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December 2019


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Contents page 22

More improvements in sight for view home



compassion is compassion

The elderly homeless woman was a little too close to home for this writer to just walk on by


When Gary Taylor grills fine food, he doesn’t just share it around the dining table, he posts it for the world to experience

10 12 climbers, 12 stories

From gym rats to the hard core, climbing at the gym brings out elevated emotions

14 a room at the top

Staying overnight at Entiat’s Steliko Lookout

16 LEARNING TO DRIVE, YET AGAIN Mastering a car that wants to pilot itself


Dale Foreman explores a world were counterfeits are tough to detect and sometimes worth more than the real thing

20 the athletic life: jason walker

Here’s a different kind of cycling sport, with short races and a long list of equipment

22 Room for improvement

Getting a new home just right doesn’t end with driving the last nail Art sketches n Writer and blogger Lorna Rose-Hahn, page 30 n Operations director of the Numerica Performing Arts Center Mike Locke, page 32 Columns & Departments 6 A bird in the lens: The hard-to-ID Cooper’s Hawk 26 June Darling: Why compassion is good for us 28 Pet Tales: This stray had to be kept 29 The traveling doctor: No news is good news 30-35 Arts & Entertainment & a Dan McConnell cartoon 35 History: King Kennedy, showman extraordinaire 38 That’s life: When I grow up December 2019 | The Good Life






Year 13, Number 12 December 2019 The Good Life is published by NCW Good Life, LLC, dba The Good Life PO Box 2142 Wenatchee, WA 98807 PHONE: (509) 888-6527 EMAIL: ONLINE: FACEBOOK: https://www. Editor/Publisher, Mike Cassidy Contributors, Leonard Harris, Pat Kanis-Wolfe, Gary Taylor, Andy Dappen, Alan Moen, Susan Sampson, Dale Foreman, Sarah Shaffer, Mike Irwin, Constance Nelson Bean, Bruce McCammon, Donna Cassidy, Jim Brown, June Darling, Dan McConnell, Susan Lagsdin and Rod Molzahn Advertising: Lianne Taylor Bookkeeping and circulation, Donna Cassidy Proofing, Dianne Cornell Ad design, Clint Hollingsworth Video editor, Aaron Cassidy TO SUBSCRIBE: For $25, ($30 out of state address) you can have 12 issues of The Good Life mailed to you or a friend. Send payment to: The Good Life PO Box 2142 Wenatchee, WA 98807 For circulation questions, email: EVENTS: BUY A COPY of The Good Life at Safeway stores, Mike’s Meats at Pybus, Martin’s Market Place (Cashmere) and Dan’s Food Market (Leavenworth)

One fine day By Leonard Harris


or years, I have enjoyed climbing Saddle Rock, however after my last hike I sat on the tail gate of my pickup and wondered if maybe I should look for less physical and more age appropriate challenges offered

by our valley, as I am now 87. One that presented itself is right outside our back door in East Wenatchee and is a series of lower foothills that seems to attract a lot of hikers, often with kids or dogs or both. The view at the top of either of the closest buttes is truly worth the hike. I always carry my phone and on my last climb I noticed an or-

ADVERTISING: For information about advertising in The Good Life, contact Lianne Taylor at (509) 6696556 or WRITE FOR THE GOOD LIFE: We welcome articles about people from Chelan and Douglas counties. Send your idea to Mike Cassidy at

The Good Life® is a registered trademark of NCW Good Life, LLC. Copyright 2019 by NCW Good Life, LLC.


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December 2019

chard with an unusual color pattern so I snapped this picture. My only regret is that I didn’t bring a little folding chair, which would have allowed more time to sit and take in the view of our valley. Maybe next time.

On the cover

Gary Taylor is about to lay another rack of spare ribs on his pellet grill. He cooked the ribs uncovered until they reached the desired color then wrapped in foil to braise for another 90 minutes. Then he removed them from the foil and applied a glaze which set over the next 30 minutes. Photo by Donna Cassidy.


editor’s notes


Bring up grandbaby My wife has taken on the

full-time job of babysitting our six-month-old granddaughter as her parents go back to work. (Oddly, when I first wrote the above sentence, it came out... “full-time joy of babysitting...” Would that be a Freudian slip, or just bad typing?) It’s interesting how our friends and acquaintances respond to this. Some say, “Oh, you’re so lucky!” But others give us the sad eye, and say something like: “How long do you have to do this... just until she is one?” Maybe these are the grandparents who feel finally liberated

from child rearing, and see a kid-free future of travel, self-rediscovery and leisure. I can understand the concern, but for me — I’m finding plenty to discover interacting with a six-going-on-seven-month-old. Because, while this is supposedly my wife’s responsibility, I find myself increasingly drawn into the care of baby Roux. I like to think I was a good father who interacted with my children as they were babies, changed their diapers, sat up with them on difficult nights. But being a grandfather is just different... and frankly, better. My wife and I are watching

this new baby getting her body ready to crawl, and ask each other: “Do you remember our kids doing this?” about a particular maneuver. Or Roux will give us a sweet, sweet smile when we pick her up and we’ll wonder if our babies smiled so whole-heartedly. It could be bad memories on our part, but I also think it’s something else. We have the time not to be busy — to actually see and be in the moment. Like today: My wife had laid Roux on her back on a sheepskin on the floor. Whip! She immediately rolled over effortlessly, and from our easy chairs, we remarked, “She couldn’t do that so easily a week ago. Cool.” Next, she wanted a toy on a blanket just out of reach. She can’t yet crawl, so she grabbed the blanket and pulled it towards her. She reached out with first her right hand, but when that wouldn’t grab the toy,

she tried her left hand. Again failure. She pulled harder on the blanket and tried her right hand again. Success! As a parent, I would have jumped up and moved the toy closer. “Have that toy now because we have things to do and places to go.” As a grandparent, my time is more elastic, and besides, I want her to discover the need to work and the rewards it brings. Some thinkers have said a reason humans live long past the age of child bearing is just to be grandparents — to tend the next generation as their parents hunt and gather food for the clan. I can see the joy of parking a luxurious RV on a sunny beach somewhere — but I would surely miss the perfect smile of our little granddaughter. Happiness is the all-in smile of a grandbaby. Enjoy The Good Life. — Mike


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column a bird in the lens

Cooper’s Hawk: Easily misidentified, yet distinctive A

By Bruce McCammon

bout this time of year, we start seeing a variety of hawks and other raptors in north central Washington. Among them is the Cooper’s Hawk. If you feed birds at your house there is a chance that you’ve witnessed the attack of a hawk on unsuspecting smaller birds. It can be a disturbBruce McCammon ing thing to is retired, colorwatch once blind and enjoys the chase is photographing the complete and birds in north central Washington. the hawk begins its meal. I need to remind myself that this is nature and that the process goes on with or without my backyard bird feeding. Identifying a Cooper’s Hawk can be challenging. Trust me, making a firm identification is hard for even the best birders at times. The very similar Sharp-shinned Hawk always seems to confound me at first glance.

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Cooper’s Hawk: An eye out for prey.

If you follow any bird forums or social media sites dedicated to bird identification, you will certainly have encountered the question: “Cooper’s or Sharpshinned?” The two species both have banded tails and similar body form and color. Two common criteria for identification of a Cooper’s Hawk are size and the color on the top of the head and neck of the bird. An adult female Cooper’s Hawk is about the size of a football, much larger than an adult female Sharp-shinned Hawk. A Cooper’s Hawk adult will show a dark cap on the top of its head. The Sharp-shinned Hawk will show a dark color on top of the head that extends down the nape of the neck to the back of the bird. The Cooper’s head also tends to be a bit “blocky” while the Sharp-shinned head is rounded and smooth.


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The challenge of being able to make a proper identification should not hinder your appreciation of these distinguished birds. We are lucky to live in an age when there is an abundance of credible information about birds available at the click of a mouse. I resort to a few websites whenever I have trouble identifying a bird. This link takes you to an Audubon page that will guide you through the challenges of separating a Cooper’s Hawk from a Sharp-shinned Hawk:


December 2019

a-beginners-guide-iding-coopers-and-sharp-shinned-hawks. Please remember, making the distinction in nature can be very challenging. Hopefully, you will have many opportunities to see either species and observe the field marks that tell one species from the other. The challenge of being able to make a proper identification should not hinder your appreciation of these distinguished birds. They don’t show up in large numbers but they make a grand appearance when they do arrive. I hope you have the chance to watch one as it perches nearby to observe and hunt other birds. If you don’t like to watch the feeding process, at least enjoy the chase as a Cooper’s Hawk swoops in. Their speed and agility are remarkable. Good luck.


MY WORLD // a personal essay

Compassion is compassion I

By Pat Kanis-Wolfe

once joined a senior bowling league. Never mind that I did not know how to bowl. I signed up anyway. At the time it sounded like a great way for me to get exercise while meeting new people my age, although I never really considered myself to be a “senior” exactly, rather someone on “pause” while plotting her next move. That’s what I like to tell myself, anyway. As it turned out, I was an inconsistent bowler, rolling anything from a pitiful 25 to an amazing 196 and I did meet quite a variety of characters, but the person I remember most was someone I encountered in the parking lot outside the bowling alley. I was making my way across the parking lot toward the entrance one morning when I was approached by an elderly, homeless woman. She was dressed in rags from top to bottom, her shoes were toe-less and her eyes drooped with fatigue. She shuffled up to me and softly asked if I had any change to spare... a dime, a quarter...

anything. Now, I had been approached before by various people asking for money, always shaking Pat Kanis-Wolfe is my head originally from Akron, “no” or Ohio and now lives with her husband, ignoring Tom, in Leavenworth. them, but there was something about this woman that tore at my heart. She was a woman and she was elderly. That could be me someday. I put down my bowling bag and looked her in the eye. “Of course,” I replied without the slightest hesitation. I peered into my purse and pulled out my last 20. When I handed it to her she began to cry, then whispered, “Thank you.” After a brief moment of silence, the woman looked me straight in the eye and said, “You don’t know how hard this is.” Then after a few more mo-

ments she asked, “May I hug you?” Without thinking twice, I put my arms around her and held her. Then she moved on. Well, I don’t have to tell you that this whole encounter was witnessed by two hens making their way across the parking lot into the bowling alley, who chewed me out good for giving the homeless woman money, and informing me that there are plenty of places for the homeless to obtain free food, blah, blah, blah. I was shaken for the rest of the morning by the scolding and bowled a measly 53. As it turned out, I had had an appointment scheduled with my acupuncturist directly following bowling, which was divine providence, because I really, really needed it. You know, how having needles drilled into various points of your torso makes you forget whatever drama had been eating at you previously and all attention is now directed toward the next spot of needle entry? Breathe... relax... My acupuncturist’s name was Jonathan. He was an Aussie (currently returned to the Land Down Under) and a gentle, sensitive young man. While laying there on the acupuncture table chilling to Tibetan chime sounds, I quietly shared with him the drama of my morning... the homeless

December 2019 | The Good Life



woman… the “cats” from the bowling league, the scolding... and after I had finished with my self-pity party he turned to me and gently said “compassion is compassion.” At that moment all of the tension drained from by body and I knew in my heart that he was right. Compassion is compassion. I will never doubt those words.


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g n i q

Bb r o f e h t d l r o w e e s to How I decided to share barbecue love on YouTube


By Gary Taylor

arbecue — the word elicits a powerful image in the minds of many Americans and as I’ve learned, people from around the world. For me it conjures memories of my family in the back yard with the old man standing in front of a Weber Kettle demonstrating his cooking skills. The smells and sizzle of juicy meat dripping on hot coals blended with the laughter and conversations of our family seemed to forge into fond memories I still carry with me as I’m doing something my father could never have dreamed — and that is creating an online barbecue channel where I share

Gary Taylor has a back deck full of grillers and barbecues. And now, he has fans of his BBQ videos from across the world due to his posting videos online. Photos by Donna Cassidy

and trade recipes and techniques with viewers from across the nation and around the world. I think the motivation to barbecue for my parents was twofold. Firstly it was an affordable way to feed our family a delicious meal and have enough for the ever-present friend or neighbor one of us brought along.


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It also became one of their more successful efforts to get us all together at the same time. There was just something about being outdoors that made it somehow special. I rediscovered outdoor cooking about 15 years ago. As an adult I’ve always had a gas grill on my back porch of some kind or another and still maintain that for certain circumstances


December 2019

— like a quick meal that would not benefit from the flavor of the charcoal or smoke — they are fine. At least you’re outdoors and often with family or friends creating memories. As my skills improved, I was constantly looking for new ideas and recipes and found YouTube to be a great resource. You can peruse different channels literally from around the

world and I was hooked! I began to subscribe to channels and found I had an endless list of ideas and recipes to emulate and make my own. Then one day after many requests for my secrets it occurred to me, hey you can best share your cooks by making a channel of your own. Being a 60-something backyard cook with limited tech skills and a great face for radio I felt a bit intimidated but decided what the heck. So with an old iPad and a little liquid courage I forged out into the online world of YouTube. My first few vids were horribly long and poorly edited, but part of any destination is the journey and I welcomed the challenge. I set out to put up one video per week and as time went on, got better at not only shooting and editing, but my cooks were improving as well. Then I started to actually get a few subscribers, which I admit was a bit thrilling. So on I went and now have more than 400 subscribers, which is small in the BBQ cooking space online but is satisfying. I now am part of a very close net community and have made acquaintances from all over the world. We help each other with ideas and comment on videos we enjoy. I am humbled and amazed at how this community supports each other and is always willing to help with advice in what could be considered a competi-

Watching, watching, watching on YouTube Y

ouTube is a social media website, full of videos ranging from funny cat antics to how to change your car’s oil, and more, that you can view from a computer or smartphone. It is estimated that 300 hours of video are uploaded every single minute to the platform. Many sites on Google explain how to upload a video and how to start a channel on YouTube. To view Gary Taylor’s BBQ videos, open and go to GT’s Barbecue. He has about 50 videos on his site.

Gary is videoed by his wife, and assistant, Lianne Taylor, for an episode involving preparing beans on a grill. “I always like my smoked beans,” Gary is telling the camera. “They were delicious but I think the beans could have been slightly softer.”

tive environment. I’ve made many very real friends whom I hope to some day visit in person if retirement ever gets here. It has become my hobby and a fantastic way to challenge myself to always try to level up my game. I’ve grown in humility and being somewhat of a homebody


found a great deal of peace in seeking my own style and crafting my own sauces, rubs and recipes. I’m not really sure what my endgame is but I’ve learned more than cooking skills for sure and plan to continue on my quest as long as health permits. I’m reminded of a saying I once heard about golf that —

modified to barbecue — applies nicely here: “Barbecue is deceptively simple yet endlessly complicated. A child can do it well yet a grown man may never master it. Every cook may contain unexpected triumphs or seemingly perfect efforts that end in disaster. It is almost a science yet it is a puzzle without an answer.” I find it to be an extremely challenging hobby that offers unlimited variations and much gratification. It’s fun to do alone or with a group of friends. Done correctly and with a little planning, barbecue can be an extremely healthy way to prepare food. Or you can just drink beer and enjoy winging it. Pun intended. :-)


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12 climbers, a dozen stories From gym rats to hard core, indoor climbing evokes elevated emotions story and photos by Andy Dappen


nce it was my driving outdoor passion. I liked to hike, bike, kayak and ski, but I lived to climb. Over time, family, profession and other outdoor interests filled my life to the point that the strong hands and tough mental mindset needed for climbing atrophied. By the time I was middle aged what I lived for had changed. Last fall as a recent retiree I decided to reconnect to climbing. I got a membership at Wenatchee’s Riverfront Rock Gym, thinking the ability to practice quickly and frequently might whip my physical and mental abilities back to those glory years now some 30 years distant.   The venture held big surprises — one of the greatest being how much I enjoyed climbing indoors. While climbing in my youth had been an outdoor experience shared with one partner, the indoor experience proved pleasantly social. Also, my fear that oldsters might feel the condescension of younger, better climbers was unfounded. The young hot shots willingly shared tips and strategies when I asked for their advice. Before long, my forays to the artificial walls were as much about interaction as they were about technique.  Another surprise? The range of different reasons that drew others to the rock gym — everyone seemed to have a unique story. Some were top guns, others just learn-


Richard Dix works out the physical and mental puzzle of climbing a route designated by using only the purple holds. ing; some were married and arrived solo for personal time, others came down with their spouse as a date; some were single and enjoyed pursuing their climbing goals without distraction, others were single and hoping to meet someone with shared passions; some were kids training with the afternoon Youth Team, others were seniors gathering for Geezer Tuesdays. Talk to a dozen people and you’d hear 12 different stories, like the following ones, explaining what drew them to this new facility.

Jack Bevier ~ New challenges keep him growing


you excited about life. Heck, I don’t wanna just sit around and die.” A year-and-a-half later at the age of 86 Jack is quite a fixture at the gym. He swims three mornings a week, but on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays he makes the one-mile walk from his apartment to come climb. “Once here, I stretch, do several easy climbs to limber up, and then work on climbing problems that push me. This has definitely improved my strength, flexibility and mental toughness. “And it’s so much more fun than doing weights or machines. I don’t think I’ve had this much fun since elementary school.”  

One of the more inspirational stories for young and old alike is that of Jack Bevier. Richard Dix ~ A head sport Jack had never climbed until a month beA considerably younger and slightly fore his 85th birthday when a friend brought stockier friend who often climbs with Jack is him down to the Riverfront Rock Gym to try Richard Dix, a 63-year old contractor/remodsomething new. “I don’t buy the argument eler. that you’re too old to take on new things. “I came down here with Jack one day to New challenges keep you growing and keep

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December 2019

check out the facility after it opened and was impressed. I used to climb at places like the Peshastin Pinnacles in my 20s and doing this regularly makes me feel like a kid again. “It hasn’t taken long to feel stronger and see my technique improving.” Climbing is also such an interesting head sport — it’s a mental puzzle working out the moves and an emotional challenge executing those moves without letting fear undermine your confidence. It takes body and brain to unlock a hard climb.” Richard also enjoyed the social side of the experience. “No one knows whether you’re a heart surgeon or a ditch digger — everyone just interacts around the climbing without putting on airs.”  

Kyle Flick ~ Climbing needs constant practice


Most mountaineers living in Central Washington have either climbed with or at least know of Kyle Flick. That’s not because the 61-year-old lawyer is the best or fastest or flashiest of climbers but because Kyle is out in the mountains weekend after weekend, year after year, decade after decade. While Kyle prefers being in the mountains to being most anywhere, he sheepishly admits the indoor walls have been a great addition to Wenatchee’s “outdoor” world. “Climbing isn’t like riding a bike — you need to keep at it to stay strong, hone your technique, know when footholds will stick or slip, and to keep your confidence up. “Some of my climbing friends have become ‘gym rats’ and don’t get outdoors that much, but for me the gym is about climbing better and safer when I am outdoors. It’s also become a place to meet new people who might want to join me outdoors.”

After scaling the awkwardly placed green holds, Jack Bevier, 86, studies the route and takes a well-deserved rest.

Bill Dobbins ~ Better in retirement


One person Kyle Flick had in mind when he joked about gym rats was long-time climbing partner Bill Dobbins, 65, the former general manager of Douglas County PUD. Bill appreciates the efficiency of climbing indoors. In recent years his parents have needed unpredictable but frequent attention and he’s been able to climb indoors in a fraction of the time compared to driving, hiking and climbing at an outdoor crag. “Climbing at the gym eliminates the need to worry about the weather or the normal logistics of climbing outdoors.”  Climbing indoors was something Bill planned to do as a post-retirement activity and he’s December 2019 | The Good Life

pleased that he’s climbing considerably better now than two years ago when he retired. “I feel like my technique is as good as it was in college days. There aren’t many things about which I can make that claim.”

Jessica Holmer and Rollin Storud ~ Equal footing for men and women


About two-and-a-half years ago, Jessica Holmer and her partner Rollin Storud moved from Alaska to Wenatchee. For Jessica, 37, who works for the school district, this was actually a case of moving back to the area to be near family. The return to family also meant a return to climbing — she had climbed for six or seven years but took a long hiatus while living up north.



She joined the gym almost immediately upon her return to Central Washington. “It gave me a good workout while improving my skill and my endurance. That makes me much safer when I get outdoors. Climbing outdoors is the ultimate goal, but I must admit it’s really nice to climb in a warm place in winter and a cool place in summer. “And there are also the friends you develop at a place like this — it makes it awfully easy to spend most of your time indoors.” Rollin, 39, a plant foreman for AAA Ready Mix, was roped into climbing because it was Jessica’s passion. Rollin is built like a rugby player who could flatten those he runs into. Jessica is a tall, thin stick and looks like she might need an anchor in a stiff wind. Despite appearances, it’s Jessica who others recognize as the climbing beast. She spiders up hard routes that relatively few others can follow and she can climb those routes all day long with little apparent loss of strength. That makes keeping up with Jessica an impossible task for Rollin. “I have to give up on the macho attitude and just appreciate how much she’s helped me improve as a climber. You see this often down here — women who flash up routes few of the men can touch. It’s cool that this is a sport where women and men can perform on very equal footing.”  Related to this and related to why Rollin enjoys climbing so much is the personal nature of the sport. For him climbing is a competition with self rather than with others. “Each route established on the gym walls is rated in difficulty and stays up for about a month so you can keep working on problems that stumped you ear-

}}} Continued on next page


Summit shot: Kyle Flick stands behind his son, Ben. Indoor climbing prepares Kyle for his real passion — technical climbing in the mountains.

}}} Continued from previous page lier. Eventually if some combination of strength, flexibility, and balance gets you up something you couldn’t do earlier, it’s a very measurable sign of improvement. That’s a rush.”

Shane and Jessica Moser, Marc and Margareta Dilley ~ Climbing as a family sport


”It’s all about Shane,” Margareta Dilley, 70, said looking her grandson Shane Moser, in the eye. “Everything is always about Shane.” Margareta jokes but Shane, 8, takes his grandmother’s words at face value and nods in agreement.  Shane started climbing at the gym over a year ago when Margareta and her husband Marc, both retirees and climbers, bought their grandson a membership to the gym. “It was something active and fun we could all do together, which is hard to find, and Shane really took to it,” said Margareta. “Later, when Shane saw all the other kids participating in the afternoon programming for kids, he couldn’t wait to join the Youth Climbing Team.”  As part of that team now, Shane is often climbing several days a week during the school year. That has his grandparents or his mother, Jessica Moser, shuttling Shane to the gym and then climbing themselves while the youngster trains with the other kids. Jessica, 41, is a local teacher who has reconnected with the sport because of her son. “I used to climb occasionally with Marc but the gym has boosted my enthusiasm and my abilities. What I love most, how-

“By nature I’m not as adventurous as the average person who trains here. For many climbers this is a controlled, safe environment and may not be very scary, but getting up high on these walls or trying to get over the big overhangs gives me a big jolt of excitement. It gives me as big a ‘challenge spike’ for the day as I can handle. “The social side of the gym is also a big draw for me,” she said. “Yes, there are people working out with ear buds who don’t want to be disturbed, but so many of the people you meet don’t mind teaming up and swapping belays with you. If you just put yourself out there a little, you meet all kinds of new people. “You get stronger, fitter, challenged, and you make new friends — what’s not to like about all that?”  

Andy Dappen ~ ‘I got this’


ever, is that Shane loves being part of the team. The coaches aren’t drill sergeant — they just want the kids to have fun.” An ironic side effect of the laid-back, just-have-fun philosophy of the coaching is that the team is garnering good results at local and regional competitions. Shane is one of a number of team members who keeps placing near the top of his age bracket. His abilities have jumped to the point that mother and grandparents alike can’t follow all the routes he scampers up. That’s saying something because the elders of this three-generation foursome are strong climbers with decades of outdoor experience. Meanwhile Margareta finds it comical that she might now be considered a gym rat. “If Marc and I are climbing by ourselves,


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we prefer being outdoors, but I can’t tell you how much I enjoy coming here to climb with family.”

Maria Lackey ~ Like a climbing bar


“This is my Cheers — the place where everybody knows your name,” said the 43-year-old mother who, between the chores of managing a family, schedules me-time at the Riverfront Rock Gym four or five times a week.  Maria was introduced to climbing shortly after the gym opened in March 2017 and she took to the place like children take to sugar. Despite having climbed indoors for over two years, she has only climbed outdoor once. “The owners tease me about that, but I come here for different reasons than most.


December 2019

I’ve already shared the start of my story — so how fares my quest to return to the sport and the abilities of my youth? Recently, I was climbing at Vantage, one of our local outdoor venues, with my adult daughter who has also joined the climbing gym so that we can both visit and egg each other on. Toward the end of our day at Vantage, I told Heather I wanted to lead a route called Group Therapy to see how I was progressing. In the old days this would have been a challenging climb for me, but still a step or two below my maximum grade. Heather looked at me skeptically. Concerned I was reaching too high, she asked, “Really? You want to lead that?” My arms and technique were feeling strong from the gym sessions. My head was in a good place — I was confident about what I could and couldn’t do. “I’ve got this,” I told her. And get it I did.

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December 2019 | The Good Life

Lee Herring

Melissa Bohart

Designated Broker

General Manager/Broker





The Steliko Lookout is not that high in the mountains, but has outstanding views of the Entiat Valley.

A room at the top Staying overnight at Entiat’s Steliko Lookout F

story and photos By Alan Moen

ire lookouts are an important part of Washington State history. Since the first one was built on top of Mount Pilchuck in the Western Cascade Mountains in 1918, some 750 lookouts were constructed on mountain peaks and high ridges across the state to help spot forest fires. Many were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. A few were even used during World War II to try to spot enemy aircraft. These lookouts were usually manned in the summer, and some famous writers spent a few seasons living at them. Beatnik author Jack Kerouac wrote The Dharma Bums while a resident at the Desolation Peak Lookout in the North Cascades, and Zen Buddhist poet Gary Snyder worked at both the Crater Mountain and Sourdough Mountain Lookouts above the Skagit River. No lookout is more dramatic

than Three Fingers Lookout near Darrington, located at the tiny top of a 2,000-foot mountain wall, and accessible only by crossing a glacier, scrambling up steep rocks, and climbing some ladders to reach it. But as aerial reconnaissance by planes, helicopters and even drones have improved the technology for spotting forest fires, the use of fire lookouts has declined sharply in the last 40 years. Many were abandoned, torn down, or destroyed by lightning or fire, and very few are manned any more. Now only 93 remain in the state, and only three are in Chelan County: Alpine Lookout on Nason Ridge, Tyee Mountain Lookout, and Steliko Point Lookout. Recently, however, a trend has begun by outdoor enthusiasts and the U.S. Forest Service to both preserve and refurbish lookouts for recreational habitation. One of the first to be restored was the lookout atop Mount Pilchuck, rebuilt and main-


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My wife Susan Kidd and I picked a night with a full moon for our stay at Steliko Lookout, but fog set in late in the afternoon. tained by the Everett Mountaineers. In the Entiat Valley, work began this year to spruce up both Steliko Lookout and Tyee Lookout to accommodate overnight guests. As a long-time hiker and climber, I’ve visited many fire lookouts in the state, including the highest of all at the summit of 12,280-foot Mount Adams (perpetually covered in snow and ice, it’s definitely not a place to stay.) So when the Entiat Ranger District announced the reopening of the Steliko Lookout on Nov. 7, a place I’d visited before on a snowshoe trip, I jumped at the chance to check it out. The Steliko Lookout is not


December 2019

Fog rolls up the hillside at the Steliko Lookout.

very high, situated on top of a hill at an elevation of only 2,586 feet, but it’s located over 1,200 feet above the Entiat Valley, offering outstanding views of the area. The lookout is reached by a short but very steep, narrow road that rises abruptly from the Entiat River Road at a Forest Service workstation just west of the town of Ardenvoir. It’s just 1.6 miles long, but the Forest Service recommends that you have a 4WD vehicle with high clearance to drive it. There’s a fork in the last half mile that leads to the lookout. The lookout cabin is reached by a short stairway from a small parking lot. It’s only 10 feet square, but cozy and comfortable inside, with a small propane heater and a two-burner gas range. There are no tables or chairs, but four wooden beds with mat-

Susan Kidd cooks breakfast at the lookout.

There is a brand new outhouse, just down from the lookout, for Susan and Alan to use.

tresses are provided (two pull out from underneath,) a couple of lanterns, and a long counter by the stove with a shelf below. Double-pane windows wrap around the entire building, with a walkway that circles around the outside. Just down from the lookout is a brand-new outhouse, with solar powered lights on it for evening visits. And surprisingly, cell phones work at the lookout, too. My wife Susan Kidd and I picked a night with a full moon for our stay at Steliko Lookout, but fog set in late in the afternoon. By dusk, the lookout was completely enveloped in a cloudbank, which limited visibility throughout the night, almost giving us the impression that the lookout was floating in space. By morning, however, the clouds began to lift, and the skyline of the Entiat Mountains emerged to the south, as well as the tiny town of Ardenvoir far

below. The cabin is prone to condensation inside, much like a tent, but two windows on opposite sides of the room can be opened for ventilation. If you stay here, expect some minor dripping from the ceiling at night and fog on the interior windows. The views from the lookout, however, make up for any inconvenience. They are stunningly panoramic in all directions — south across the Entiat Valley, west to Tyee Mountain, east toward the Columbia River, and north to the Chelan Mountains. A map can be pulled down from the ceiling that shows how former occupants could use a compass and string to pinpoint the location of fires in the distance. Stays at Steliko Lookout must be booked in advance at the Entiat Ranger Station (phone (509) 784-4700,) and weekends are filling up fast, according to the Forest Service. A $50 donation is requested December 2019 | The Good Life

per night, with a maximum stay of two nights for up to four persons 18 and over, and no smoking or pets are allowed. Visitors are asked to clean up when they leave and pack out any trash. The road will be closed on Dec. 1, making it accessible only by foot, skis, snowshoes, or snowmobiles, until it is reopened in the spring.



Next year Tyee Lookout, high above the valley at 6,656 feet, will be open for overnight stays as well. We’re looking forward to another mountaintop experience at that one, too. Alan Moen is co-owner of Snowgrass Winery in the Entiat Valley. His favorite fire lookout in Washington is High Rock, perched precariously on a tall cliff just south of Mount Rainier.

Learning to drive, version 3 By Susan Sampson

The first time I learned to drive, I used a

1961 Dodge Polaris station wagon with pushbutton transmission. Even though it was the size of an aircraft carrier, I passed the parallel parking test and got my driver’s license. The second time I learned to drive, I mastered manual transmission, coordinating the use of clutch and brakes to start and stop on Seattle’s many steep hills. Then it was time for me to learn a new trick: Using a computerized electric vehicle with autopilot. Like airplane pilots, I would be “flying by wire.” My husband Jerry approached the idea enthusiastically: “I want a car I can send to the store for pizza and bring it home with extra napkins,” he said. He’d be a natural for an electric car. He’s a retired aeronautical engineer and is so high tech that everything in our house is computerized, right down to the vacuum cleaner. Me? I’m barely comfortable with a smart phone. However, a computerized car would be good for me as my reflexes slow with age, my eyesight fades, and a computer “thinks” faster than I in traffic. I must learn: My electric car uses a smart phone, not a key, to operate. Jaguar, Nissan and Chevy, among others already have fully electric cars on the road. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety just gave the Tesla Model 3 its highest safety rating and Tesla bragged it up as the safest car on the road, so that’s what we got.


Susan Sampson and her e-car: Learning to drive on autopilot.

...there is no way this car is going to let me take a nap behind the wheel, despite photographs of snoozing drivers I’ve seen on social media. The car had a steering wheel, accelerator pedal and brake pedal, so at least that much was familiar. Jerry admits to driving like a holy terror when he was a kid. He obeys the law now, but loved that the electric car could start and come up to speed instantly, going 0-to60 in 3.2 seconds. By contrast, I accelerate in what the car calls “creep” mode. I drive like I would a gas vehicle in cruise control until I’m on the open highway, then I  switch  to autopilot. I keep my hands on the wheel. If I didn’t, the car would send up a warning on the monitor. If I ignored it, the wheel could jiggle me alert or sound a chime, and if I ignored that, the car could disengage autopilot. If I were using cruise control and started downhill, the car’s “regenerative braking” would put energy back into the battery. If I were using ordinary drive and did not press

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the accelerator, the car would come to a stop without my applying the brake. I need to get used to this before it becomes easy, but even after it’s routine, there is no way this car is going to let me take a nap behind the wheel, despite photographs of snoozing drivers I’ve seen on social media. After a few short jaunts around town, we set out for a road trip from Wenatchee to Salt Lake City, Utah. Like new pilots navigating by IFF (“I follow freeways”), we planned to follow freeways nearly the whole way because the car navigated best following clearly marked lane lines. We felt the car swerve from time to time where the fog line veered at on- and offramps. The car wanted to pass slower traffic on the freeway, but we set it to ask our permission first. We programmed the speed of lane changes down from “Mad Max” to “Disabled;” that’s really what the car rudely called our slower pace. Some software designer played with other terms, too — we chose not to change the turn-signal sound to “fart.” Instead of gauges, the car had a clearly visible monitor in the center of the dashboard, great for my backseat driving from the co-pilot’s seat: “I don’t mean to nag, but you’re exceeding the speed limit in a red sporty-looking car with out-of-state plates.

December 2019

Warnings popped up on the monitor: “You are getting too far from the next Supercharger. Keep your speed below 70 mph to reach your destination.” Dummy.” We planned our trip from one recharging station to the next. That was easy with voice command: “Navigate to the Kennewick Supercharger,” or to Baker City, Twin Falls, Boise, etc. We needed Tesla charging stations, but carried an adapter in case we had to use Leaf or Bolt chargers — like early cell phones, they weren’t standardized yet. We figured out that we could fill the battery to 80 percent as




July 2019


The remarkable resurrecTion of squilchuck state Park


Keep your speed below 70 mph to reach your destination.” We dropped our speed to 65 mph in an 80 mph zone, grieving Jerry seriously. We watched our predicted range drop like we would watch the needle on a gas gauge falling without a gas station in sight. We rolled into Boise with only 17 miles of range predicted, but at the rate we were eating up our charge, that might have been 5 miles. Had we run out of juice, we would have needed a rescue from Tesla roadside service: The car isn’t towable, you can’t put a quick charge on it, and only specially trained mechanics know how to get it on a trailer from the side of the roadway. While we crept along, we composed a message to Tesla’s mastermind, Elon Musk, about how his car’s range predictor needs a new algorithm to account for cold weather — also terrain and headwinds while we’re at it. We couldn’t use autopilot

when dense clouds blocked the sky, but on the other hand, when visibility dropped to 500 feet over Emigrant Pass, the car never lost sight of our lane lines. To make sure we had adequate battery capacity for the longer legs of our remaining trip, we waited until mid-morning and warmer temperatures to start driving and kept our speed down. We loved the engineering of most aspects of the car, but the social engineering that made us rest and relax between longer legs of the trip, causing us to drive only in the middle of the day, outside of rush hours, seemed overreaching. On the other hand, maybe that kept us the safest riders on the road. When we got home, the car opened the garage door, folded in its mirrors, and automatically put itself inside, despite having only 10 inches clearance on each side — five inches if the mirrors aren’t folded.

Think About Your Best Day of 2019

Price: $3



quickly as we could fill a gas tank, and go 230 miles under ideal conditions. However, recharging went slower as the battery topped off. It could take 15 minutes to squeeze a final four miles of range into the battery, so we didn’t try. I might want to fill slower so I could lock the charger into the car and leave for half an hour to get a cheeseburger, but there were new protocols to observe: Don’t hog the charger. Don’t use the same pump as another driver for fear of slowing down the charging process. Definitely praise the new car as the best decision possible. Alas, the trip wasn’t perfect. As we turned north toward home, the weather changed to sleet with temperatures in the 40s. The range we could drive before recharging dropped proportionately. Warnings popped up on the monitor: “You are getting too far from the next Supercharger.

As the year winds down, we are seeking entries to our BEST DAY IN 2019 contest. Tell us a story about your best day in the past year, and perhaps win a $100 prize. Did you climb a mountain, check off an item on your bucket list, cross an ocean, hold a new life in your hand, discover a new talent, set out on a new path, get a surprising check in the mail, make a difference in someone’s life, begin a new chapter in your life...




June 2019


Price: $3

Write us an email -- 200 to 500 words or so -- telling us of your best day in 2019. Send along some digital photos, too. We’ll choose one of the writers for a $100 prize. But be quick... the deadline is Friday, Dec. 6. Get writing, the prize could go to you... if you’re swift!


the solution Raising bees for fun and for the good of mother earth

Send photos and stories to: Selected stories may be published in the January issue

December 2019 | The Good Life



Funny money, falso, fouree, fake! Monetary theory in four scenes


By Dale Foreman

cene One. We are in Buenos Aires, riding in a taxi on the way to a famous coffee house, La Biela. The year is 2008. The financial crisis is bad, worse in Argentina than in the U.S. We just arrived in Argentina the day before and changed some money at the airport. As we pulled up to our destination I hand the cab driver a 50 Peso bill. He takes a quick look at it and hands it back to me. “Falso” he says. I say, what? It must be good, I just got it at the bank. “No, es falso!” he yells and asks for a different bill. I give him another one and he says, “No, es falso tambien.” He finally told us to just get out of his cab and he drove off. We walked into the café, sat down and ordered our coffee and rolls. During the 1920s and ’30s, this was the place where race car drivers hung out and the walls are still covered with photos of race cars and their handsome drivers. Living in the fast lane, it was a risky business. Later when we tried to pay I handed the waiter one of the 50 peso notes. He took it up to the cashier and came back, laughing and in a loud voice, said: “Es Falso, pero muy bien hecho.” Three other waiters came over to look at the bill, they examined it closely and passed it around. Finally the waiter handed it back to me and patted me on the shoulder. His eyes twinkling, he told me the counterfeiters in Buenos Aires were very good, but this particular bill was “False, but excellent, very well made, like a work of art.” In 2008, the U.S. dollar was worth 10 Argentinian pesos.

Front and backs of the 13 Roman “fouree” coins, copper base with a thin silver wash. These are not government issued, so are counterfeit by any definition.  But they are very valuable. Which raises some interesting questions about truth, falsity, value, worthlessness and leads to questions about Bitcoin and Libra, etc...

Today one U.S. dollar is worth 55 pesos. The populist monetary policies of Argentina have bankrupted the country. People do not bother counterfeiting pesos anymore. The good counterfeiters now make U.S. dollars. Scene Two. We are back home in Wenatchee. I go to a minimart to buy gas and try to pay with a $50 bill. The clerk takes a pen and draws a line on the money. I ask, “Do you think it is counterfeit?” She says, “just checking, we do find ‘funny money’ every few days. There is a lot of it going around.” Fortunately my $50 was real. But it reminded me of the trip to


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Argentina. I found a book entitled, A Nation of Counterfeiters by Stephen Mihm. A fascinating history of American con men, fly by night bankers, crooks and politicians who printed money that was worthless. Trust was all that mattered, according to the author. If a clerk trusted the customer, and accepted the bill, it was good value for that transaction even if it was counterfeit. If it passed from one hand to another, it worked, it had value, it was in fact “money.” But when someone said, “Wait a minute, there is something fishy about that piece of paper? Let me take a closer look?” Then the confidence was shaken, the


December 2019

trust was broken, and the bank note or dollar would not be accepted even if it were in fact a true, valid piece of paper money. It would lose its value even if it were real. Scene Three. We are in the tiny town of Brehemont, on the Loire River in France. The year is 2018. We have stumbled upon a giant yard sale. In France they call them “Brocantes” and once each year, residents in every town have the right to close off the main streets, set up tables, invite all their friends and relatives to come and sell their accumulated treasures. France is the attic of Europe. Ever since the Napoleonic wars,

the troops have been bringing back booty, the spoils of war and the storerooms and attics of the entire country are filled with great old stuff. What a fun day, meandering through the stalls, looking at all the dishes and lamps, fine art and antiques, books, jewelry and even coins. But how many of these “treasures” are real antiques? How do you decide if those porcelain candlesticks are authentic and worth 900 Euros, or are imitations and worth $50? My wife, Gail, found a beautiful old Quimper flowerpot that only cost 10 Euros, it looked authentic and on EBay it costs $250. She found a brand new set of famous name table linens and bought them for 20 Euros. The same set in a store in Paris costs 300 Euros. Are they authentic? (Yes, in fact she got the real deal.) I found several coin dealers at the Brocante. They have beautiful old French coins from the Middle Ages, 1100-1500 AD. Silver coins from Richard the Lion Heart and Henry II. One dealer showed me a coin from 1773, a silver ecu with Louis XV aged head on it. “Ce n’est pas argent, c’est un fouree.” He confides in me, this one is not real silver, it is a fake. Fouree translates as “stuffed,” a base metal core covered with a thin layer of silver. Over time most of the silver coating has worn off. I appreciate his honesty and buy it to compare to an authentic 1773 ecu that is solid silver. When you compare them side by side you can see the difference. The real one weighs 29.10 grams and the fake only 27.15 grams. Sometimes it is hard to know when a fake is a fake. France used gold and silver for money for over 1,000 years until 1789 when the revolution turned everything upside down. The National Assembly issued paper money, Assignats, and printed millions of them. Within five

50 peso bill: Can you guess which one is counterfeit? Does it matter?

The book asks some existential questions: What is real? Can a copy become real? Can a fake be a great work of art? years they had lost 95 percent of their value as they were not backed by anything. Counterfeiters printed and flooded the market with fake Assignats, even copying the dreaded warning on each note: “The Penalty for Counterfeiting is Death.” By 1795 the politicians had to come up with another kind of money and they produced Promesse de Mandats Territorial, more paper money but this time purported to be backed by the lands that had been confiscated from the aristocracy and the church. But by 1798 those paper promises had also become worthless, the economy was in a great depression and the people starving. Enter Napoleon Bonaparte, he engineered a coup d’etat, and he reorganized the French finances restoring gold and silver as the only acceptable forms of December 2019 | The Good Life

currency. No more paper money. The French revolutionary experiment in modern monetary theory had failed. Hard money returned from the secret hiding places where folks hid it during the revolution and the economy began to revive. Scene Four. We are back home in Wenatchee. I found a great book from the British Museum, Fake! The Art of Deception. It has photos of over 600 wonderful objects, paintings, statues, coins and carvings that are “fake” or counterfeit. Many of them fooled the greatest art experts in the world. The book asks some existential questions: What is real? Can a copy become real? Can a fake be a great work of art? If a copy of a painting by Botticelli was so good that it convinced the Director of the British Museum that it was real, and it hung in the gallery for 100 years, is it a fake or not? For thousands of years people have copied great art, sometimes honestly but often to deceive. Some collectors seek out fakes, counterfeits, falsos, fourees. One man tried to assemble a collection of Roman silver deniers, the 12 Roman Emperors



from Julius Caesar to Domitian. But he did not want the real coins, those are fairly easy to find. He wanted to find the “fouree” or fake coins. The most difficult was the coin minted by a rebel leader, Vindex, who tried to overthrow Nero and failed. He clearly did not mint many coins. These are 2,000-year-old counterfeit coins, silver coatings on a copper base. The coins are rare and it took him 18 years to find them all. In fact these 13 “fouree” deniers (12 emperors plus Vindex who only minted coins for three months in 68 AD before he was killed in battle) are worth more than the 13 original coins! Rareity equals value. So which monies are real, solid, trustworthy? None are backed up by precious metal anymore. The Euro is based on a currency union, will it last? The British Pound is at risk due to the uncertainty of Brexit. China wants it’s Yuan to become a reserve currency but few people trust it. Our paper money is not backed up by gold. It is not much different than a counterfeit Roman denarius, a copper coin covered with a thin layer of silver. It is not much different than an Argentinian peso, a piece of paper backed up by a government promise to pay. Our money is simply a promise to pay by the U.S. government. And our government is based on 300 years of English Common law, which protects private property and upholds contracts. We are blessed to live in a Democratic Republic. Our money is not perfect, but it is the best house in a bad neighborhood. And that is good enough for me. Now, can I interest you in a few Bitcoins, or the new Facebook currency Libra? They certainly will hold their value, won’t they?

The Athletic Life

Jason Walker: A different kind of athlete in a different kind of bike sport of Cyclocross Q

By Sarah Shaffer

uestion: Jason, we heard you moved to Wenatchee from Reno. What brought you to our area?
 Answer: Multifactorial decision. Honestly, the impetus was the vaccination laws and schedule in Nevada. Kerri and I aren’t anti-vax, but we definitely don’t agree with the currently recommended vaccination schedule. We started looking at states with vaccination laws that allowed flexibility. Washington was the top choice since I grew up in the state and had most of my family living here, Kerri’s were in Portland, and I could be close to work. We considered Spokane but Wenatchee won out due to proximity to Seattle (to pop over for work), access to the outdoors and the climate. Question: What do you do for work, do you have kids or dogs? Tell us a bit about yourself.
 Answer: I work at Microsoft, playing with spreadsheets and data; I’ve been there 22 years. I have two kids — Louden who is about to turn 10, Lander who is 8 and a little dog named Pepper (we think she’s two or so). And I’m married to Kerri, who owns a business locally.   Question: What do you enjoy about Cyclocross? We heard you got sixth in the nation for a Cyclocross competition this last year. 
Answer: It was probably one of the best all around races I’ve been a part of, all things considered, and not necessarily be-

Staying in the groove in the sand is very important for Jason Walker during this cyclocross event on the westside. Photo by

cause of my finish. Cyclocross is very dynamic, I think that’s what I like most about it. For those who’ve never seen it, it’s basically a road bike with skinny mountain bike tires and you race on a course normally less than two miles over grass, pavement, dirt, sand and various barriers for between 45-60 minutes. It gets really fun when it rains or snows. Beyond needing to be physically fit, you also need to be able to get on and off your bike effectively, be able to run and understand the conditions of the course for proper tire and pressure selection. You run because often times conditions necessitate getting off your bike because it’s impos-


| The Good Life

sible to ride — and/or they put up barriers or there can be stairs in the course. It’s really a great biking discipline and requires more athletic movement than any other biking discipline. There’s a lot going on. I did a lot of road bike stage races where you’d have a TT bike, a road bike and couple different helmets and I thought that was a lot of gear. The amount of gear in cyclocross dwarfs all other biking disciples; this isn’t what attracted me to it but races are won and lost based on tire tread choice and/or tire pressure. Honing the craft takes time and it’s fun to talk with other racers about it. Serious dudes/dudettes will


December 2019

have eight sets of wheels at their disposal for race day and at least two identical bikes. I’m semi-serious as I only have five sets of wheels and my bikes are different colors. Question: Do you train year around for your Cyclocross races? Answer: No, it’s very specific. I try to simply ride my bike from the end of April or so through September to keep the weight lowish, and to build my aerobic engine or base. Once real training starts it gets very unglamorous, basically I look at a little computer on my bike for about two to three minutes at a time, six times. These are called intervals and they really suck.

Cyclocross requires racing through a mixed set of conditions... and having lots of biking gear.

But they work. I also mix in some type of running with my bike, like over at the dunes off the east side loop or anywhere with a steep slope. I also will break out barriers made out of PVC and try to hop over them. Silly stuff really but important come race day. 
I’ve been riding/racing a cross bike for about six years now but have a long history of pedaling circles. Question: What other activities/outdoor sports do you enjoy?
 Answer: I really like skiing, especially with my family. They are a hoot to watch evolve athletically. I’m also getting back into rock climbing thanks to my oldest son Louden, and I think I could be more of a typical “sportsman” soon with fishing and hunting now interesting me. I recently finished a bike ride in Derby Canyon and at the bottom of the canyon were five hunters skinning a bear. I stopped and talked to them for about 20 minutes and watched. I started thinking I could do

that on a bike or better yet, on an e-bike with a trailer and a bow. I think that’s in my future. Question: What kind of diet/nutrition do you keep while training? Answer: My diet/nutrition is nearly identical all year round. I geek out on nutrition and take it fairly seriously (just ask Kerri). The only caveat is I probably eat a few more carbs during training/race season and maybe drink less beer (maybe). My diet consists of mainly organic meat and veggies with some fruit sprinkled in. I’ve mostly cut out all dairy, nonbeer gluten and high lectin foods, like legumes and nightshades. Some of this is tragic for sure, but I’ve been experimenting with the instapot lately as it supposedly can destroy most lectins. Early results are positive.   Question: Can you give our reader’s a tip or trick for becoming a better rider? Answer: I’ll give conflicting answers, the first for the novice December 2019 | The Good Life

and the second for the more experienced rider. 
For the novice: Ride more, especially off pavement. You’ve heard about the theory of 10,000 hours; well, I think it’s true, so the more riding you do the better you will become. Off-pavement riding will also make your bike handling better and give you confidence. For the experienced rider: Ride less, rest more. Rest is probably the most underrated part of being fast. I’ve always been a very good rester, which helps me when I need to be fast. I actually like to not eat while riding. You can do things to help your body become fat-adapted, i.e. preferentially burning fat instead of glucose, and riding in a fasted state is one of them. I do this often. However, if I am going to eat something, real food, like a sandwich is fun and satisfying. I once had a leftover reuben sandwich in my back pocket for a road race. Question: What is your favorite ride to do around the



Wenatchee area?
 Answer: Probably the Stemilt Loop for the road, Lake Creek trail for mountain biking and all the fire roads up Entiat for the cross/gravel bike. The riding we have here is really world class. Question: What are your current Cyclocross goals for the future, or what other physical activity outdoor goals do you have?
 Answer: My only cyclocross goal is to win the national championship this year. It’s in Tacoma in December. After that I’m not sure. My goal may be to not have any goals like this in the future. It’s hard to overstate the strain wanting to win puts on my inner circle. It will be nice to just enter a race without any expectations, or to just support someone else racing. The full version of this story appears on — the site covers such topics as hiking, biking, climbing, paddling, trail running and skiing in the region. Sarah Shaffer is the Executive Director of WenatcheeOutdoors.

A long view of the Burchett home, on the right, from across Highway 97 shows the engineering that softened this hillside lot: a terraced 10-foot high retaining wall and broad, contoured entrance drive and parking pads.

Getting new home just right doesn’t end with driving of the last nail Story by Susan Lagsdin Photos by Mike Irwin


s a loan officer for North Cascades Bank, Randi Burchett is familiar not only with the financial intricacies of home ownership but also with home construction. She’s come away from her and her husband Shelby’s first foray into the latter with some sage advice: “Know your ‘must haves’ and decide what you can let go if you need to, and be sure you do that thinking early on.” She and Shelby love their new

house high on a hillside in Clos Chevalle, a gated subdivision above Chelan’s south shore. It’s quiet, with only 29 homes built on an available 69 lots (half of them owned by part-timers), and five miles of dedicated walking trails are interspersed with working vineyard plots. “There are three great wineries within a few minutes of here, too,” Randi said. The house is a great getaway spot they can enjoy every day. But a year and a half after settling in, she’s reconsidering a few of their simple choices, some made inadvertently, some made


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as cost-cutting measures, and she’s enjoying the prospect of getting it just right over the next few years. The home was a dream deferred for a decade. With young children, the couple moved from Spokane, first to Orondo and then Chelan, with solid employment (she in banking, Shelby works for the PUD, where he’s now a power system operator) and they bought the .69-acre view lot in 2007. That was a bad year for newbuilds, so instead, they moved into a two-story spec home in Grandview, a subdivision down


December 2019

“I brought in plan after plan I’d found on the internet,” Randi said, “and finally we landed on one that worked on the lot and had the square footage that fit our budget.”

ABOVE: Comfy furniture and plenty of gathering space in a serious cook’s kitchen are important to the Burchetts. Outdoor seating can change to face the lake or the patio’s big screen TV. LEFT: All set for the holidays, the living room looks out on late-season vineyards. The Burchetts love having family and friends packed into the big open living area for TV watching and casual meals; the festivities can extend right out the sliding doors to the patio.

the hill, while their son and daughter finished high school and then headed off to their own lives. By 2016, Randi and Shelby were ready to move on up to their beloved property. Then started the balancing act between square footage and building costs, which Randi December 2019 | The Good Life

explained are surprisingly high here because of new demand and a good but limited skilled labor pool. “People want to move here from Seattle, which we always think of as expensive, and go “Hey, what gives?!’” she said. Enter Gold Construction, which took on the project in 2016 after the Burchetts became



discouraged with three out-ofrange bids. “I brought in plan after plan I’d found on the internet,” Randi said, “and finally we landed on one that worked on the lot and had the square footage that fit our budget.” Randy Gold was aided on the blueprints by Moonlight Drafting and started building, offering not just construction expertise but good ideas and assurances. “It was wonderful working with him; he’s a problem-solver and has such a calming personality,” Randi said of the veteran Wenatchee builder. “We got just what we wanted — a one-level French Country style rambler with views of the lake. And he and the subs were able to build the actual house really fast — seven months from start to finish. Sometimes there were 10 trucks parked up here all at once.”  Leveling and paving the easyaccess driveway was a priority, but a later and unexpected necessity was the reconstruction of much of the back of the property with 120 linear feet of terraced retaining wall, 10 feet tall at the outer rim, built by Antonio’s Landscaping of hand placed rocks in concrete. The flat space became an extended patio with concrete decking and a frequently used hot tub, the rest is in lawn. Randi remembers, “I used to tell people about our great ‘level’ lot

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Getting new home

just right }}} Continued from previous page on the hillside. I guess it wasn’t actually all that level…” They augmented the hardscaping with 300 new plantings this past spring, including 15 aspen saplings at the drive, and Randi is hoping to add a few more rows of rock roses and a few ornamental cypress trees. Her big kitchen window may be partially shaded by a pergola with vines. Some major outdoor changes are coming up: faux shutters may go, fencing for their golden retriever will be added, perhaps a swimming pool where the swath of back lawn is now, and soon another structure fitting into the wide side lawn. “We’d like to build another full garage with a guest suite above it,” Randi said. “We gave up one car bay in the original design, went from three down to two, and now we wish we hadn’t.” The Burchetts enjoy some high-end features they consider a tradeoff for the smaller footprint. The kitchen features a wide, double door freezerrefrigerator and a dual-power stove, gas where it matters on the burners and griddle, electric in the ovens. A custom-designed iron front door with a glass panel, which already replaced a wood one, adds character. A big rock-faced fireplace, omitted from the streamlined original plan, was added after Randi’s walk through inprogress construction one cold winter day. It’s a “smart house,” so a phone app runs lights and HVAC, and

Two busy professionals easily share this master suite bath with two separate walk-in closets, two separate sinks and a double-size steam shower with two shower heads. At the end, Shelby’s closet opens to the laundry room.

power blinds ease down for privacy and shade. Myriad outlets and fixtures went beyond the builder’s specs. (“I just kept saying ‘yes’ when I walked around the rooms with the electrician,” Randi admits.) The extra-long tiled master shower with its steam bath feature came in after she first saw the more commonplace fiberglass shower/tub surround unloaded. The home has three bedrooms and two baths in just over 2,500 square feet. The flow is what they expected, with the owners’ quarters (two closets, spacious bathroom, bedroom with patio access) interconnected at the kitchen end of the house with garage, utilities, mudroom, home office wall, laundry and pantry. The guest hallway is at the other end of the living room. The floors are super-easy to


| The Good Life

Another matching bedroom like this share a luxurious guest bath in the hall; the Burchetts like to keep king beds available for their two young adult kids, their friends and other family visitors.

keep clean, the storage space plentiful. What’s not to love? Well, just a few things, which Randi realizes are inconsequential in a larger


December 2019

context (but still they bother her). She’s adamant that neither the design nor the construction was flawed, but… The guest wing hallway feels

This dining table just off the home’s front foyer extends from both ends to accommodate a dozen guests. Easily cleaned flooring throughout was a natural choice for frequent entertaining.

Randi Burchett and her alert dog, aptly named Bear, enjoy some November sunshine at the entrance to their home at Clos Chevalle, on the lakeward side of Chelan’s Bear Mountain.

cramped to her. “Just one more foot!” she said, and so do the bedrooms with their king beds. Should they have a barn door instead of a swinging door into the smaller bathroom, put some built-ins at the side of the fireplace, a bench and hooks at the entry, replace the master suite

a little more yellow than “Crisp Linen,” the sample name, would indicate. Randi and Shelby will take some time to prioritize their upcoming improvements, investing where it seems wise, adapting where it doesn’t. But on any given day, the ex-

TV hookup to site the bed differently? Randi liked the idea of a space-defining closet at the corner of the dining area — now she realizes the bulky column blocks the view on entry. And the paint, all pale throughout and shifting in the light, seems

December 2019 | The Good Life



isting creature comforts of their high-up house are most important: the fun ease of feeding company, the comfort of a soft couch and TV, light and space galore, soft breezes and views from the patio and gazing at a sky full of midnight stars from the hot tub.


column moving up to the good life

june darling

Why helping others helps us, too “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” — Dalai Lama

Over the holidays last year,

we were visiting my older son, Hoby, and his family in Park City, Utah. Deep snow covered all. The skiers loved it, but some of us were worried. Friends were supposedly coming for dinner, but the hour had passed when they were to arrive. Hoby was not there either. He wasn’t answering his cell phone. Suddenly, the door flew open. Four, out-of-breath, beaming young men, including Hoby, swooshed in. What just happened? Bad news? Good news? Both. As Hoby and his friends had SHOULD YOU TAKE PROBIOTICS? Y EVENTS CALENDAR



July 2019


Researchers tell us that human beings are wired to be compassionate, to want to help, and to feel good when they do. neared the house, they noticed that a car had slipped into a steep ditch. All the guys stopped, assessed the situation, heaved and hoed, and finally were able to free the folks; send them on their way to celebrate the holidays. No surprise that the freed folks were exuberant afterwards. But why were Hoby and his

Price: $3

As the year winds down, we are seeking entries to our BEST DAY IN 2019 contest.

The remarkable resurrecTion of squilchuck state Park


called compassion. Compassion comes about when we notice that someone is suffering. We emotionally resonate; we empathize with their suffering. We feel what it must be like to be in their shoes. We have a sense of comradery as fellow human beings — for example, it could have just as easily been us who slipped into the ditch. Often, we experience distress over the situation, but our sense of nurturing allows us to tolerate the distress and push on. We discern what to do and take some action intended to alleviate the suffering of our fellow human being.

Think About Your Best Day of 2019



friends bordering on jubilant? Researchers tell us that human beings are wired to be compassionate, to want to help, and to feel good when they do. Research on compassion for others (as well as self-compassion) is relatively young, a few decades old. Researchers like Dacher Keltner believe that initially human beings had to have what he calls a “compassion instinct” because we have these big-headed babies who cannot take care of themselves. We will learn more, but for now, there are lots of definitions and descriptions. I’ve read hundreds. Here is how I synthesize what seems to be going on when we experience this complex phenomenon

Tell us a story about your best day in the past year, and perhaps win a $100 prize. Did you climb a mountain, check off an item on your bucket list, cross an ocean, hold a new life in your hand, discover a new talent, set out on a new path, get a surprising check in the mail, make a difference in someone’s life, begin a new chapter in your life...


Write us an email -- 200 to 500 words or so -- telling us of your best day in 2019. Send along some digital photos, too.



June 2019


We’ll choose one of the writers for a $100 prize. But be quick... the deadline is Friday, Dec. 6.

Price: $3

Get writing, the prize could go to you... if you’re swift!

Send photos and stories to:


the solution Raising bees for fun and for the good of mother earth

Selected stories may be published in the January issue


| The Good Life


December 2019

Could compassion make me fuzzyheaded, unable to do my job? Could compassion make me do something stupid like love people who deserve a kick in the rear? These thoughts, emotions, and behaviors associated with the compassion process cause various parts of our brains to activate. Pleasurable and motivating chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine are secreted. All this seems to optimize our immune system as well. Bottom line. Compassion is good not just for the people pulled out of a ditch, but also for the rescuers. The Dalai Lama captures this idea well in his oft quoted words: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. What then, is the problem? We have this amazing, innate compassion available to us. When we use it, it’s good for us and everyone else. Sounds like we should all be on the compassion train. But we aren’t. Compassion can get stuffed down and become stunted for many reasons. Some of those reasons may include a lack of understanding about compassion (what is it, how does it work) and fear. Yes, we can have a fear of compassion (both giving and receiving it). Could compassion make me fuzzy-headed, unable to do my job? Could compassion make me do something stupid like love people who deserve a kick in the rear? Seems to me the best ideas for working with compassion involve becoming more knowl-

edgeable and more open to it. If you’ve read this article, you’ve already learned more about compassion. Reading about the benefits may help you become more receptive. Here’s something my husband and I do that you may want to try at least once or twice this December. Each Sunday afternoon we ask each other, “Where did you notice, give, or receive compassion this week? What blocks or fears did you notice?” Usually we end up talking about anything related to compassion. These few compassionfocused minutes together never fails to give us good conversation; connect us, leave us with deep thoughts to ponder or further investigate; and warm our hearts. I recently read a comprehensive review of happiness interventions. The paper concludes by noting the link between selftranscendence and physical and emotional well-being. Compassion (along with gratitude and awe) was proposed as the ultimate path to the good life. Funny. Seems like somebody said that about 2,000 years ago. Maybe it’s time we take it seriously. How might you get back in touch with your natural compassion and move up to The Good Life?

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Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. Mark Twain December 2019 | The Good Life

Go to: GT’s Barbeque on YouTube. Please like and subscribe


After 15 years of oohs and ahhs from family and friends I realized the best way to share my recipes was to create a YouTube Channel! Check out my videos for finger-licking, mouth-watering recipes and techniques.


PET tales

Tells us a story about your pet. Submit pet & owner pictures to:

50% of all pets began as accidents. Help prevent these unplanned litters.

Rio is a one-year-old black lab mix.

Jimmy Bautista said many dogs are dropped off near his parents’ rural house in Brewster. When Jimmy went to pick up Rio from his parents to take him to the humane society, he realized that Rio was the youngest abandoned dog he had seen — the pup was only about three weeks old. On the ride back to Wenatchee, Jimmy decided to keep him. “Rio is a very energetic dog with a great personality but can be calm when he needs to be. He is great fun to play with. He is also a great stress reliever for me and he gets me out meeting new people,” said Jimmy.


obert and Amanda Brown, Wenatchee, were walking their dog, King, at the Wenatchee dog park. King is a sevenyear-old American Bully. Robert said they adopted the dog from a family in town. “King is a lover, a big giant lover, and he takes very good care of his mom (Amanda),” said Robert. “He is a happy dog, too.”

You can help. Support spay/neuter in your community by donating now to the WVHS 'Planned Pethood' campaign:


| The Good Life


December 2019



jim brown, m.d.

My silent retreat; no news is good news R

ecently, I read an article by Deepak Chopra, MD, which struck a chord with me. He said, “We have sacrificed ourselves for our selfies.” Our collective selfy, in which he was referring to our collective ego, has created an insane world. Chopra went on to say, “It is as if the present moment isn’t meant to be lived but to be posted.” His goal is to identify experiences of joy, freedom, bliss and creativity and make them continuous. He went on to say he was planning on a weeklong silent retreat this fall. There would be no social media, no phone, no television, and no interaction with anyone. He said solitude is not loneliness, but it is about getting in touch with our own being and escaping the lunatic asylum the world can be. As I read this I decided I could do this too. I wondered what it would be like, alone in solitude without conversation, the news, my iPhone, television, wifi or a computer. I have been so sick and tired of the constant barrage of negative news, the divisiveness of politics, the lies and outright dislike and even hatred of “the other” that seems to have become in our country of late. The persuasiveness is so rampant in our lives today that doing the opposite appealed to me. I decided to try a three-day retreat of silence at a cabin near Lake Wenatchee. The only living thing that would be with me would be my dog, Jackson. His unconditional love fills me with good positive thoughts whenever I look into

his brown eyes. I can’t help but smile and love him back. He also is a strong motivator for me to take 2-mile walks twice a day. The drive up to the lake through Tumwater Canyon was gorgeous. The sun was out, reflecting on the beautiful oranges, yellow and red leaves of fall. The silence for these three days was incredibly peaceful. I brought several books to read that would stimulate my thinking. I took no novels. I knew I was fortunate to be able to do this as a retired person with a wonderful wife who said, “Go for it.” The more I thought about it when I got to my destination, the more I looked forward to the silence and the absence of all news. I did give Lynn the phone number of a friend at Lake Wenatchee in case of emergency since my phone was turned off for the duration. Later on the first day as I had dinner by myself what I missed then were our family dinner table conversations with my wife and daughter. My dog, Jackson, was an ever-faithful, but silent companion. It was really tempting to turn on the television for the news or to check my iPhone to see what was happening “out there,” but I resisted. After the first night I awoke at 6 a.m. aware of the licking of my hand by Jackson as I lay in bed. “Get up, let’s get going,” he was saying. We went for a brisk early morning walk together as he was busy smelling whatever it is dogs smell everywhere. The cloudless sky was so blue, the lake calm, the snow level about at 4,000 feet on Dirty Face Mountain. December 2019 | The Good Life

After our walk, as I sat by the fire enjoying my coffee, I realized I have been sitting there often over the last 39 years but never alone like this, cut off as I now was from “the world.” I am always in awe of the beauty of the Lake Wenatchee area. As I looked across the lake with the sunlight sparkling on the water, I couldn’t help but feel God saying, “I am.” For Lynn and me this place has been a place of peace, family, comfort and gratitude for God’s creation. I started reading a book by Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation. He describes contemplation as “awe at the sacredness of life, the gratitude for life, awareness and for being.” Contemplation, he said, cannot be taught or clearly explained. Contemplation for me is not only an appreciation of God’s creation and beauty that surrounds us but also for awareness of my true self as opposed to my false self of pride and ego. After three days of silence without contact with anyone or the “world” out there, I was doing well. I certainly didn’t miss the anger, angst and bitter conflicts of our nations political drama. I felt more relaxed, less stressed about the news and it almost seemed like I had emptied my mind of a lot of unnecessary and negative thoughts. I felt the need to focus on being mindful of the present moment, since that is all we truly have anyway. Instead of being preoccupied with the past, what has already happened or the future that hasn’t arrived yet, I found myself focusing my thoughts on the richness of the present moment. Buddhists call being in touch



with the “now” mindfulness. This can be a cleansing and emptying-out time of negative thoughts. Several years ago, Lynn and I did a month of volunteering in Chiang mai, Thailand. We spent a few wonderful hours discussing our various beliefs with a Buddhist monk in a Buddhist temple. The more we discussed our beliefs together the more similar we felt we were. Rather than obvious differences in our lives, the three of us felt like we were united on the same path, the path of our lives. Now as “senior” citizens, we try to focus on the positive rather than the negative that is so pervasive in our news and daily lives. Brain studies have shown our brain seems to be hard wired to focus on the negative problems at the expense of having a positive vision. We seem to dwell on bad experiences long after the fact, often spending our energy anticipating what might go wrong in the future. Studies by a neuroscientist Rick Hanson showed we must hold onto a positive thought or feeling for over 15 seconds for it to leave an imprint on our neurons. This is a good reason to have a daily gratitude journal to focus and remember the positive events in our lives. This “now” moment is truly the only time we really have, so we might as well savor it. Jim Brown, M.D., is a retired gastroenterologist who has practiced for 38 years in the Wenatchee area. He is a former CEO of the Wenatchee Valley Medical Center.

Learning to be a writer It means, well, writing, writing and sometimes taking ‘no’ as an answer


By Susan Lagsdin

orna Rose-Hahn, Wenatchee writer, frames a publisher’s turn-down in the most positive of terms: “Handling rejection, getting familiar with it and making it work for you, takes some maturity and experience,” she said. “You have to be able to harness a certain energy from it to better your craft.” Her maturity (she’s 42) is a given; her experience has yielded her, in addition to exposure in many blogs and literary journals, recent recognition in two prestigious competitions. She was a 2017 finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association memoir competition and won a fall 2019 Honorable Mention from the Oregon Poets Association. Unlike some writers who may labor for years before making their first foray into the world of rejection — and yes — acceptance, Lorna hit the ground running when she decided just five years ago that if she was going to call herself a writer, she would have to get published. That meant learning industry trends and standards, creating the necessary on-line platform on Facebook, Twitter and her website (writing as her pre-married name Lorna Rose) and submitting dozens of manuscripts in as many formats to even more small publications and contests. It meant joining Write On The River, for which she now serves as chair, and meeting with other regional writers for critique,

instruction and inspiration. Her first writers’ group was extremely valuable, she said, and she continues to find new insights with seasonal workshops. And it meant writing, writing, writing, through childrearing traumas and tricky schedules, finishing up a breastfeeding session or a bedtime story with her two children to immediately sit at the computer, sans muse (“I really don’t have one” she asserted). She often had to forgo that timeless period “in the zone” that artists treasure. Tightly scheduled writing time with a finite end — two or three hours if possible — works best for her; she knows too much leisure would be counterproductive. Lorna said, “Creative flow takes time. Sometimes I just have to get right to it.” She said she has such a loud and active mind that as soon as she sits down to type, she’s ready to go. A glance at some publications shows diverse topics: her father’s long-sought pride in her, reasons to not post photos of your kids, a drug-laced teenage rave, using a clothesline, a too-ambitious hike (“I sweat-slogged up Camelback Mountain, taking big strides… panting, mouth dry, dry stones crunching beneath my feet…”), a necklace purchased on her Mexican honeymoon. Personal, detailed narrative nonfiction comes most easily to her, so her whole life fuels her writing. Lorna’s making up for lost time. Grade school creative writing awards were nice enough,


| The Good Life

Lorna Rose-Hahn, who’s accustomed to adroitly juggling child raising with her blooming writing career, looks like she’s found a moment of serenity here.

but she had no interest in a writing career in her formative adult years. She worked in the world of commerce, doing sales support and program planning for FedEx, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Amgen throughout the West, and only when she and her husband moved to Wenatchee to start their family did she consider going back to the art she loved as a child. What initially shaped and motivated her writing was a strong desire to look inward, to free herself from unresolved childhood pressures and to share her life as a new mother. She wrote early on for Wenatchee Mom Blog, airing her own fears and flaws, thinking, she said simply, ”I can’t be the only one.” Her book-length memoir, after her conscientious beta readers prompted a new draft, is now in the hands of agents.


December 2019

Lorna has been called fearless by her writing friends — but she doesn’t know if that refers to her unconcern with publishers’ rejections or her willingness to be vulnerable on the page. Maybe both. She said, “The business world helped me approach writing in a pragmatic way. I finish projects that I start, and I’ve been told there’s a certain frankness to my writing.” That “certain frankness” brings Lorna’s writing alive on the page, and it’s gradually coming alive on more and more pages. That’s good progress for a woman who was almost 40 when she realized her voice could move and shake readers, and when she finally said, “I am a writer.” For links to Lorna Rose-Hahn’s writing, visit:

fun stuff what to do around here for the next month Novel Seminar, Write on the River is now accepting applications for a seven-week novel seminar with Kay Kenyon. Topics include concept, character, plotting and narrative techniques a as well as writing critiques. Deadline for applications is Dec. 30; classes begin Feb. 23. Kay is the author of 15 novels and is a frequent speaker at regional writing conferences. Info: Holidays on Ice, now until late January weather permitting. Outdoor ice-skating at Lions Club Park, Leavenworth. Skate rentals are on site. Info: Homegrown Oldies Jam, every first and third Monday, 7 to 10 p.m. Riverside Pub. Cost: free. NCW BLUES JAM, every second and fourth Monday. 7 – 10 p.m. Riverside Pub. Cost: free. Wenatchee Paddle Club, every Tuesday, 9:30 a.m. open paddle, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 p.m. novice kayak paddle group, Saturdays, 7 a.m. masters crew rowing. Info: Upper Valley Running Club, every Tuesday, 4:30 – 6 p.m. Check-in at the gravel lot across from O’Grady’s Pantry. Maps will be available for a marked 3-mile trail route, partly along Icicle Creek. Run or walk, by yourself, with a friend or with your family. Participate 10 or more times and earn an Upper Valley Running Club tech tee. Info: 1 million cups, every first Wednesday of the month. 7:45 a.m. sharp. Entrepreneurs discover solutions and thrive when they collaborate over a million cups of coffee. Come join this supportive, dynamic community and hear from two businesses that are between 1 – 5 years old. Discover how we can help move them forward in a positive environment, fueled by caffeine. Coffee provided by Mela Coffee Roasting. Wenatchee Valley Chamber office, 137 N. Wenatchee Ave. Conversations around death/ death conversations group, meets every third Wednesday, 9 – 10:30 p.m. Does your family really know what you want? Do you have a current will? Who gets what? This is a an information group that

is looking at what we or our family should expect upon our passing. Chelan Senior Center. Cost: free. Info: Concie Luna 630-2972. Shrub-steppe poetry podium, every last Wednesday, 4 – 5 p.m. A free, poetry-only public reading. Read your own poems or the work of a favorite poet. The Radar Station, 115 S. Wenatchee Ave. Info: Weekly Club Runs, every Thursday check in between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. at Pybus Public Market south entrance. Either a 5k or 10k walk or run on the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail. Complete 10 weekly runs and receive a free shirt. Cost: free (other than a smile). Game Night, every 4th Friday. Board games, card games or any games you bring. Open to families and all ages. Hosted by Pacific Crest Church. Pybus Public Market. Cost: free. Info: pybuspublicmarket. org. Wenatchee Valley Farmers market, every Saturday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Local farmers, artisans, winemakers, bakers and chefs make up the friendly, hardworking vendors. Inside Pybus Public Market.

themed photo stands. Downtown Cashmere. Info: cashmerechamber. org. Empty Bowls, 12/1, 1 - 6 p.m. Fundraising event for the NCW food distribution center. Pybus Public Market. Cost: $10 per bowl, $35 per family includes soup and bread meal on March 14. Ringing in the Season with the Marlin Handbell Ringers, 12/2, 3, 7, 7:30 p.m. Icicle Village Resort. Tickets at the door. Pybus University: Yoga and Mediation for Aging with grace, 12/3, 7 – 8 p.m. This class will be taught using chairs and standing. Wear clothing that is not restrictive to movement and allows you to take arms overhead, bend at the knee joint and waist comfortably. No yoga mats required. Pybus Public Market. Cost: free. Info: Bronn Journey Harp Concert, 12/3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 7:30 p.m. A

Jam at the Crow, 7 – 10 p.m. Every first Sunday. The Club Crow in Cashmere, 108 1/2 Cottage Ave. Cost: free. Write on the River writer’s competition, now thru 2/1. Six writers will share the winnings of a total of $1,200 in cash prizes for short (1,000 word) fiction or nonfiction on any theme or topic. Cost is $20 per submission or $40 per submission that includes three written critiques. Info: Christkindlmarkt, 12/1, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. A Bavarian-style Christmas Market. Includes entertainment, authentic Bavarian foods, handmade arts and crafts and other gifts, a lantern parade and Santa Claus as well as the Christkind and St. Nicholas. Downtown Leavenworth. Cost: free. Christmas in Cashmere, 12/1, noon – 3 p.m. Enjoy a complimentary warm beverage, holiday treats, goodie bags, indoor arts and crafts, festive music and entertainment as you cozy up around a fire pit or take a photo at one of our Christmas December 2019 | The Good Life



Christmas tradition in Leavenworth. Community United Methodist Church, Leavenworth. Info: Get lit: stained glass, 12/4, 6:30 – 9 p.m. Learn how to use design and construct your own personalized stained glass ornaments along with basics of soldering. Wenatchee Valley Museum. Cost: $35. Info: Cascade Wolverine Project, 12/4, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Learn about the Cascade Wolverine Project’s support of wolverine recovery in the North Cascades. A raffle, social and no-host refreshments available. Wenatchee River Institute’s Red Barn, 347 Division St in Leavenworth. Info: FESTIVAL OF TREES Public Viewing, 12/5-7, 10 a.m. The Stanley Civic Center will come alive with a

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The Art Life


We want to know of fun and interesting local events. Send info to:

}}} Continued from previous page variety of trees and wreaths decorated by community members – take home one of your own by bidding in the silent auction. Numerica Performing Arts Center. Book turned movie night, 12/5, 5:30 p.m. Join us for a showing of a popular book-turned-movie and discuss how the two formats compare. Chelan Library. Info: ncrl. org/chelan. Christmas Bazaar, 12/6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and 10 – 3 on Sundays. A full house of vendors and a variety of crafts. Chumstick Grange #819. Wings n wishes, 12/5, 6 p.m. Christmas carols, cookies and cocoa, s’mores, live reindeer and more. Santa arrives on a fire truck, lighting starts at 6:30 and photos with Santa at 6:45 p.m. School choir performs. East Wenatchee City Hall. Cost: free. Kenny G, 12/5, Town Toyota Center. Cost: $35. Info: towntoyotacenter. com. First Friday Events Include: *Class with a Glass, 12/6, 5 – 8 p.m. 10 S Columbia St. *Collapse, 12/6, 4 – 9 p.m. 115 S Wenatchee Ave. (in front of RadarStation). *Gypsy Lotus, 12/6, 5 – 8 p.m. 1 S Wenatchee Ave. Cost: free. *Lemolo Café and Deli, 12/6, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. 114 N Wenatchee Ave. *MAC Gallery, 12/6, 5 – 7 p.m. Wenatchee Valley College Music and Art Center, 1300 Fifth St. *Mela, 12/6, 5 – 8 p.m. Nosh provided. Cost: free. 17 N. Wenatchee Ave. Cost: free. *Mission Street Commons, 12/6, 5 – 8 p.m. 218 S Mission St. *Pans Grotto, 12/6, 4 – 9 p.m. 3 N Wenatchee Ave. Ste 2. *RadarStation, 12/6, 4 – 9 p.m. 115 S Wenatchee Ave. * Robert Graves Gallery, 12/6, 5 – 7 p.m. Sexton Hall at Wenatchee Valley College, Ninth St entrance. *Tumbleweed Bead Co., 12/6, 5-7 p.m. Refreshments served. 105 Palouse St. Cost: free. Info: tumble-

// SKETCHES OF LOCAL ARTISTS *Two Rivers Art Gallery, 12/6, 5 – 8 p.m. Feature oil painter Rod Weagant. Music by harpist Suzanne Grassell. Complimentary refreshments. 102 N Columbia, Wenatchee. Cost: free. Info: *Wells House Open House, 12/6, 5 – 7 p.m. Tours will be given on the first and second floors with insider information including history about the house and the original owners. All decked out in holiday decorations. 1260 Fifth St. Wenatchee. *Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, 12/6, 5 – 8 p.m. 137 N Wenatchee Ave. *Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center, 12/6, 5. – 8 p.m. Light refreshments. Cost: free. Info: *Ye Olde Bookshoppe, 12/6, 5 – 8 p.m. 11 Palouse St. Christmas Lighting festival, 12/6 through 22. On Friday evenings the lights are all on. Live music with St Nickolaus arriving at 4:30 p.m. at the Front Street Gazebo. On Saturday and Sundays the festivities kick into full gear with Santa arriving with holiday characters marching from the Festhalle to the Gazebo. Live music, carolers strolling, sledding in Front Street Park (snow permitting). Lighting ceremony starts at 4:45 p.m. Info: Holiday Spice, 12/6, 7 p.m. and 12/7, 1 p.m. The Numerica Festival of Trees a premier holiday event and fundraiser for the Numerica Performing Arts Center kicks off with a poignant holiday revue featuring the area’s best performers and the Holiday Spice Big Band saluting the season through dance, music, comedy and theater performances. Numerica Performing Arts Center. Cost: $23-$37. Info: Village Voices Concert – Christmas in the Mountains, 12/6, 13, 19, 7:30 p.m. Live performance of holiday favorites. Church of the Nazarene, Leavenworth. Cost: $20. Info: Little Black dress party, 12/6, 7:30 p.m. Grab that little black dress, your girlfriends, and get ready to dance and enjoy some cocktails. Wenatchee Convention Center. Cost: $30. Info:

}}} Continued on page 34


| The Good Life

Mike Locke’s office is also tech control central for all PAC productions. Ninety percent of theaters in the U.S. use this system’s software, and that’s good news for his trainees and volunteers. Photos by Mike Irwin

Opening of another show: PAC tech keeps ’em coming By Susan Lagsdin


ea! It’s the weekend!’ said no stagehand, ever.” So proclaims the poster in the office of Mike Locke, operations director of the Numerica Performing Arts Center. Night and day, and especially when most people seek out entertainment — that means Friday, Saturday and Sunday — Mike ensures that the light and sound essential to any performance are as close to perfect as equipment and creativity can make them. Mike’s humble about his craft, saying “I don’t really consider myself an ‘artist.’ That’s not how I approach a production. My job is to fit together all the pieces of the puzzle.” And there are plenty of pieces to play with. “The night after Festival of Trees closes, we load in The Nutcracker. We’re working straight through December, every day


December 2019

until Christmas Eve,” said Mike. Fortunately, he enjoys collaborating closely with a wide variety of out-of-town and local groups, managing the technical intricacies of setting up, running and breaking down multiple shows. He’s accustomed to using his problem-solving skills to meet the public’s entertainment needs. After his BA in music performance at the University of Idaho, he worked in venues all over campus for the events services department. When the director of a visiting musical asked if he could run an electronic lightboard, he said “Yes” and then figured it out. That one serendipitous job led first to his MFA in Theatre Design and Technology, and then to the PAC position almost nine years ago.  Though he’s adept at all phases of theater production — that was his steel-beamed threestory set behind Newsies this

Here’s what the PAC house looks like from an unfamiliar viewpoint — although Mike doesn’t get to be at center stage, of course. His long hours of work let us see and hear performers at their very best.

year — Mike usually focuses, so to speak, on lighting and sound. It’s not just “backstage” work; the tech crew (Maddy Degman, Kylee Bogg and occasional volunteers) often deals with heavy and delicate equipment above the stage, in the wings, way at the back of the house, or high above the audience. Sound and light present their special challenges. “Anything we do technically to enhance the performers’ voices should be totally natural,” he said. Every person needs to hear every word, which means electronically adjusting to a wide range of voices from novice actors to operatically trained professionals. Most directors, Mike explained, know little about sound and more about light. “They range all over, from the ones that say, ‘just light the show’ to the ones that sit down

Mike has weathered some almost-disasters, like the wireless microphone that conked out on an Aladdin crew member. and go over every nuance and cue with me.” He said his job became much easier once he relaxed and realized that it will inevitably change with every director he works with. Mike has weathered some almost-disasters, like the wireless microphone that conked out on an Aladdin crew member. With the big wooden “carpet” set piece attached to his back, on hands and knees but now December 2019 | The Good Life

with no verbal guidance whatsoever, he managed, totally by feel to maneuver the actors around the stage. Or the Newsies show with all power to the PAC lost, so with minutes left on an emergency battery he basically faced the audience with, ”I have to ask you to go home now.” (Memorably, cast members sang for the the-

atergoers as they exited). Some shows are easier than others, like film screenings. Adeptly executed but darned tricky was the set-heavy Little Mermaid production. “There was a moment when we literally had 11 objects in the air, moving in and out,” Mike said. Despite creating plenty of magical “how’d they do that?” moments that are part of his job, Mike would probably categorize his musical avocation, rather than his technical theater work, as his art form. He played clarinet and saxophone in college, but a music professor advised him to take up the bassoon, too, for added value. Good idea. At a walk-in audition at The Wenatchee Valley Symphony 10 years ago, he nabbed and kept the hard-to-fill bassoonist position. Mike enjoys not just a twopart performing arts life of theater and music: at home are three dancers — his wife is an instructor, and two daughters are performers (the infant girl has yet to choose). At 39, he anticipates in the future being a consultant to theater architects, but for now Mike loves being in Wenatchee, going to work at the PAC every day and many nights to manage the myriad wrap-around details of another opening of another show. 

BUY A COPY of The Good Life at Safeway stores, Mike’s Meats at Pybus, Martin’s Market Place (Cashmere) and Dan’s Food Market (Leavenworth)





We want to know of fun and interesting local events. Send info to:

}}} Continued from page 32 WHS holiday craft bazaar, 12/7, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Over 100 craft vendors, raffle, children’s area and food vendors. Money raised support the WHS Golden Apple Marching Band. Wenatchee High School Commons. Info: facebook/com/ gacraftbazaar. Bazaar/Craft fair, 12/7, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Leavenworth Senior Center, 423 Evans St. Christmas family fun day, 12/7, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Catch the holiday spirit with family crafts and activities. Refreshments and Christmas music. Wenatchee Valley Museum. Cost: $10 per family. Info: Craft fair, bake sale and luncheon, 12/7, 14, 21, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Craft fair from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., lunch served from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. includes homemade meal with dessert and beverage. Hot drinks served all day. Community United Methodist Church. Info: Dinner and live auction, 12/7, 5 p.m. Enjoy dinner with friends, live entertainment and a live auction featuring experiences and custom decorated trees. Numerica Performing Arts Center. Holiday gala and live auction, 12/7, 6 – 9 p.m. Beautifully decorated trees and wreaths will be auctioned off. Guests enjoy an array of heavy appetizers, holiday sweets, champagne, local wines and beer. Live music, a Raise the Paddle opportunity and a surprise appearance by a very special guest. The Historic Downtown Chelan Association. Info: Geoffrey Castle’s Celtic Christmas, 12/7, 21, 7 p.m. Features the fiery fiddle of violin virtuoso Geoffrey Castle, energetic and beautiful Celtic dancing with The Seattle Irish Dance Company Dancers and singing. Leavenworth Festhalle. Cost: $40. Info: A Handbell Christmas, 12/7, 7:30 p.m. Featuring 12 ringers and 108 handbells, singers, musicians and more. Snowy Owl Theater. Cost: $15 advance or $17 at the door. Info:

Santa in Downtown Wenatchee, 12/8, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Take photos with Santa. Pizza and crafts. Convention Center. Cost: free. Info: Santa arrives, 12/8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 1 p.m. Santa comes by way of a red fire truck. Have your picture taken with Santa. Pybus Public Market. Cost: free. Info: Sing Along Handel’s Messiah Benefit Concert for Serve Wenatchee, 12/8, 6:30 p.m. Come and sing along or just enjoy listening. Wenatchee High School auditorium. Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra presents the nutcracker, 12/12, 13, 14, 7 p.m. and 12/15, 2 p.m. The Symphony joins Fabulous Feet Academy of Ballet in this live performance. Numerica Performing Arts Center. Cost: $2140. Info: Winter wreath class, 12/13, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. OR 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. Join Amy Wall, artist, florist and event planner to craft a festive wreath. Wenatchee River Institute, 347 Division St, Leavenworth. Cost: $28. Register: Family Workshop: LED Christmas tree, 12/13, 6 – 8 p.m. Families will make a tabletop Christmas tree out of LED lights complete with origami presents to complete the decorative scene. Listen to holiday music as you work. Wenatchee Valley Museum. Cost: $30. Info: TiNgstad and Rumbel, 12/13, 7:30 p.m. For over 34 years, Grammy Award-winning artists Eric Tingstad and Nancy Rumbel have performed and recorded music together. Their blending of Americana finger style guitar, double reeds; and the ocarina lends magic to any season and fills the world with hope and beauty. Snowy Owl Theater. Cost: 22 advance or $24 at the door. Info: Holiday Craft fair, 12/14, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Vendors include Stampin Up, Color Street Nails, Usborne books, Paparazzi, Mary Kay, baked goods, homemade crafts and more. Proceeds help fund 2020 Youth Summer of Service work in the Pacific Northwest. Grace Lutheran Church. Bazaar/Craft fair, 12/14, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Leavenworth Senior Center, 423 Evans St.


| The Good Life

Ugly Sweater cookie decorating and sing-along, 12/14, noon – 2 p.m. Decorate cookies while in your ugly sweater. Prizes awarded for the ugliest sweater. Sing along with Dave Gellatly as he performs Christmas carols on the 100-yearold Liberty Theater Wurlitzer pipe organ. Wenatchee Valley Museum. Cost: $2 adults, kids free. Info:

prised of Bob Wickline (lead vocals, guitar, drums); wife Lynda (vocals and percussion); daughters Mandi & Marcee (vocals); Karla Jo Tupper (vocals, flute, penny whistle, recorder); Dave Thomas (vocals, lead guitar, mandolin, flute); Sherman Hayes (Bass); and Dave Michalski (drums).  Canyon Wren Recital Hall. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info:

Wells House Holiday Tea, 12/14, 12:30 p.m. Tea, light luncheon, live music and a holiday wreath silent auction. RSVP only. Cost: $50. Info: 888-6240.

Village Voices Concert – Christmas in the Mountains, 12/15, 1 p.m. Church of the Nazarene. Cost: $20. Info:

Family movie at the library, 12/14, 2 p.m. Bring your popcorn and beverage for a family friendly movie. Chelan Library. Info: ncrl. org/chelan.

Old time radio show: Miracle on 34th street, 12/17, 7:30 p.m. Live performers bring this 1940s style radio hour in a live musical radio play. Numerica Performing Arts Center. Cost: $13-$23. Info:

The Gothard Sisters Celtic Christmas, 12/14, 7 p.m. Family friendly show includes sibling harmony, Irish step-dancing, the sisters’ signature humor and heart and even a Christmas eve disaster story. Leavenworth Festhalle. Cost: $40. Info: leavenworthfesthalle. com. Wicklines’ down home family Christmas, 12/14, 7:30 p.m. and 12/15, 1 p.m. Group leader, Kentucky born Bob Wickline, is a parent, singer-songwriter, poet, public school teacher and public speaker. THE WICKLINE GROUP is com-


December 2019

Crosby Associates LLC presents Affiniti Celtic Christmas, 12/18, 7 p.m. A trio of Irish girls performing a fusion of classical Christmas music with an Irish flair. Numerica Performing Arts Center. Cost: $28. Info: Adult Creative Arts club, 12/19, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Whatever your creative passion is, join us to create, learn and share. Must register. Chelan Library. Info: chelan.



We want to know of fun and interesting local events. Send info to:

Magical Strings Celtic Yuletide, 12/20, 7:30 p.m. and 12/21, 2 p.m. Three generations of the Boulding family, set the stage ablaze with the Tara Academy Irish Dances, lively fiddling of awardwinning Canadian artist Jocelyn Pettit, soulful songs with Dublin guitarist Colm MacCarthaigh, powerful vocals and sing-along led by son-in-law Prescott Breeden and dynamic percussionist Matt Jerrell. Snowy Owl Theater. Cost: $22 advance or $24 at the door. Info: Columbia Chorale presents A Feast of Carols, 12/20, 7:30 p.m. Over 70 singers perform live. Numerica Performing Arts Center. Cost: $20-$25. Info: numericapac. org. Monthly movie on the big screen: Elf, 12/21, 2 p.m. Numerica Performing Arts Center. Cost: $3. Info: Monthly movie on the big screen: White Christmas, 12/22, 4 p.m. Numerica Performing Arts Center. Cost: $3. Info: Monthly movie on the big screen: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, 12/22, 7 p.m. Numerica Performing Arts Center. Cost: $3. Info: numericapac. org. Living Nativity, 12/22, 23, 24, 7:30, and 8 p.m. The Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene will present the outdoor Living Nativity. Cost: free. A Tuna Christmas and Friends, 12/27, 28, 7:30 p.m. An intimate evening of Christmas hilarity: wacky Christmas characters from Tuna, Texas; crazy commercials; wonderful Christmas songs and music from the valley’s best musicians. Canyon Wren Recital Hall. Cost: $22. Info: New Year’s Eve Celebration, 12/31, 7 – midnight. Bring in the new year with two sets of live music. Apple Drop at 9 p.m. sharp. (midnight east coast time) and again at midnight Wenatchee time. Pybus Public Market. Cost: free. Info:


column those were the days

rod molzahn

The King: What a showman W

heat harvest was in full swing on the Waterville Plateau. The threshing machine had been shut down for a small repair and the crew took a break. With the trouble fixed, the crew boss ordered the driver to start up the thresher again. To the crew’s astonishment and horror a voice came from inside the workings of the thresher. “For God’s sake, don’t start the machine — I’m stuck fast here.” The crew boss shouted back, “Where are you and what are you doing in there?” “I’m here!” wailed the voice from the innards of the machine. The boss and crew looked into and over the machine from all sides and found nothing. The voice moaned, “Right here, right here,” then faded away. The men gave the thresher one more thorough examination and, finding no one, slowly started the machine and finished the day’s work. A few of the crew quit that evening fearing the thresher was haunted. Samuel “King” Kennedy, one of the crew, seemed un-moved by the experience and was back to work the next morning. King Kennedy was described in the Chelan paper in the 1890s as a “Prestidigitator, Conjuror, Slight of hand performer and ventriloquist.” He was the premier traveling performer in north central Washington from 1891 until his death in 1925. Kennedy’s skills at ventriloquism were legend. An observer at one of his shows remembered, “At one point in his show at Conconully, he would turn his back on the audience, face that end of the hall looking up on the west side grade and carry on a realistic December 2019 | The Good Life

A page from the Spring 1978 History Notes by the Lake Chelan Historical Society. The author of the article Samuel “King” Kennedy is John M. Marshall. Photo courtesy of the Lake Chelan Historical Society

shouting exchange with a seemingly distant voice atop Mineral Hill… He could carry on conversations with one or more voices coming from different places in the building’s attic or from the depths of a chest on stage.” Leif Carlsen, in his book, Lake Chelan’s Union Valley History, recalls that, “Native Americans in his audiences watched in



spell-bound awe as he appeared to hold conversations with ‘spirits’ in nearby furniture or the ceiling… they believed he had supernatural power.” Kennedy’s skill was, no doubt, helped by the huge walrus moustache that covered most of his mouth. King Kennedy also worked

}}} Continued on next page


King Kennedy: Whisking a rabbit from his hat }}} Continued from previous page

with Punch and Judy puppets as well as other wooden doll dummies including the Irishman, John O’Toole. In the winter of 1911/1912 a fire, likely at Loomis, destroyed all of Kennedy’s equipment. He was back the following season with, “a new set of talking dummies… and one watching very closely would declare that the dummies were doing the talking.” Another writer recalled that, “King was a really good ventriloquist, his two dummies affording much hilarious amusement especially for the juvenile portion of his audiences.” A daughter of early Chewiliken Valley homesteaders remembered seeing Kennedy’s show when she was a teenager. “He presented his Punch and Judy show at Anglin. I cannot remember being more thrilled by anything I have seen or heard since.” In addition to his voicethrowing and puppetry skills, Kennedy’s card tricks and magic never failed to amuse and amaze his audiences. A 1913 writer for the Quad City Herald wrote, “Never has King failed to deceive his audience by his slight-of-hand tricks and they are so good that they will deceive almost anyone.” Winifred Thomas was 10 when her family moved to Conconully and she saw King Kennedy’s show for the first time. “Standing near a cloth draped table, in a swallow-tailed tuxedo, he performed mystifying card and slight-of-hand tricks with flashing speed accompanied by occasional low, weird utterances of ‘abracadabra, abracadabra.’ He pulled a rabbit from a hat when there’d been no rabbit an instant before.” In Sally Portman’s book, The Smiling Country, Walter Nickell remembered seeing Kennedy’s

“... receiving a brand new Stetson, King broke a half-dozen eggs into the hat and whisked up an omelet. The fellow who owned the hat looked livid until King handed back the head-piece without a trace of egg in it!”

King Kennedy used this hand-cranked movie projector to bring the first moving pictures to north central Washington audiences. It is on display at the Chelan museum. Photo courtesy of the Lake Chelan Historical Society

show as a child in the Methow Valley town of Silver. “After requesting a hat from the crowd and receiving a brand new Stetson, King broke a halfdozen eggs into the hat and whisked up an omelet. The fellow who owned the hat looked livid until King handed back the head-piece without a trace of egg in it!” King Kennedy’s skills at puppetry, slight-of–hand and magic are made more impressive in light of his crippled left hand. He had fallen on a chisel when he was young. The accident severed nerves in his wrist leaving


| The Good Life

the hand mostly paralyzed. Kennedy homesteaded 160 acres just north of Chelan Falls in 1891. He had been told about the Chelan Valley after performances in Spokane and Waterville. He had been a touring performer in Canada since he was 20 then began working out of Chicago. He performed all across the West into Washington and British Columbia before settling in Chelan. He began touring his show in north central Washington during his first winter in the val-


December 2019

ley. Kennedy did 33 annual late fall and winter tours then came home to develop his farm during spring and summer. He grew a variety of fruits and vegetables including grapes, almonds, walnuts, nectarines, quince, peaches, plums, cherries and asparagus. Kennedy performed 80 to 100 shows each season starting in the Chelan area playing in Beebe, Chelan Falls, The Ruby Theatre in Chelan, Manson and the First Creek School. From there he went south to Entiat and Wenatchee before turning north to Orondo and Waterville. In later years he added Spokane, Palouse and Chesaw. Kennedy recounted a show in Chesaw’s Odd Fellow’s Hall, a second floor room over a store. The audience filled the room. During a conversation with one of his dummies, ”There was an awful ‘whang’ and the floor dropped about two feet in the center. There was a mad scramble for the doors but when the building showed no further signs of collapse I managed to get my audience back. Distributing themselves around the room next to the wall they seemed to

enjoy the rest of the show immensely.” Winter travel with a two-horse team and wagon loaded with his equipment was challenging. In the spring of 1923, he was caught in a thaw on Crab Creek. Unable to see the bridge, one horse fell into the raging torrent. Kennedy struggled with the animal for half an hour but was unable to save it. In his constant effort to improve his show, Kennedy brought new technology to his stage with the first phonograph and records heard by his audiences, then a magic lantern slide show and finally the first moving pictures seen in north central Washington shown with his high-tech, hand cranked projector. He didn’t get rich charging 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children but for 33 years he lit up the winter months with magic and mirth through all the towns on his tours. When asked in later years if the threshing story was true the King answered, “Well now — if that yarn amuses the people — just let them continue to tell it and believe it if they want to — I don’t mind.” Historian, actor and teacher Rod Molzahn can be reached at shake. His third history CD, Legends & Legacies Vol. III - Stories of Wenatchee and North Central Washington, is now available at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center and at other locations throughout the area.

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the back page: that’s life

When I grow up By Constance Nelson Bean

“So, what do you want to

be when you grow up?” was a common question for little girls growing up in the late 1930s and ’40s. Many of us were asked such questions as young children. Truly, if all little girls had become nurses and the little boys had become firemen from that era, an oversupply would surely exist today. But as with many things that are said and experienced along the way of growing up, situations and experiences happen that change the direction of our lives, sometimes well planned, sometimes shaped by our environment and sometimes they just randomly happen. I can remember the first thing I wanted to be was a “mommy,” as I played with my little sister, our dolls and my neighborhood girlfriends. We would build tents in the summer with sheets in the back yard under a big willow tree. When it got too hot, we turned on the sprinkler and pretended we were at the ocean on vacation. I do remember wanting to become a movie star in middle grade school. My girlfriends and I wrote to many movie stars hoping for a picture with an autograph.

Being a newspaper reporter would be grand fun. But I knew what a terrible speller I was. So, this, too, I felt was a fantasy ... I was sure Roy Rogers would wait for me to grow up so I could be his wife and ride away on Trigger, his horse. We wrote him enough letters and drew enough pictures of Trigger that all were sure he would remember us. Was I ever disappointed when he married Dale Evans! Then came the comic strip, Brenda Starr, Reporter. This had some potential as a realistic career as I loved to write stories and poems. An added attraction was her mystery man who wore a patch over one eye. When he visited, he always left a black orchid behind. Being a newspaper reporter would be grand fun. But I knew what a terrible speller I was. So, this, too, I felt was a fantasy that would not happen. The years passed and all during this time I wrote in my diary and wrote stories and illustrated them with pictures.

I also was asked to write lastminute essays for high school girlfriends. Writing in long hand was tiresome as most of us had not learned to type yet. I loved doing this but the agreement was, they would correct my spelling. It was a deal. I just never learned to spell easily, as I grew up in a twolanguage home (My father came to the United States as a 13-yearold Russian orphan). I was a voracious reader, but a non-speller. My teachers never could understand this weird combination I seemed to thrive on. Life has a way of stepping in and I was on the way to becoming wife, mother and a teacher. It was a full and satisfying career. My spelling improved, too, as I was blessed with two dear husbands who had taken

Latin in high school. They were marvelous proofreaders for my writing. Then technology entered my life with a Constance Nelson computer Bean is a retired educator living of my very in the Wenatchee own. What Valley. a gift! The computer had spell check! Suddenly, I could write anything, and check it myself. I finally gained the confidence to write and let others read my material. So here I am, chasing the ninth decade of my life and I am doing what I loved to do as a little girl. I am having the best time writing about everyday things that have made up my life. I am a writer. In fact, I am a published writer because The Good Life has published some of my articles. Brenda Starr, I can do this! I may not have a mystery man who leaves me black orchids, but I have been blessed with a full life that has allowed me to answer the big question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” I want to be a writer, and so I am.

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December 2019


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The Good Life December 2019  

Early one morning outside a bowling alley, this writer discovers that “compassion is compassion” • Sharing BBQ love with the world • 12 clim...

The Good Life December 2019  

Early one morning outside a bowling alley, this writer discovers that “compassion is compassion” • Sharing BBQ love with the world • 12 clim...

Profile for genext