THE WEB website: fidalgoislandwritersguild.wordpress.com facebook: fb.com/FIWGcares email: FidalgoIslandWritersGuild@gmail.com

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Anacortes Magazine / Vol. 1, Issue 1 - April 2012

“To be a good friend to someone you should do all these things…if you and your friend both do them you will be good friends forever.” – Aidan Ufkes, 4th grade “So if you don’t have a friend I’ll be your friend…and if you do have one enjoy them, because if they have to move away…you’ll have sweet memories of your friend before they [are gone].” Lucy Shainin, 2nd grade I’ve relearned and relived much over the past weeks as each essay, story, poem or picture came to my mailbox for me to read. Now comes the rest of the story – sharing all of these with all of you and hoping you’ll each find some unexpected truth you’d simply forgotten or piece of wisdom you never had. Whatever it is, I hope it feels like finding a long lost friend. “Good friends are a blessings and you never know when you’ll find one in your life…” Brandon Tennant, 8th grade

ABOUT THE CONTEST This is FIWG for Literacy’s 1st Annual Young Writers Contest. Each contestant receives a free compilation book. Copies of the compilation book will also be available for purchase at the guild’s booths over the summer at the Anacortes Farmers Market, the Arts Festival, Friday Night Art Walks and other community gatherings. Special occasions at Read Me A Story and other local bookstores are also in the making. Students who submitted can sign up to help at the booths and autograph their books. All the proceeds return to the guild programs that work with young writers and for next years contest. People can also contact FIWG directly about the books. One finalist from each grade also receives an award certificate from the guild, recognition in the book as a finalist, a group photo with the other finalists and a gift certificate donated by one of the sponsors: Read Me A Story and Watermark Book Co. Other sponsors of this contest: How It Works and Village Books of Fairhaven.

For more information or to donate contact Fidalgo Island Writers Guild/ FIWG for Literacy Program at 293-1166 or write directly to the guild at:

Fidalgo Island Writers Guild is a nonprofit organization of writers, authors, editors, publishers, and avid readers dedicated to nurturing the literary arts in Anacortes for adults and youth. We tutor students in Anacortes schools, the Boys & Girls Club, and sponsor events twice monthly at the Anacortes Public Library for local writers.

Fidalgo Island Writers Guild 13207 Satterlee Road Anacortes, WA 98221

FIWG supports and promotes The Anacortes Reads Campaign and The Anacortes Public Library Legacy Foundation.


Anacortes Magazine (Issue 1, April 2012)  

Welcome to the premier issue of Anacortes Magazine! Our vision with Anacortes Magazine is to bring people together in a special way through...

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