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July 2013

Open for fun and adventure

traveling with parents > All aboard with Mom on the Trans-Siberian train > On safari with Dad in Africa

Price: $3



page 17

SEEING WONDERS OF AFRICA with daD — while thinking of mom




When you’re Elvis, you fly first class

10 crossing the tour de france finish line Cyclists ride over the famous Parisian cobblestones, well ahead of the better known racers


What happens when a husband nags his wife to please take a race track driving course?

12 journey from moscow with mom

Riding not-quite-luxurious Zarengold through Russia and Mongolia to Beijing is a visit to different world

20 sunday at a concert in the park

But, this Mexican square isn’t quite like a Sunday at home

22 harmonica man

It’s not a toy, but the most expressive instrument there is, believes this life-long fan of the mouth harp

24 the family that bought a mission

It was for sale, and even through in Belize, too good to pass up

28 up from the ashes

Chelan remodel is not only an award winner, but is the first new downtown residential construction in 70 years


n Singer and voice coach Leslie McEwen, page 35 n Painter and artist Terry Johnson, page 39 Columns & Departments 16 June Darling: Be comfortable with discomfort 26 Pet Pix: The new dog is a little like the old dog 32 The traveling doctor: Surprising Iceland 34 Bonnie Orr: Digging potatoes 35-39 Arts & Entertainment & a Dan McConnell cartoon 37 The night sky: Bright planets abound 40 History: Coming for gold 42 Alex Saliby: Tasting Jones wines gets easier July 2013 | The Good Life




Photo contest focuses on local watershed The Cascadia Conservation



Year 7, Number 7 July 2013 The Good Life is published by NCW Good Life, LLC, dba The Good Life 10 First Street, Suite 108 Wenatchee, WA 98801 PHONE: (509) 888-6527 EMAIL: ONLINE: FACEBOOK: The-Good-Life

District is sponsoring its second annual Wenatchee River watershed photo contest to highlight the beauty of the local area. “From the ridge tops to the valley bottom, the Wenatchee River watershed provides residents and visitors alike with a spectacular place to live, work, and play,” said Amanda Levesque, education and outreach specialist. And like last year, a panel of local judges will select two winners in each of six categories to be printed on a watershed stewardship calendar available to the public. From now until Oct. 1 photo entries are being accepted for six categories including plants, wildlife, agriculture, recreation, landscapes and water. For complete contest rules, a map of the watershed and online submission form visit: www. Contact Cascadia Conservation District at 664-9370 for more information.

Editor/Publisher, Mike Cassidy Contributors, Terry Lillybridge, Jim Russell, Phil Rasmussen, Anne Goblet, Molly Steere, Mary Schramm, Mitch Michkiosky, Shawn Wilkerson, Donna Cassidy, Bonnie Orr, Alex Saliby, Jim Brown, June Darling, Dan McConnell, Susan Lagsdin, Peter Lind and Rod Molzahn Advertising sales, Lianne Taylor and Donna Cassidy Bookkeeping and circulation, Donna Cassidy Proofing, Leslie Vradenburg Ad design, Rick Conant 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 10 First Street, Suite 108 Wenatchee, WA 98801 Phone 888-6527 Online: To subscribe/renew by email, send credit card info to: BUY A COPY of The Good Life at Hastings, Caffé Mela (Wenatchee and East Wenatchee), Walgreens (Wenatchee and East Wenatchee), the Wenatchee Food Pavilion, Mike’s Meats, Martin’s Market Place (Cashmere) and A Book for All Seasons (Leavenworth)

On the cover Columbia Lily in the Morning Sun by Terry Lillybridge was the winner in the Plants category of the 2013 Wenatchee River Watershed photo contest.

ADVERTISING: For information about advertising in The Good Life, contact advertising at (509) 8886527, or WRITE FOR THE GOOD LIFE: We welcome articles about people from Chelan and Douglas counties. Send your idea to Mike Cassidy at

Copyright 2013


| The Good Life

| July 2013

Anne Goblet is smiling now, but her legs were hurting the next couple of days after she climbed 1,700 steps to the top of the Great Wall of China.


editor’s notes


Riding shotgun with my dad

Traveling together over great distances can bring a family closer together. Embrace the bond and enjoy The Good Life. —Mike July 2013 | The Good Life SUN


was not a part of our vocabulary in the house where I grew up. Even the idea of “vacation” was foreign in a house dominated by seasonal work and long periods of unemployment. Take a vacation from the job? No, the idea was to get a job. But once, when I was perhaps 10 or so, my dad decided he and I needed to take a trip to Canada. (Writing that sentence makes we want to clarify that I think all was on the up and up at the time with my dad; even though in our family lore there is a story about my great-grandfather and his twin brother fleeing from Canada to the U.S. one night, leaving the lights on and the front door open to their saloon in Canada. The details as to why were not shared for younger ears. But as I say, I believe the trip my dad and I went on was voluntary on his part.) Anyway, I don’t remember much about the drive, except one night we slept in the car in some small Canadian town. My dad had a blanket in the back seat; I was in the front seat. Cars had bench seats front and back in those days, so we were comfortable enough, although I was a little cold. Motels apparently were not on our itinerary, nor that I can remember was Points of Interest. Still, I do remember dozing during the day, curled on the front seat, waking now and then to see my dad smoking and driving, and tall fir trees whizzing past the windows. To still have that memory banging around in my head must mean that trip was mean-

ingful for me — meaningful not for the sights seen but for the time shared with my dad. Reading the two stories we have this month about traveling with parents refreshened those memories. And while most of the time as adults we think of family vacations as times when we take our kids — and perhaps grandkids — on special journeys, I think as an adult traveling with a parent could give us special appreciation of the older generation. (And maybe there would be no fighting and slapping in the backseat between the kids.) Speaking of older, I asked one of this month’s writers — Anne Goblet — if she was concerned about taking her mother on a rigorous multi-nation train trip. Replied Anne: “My Mom is 81 years old. I won’t lie, I was very nervous to go with her. She is in great health except for her knees that are very weak and therefore make her walking a bit hard. “But she is a stubborn woman and that wasn’t going to get in her way! She did great.” Hummm… stubborn? Sounds like some members of my family. Too bad those cigarettes did my dad in — it might be nice to take another car trip to Canada (I hear they have nice motels now) and research just why great-grandfather Jack and his twin Frank made their dark of night run for the border.


The term “family vacation”


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TUE VIC 7:05 9 COR 6:40 16 KEL 7:05 23 VIC ALL-STAR 30 WW 7:05





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29 BEN


WED VIC 7:05 10 COR 6:40 17 KEL 7:05 24 BELL 7:05 31 WW 7:05 3



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VIC 7:05

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KEL ... Kelowna VIC ... Victoria BEL ... Bellingham WEN ... Wenatchee WW ... Walla Walla


THUR WW 7:05

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SAT KIT 6:35 12 13 MED 7:05 19 VIC 20 VIC 7:05 7:05 26 BELL 27 BEN 7:05 6:35 5

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FRI KIT 7:35

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SAT SFS 7:05 10 KEL 6:35 17 CS TBD 3


WCL SOUTH DIVISION MED ... Medford KF ... Klamath Falls BEN ... Bend COR ... Corvallis COW ... Cowlitz KIT ... Kitsap

NON-LEAGUE TEAMS EVM ...Everett Merchants SFS ...San Francisco Seals |


fun stuff a full LISTING of what to do begins ON PAGE 36 ets and schedule info at: www.bachfest. org. Begins Thursday, July 11.

Explosions, ‘hill’ music, festivals and spills

Waterville Days

July is offering plenty of opportunities to get out and try something new locally — or to Watch fireworks July 4 and July 6. enjoy old favorites. Some events are free — look up, the skies are exploding! — and some require a gentle reach into your wallet. In some cases, you can help a good cause — but mostly all will cause you to feel good. Check out these top-rated fun events Drink ales while listening to music July 19. in July: Independence Day Celebration — Visit the food and craft

vendors, live music and entertainment at 4 p.m. until the fireworks at approximately 10:15 p.m. Walla Walla Point Park, Wenatchee. Cost: free. Starts 1 p.m. Thursday, July 4. even more fireworks — If

you want more night flashes in the sky, fireworks will be dis-

charged from a barge on the lower basin of Lake Chelan. Cost: free. Saturday, July 6, about 10 p.m. Sound of Music —The sun

falls behind the ridge, the moon rises over the valley and Maria descends the hillside singing The Hills are Alive. Ski Hill Amphitheater, Leavenworth. Cost: $30, $25 and $14. Info: leaven-

Skate to help Apple City Roller Derby July 13. First show is Friday, July 5 at 8 p.m. The play runs to Aug. 9. LAKE CHELAN BACH FEST —

Week long festival of live classical music throughout Chelan and Manson. Free winery string quartet concerts, children’s programs, jazz night, jam session, Pops in the Park, festival orchestra and chorus and more. Tick-

— Starts with Friday night 5 p.m. spaghetti feed by the Douglas County volunteer firefighters. Movie in the park at dusk. Saturday: live music, entertainment, food and craft vendors, quilt show, antique classic car show, games for kids and horseshoes — all in the shade of Pioneer Park, Waterville. Info: Keith Soderstrom 745-9555 or index.html. Friday and Saturday, July 12-13. Roller Derby SkateA-Thon & Bout — A

day designed to be fun while helping Apple City Roller Derby raise money for a permanent event and skating facility. Family skate session noon – 1:30 p.m.; experienced skate session, 3 p.m. Bout starts at 5 p.m. and public skate after the bout. Town Toyota Center. Info: Saturday, July 13. Summer Ale Fest — Featuring ales from a dozen different breweries and live music by four state bands — including Mugsys Groove, a pop funk band from Leavenworth — plus the headliner Kansas at 8 p.m. Town Toyota Center. Cost: $15 or $20 at the door. Info: Ale Fest starts 2 p.m. Friday, July 19. Know of someone stepping off the beaten path in the search for fun and excitement? E-mail us at


| The Good Life

| July 2013

Elvis flies first class By Dan McConnell

Long story short: I went to

Reuben Awards for the National Cartoonists Society, which is like the Academy Awards are for the motion picture industry held in Hollywood. The Reubens were held in Pittsburgh this year, last year it was Vegas, but wherever it’s held, tuxes are required for the award night. I had a great time, met lots of famous cartoonists, did a karaoke bit with my Elvis wig and dark glasses, (every year they have a karaoke night) and had four days of laughter — what would you expect from a room full of cartoonists? — then caught my flight back home. Only, due to airline delays, I missed my connecting flight in Denver. Which is how I found myself around midnight at the front of a highly excited group of dismayed passengers trying to get out of Denver. I was about to state my case to a woman at the counter when another passenger pushed in front of me and started frantically telling his story and why he needed the ticket as soon as

possible. I muttered to the woman kind of quietly, “I was actually the first in line here.” I didn’t know if she had heard me or not. But when we all got tickets and food and hotel vouchers and we headed to the shuttle for a good night’s sleep, I looked at my ticket and it had “Premier Access” typed on it and the seat was 1A. I wasn’t sure exactly what this meant. The next morning, being more confident that my ticket was indeed first class, I put on my tux from the Reubens and dark glasses, which were necessary due to my red-rimmed, sleep-deprived eyes. My bed at the hotel was big and the pillows were huge but pretty hard and I kept waking up and tossing around in sleepless fits; so by the next morning I was still sleepdeprived.

July 2013 | The Good Life

Should Elvis have made The Good Life cover this month? Artist Dan McConnell thought so, and went to the trouble to mock-up a cover photo himself in wig with the flight crew.

I arrived at the airport two hours early with some of my fellow travelers who I had become friends with, on the involuntary layover. There was a huge line so I asked an attendant who was directing people if there was a



gate for people with this ticket? I showed him my Premier Access ticket and for the first time a look of recognition came on someone’s face and he said, “You can bypass this line. Go to the

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The Pybus Public Market is open for business and bursting with high quality selections of artisan products, locally-grown produce, Washington beer & wine, freshly prepared foods, live music & entertainment, and ample outdoor riverfront seating. Using its outdoor space for weekly farmers markets, Pybus hosts over 150 family farmers from May through October on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.


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| July 2013

Elvis flies first class }}} Continued from page 7 short line on the right.” I said I had to have my band guys with me, the two guys I had met from the original flight, and he said they could go, too. My new friends were hesitant to lose their place in line but I persuaded them to come with me. “He said it was all right,” I told them. I knew by then that this ticket was gold. Evidently the lady who issued our tickets at the counter had heard me say that I was first in line and responded with my golden ticket. I got in seat 1A at the very front of the plane and after being there for a little bit I asked the stewardess if I could have my picture taken with the flight crew. She said, “Go in and ask them.” I was shocked. “You mean I can go into the cockpit?” I asked. “Sure,” she said, “as long as the plane is on the ground, it’s fine.” Finding out the crew had just flown in from Vegas, I told them about my Elvis wig, and they were delighted to have their picture taken with Elvis. I said a few Elvis “thangs” and they had these huge smiles on their faces for the picture. The co-pilot was a big Elvis fan and was dressing up next Halloween like “Old Elvis” and his wife was going to dress up as “Young Elvis.” I gave him some costume advice and said “Ā-Dios” — mispronouncing it like Elvis did. The first class dining experience started off with nuts. Being a perpetual coach flyer, I expected all nuts, whether Almonds or peanuts to come in a little plastic/foil bag, but no, not in Know of someone stepping off the beaten path in the search for fun and excitement? E-mail us at July 2013 | The Good Life



“Elvis, Elvis! Here, let me help you with that...” first class. We were presented with a tray of white ceramic nut cups, which were warmed, not too hot, but just right. And inside the cups were warmed and lightly salted, probably with Mediterranean Sea Salt, almonds, cashews and peanuts. Very delicious. An empty wine glass had been set before us but I needed to have my wits about me for the drive home so I chose the Seagram’s Ginger Ale instead. The main course was a choice of shrimp salad or chicken in puffed pastry. I chose the chicken. It, too, was delicious. It was a great flight. I had fun playing the part of a high society sophisticate, even though I’m sure it was obvious I wasn’t. As I was walking to the shuttles in Sea Tac airport, I heard a voice behind me calling, “Elvis, Elvis! Here, let me help you with that flight bag.” It was the stewardess from our flight who then adjusted my bag to hook on the handle of my rolling suitcase. I thanked her for the help and was left wondering about the impact of a funky black wig and some cheap sunglasses. Maybe I’ll get to do it again someday. Nah, that was a once in a lifetime experience.   Dan McConnell, member of the National Cartoonists Society, draws the Then & Now cartoon for The Good Life and submits cartoons to the New Yorker magazine, gets rejected and re-submits those same cartoons to the Bizarro comic strip, Rhymes with Orange and Pardon My Planet, and also does local graphic arts and caricatures.

Tour de France racers, eat our dust

By Jim Russell

To my surprise our touring

bicycle team finished ahead of the racers who crossed the finish line in Paris the last day of the Tour de France in July 2012. That day is the most memorable of any biking day I’ve had. If a klutz like me can achieve that at the age of 71, any casual biker has a chance. We never expected to be on the racecourse the final day, always held on the streets of Paris on a Sunday. The Saturday before, I was riding with my wife, Karen and our 12-year-old granddaughter, Alena, on a bike tour of Versailles. Versailles is the grandiose royal estate of King Louis the XIV and Marie Antoinette where most tourists view a fraction of the gardens and other palaces. Instead of walking, we joined Fat Tire’s bike tour to roam the full spectacle before seeing the traditional locations. Our guide was a Brit who was ecstatic that Bradley Wiggins was the first rider from Great Britain who had an insurmountable lead and would officially become the overall winner of the world’s most prestigious event on Sunday. The overall winner has always been declared the winner at the end of Saturday’s stage and Sunday is the ceremonial ride into the finish line past the throngs of fans on several laps around the Champs Elysees and other Paris landmarks, although

Jim and Karen Russell and their granddaughter, Alena, are part of a biking team heading toward the Eiffel Tower after they finished an early morning ride on the final leg of the 2012 Tour de France, cycle racing’s most prestigious event.

sprinters compete on the final day. Fat Tire received approval to lead groups on the streets of the final race paths early Sunday morning before the racers arrived. Our guide surprised us by recruiting participants for Tour de France tour from the group that was touring Versailles. Karen and I were excited to ride the Tour de France route because we watch the annual three-week-long race every morning and evening each year when it’s broadcast. Alena’s father watches every day and their family often bikes together. The guide assured me our bike team had demonstrated the skills to safely follow him around the streets they raced on to the finishing line. We signed up in disbelief at the opportunity, but I said, “We’d better have champagne to celebrate at the finish.” In the early Sunday dawn we rode through Paris’ empty streets to reach the Arc de Triomphe at the head of the final stretch of the race looping


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around the Champs-Élysées. Pennants hung from streetlights and barriers lined the streets as our guide, draped in the Union Jack, shouted out the final instructions above the noise of vehicles detouring around us. We bumped over the empty cobblestone street. We passed platforms where video cameras would soon stream images around the world, but we focused on keeping our riding group together and safely finishing. Soon we reached the point where traffic for residents and vendors squeezed us to the side of the street and traffic lights stopped us. We never saw Tour de France racers ride under those hazardous conditions. We swung around the Concorde with its Obelisk and fountains to leave the traffic behind and rode the paved Quai de Tuileries between the Tuileries Gardens and Seine River. We picked up our pace until we passed through the tunnel to emerge at the Louvre, just as we’d seen racers surge into

| July 2013

the sunshine as they battled for position Our guide stopped to count riders. I fell over with my bike trying to swing my leg off the unfamiliar bike. We turned left to ride up the Rue de Rivoli past the Royal Palace back to the Concorde. We re-entered the Champs-Élysées to circle it a second time until we arrived back at the Arc de Triomphe. The final lap was a hoot. More people on the streets stopped to watch us. Vendors were clanging their displays into position. People shouted out encouragement. Others raised their arms to display their Tour de France t-shirts in the traditional salute of racers crossing the finish line. I was gripping my handlebars to make sure I didn’t spill on those cobblestones, amazed sprinters could control their bikes. We celebrated at the Arc de Triomphe with champagne pulled from the guide’s backpack. He thanked me for the idea.

Women’s Day at the Racing School By Phil Rasmussen

“This is NOT my idea of

what to do over here. But anything to get you to shut up about this.” For nine years I’ve been suggesting (nagging, actually) that my wife Lovelyn take the performance driving course at ProFormance Racing School in Kent. I had taken the course in 2004 and had returned several times since to drive my car on their track. Now we were on the track access road at 7:30 a.m. heading for the paddock. Since this was a “women only” event sponsored by one of the Bellevue auto dealers complete with luncheon and a certificate for a day at a spa, this should be a perfect opportunity to become one with her Mini Cooper S. She was not convinced — hence the quote at the top of the article. ProFormance Racing School is owned and operated by Don Kitch, a veteran race driver in sprint and endurance racing (think Daytona 24 hours and Le Mans.) If you read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, you might have seen his name and a reference to his school. It is an accredited race driver training facility, but also teaches ordinary folks how to better operate their cars under extreme conditions. As we entered the paddock, we were directed to our parking spot among some pretty expensive sets of German wheels. Lovelyn’s Mini stood out as the smallest and certainly least expensive vehicle there. Not exactly a confidence builder. Lovelyn noted this out loud

Lovelyn Rasmussen and her Mini: “Unleashing the beast?”

to one of the female instructors who pointed out that Mini’s have been known to lap the track as fast as some Porsches. That helped maybe a little. After the breakfast, welcomes and introductions, the program got underway with 90 minutes of classroom instruction on why cars act the way they do. Then it was on to the exercises. The first was a familiarization with ABS brakes (forget the skid prevention technique of pumping the brakes that we “more mature” drivers learned in driver’s ed.) This exercise involved four trials of the hardest possible braking to a full stop from 45 miles per hour, then four trials of the hardest possible braking to nearly a full stop followed by a slow rollout. At the break, I asked Lovelyn how it went: “It was hard to make myself do it at first — I was afraid I’d go through the windshield. When I realized the car would do it without any commotion, I was fine.” The second exercise was to develop distance vision when driving. This involved driving a slalom course through pylons with the emphasis on watching a signal flag in the distance. A flag wave by the coach July 2013 | The Good Life

meant the next pylon was to be skipped. The only way to complete the session successfully was to focus on the flag in the distance and monitor the pylon positions with peripheral vision. These are obviously not exercises that can be practiced on public roads. Again, I had to ask about the experience: “Wow… that is FUN!” I sensed her mood might be changing. Following the drills, the entire group was taken on a followthe-leader tour of the track at low speeds to familiarize the students with the track, to show them the turn-in points, exit points, braking zones and passing zones, all of which are marked with pylons and flags. After a lunch and a group photo, the ladies were ready. They were issued helmets equipped with intercoms and divided into pods of four to six cars with two coaches per pod with the coaches periodically rotating among the cars and drivers to give detailed instruction on how to properly deal with each aspect of the track. A coach was always in the lead car of each pod and set the pace for the others. This was the format for the balance of the



afternoon, with speeds gradually increasing with each track session as the drivers became more proficient. Lovelyn was fortunate to have Don Kitch himself for a coach on a couple of her sessions. “I hit 92 on the straight section when it was my car’s turn to lead! Don said I was doing really well but I’d better slow down a little so we didn’t lose the rest of the pod,” she said. By the end of the afternoon, these women — from 20-somethings to grandmothers — were driving at speeds just under 100 mph on the straights and taking corners at speeds that would make most passengers lose their lunch. All of them were wearing grins at the end of the day. Lovelyn says the experience was empowering. She was pumped, to say the least. “I have to come back to get my license so I can solo and go faster.” I sent a photo to our son and daughter of their race driver Mom. Our daughter texted back a warning that perhaps I’d “..unleashed the beast.” I was just relieved that the day went like I’d hoped it would. But the best part of all was the kiss and the “…thanks for making me do this!”

Journey from Moscow on the


Photos and story By Anne Goblet


he French brochure claimed: From Moscow and its colorful bulbs to Lake Baikal, the TransSiberian takes you in the footsteps of Genghis Khan, conqueror and founder of the Mongolian empire. After Mongolia, you follow the tea road of the old caravans to the gates of the Forbidden City in Beijing. This crossing a quarter of the globe, which extends over 7,900 km, traverses the most varied landscapes and cultures, from the high steppes of Central Asia, Lake Baikal, the Gobi Desert all the way to northern China. This certainly sounded like the trip of a lifetime when my mother called me one January morning, suggesting why not go for it? After quite a lot of research on the different possibilities to travel the Trans-Siberian I decided the best way for us would be to embark the Zarengold, as described in the brochure: “This private train is the most comfortable way to travel on the Trans-Siberian, but it is not a luxury journey.” Fast-forward the multiple emails, phone calls, anxiety attacks with visas not arriving, we landed in Moscow on May 4 to meet our traveler companions for the next two-and-a-half weeks. We were part of 20 persons called “the English speaking group,” which included Ameri-

Underground and above ground: Moscow subway, top, and Red Square, below.

Communism may be gone but Lenin still peers out from innumerable statues.


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Anne Goblet stands with her mother, Mireille Struye, who is giving the thumbs up from Lake Baikal, Siberia

can, Australian, Dutch, and Italian, Portuguese, Belgian, British and Peruvian citizens. A real melting pot compared to the other two groups, which were the “French group” — about 30 people — and the “German group” — the remaining 150 people. The Zarengold consists of 14 passengers’ cars, four restaurant cars and one staff car. The compartments in the train are divided in seven categories going from the Classic that sleeps four all the way to the Bolshoi Platinum. We chose a middle category called the Superior Plus, which gave us just a little more comfort than the Classic. Our car had eight compartments, two toilets, a shower and an extra room with two sinks. The compartments were pretty small (35.5 square feet) so it took us time to get used to sharing this minimal living space. Lots of getting organized: suitcases were under the beds and having no closets we had to crawl under the bed each time we needed something, taking turns getting dressed in the morning, making sure we didn’t

Lake Baikal was a partially-frozen wonderland.

The dining room for the English speaking group aboard the Zarengold was decorated in the style of the czars.

forget to sign up for our shower in the morning — we were allotted 15 minutes per person — not to mention trying to sleep on a very narrow bed with the train riding, bouncing, braking, whistling, stopping and crossing other trains. Our English group ate together in the same restaurant car every day. Good thing we were not too far from it, having only one other passenger car to cross to get there (some of our companions weren’t as lucky and counted 32 doors they had July 2013 | The Good Life

to open and close to get to the restaurant). We sat with different people at each meal, which gave us an opportunity to get to know each other and each other’s country. The restaurant car was decorated in the czars’ style, rich red velvet walls and carpet, wooden carved chairs, white linens. The meals were nicely presented. Eastern European food is definitely not on my personal top list but the food was healthy and fresh. As we travelled through



sia, we realized the modernization of the country did not hit everywhere. The villages looked frozen in time. Very small birch houses, dirt roads and unorganized trash disposal. Rather poor and a bit desolate. The cities on the other hand were booming. Modern buildings teasing old and beautiful churches, imposing statues of Vladimir Lenin in major central squares opposing delicate sculptures of ballet dancers. Austere monuments compliments of the communist regimes contrasted with magnificent colorful homes from the time of the Czars. From Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great all the way to Nicolas II, they all left a mark on the country with reforms and conquests and important architectural monuments still standing today. I was surprised to see the number of people old and young praying at the Romanov Death site, which is now the “Church upon the Blood” in Yekaterinburg. It made me wonder if they were longing for a return of the

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Spending the night in a yurt in the Mongolian countryside was certainly quieter than staying at a hotel in the capital.

Journey from Moscow to Beijing on the Zarengold }}} Continued from previous page Czars. No, said the guides, Russians just love their history and the people who were part of it. After 5,185 km, we arrived in Irkutsk where we got to spend one night in a hotel. We were very ready for a comfortable room, but it almost felt weird to sleep in a queen size bed and to take a shower without having to hold on tight to the rail. We caught back up with the train in a small town on the shore of Lake Baikal. One of the reasons I chose the Zarengold is that this train is allowed to ride on the ancient tracks running parallel to the shore. For miles and miles we were cruising in awe as the train drove at a very slow speed so we could enjoy the scenery. We were able to ride on the locomotive and they were playing classical music in the background. The evening was pure magic. At around 7 p.m., we stopped at a small village for a picnic. Some brave people decided to take a dip in the still quite frozen lake. I preferred sipping my vodka and listening to a local accordionist trying to get us all to sing some old classic Russian songs.

After sunset, the train continued in the night towards Mongolia — land of Genghis Khan who made it in the beginning of the 13th Century the vastest empire of all times spreading from the Pacific Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, from the Persian Gulf to the Baltic Sea. For some reason, I thought when we arrived in the capital of Ulaanbaatar it would be a cute little town with old houses, temples and statue of Genghis Khan. Was I wrong or what? Ulaanbaatar is a modern city under construction. Everywhere we looked skyscrapers were being built with huge cranes surrounded us. People were walking or riding motorbikes or cars along buzzing markets. Nothing had prepared this city for such a fast boom. Therefore traffic was a war zone — a total chaos. I’ve driven in Paris and Rome and I can tell you that Ulaanbaatar is 100 times more jammed. The good news is that my Mom and I opted for a night in a yurt in the Mongolian Alps instead of an international hotel downtown. So, a much smaller group of us headed for a two-hour bumpy and crazy drive out of


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Mongolian throat singers make music with a captivating sound.

the city. Arriving in our yurt camp we were welcomed by local people. The surroundings were majestic. The unique and beautiful rock formations have made this area a national park called Gorkhi Terelj. At night we were treated with a concert of throat singers. I had never heard or seen throat singers and I was totally seduced by the sound they were making — a noise really coming from deep inside their throat accompanied with an instrument that is a kind of a violin. Together they makes a beautiful song. Of course, it wouldn’t be Mongolia if we didn’t see the famous horses and the kids riding them like madmen. And then there was China. We crossed the Gobi desert to arrive to the Chinese border where we had to leave our beloved train and hop in a Chinese

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one to finish the last leg of our trip. I guess the reason is that the width between the rails changes between Mongolia and China. Arriving in China and trying a new kind of food was more than welcome. We ate our first Chinese lunch like we hadn’t had anything to eat for days. It was funny to watch. After 12 days in a train we finally arrived in Beijing where the historical sites impressed me more than I can write. The Forbidden City is 10 times larger than I thought. The details and the colors of the structures and the peaceful feeling in the Imperial Gardens gave me the feeling that I had gone back in time. Tiananmen Square brought back pictures of 1989 in my head but our tour guide wasn’t about to linger on those moments in the history of China. On the

Twenty million people living in this city explains the lack of space and air to breathe. At that time I was longing for a deep breath of fresh Wenatchee air... other hand, Chairman Mao was present in our guide’s rendition of nearly all aspects of the history of the country. We wandered the streets of the old quarters of Hutong, which gave us a more realistic feel of life in Beijing. Twenty million people living in this city explains the lack of space and air to breathe. At that time I was longing for a deep breath of fresh Wenatchee air in my lungs. Climbing the Great Wall is one of the 10 things I have on my bucket list. CHECKED. I did it. Some 1,700 steps to what they call Beacon Tower 13, a total of 3,400 steps round-trip. My legs were in severe pain the next two days but I felt I was on top of the world up there. Beautiful scenery. Our organized tour ended but my Mom and I decided that since we had made it this far, why not go take a look at the Terracotta Army in Xian? About 8,000 clay warriors and horses have been found on the site now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I had seen the army on TV but the feeling you get when you arrive, you simply cannot believe what your eyes are seeing. We were literally speechless. No wonder some people call it the Eighth Wonder of the World. We spent two more days in Beijing mainly shopping and walking around. My Mom flew back to her home in France and

The Xian terracotta Army stands silently at the ready.

I was glad I had a direct flight to Seattle. We were both very ready to come home. Still, the brochure was not

misleading … it was a trip of a lifetime. Anne Goblet is from Brussels Belgium and has lived in the U.S. for

almost 20 years, the last three in East Wenatchee. She has four grown daughters and enjoys tennis, photography and hiking.

On July 21, 2013 The affiliation between Central Washington Hospital and Wenatchee Valley Medical Center will be complete. We are pleased to introduce:

Our Mission: We are dedicated to improving our patients’ health by providing safe, high-quality care in a compassionate and cost-effective manner.

July 2013 | The Good Life




column moving up to the good life

june darling

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable Five-year-old “Jenny” (name

changed to protect my granddaughter) cannot eat. She is overwrought with distress. You might say she is having a meltdown. The source of all this upset? Jenny’s mother did not serve Jenny her noodles on her pink princess plate. How silly little kids can be, getting worked up over nothing. But wait a minute. “Tom” (named changed to protect my husband) is having a rough start to his morning because he was caught by a few red lights on his way to work. Red lights just tick him off! Then there’s you and me. Maybe our computer is a bit slow today, dang it! Or perhaps

we must sit by people we do not know at the theater (they have several tattoos and body piercings) — makes us nervous. Or we had a bit of a turbulent flight yesterday — too scary, we’ll never fly again! There is so much more that is bothering us. Perhaps our neck is getting a little wrinkled — no more pictures! Someone slightly alluded to the idea that our work could be improved — we must remember not to invite him to the wedding! We did not get a standing ovation at our workshop — we had better give up public speaking. The list of molehills that we make into mountains seems endless. Here are a few questions from the work of psychologist Dr. Marc Schoen, to help you decide if you are suffering from what I will call “The Pink Princess Plate Syndrome:” If you must wait in the grocery line, do you become agitated? Do you take things too personally? When you are hungry, do you feel that you must eat right away? Are you uneasy when deviating from your routine? Do you find yourself obsessing over trivial things? If something isn’t exactly as you expected, do you become quite angry? We are having meltdowns over a little discomfort, a miniscule irritation, a minor disappointment, or slight imperfection in ourselves or others. We make our small distresses into big deals. And it is hurting us. Our mind and body start to believe we are being seriously threatened by these small annoyances.


| The Good Life

Our survival fight or flight instincts repeatedly switch on. This is bad news for our bodies and immune systems, for our relationships, and for our ability to perform well. We do not like the uneasiness we feel. We try to avoid the discomfort in unhelpful ways. Some of us take sleeping pills because it is a little difficult to go to sleep. We have a drink or two because we are a bit tired, or a bit anxious, or a bit depressed. I doubt that my grandchildren know what a profound sensation of hunger or thirst actually feels like. Their Princess Ariel and Hello Kitty thermoses and backpacks are always loaded and handy. I doubt that I do either. As soon as I feel a slight little pang, I am reaching for something to alleviate it. What would happen if we simply learned to be more comfortable with a bit of discomfort — not always getting our pink princess plate? From past research it seems that if our children could become more comfortable with discomfort, they would have higher Scholastic Aptitude Test scores, higher educational attainment and better life outcomes. We would do better also. According to psychologists such as Dr. Schoen, if we could learn to accept not getting everything our way all the time, we would be better able to tap into and build up our natural resources. We would become hardier and better able to handle the truly big problems, and we would be healthier. Our brains and bodies would not be in a constant state of alarm. Our guts would not be

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wrenched. We could perform at higher levels, make better decisions under pressure, and be happier. Perhaps you see the necessity to change. My little “friend, Jenny” is working to escape from “The Pink Princess Plate Syndrome.” She calls me when she is able to challenge herself and eat from a regular, plain old white, blue, or green plate. She tells me that she is working on getting her brain out of a rut. She can do it, but it is not very easy, she says. If you are sweating the small stuff, acknowledge it. Realize the benefits of change. Then do as my little friend Jenny is doing. Try things and try “being with things” that are just slightly out of your comfort zone. The idea is to give your survival instinct a little poke, but not so much that it will go into a full state of alarm. Tell yourself that learning to tolerate a little discomfort is good for you. Experiment with eating your broccoli out of a blue bowl. Breathe. Relax and enjoy the scenery when you get stopped by a red light. Don’t expect it to be very easy. Remember a little adversity helps us become stronger. The adaptable not only survive, but thrive. How might you move up to The Good Life by learning to be comfortable with a little discomfort? June Darling, Ph.D. can be contacted at; website: www.summitgroupresources. com. Her book - 7 Giant Steps To The Good Life can be bought or read for free at: book-profile/giant-steps-to-the-goodlife/285095

This one is for you, Mom

Mom was never happy without a plane ticket in her hand. Now, (my dad and I) were starting this trip of a lifetime with broken hearts By Molly Steere


oing on safari in Africa had always been on my bucket list, but in that fuzzy, noncommittal, generic sort of way. I figured it would happen when I magically won the lottery without having ever bought a ticket. And then my world exploded – my mom died unexpectedly and I found myself packing my bags in February for a two-week trip to Kenya and Tanzania. Mom was the type who was never happy without a plane ticket in her hand. She loved a good adventure and, having visited 36 foreign countries, travel was her drug of choice. Last year

she booked a two-week safari through Kenya and Tanzania, inexplicably tacking Dubai onto either end of the trip. I had never witnessed her so excited for an upcoming travel adventure. Staggeringly, in the midst of the holiday bustle, my mom went into cardiac arrest in the middle of the night. My world stopped for a brief moment before completely tearing apart. She had been so full of life and healthy, yet she had an electrical glitch in her heart that stole her away from us. The Africa trip loomed and dad – understandably - didn’t want to go alone. We talked about it on and off, and he asked me if I would be willing to join him on the adventure. And so I found myself kissing my husband and three-year-old son goodbye for two weeks, and joining my dad on a 14-hour flight to Dubai to start this trip of a lifetime with broken hearts and hopes of distraction. Dubai was fascinating, with impressive architecture and feats of excess. After staying the July 2013 | The Good Life

Molly Steere and her father, Charlie Cooper, enjoy a champagne breakfast after a hot air balloon ride over the Masai Mara.

night, we only had a few morning hours for exploration before heading to Nairobi. To capitalize on our time we hired a driver to show us touristy mainstays: the world’s tallest building, an indoor ski area, a souk, and a three story tall aquarium. I was awed by the history and rise of Dubai as an international icon, but truth be told, I’m not much of a city person. Kenya and Tanzania proved far more soul-stirring than our brief encounter with Dubai. The remainder of the trip was steeped in elegance reminiscent of a bygone era. I’m typically a backpack and hostel traveler but we stayed in grand lodges and “glamped” (glamorous camping) in tents that housed hardwood floors, two queen beds, flushing toilets and gravity showers – I was out of my element. Initially, I was nervous that travelling to Africa would make me feel the loss of my mom even



stronger. I felt undeserving of taking my mom’s place, and guilty for leaving my son and husband behind. But throughout the trip I began to feel closer to mom, knowing how much it would have meant to her that I was taking the trip in her honor. Our travels wound us through inner-city Nairobi to visit animal sanctuaries, and through the Masai Mara via puddle jumper, safari vehicle and hot air balloon. We drove the dusty roads of Amboseli in the shadow of Kilimanjaro, and under the umbrella trees of Lake Manyara. We delved into the Ngorongoro crater and then on to the plains of the Serengeti to experience the Great Migration. It was an expansive and aggressive itinerary. Each day, my mind was blown on our game drives. At times, it felt staged as if we were in a zoo. Our very first game drive included elephants, cheetahs, hyenas, warthogs, baboons, topi (our guide taught us to recognize them by their unique color-

}}} Continued on next page

Giraffes, a favorite of Molly’s mom, were ever-present on the African horizon.

This one is for you, Mom }}} Continued from previous page ing that looked like “blue jeans and yellow socks”), cape buffalo, impalas, zebras, gazelles, hippos and a vast array of other animals. As the sun set, we watched a pride of regal lions feast on a wildebeest as scores of giraffes dotted the horizon between the acacia trees. It was stunning. Every moment was a glorious distraction that provided dad and me an escape from our grief. Throughout the trip we both kept expecting to have a ho-hum day – a day when we’d finally become immune to the majesty that surrounded us and harsh reality would sneak back in. That day never came. Mom was always in our thoughts – in fact, I couldn’t look at a giraffe without feeling as if she was right beside me because she absolutely adored them – but the sheer novelty of each day took the edge off of our pain. For hours we’d stand with our head sticking out of the top of the safari vehicle like gophers, grinning at all we encountered. One of the mornings, we left at 4 am to go on a hot air

A regal lion in the Masai Mara — with his own tuff of a crown.

balloon drive. Our guide was cramming a three-hour drive into two hours over wildly bumpy roads. At one point we screeched to a halt, having almost run into a hippo out foraging for food in the dark. Once in the air balloon, we floated silently over the Masai Mara watching the sun rise and the big game roam the plain. Adding to the superbly surreal experience, we were presented with a champagne breakfast upon landing. We had the opportunity to hike up to see two white rhinos, one of whom was pregnant. My breath was taken away when we turned the corner to see them standing there – two enormous


| The Good Life

ABOVE: Getting the side-eye from a Cape Buffalo in the Ngorongoro Crater. BELOW: Two Masai women carry their children.

prehistoric-looking creatures with gentle eyes, munching the grass. Their constant companion was an armed guard to deter poachers twenty-four hours a day. Yet we had the privilege

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of standing within feet of the beasts. I saw all of our adventures and mishaps through the filter of my mom’s eye. She would have laughed when I traded my run-

A pregnant white rhino had her own armed guard 24/7 to protect against poachers.

People on safari happily spend most of their days like gophers with heads sticking out of the safari jeep, taking in the awe-inspiring sights.

ning watch for a Masai spear, and furious at the monkey who outsmarted us and broke into our room, making off with the sugar and creamer. I don’t know how mom would have reacted to the large lioness that walked

right through our camp, and passed within thirty feet of us while we were sitting around the campfire. Awestruck like the rest of us, most likely. We visited a Masai village and were given a tour by one of the July 2013 | The Good Life

chief ’s many sons. They performed a ceremonial dance, invited us into one of their humble huts made out of dirt and dung, and of course they pedaled their wares. I came home with jewelry and dad bought a mask (mom had collected them from their many travels). Parts of the tour were orchestrated, but it was fascinating to see how these beautiful, brightly-clothed, nomadic people make a life in the bush. The teacher in mom would have loved to see the little village school house in use. In the Serengeti we witnessed the vast magnificence of the Great Migration. During the migration there are 1.5 million zebra and wildebeest in the area. From horizon to horizon they stretched, and watching them we witnessed the births and first steps of baby wildebeests as they joined the ancient promenade.



The lyrics from Circle of Life from the Lion King played in an endless loop in my head. Throughout the trip we were spoiled in so many ways – intimate encounters with big game, stunning scenery, wonderful company, delicious food, and a greater understanding of Africa as a whole. I absolutely wished mom could have experienced it for herself, but the best I could do was enjoy it for her, pay homage to her sense of adventure, soak in the experiences of Africa and treasure the memories. When we arrived home, my heart still ached from our loss, but it was also full from the experience. It was truly an honor to stand in for my mom. Molly Steere is a local writer and blogger who inherited her sense of adventure from her mom. You can contact her through

Music in the zócalo Here, a Sunday concert in the park is not quite the same as at home By Mary Schramm


he day seems steamy, despite it being only the third week in March. This is typical in southern Mexico, not far from the border of Guatemala. It is Palm Sunday — Semana Santa — the day when the Oaxacan National Band will play in the city square. I look forward to the music I assume will feature classical works appropriate for the beginning of Holy Week. The culture in Oaxaca may be different from mine but Holy Week is observed here even more than in other parts of the world. A crowd is milling around the zócalo, as the tree-shaded center of town is called. Hundreds of residents gather here to enjoy the Sunday afternoon concert. The ever-present portable shoeshine stalls, mimes and balloon vendors surrender their space and move to the south side of the zócalo. Customers linger over coffee in outdoor

restaurants that line the cobble stone walks. The scene, so different from my home in the North, is one reason I want to absorb the sights and sounds that Vendors sell their inflated high-flying balloons before the concert begins. pull me to Oaxaca each year. from the Cathedral. It is two hours before the perare dragged out of the back and The seats differ greatly from formance, but people in dresses stacked up, waiting to be disthose in the Kennedy Center, and suits are already gathering, tributed. but if one sits quietly, they supwaiting for a chair. Some carry The chipped, red paint of the port the average body. palms given to them at Sunday chairs makes me wonder how The musicians begin to arrive morning worship. many times, year after year, Children in patent leather they’ve been loaded and unload- carrying their instruments and a jacket they will wear during shoes hold on to the hands of ed for similar concerts. A worn the concert. Black pants, white their parents or chase stray tab on the back of each gives shirts and ties are required, but balloons that have floated out the phone number of the rental because of the heat most of the of reach. Many of the men look company. men wait until 12:29 to put on uncomfortable in their brown The small, tacky red chairs their coats. jackets and ties. are arranged into six sections Musicians with tubas, French A small, white truck parks on separated by narrow aisles. Conhorns, saxes and trombones the sidewalk of the zócalo where certgoers quickly claim them, huge Amate trees provide shade. and those who arrive much later arrange themselves to the right. The percussion section and two The driver jumps out of the either stand or find seats on the rows of clarinets gather to the cab and opens the back of the low, cement wall behind the left. In the middle, closest to the vehicle. Dozens of metal chairs chairs that separates the zócalo director, are flutes, piccolos and an oboe. The tiered back rows are reserved for the trumpets. The instrumental warm-ups take 20 minutes and the cacophony of sound assures us the musicians are alive and well. They visit with one another as they struggle into their jackets. As we wait, an assistant walks among the audience, handing out half sheets of paper that list the program. Someone armed with clothespins secures the director’s sheet music on a stand. A hush falls over the crowd as


| The Good Life

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... the attention of the audience wavers. Their eyes leave the musicians and follow a young woman who walks in and out of the aisles. an announcer, with a deep, sexy, resonant radio-voice steps up to the microphone. He speaks with energy, as if announcing a sports event. “On this beautiful Sunday we welcome you to Banda de Música del Estado de Oaxaca,” he intones. “Please welcome director Eliseo Martinez Garcia.” The applause is immediate and long as the director appears, bows and stands ready, baton in hand. Since the weekly concert is broadcast and often televised, it begins promptly on time with Bach’s Jesus Alegria de los Hombres, (Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desiring). This opening choice seems fitting for Palm Sunday and I am delighted to be in the audience. The band is quite good and most of the instruments blend well. The exception to this is the occasional disconnect between the director’s baton and the cadence of the drums. (Perhaps it was because one of the drummers seemed to be reading a book.)

The next piece is Vincent Youmans’ Te Para Dos (Tea for Two), followed by The Stars and Stripes Forever. So much for the Holy Week theme. The audience cheers and applauds as the band members stand and bow after each number. During a four-part opus by Bizet, the attention of the audience wavers. Their eyes leave the musicians and follow a young woman who walks in and out of the aisles. She is perhaps 14 or 15, dressed in typical Zapotec clothing. On her right hip she carries a wooden structure that displays chicklets, lollipops and some candy bars. On the other hip, wrapped in a colorful purple and red cloth, she carries her baby. The child becomes restless so the mother bares her left breast and begins to nurse the infant. Without any affect, not even a hint of a smile on her face, she saunters back and forth between

July 2013 | The Good Life

the musicians and the audience. Her breast is available to the child at all times. Frequently the baby seems to devour her nipple and at other times ignores it. The mother continues to saunter in and around the audience. Whether by chance or pre-planning, the band plays Caballeria Ligera, which has a section that reminded me of the theme from the Lone Ranger. The incongruity of this scene made me realize again why one can’t help but love Oaxaca. My upbringing and the many rules that govern my middleclass life don’t always fit into the loose-leaf notebook of other cultures but that’s the beauty of loose-leaf notebooks. It’s easy to add new experiences. Mary Rieke Schramm and her husband, John, moved to Central Washington in their retirement 18 years ago. Mary managed Jubilee, a fair trade store in Leavenworth until 2011. She enjoys writing and being close to three of their four children and their families.



Harmonica man Play a sad song, play a glad song, play music on that old ‘tin sandwich’ that will evoke a smile or a wistful memory By Mitch Michkiosky


hen I was young, my sister and I would visit my grandparents’ farm in Olympia where my grandfather spent a lot of time in his shop in an outbuilding. As my steps would draw me closer to my grandfather’s shop, my ears became like a bat’s radar as I began to hear that sweet, soulful sound of his harmonica echoing through the air. I just loved the soothing tone that seemed to float out of his harmonica. Years later when Ed Sullivan introduced four lads from Liverpool called the Beatles, I knew then I wanted to play an instrument — drums — just like Ringo. Somehow I talked my parents into buying a drum set but after a few years of toting drums around from point A to point B and playing in several bands, I said goodbye to the drums. Then, one day in junior high we had a school assembly with a guest artist who was a harmonica player. He played mainly classical musical, which I had no interest in because it was the Beatles, Dave Clark 5 and Stones for me. Then he played a selection called Moon River and there was something magical about that performance because I can still hear it today. A few years later came Woodstock. This three-day non-stop music festival was heavily covered by the media, which allowed me to experience it even though I was not there. This is when I first heard the harmonica played through an amplifier and PA system. I was suddenly mesmerized by the sound. I purchased the album recording of Woodstock and listened to it over and over. The bluesy soulful sound I heard from it caused me to purchase other artists’ albums such as


What better place for a photo of harmonic playing Mitch Michkiosky than by a lonesome train caboose at Riverfront Park?

...there was something magical about that performance because I can still hear it today. Paul Butterfield Blues Band, James Cotton, Little Walter and Charlie Musslewhite. I bought my first harmonica and decided to teach myself to play, but was soon frustrated because I just couldn’t get that tone and sound I was hearing. The local music stores were no help because no one taught or played harmonica. And this is way before we had the Internet that has an instant answer to everything. | The Good Life

A friend recommended someone to me who he said had been playing a while and I arranged a meeting with him. As I searched for his place I began to wonder if anyone really lived out here in this remote area of the wilderness on this primitive road I was driving on. As soon as he opened his rickety front door on his rustic old log structure I sensed instantly this was a man who wanted to be left alone yet he was cordial and welcoming to me. I could tell after just a few minutes that he had quite a passion and love for the harmonica. He demonstrated how to bend notes to get that bluesy tone I was after. After a few hours with him I thanked him

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Some people refer to the harmonica as a toy or campfire instrument but it’s much, much more. To me it’s the most expressive instrument there is. and said goodbye and I never saw him again. With that I was off to the harmonica races. By bending notes I am referring to a technique where you lower your tongue and jaw while drawing in air. In doing this it lowers the pitch of that note by half step — for example an A becomes A flat and so forth —which opens a whole new world of options for the player. Then one day I realized that almost every household in America has had a harmonica at one time or another. Yet, once you take out that shiny pretty instrument and learn a simple song like Mary Had a Little Lamb by following numbered directions, then what? Where do you go from there to further your knowledge of the harmonica? It usually ends up on a shelf collecting dust or lost. That realization has led me to a lifetime of teaching the art of playing harp — while meeting some pretty interesting people. For example, one day the phone rang and it was a fragile female voice asking me if I taught 80 year olds? She was a petite Catholic nun who wanted to take a series of lessons. She was very serious to learn as she came from a musical family and as a youngster she and her family had gathered around the piano as her dad played harmonica. She was a

very dedicated teachable student. Another of my students who is now in his teens has been with me for many years. I joke with him that he will be soon teaching me as he has become an advanced player and is now playing with other musicians and performances. All that’s required to be a harp player is breathing. Check yourself now, are you breathing? Then you qualify as a harp player. Some people refer to the harmonica as a toy or campfire instrument but it’s much, much more. To me it’s the most expressive instrument there is. If you’ve had a bad day at work and you’re feeling blue you can grab the harp and play some blues. If you’ve had a good day and feeling great you can grab the harp and play some upbeat songs or train rhythms, or just start jamming. There’s no genre of music that’s not welcoming to the harmonica: From gospel, campfire, blues, jazz, bluegrass, classical, hip hop and the rest. An interesting fact about the Beatles is that if you listen to their first three or four albums you’ll hear harmonica on almost every other song. John Lennon in the early days was an active harmonica player. Probably the best-known early song was Love Me Do with the harmonica intro and solo. Harmonicas have a health

July 2013 | The Good Life

benefit, too. Some pulmonary departments of medical clinics are hiring harmonica teachers to work with patients because of the benefits of this type of breathing. Plus playing a harmonica is much more enjoyable than some of the standard breathing therapy. And then there’s the price and portability — especially compared to my first drum set. Over the years, I’ve played blues jams in smoky (and now smoke-free) clubs, worship music at church, during the set changes of an Apple Blossom production like Of Mice and Men — which was a great idea instead of silence between sets — and recently with my daughter Katie at her piano recital. Most recently I have entertained shoppers at Wenatchee’s new Pybus Market. My favorite time of performing has to be when I play for the residents of the nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Dressed in my trademark



black beret, my hands conceal my harmonica as I put it to my mouth and start filling the room with sweet soulful songs of yesteryear. Toes tap, tears flow and some voices will start to sing out. The familiar hymns take them back to memories of years past of gathering with their own families and the sound of the harmonica brings a smile to their soul. For me it is a privilege to bring a song to their hearts through my music. Whether playing to young or old nothing compares to seeing their eyes light up, a smile come to their face, and their ears turn to hear the amazing music that comes out of this little tin sandwich, just like I did when my grandfather played in his shop all those years ago. “Harpin’” Mitch Michkiosky can be reached at 860-9674 or contact Avalon Music for info on lessons or questions about the harmonica.

The family that bought a mission ‘We’re not rich. We’re not the kind of people who just wake up and buy property in a foreign country.” but still... By Shawn Wilkerson


ave you ever heard of anyone buying a mission in a foreign country? That’s exactly what my wife and I have done, and here is our story. Three years ago, my wife, Shellie, and I went to Belize with a Leavenworth church group to build a preschool. While there, our friend Wendy Barnes — who is from Wenatchee but who has been in Belize for five years working on adopting a little boy, Aden — introduced us to a missionary couple who were living there. They had been in Belize since 1985 and had started a ministry called Project Sonrise. They had a preschool in one building as well as hosting a small, makeshift medical facility where locals could get examined and treated for various ailments. The couple told us they wished to retire back to the States and wanted to sell their property. My wife asked all kinds of questions and after walking the property was grinning ear to ear and announced, “We have to buy this place.” Now, usually, my wife lets me go on mission trips alone, with the attitude of, “Go, have fun, be safe, see you when you get back.” But this trip was something special, as our whole family went to Belize to do a family mission trip and Shellie was excited

about it. I should add that we’re not rich. We’re not the kind of people who just wake up and buy property in a foreign country. Especially without funds or a plan. But, we refinanced our home in Leavenworth and bought the two-acre piece of property with the mission that had a couple of open buildings and two small cabanas in addition to the little building they had used for their medical clinic. The housing facilities were similar to what we were paying to stay in on our mission trip. We knew if nothing else we could build some big dorm rooms, throw in some bunk beds and maybe use it as a short-term mission team housing facility. In addition, with Wendy’s guidance and volunteering, we turned the medical clinic into a Tutor Center for local kids to come get help. Wendy also started a preschool activity time for moms to bring their kids to hear Bible stories, do some arts and crafts and learn their ABC’s and 1-2-3’s. The teams coming from the States serve in a variety of ways — from helping at the Tutor Center and doing vacation Bible schools to sports ministry, community service projects and all types of evangelism. They also come to experience the culture and beauty of Belize by visiting Mayan ruins or the tranquil


| The Good Life

ABOVE: A Papaya tree grows in front the hammock hut, one of the open air buildings at the mission. LEFT: Shawn Wilkerson, son Austin and wife Shellie at the mission.

islands. We call it voluntourism. Along with the facility came Omar, who is our maintenance manager/tour guide/do-everything guy. From the first day we mentioned to Omar what we wanted to do with this piece of property he has been involved, as have his wife and kids. Upon our purchasing the place my mother, Mona Wilkerson, decided she should probably escape the winter blahs of Leavenworth and go help with the ministry. She helped with the remodel and has remained in Belize picking up teams from the airport, cooking them meals, cleaning up after them. She helps with local families and does so much

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work for local ministries as well. While we are not yet full time missionaries, we return to Belize as often as the finances and vacation time allow. Earlier this year, my wife and I went down with a group from Grace Covenant Church in Wenatchee where we attend. The Grace Covenant volunteers worked in the hot sun until after noon each day constructing a new school building for the local school that desperately needed it. Then in the afternoons they put on a vacation bible school at the local park for kids in the area. On one Saturday, they put on a Special Olympics Day for special needs kids in the local schools with soccer and basketball games as well as track events where each participant got to cross the finish line and be a winner. In the afternoon that day we went to Xunantunich, an ancient Mayan ruin. We explored the ruins, climbed to the top overlooking Guatemala, and then finished the day off with dinner and swimming in the

Not only do we get the joy of helping others and doing something good but we mix in the fun of a typical vacation. river at Clarissa Falls. Another recent trip was this past February. We had visiting Christian musicians meet us in Belize to do concerts in

the parks in local villages. Long nights setting up stages and watching the bands perform were followed by tearing down their sets and getting to bed late so that we could get up early and make time to go zip lining and cave-tubing in the jungle. We also had a fun day of taking 30 kids from a local orphanage to the Belize Zoo. There, a rescued jaguar by the name of Junior allows tourists to climb in the cage and feed him chicken legs — which he responds to by performing tricks and occasionally licking the face of the brave feeder.

We also took a day trip out to our favorite little island getaway, Caye Caulker. There are no cars on the island, just electric golf carts. Flip flops are standard attire. Options abound from diving and snorkeling to just putting your toes in the water and sipping something cold with a little umbrella in it. We chose snorkeling with the sea rays and nurse sharks. It’s quite intimidating being in the water with them swimming so close you can touch them. We love this experience of voluntourism.

Not only do we get the joy of helping others and doing something good but we mix in the fun of a typical vacation. And it’s a great way to see the country and really soak up the culture. Not just the touristy parts that most people only see but the real life, tug-at-yourheart side of the culture.

Shawn Wilkerson works for the East Wenatchee Water District. His wife, Shellie, is a postal contractor, delivering mail to Plain and the Lake Wenatchee area. They can be contacted at To learn more about Project Sonrise, visit

Wine Dinner Series Join us on the new Salmon Gallery Terrace for an evening that will delight the senses! Savor a four course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Dusty Cope complemented by four great wines.

Sunday, July 21, 6 pm Martin Scott Winery Visit for more information Call 509-548-6344 or 1-800-574-2123 for reservations today.


Japanese Restaurant • Hibachi & Sushi


HOURS Mon. - Friday 11:00 am - 2:30 pm Mon. - Thurs. 4:30pm - 9:30pm Friday: 4:30 pm - 10:30 pm Saturday: 4:30pm - 10:30pm Sunday: 12:00pm - 9:30 pm 509-663-6666 • 1210 N Wenatchee Ave July 2013 | The Good Life



Photo by KABja Concepts


Submit pet & owner pictures to:


totypical poodle out of it. Part of the reality of raising the puppy these past few months has been our constant comment on “Guess what Joey did today that Duffy used to do?” Or “Look — look at that! Just like Duffy.” But the differences are clear, too. Duffy swam early (like a dolphin, until he took lessons from a Lab) but Joey’s reluctant to go into the river past what I’ll delicately call his bikini line. Duffy was fascinated by TV and watched it from the couch with us; Joey’s totally uninterested in the medium and would rather chew on a horse toenail (better taste overall?).

A new dog same as the old dog: ‘look at that! Just like Duffy’

 (Susan Lagsdin told in the March issue of the death of Duffy — the dog she and Mike had owned for 14 years — the grieving time, and then the search for a new puppy, the almost giving up and then finding the right pup. This is her update on life with a new dog.)  

By Susan Lagsdin


K, we wanted another male Standard Poodle, and yeah, we really liked the pale creamy apricot color, but when we chose this new pup we really, truly didn’t presume to replicate Duffy, his expressions and posture, his energy and grace. It seems, however, that we did. As Joey grew from fuzzy bread-loaf size into his teenage form we realized they bore an uncanny resemblance to one another. The first haircut

At almost six months old, Joey is knee- high and still growing. He seems to relish photo ops, or at least the attention that accompanies them.

helped; our groomer was able to take what looked like a chubby,


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snub-nosed cinnamon bear and, Michelangelo-like, carve a pro-

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At 14 years old Duffy still pulled on the leash; at 10 weeks Joey miraculously learned to “heel” and now trots happily along my left side on a loose line. Duffy as a young pup would furtively steal things and devour them, from dollar bills to hand cream tubes; Joey quickly yields whatever he’s grabbed with just a stern look from us and the single word, “Drop.” Duffy was silent almost always, and used a staccato tap dance for “Outside, soon please.” But Joey signals us with a crisp bark when the neighbors come and go, when he’s delighted at walk-time or mealtime, and

when he wants to go out. And it means NOW. At six months of age, Joey has graduated from a little harness and short nylon lead to Duffy’s designer collar and long leather leash. And most of his “babies” (aka chew toys) of which he possesses a dozen — undoubtedly making him the richest dog in the neighborhood — once belonged to Duffy. What’s a dog to do when he not only looks like his predecessor, but finds in this humancentric household that Mike and I are both his leaders, and we make a lot of decisions for him? He’s already keyed in to

our movements and moods and knows three commands well, and three more when he’s inclined. And of course he’s learned pidgin English like “’sgo-upt’bed-now” and “gofor-rideinnacar?” But Joey is still his very own quirky guy, with his own doggie agenda and whole new set of traits for us to appreciate. He plays well by himself, amused by his own wanderings and found objects. He snores a little, loves to be groomed, leaps tall logs in a single bound but respects the flimsiest barrier. His exposure to other people

and other dogs has led him to believe, for a few blissful months, that he’s adored by both species. Last week at the side of the Loop Trail I was testing Joey on keeping a “stay” position. An approaching bicycler saw us and remarked, on whizzing past, “That’s a darned good dog.” If he lives a healthy life, Joey could be with us until our old age — so we’re pleased that we chose him well and have treated him right in this sometimes frenetic but always rewarding first half year. Indeed, he’s a darned good dog.


Your favorite pet photos Pet Pix is a new feature of The Good Life. Readers can submit a favorite photo of themselves with their pets... and share what makes their pet special.

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Do you have a business that caters to pets and their owners? Then you should use the PET PIX page to target your advertising to thousands of pet owners in North Central Washington! Call today for rates and availability! Lianne Taylor • 669-6556 • Donna Cassidy • 888-6527 •

888-6527 • • July 2013 | The Good Life



UP from the ashes Chelan remodel is not only an award winner, but is the first new downtown residential construction in 70 years Only a shell is left of the Market Building after debris was cleared away following the 2011 fire.

Story by Susan Lagsdin New photos by Donna Cassidy


iterally rising up out of the ashes after a devastating fire in March 2011, the brick-fronted Market Building, situated on the prime east end of Chelan’s busy Woodin Avenue, is deceptively low key with a twist of last century elegance. It’s much more than just an ordinary rebuild. In May, the Market Building won the 2013

Washington State Main Street Program’s “Excellence On Main” award as a project that enhances quality of life, fosters a healthy, vibrant and diverse community and encourages economic development. Two local couples co-own the restored Market Place building: Barb and Jon Wadkins, and Larry Hibbard and his wife Mary Murphy. Larry, the architect, has remodeled several nearby structures, and his close


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collaborator Barb is instrumental in the shape and look of the place. They had already put two years of time and effort into revitalizing the already muchremodeled structure, starting with its purchase in 2005, and at the time of the blaze had three retail tenants. The fire, of unknown origin, was contained but devastating. Their reaction? Start over! It was a team effort. Their

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spouses, they agree, continue to be crucial in the whole enterprise. Larry said, “It’s our project, but we need someone to keep us in check.” Barb smiled, “Yeah — they get to say occasionally ‘what were you thinking?’” For years, both Larry and Barb have committed by word, deed and civic affiliation to revitalizing Chelan’s downtown core. Most recently, their efforts have been buoyed by Chelan’s design

The Market Building in about 2005. Cedar shakes hide the brick facade.

A fire in March 2011 burned out the insides of the remodeled building.

ABOVE: In about 1925, JC Penney purchased two adjoining buildings and created a downtown store. RIGHT: Two businesses now occupy the ground floor and an industrial-style loft living area is going in the upper floor.

review plan that encourages second floor residences downtown. Two popular businesses, Marcela’s and Willow (respectively a restaurant and a home décor shop) again front the street side

level. And, with official encouragement and a lot of legwork, the top of the Market Building is soon going to be somebody’s home sweet home. Subtly grafted on to the back

July 2013 | The Good Life

and top of the double-tenant retail space, the apartment awaits completion. By next spring — Christmas this year if things go smoothly — a distinctive twolevel home, 1,900 square feet in



all, will be ready for occupants who will assume the honor of living in downtown Chelan’s first new residential construction in 70 years.

}}} Continued on next page

UP from the ashes }}} Continued from previous page Someone is going to bike from the grocery store or stroll back from a concert at the pavilion, unlock the discreet alley-access door and go up a short flight of stairs to the main floor. Maybe that person — a couple? — will putter around in the kitchen facing onto the big living/dining room, where north windows let in gentle light. Maybe check email in the tucked-away office area. They might take the second staircase to a sitting area, where French doors open on to the rooftop and 360 degree views of Chelan’s hillsides and the downtown core. Their snug deck provides privacy along with a sense being on top of the world. The airy second-floor bedroom spaces have big windows and separate baths. High above the bustle of sidewalk and street, on the lake end, is the master suite, and adjoining it a room for TV, office, studio or guests shares the south facing, street front location. The main street location and the strong old bones of the structure, even much revised

Larry Hibbard, talking with the writer Susan Lagsdin, says the bedroom ceilings could have gone up much higher, but he felt it was important to keep them proportional, in human scale.

over the years, have determined the urban chic design. “What we’re aiming for is an industrial loft, with a kind of above-the store-feel,” Larry said. “This could definitely be a model for adding more living space downtown.”

The design and decor details of the apartment, at this point just framed in by Blodgett Construction, are totally open to creative speculation, with scores of delicious decisions yet to be made. Tenants can expect well-cho-

NCW Home Professionals


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| July 2013

sen fixtures, flooring, window treatments, cabinetry, doors and appliances that befit the unique structure and are a credit to the architect’s other downtown restoration projects (like the log church, St. Andrews; the Ruby Theater; Chelan Sports and Riverfront Shops). Here’s what Larry and Barb can promise now. Flooring will be wood, the walls a mix of time-battered cement and clean new sheetrock. Double-hung windows are wood wrapped and screened, opening to lake breezes. Creature comforts are available in 2.5 bathrooms. SIP (structural insulated panels) and ductless HVAC are new tech features; soundproofing, insulation and safety systems, rigorously attended to, are beyond code. The hardest part is done. The recent building process was a relative breeze compared to the tedious journey this whole structure has taken through

Project partners Barb Wadkins and Larry Hibbard, pleased with the current state of their building, sit on the staircase leading to the sunny second floor bedrooms and the rooftop deck

remodels, dormancy, a morass of paperwork, long waits and court orders, and of course the monumental snag that would stop most rebuilders in their tracks, changed the whole game plan and meant a million dollar remodel. Here’s a quick history of the building: n 1918: a mechanic shop and a market were built side by side as two separate structures. n 1925(or so): JC Penny bought and conjoined them as a full department store with a mezzanine. n 1968 (or so): JC Penney sold the building. The start of its eclectic years, with multiple remodels. n 2000 The building was vacated and sat dormant and boarded up, mired in litigation. n 2005 Wadkins and Hibbard/ Murphy make offer, negotiate, remodel and seek tenants. n 2007 The Market Building opens with three ground floor

businesses. n 2011 (March) Building is destroyed by fire. n 2012 (April) The reconfigured and remodeled Market Building opens to two previous tenants. n 2013 (May) Final approval

received for the upstairs residential structure. There was definitely impact on the street during the two years of deconstruction and reconstruction after the fire, but Larry and Barb think clear communication with the city and the Historic Downtown Association, as well the patience of local business owners, smoothed the process. Through it all, the retail tenants stayed optimistic. Larry said, “We were so glad that Marcela’s and Willow stuck with us — we asked, ‘What changes can we make for you?’ and they really like the way it turned out.” It’s a point of pride that the Market Building doesn’t shout “historic renovation” to passersby. Though materials are brand new, it evokes the past people recognize in well-maintained early 20th Century storefronts, with its low profile brick facade, high ceilings, recessed entry, tile front and copper clad windows. Larry is proud of the assumption that the building is not new, but still old. He said, “It’s fun to ask people to try and find the four original items we were able to salvage.” Larry is pleased that the top floor apartment — though it’s gained statewide attention and is a groundbreaking innovation for Chelan — is almost invisible

Though materials are brand new, it evokes the past people recognize in wellmaintained early 20th Century storefronts from the street. And he’s pleased that the team of friends chose to persevere with their building after a fire that could have meant, with less support and commitment, an unused and gaping space on Chelan’s busy main street.

Extra copies Fre For sh ide the as ho me






September 2011

Cover price: $3


overcoming sadness with action plus GoLd FEVER!

Hastings, Caffe Mela, Martin’s Market Place, A Book for All Seasons, Wenatchee Food Pavilion, Walgreens & Mike’s Meats

NCW Home Professionals

July 2013 | The Good Life





jim brown, m.d.

A stopover in surprising Iceland I wanted to visit this land because my forefathers, the Vikings, first settled it in 874 A.D.


y wife and I planned a trip to Croatia, a place we had never visited. We decided to take Iceland Air, which was at that time a partner of Alaska Airlines so we could get Alaska mileage credit for our flights. As long as we had to stop and change planes in Reykjavik, Iceland, we decided to stay a couple of days to experience this remote island country. After a six-and-a-half hour flight, our airplane landed in the Keflavik Airport about 30 miles from Reykjavik. Riding the bus to Reykjavik, we were amazed at how barren everything was with no trees and lots of lava. The only vegetation was moss and lichen. Pillars of steam rose from rocky lava in many places. I wanted to visit this land because my forefathers, the Vikings, first settled it in 874 A.D. I am very proud of my Norwegian roots from my mother’s side. My mother’s parents grew up in the Harstad, Norway, region above the Arctic Circle. As teenagers, they immigrated to the United States in 1908. They hadn’t known each other until they met in Brooklyn, N.Y. I found their entrance records on the Staten Island website. Several years ago my oldest son, Steve, was going to Norway on business and invited me to join him to visit our roots in northern Norway. We met

and geothermal, which provide inexpensive hot water, heating and electricity. This might change as the Iceland National Energy Authority has issued its first licenses for oil exploration in Icelandic waters starting January 2014. There is local The Blue Lagoon, fed by bubbling hot springs in a lava field, is a refreshing stop after a long trip. concern about the potential environmental impact of such several of our distant relatives. It an endeavor. was a great experience that reinIn 1928 Iceland was one of the forced my affinity for Norway. first countries to recognize the Iceland is now a Nordic Eupotential of geothermal energy, ropean island country the size and they use it for domestic of Virginia with only 325,000 heating. Prior to 1928, burninhabitants. It was under control ing coal was their main energy of Norway and then Denmark wisely invested these funds in source, the result of which was from 1262-1918, when it became modernizing their fishing fleet, very polluted air quality. Since independent. building new fish processing, the switch to geothermal, the air Icelandic culture is still based cement and fertilizer plants alissue went away. on their Nordic heritage, and lowing Iceland to prosper. Ninety-six per cent of the most islanders are descendents Even though they suffered a homes are connected to geotherof Norse and Gaelic settlers. banking collapse in 2008, they mal heated hot water. Most IceUntil the 20th Century it was have recovered and are now one landers feel they have the “right” one of the poorest countries in of the wealthiest, best educated, to have hot tubs, and it seems the world, however, that was to and most developed countries in like every small village has a change after WWII. the world. large, outdoor public geothermal Iceland remained a neutral Health care and education heated swimming pool. nation during the war and over through graduate school is Iceland has no standing 40,000 British and American “free,” or at least covered by the military. The U.S. Air Force troops were stationed there, maintains four to six interceptor eliminating Iceland’s unemploy- government. All schools are required to teach a course on aircraft there, and Canada also ment. Christianity. has a contingent of fighter airAfter WWII, Iceland received Eighty per cent of Iceland’s craft there as well. Currently the more Marshal Plan dollars per Global Peace index lists Iceland capita than any European coun- power now comes from renewable sources, both hydroelectric as the most peaceful country in try. The Iceland government

Most Icelanders feel they have the “right” to have hot tubs...


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We hiked for a couple of miles through basalt canyons, waterfalls and streams. As we were finishing our walk it started to rain, and a beautiful rainbow ended a perfect day. the world. We had two full days in Iceland before we headed for Croatia. There are several tour companies, but we chose FlyBus, which was a good choice. We landed at about 7 a.m. from Seattle, and our first stop was the famous Blue Lagoon, fed by bubbling hot springs in a lava field. It is a must visit attraction. The water temperature is always about 85 to 100 degrees F while the air temperature when were there was in the mid 40s. After an overnight flight, soaking in this geothermal spa was a wonderful way to recover from any jet lag. FlyBus stops there every hour, so you can stay as long as you like before heading to your hotel in Reykjavik. We stayed at the Hotel Reykjavik Centrum, located in the heart of the old city center of what is a very modern city of 165,000 people. The hotel had been refurbished with modern touches and was very nice. The next day FlyBus picked us up at 9 a.m. for an all-day adventure. We had signed up for the popular Golden Circle tour, Iceland’s number one tourist attraction. This is a 200-mile circular tour by bus with several stops at many of Iceland’s most famous landmarks. Our first stop was at Gullfoss with its 105-foot double cascading waterfalls — Europe’s larg-

Europe’s largest waterfall is at Gullfoss, with its double cascading falls. The falls is surrounded by barren landscape and lots of lava.

A geyser erupts every few minutes in an area of geothermal pools.

est. We were told that the water flow volume over this waterfall is second only to that over our Niagara Falls. Below the falls the water has cut a deep canyon in the otherwise fairly flat and featureless landscape. It was a magical July 2013 | The Good Life

place. From there we went to Geysir. Our English word geyser comes from Iceland. When Geysir does perform, it does so only about twice a year shooting water 200 feet skyward. A more reliable nearby geyser, Strokkur, spouts its water jet about 100 feet into the air every five minutes. The area is filled with walking paths through the various geothermal pools. Our final destination was the UNESCO listed Pingvellir National Park, where as early as 930 AD, chieftains in Iceland gathered once a year in a natural amphitheatre for what is referred to as the world’s first parliament. Here the landscape shows the geologic history of Iceland. We hiked for a couple of miles through basalt canyons, waterfalls and streams. As we were finishing our walk it started to rain, and a beautiful rainbow ended a perfect day. The main foods in Iceland are fish, lamb and dairy products. Fresh fruits and vegetables are not readily available. We did, however, stop to see an amazing greenhouse farm operation.



Throughout southern Iceland horticulture farming in thermally heated greenhouses is thriving. We visited the largest tomato farm in Iceland or maybe the world. In their 15,000 plus square foot greenhouse, they are growing tomatoes year round and providing fresh tomatoes daily for markets in Reykjavik. An Icelandic flag on every tomato identifies these as locally grown. On our last night in Iceland we had the best fish dinners in our memory. I had salted cod and Lynn had salmon. Both dinners were cooked to perfection by the Fish Market Restaurant, which had been reviewed as combining the best of Tokyo, New York and Paris. We heartily agree with that assessment. The next morning FlyBus took us to the airport for our flight to Amsterdam where we would board Croatia Airlines to fly to Split, Croatia. Our adventure continues. 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.



bonnie orr

Potatoes: Fun to dig, a joy to eat P

eople grow potatoes because they are just plain fun. After apples, potatoes are Washington’s main agricultural crop, according to the Washington State Potato Commission, so they are readily available for purchase. However, home potato planters love digging them all year around. Most of them tell me that it is the pleasure of a treasure hunt to pull a fresh spud from the soil, to be amazed at its size and architecture. In July we relish these earthly orbs either from the garden or from the farmer’s market. Often they are a variety of red potato, but any potato can be picked young. It is not the size that determines its succulence but the fact that you can use your thumb to rub the skin from this sweet tuber. Waxy spuds such as yellow Finn, purple, fingerlings or Red Norlands are better for summer recipes than more mealy or fluffy potatoes, so try many types. These knobs can be eaten for any meal or snack. Potatoes are nutritious. Early taters are sweeter and more flavorful than stored potatoes. Don’t peel new potatoes; the skins are tender and healthy for you. When you steam or boil the small potatoes don’t cut them into pieces first since that can make them soggy. Steam the potatoes for 10 minutes or until they can be pierced easily with a knife. Then let them cool and continue making the recipes. The exception to this is when you are feeling lusty and greedy. Just steam those ruby-red bits and immediately pour them in a bowl and slather them with butter and a bit of salt and pepper.

salads as there are cooks making potato salad. This recipe inspired by my friend Christine Schuler is for a hot potato salad. It calls for 1/2 cup of olive oil; this sounds excessively fatty until you consider that mayonnaise has a similar fat and calorie content as olive oil. (Don’t you generally add a minimum of a 1/2 cup of mayonnaise to a potato salad?) The oil becomes the sauce for this salad. 1-1/2 pounds small new potatoes steamed 8 tablespoons olive oil 6 pieces of bacon cooked crisp and drained well and crumbled New potatoes, crumbled bacon, a bit of garlic, a couple of shallots, some onion, mus1 garlic clove chopped finely tard, olive oil and herbs makes a very nice hot potato salad. 2 shallots finely chopped 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard Chop the white part of the leeks Sour cream would be considered 2 tablespoons lemon juice into little rounds. gilding the lily since the cream 1/2 cup chopped parsley Chop the spinach finely or cut the is too heavy for the delicate 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces. new-potato taste. leaves Add the chopped veggies and simCold potato soup is a July 1 teaspoon smoky paprika mer for 4 minutes. treat. The secret is to make it 2 tablespoons chopped green Cut the potatoes into spoon-sized fat-free so there is no gummy, onions chunks. oil sticking to the roof of your Salt/ White Pepper Turn off the stock. Add the pota-


toes, lemon, mint and hot sauce and salt and pepper. Let the soup sit for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Mint Cool Summer Soup Serves 4 20 minutes to cook; 1 hour to chill 10 new potatoes steamed 2 leeks 5 cups fresh spinach or ten spears of fresh asparagus 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock 1/2 teaspoon fresh mint 1 dash hot sauce 2 tablespoons lemon juice salt/ pepper Bring the stock to a boil.


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Then you have two choices: n You can puree the soup to make a vichyssoise and then chill it. OR, n You can cool the soup in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. I prefer the soup with the vegetables recognizable.

Christine’s Potatoes Serves 4; 35 minutes There are as many types of potato

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Heat the oil. Slice the potatoes in small chunks and cook in the oil over medium low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring every once in a while as the potatoes absorb the oil and get slightly mushy. Using a very small amount of the bacon fat in a separate pan, cook the garlic and onion until lightly browned. When the potatoes are cooked, add all the other ingredients, and stir well. To let the tastes blend, cover the pan and let steam over low heat for eight minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with chopped green onions. Bonnie Orr — the dirt diva — cooks and gardens in East Wenatchee.

Following where THE VOICE has led “Sometimes I’ll have adult

students who’ve always been told they can’t sing,” says vocal guru Leslie McEwen. “And then, when their voices open up for that first time, they’ll actually cry. It’s such a release!” She knows intimately the power of full voice released, and her own eyes misted a bit describing the scene. Leslie has coached (and cajoled, counseled, comforted, placated and prodded) over a thousand singers since she moved to Wenatchee 16 years ago, and several have gone on to major in vocal music or to sing professionally. Some she has gently deflected off that career path. “Bless them,” she says, “Some people should sing; some people should buy tickets.” The vocalists who go on and up, she says, are the ones who not only have the physical instrument but work incredibly hard to perfect it. Granted, it also helps to have won competitions, know some people, and be in the right place

Leslie McEwen poses for a moment at her piano, then tells a story about advice she once received: “My mentor was this sweet woman from Georgia who in this little drawl said, ‘It takes three things to succeed in music — voice, voice and MORE VOICE!’”

at the right time. But Leslie hates to see true talent wasted. About the gift of an excellent voice, she insists, “If you have potential, go for it. If you DO have it, you just don’t give up!” Teaching is a logical and satisfying extension, and definitely not the finale, of a career that has brought Leslie into opera houses and concert venues around the world. Her father, an Air Force colonel, sang opera and exposed her to it as a child (“I was hooked early on by Verdi’s Aida,” she said) and she followed his lead to Xavier College in New Orleans. From there, mingled in with some laughably dissimilar day jobs — for which she’s grateful, not scornful — it was all opera, all the time, even after she left her home in Washington D.C., pioneering by Greyhound all the way to Seattle seeking a new life in music. Her long résumé includes the Peter Shalyapin Opera Festival in Kazan Russia, Einstein on The Beach with Phillip Glass at July 2013 | The Good Life

the Brooklyn Academy, teaching at the American Samoa Community College, performing Dvorak and Beethoven at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. Then came the fateful 1995 Bach Feste in Chelan, where Wilfred and Kathy Woods met her and soon helped lure her to Wenatchee. Very soon after her impulsive move to a town she’d never seen before, far from the bright lights of the big city, Leslie found herself as immersed in music as ever. One by one, students trickled into the studio, first at Woods House, now at the Church of the Nazarene, and the word spread that this woman is good. Her love of this area was defined by the immediate response to a 2009 stroke that disabled her right side. Her brother had flown from back east to bring Leslie home, puzzled at her refusal to return with him. But, after seeing the hundreds of cards and phone calls, baskets of produce on the step and offers of home care and housework,



he understood, admitting, “You have to stay here.” She also found that despite its conservative ambiance, Wenatchee presented no particular problems for an African American. “Of course,” she laughed, “I was teaching people’s children to sing opera!” She soon developed and became executive director of three opera-rich music programs: The Julian Patrick Vocal Camp for Gifted High School Singers, The Confluence Vocal Octet and The Wenatchee Valley One Act Wonder Opera Company. The latter has attracted audiences with short works, and she considers it a gentle start into her future dream of a full-scale opera company, with local singers staging worldwide favorites (with projected “supertitles” in English). Leslie has been good for Wenatchee and Wenatchee has been good to Leslie — and she is confident that it will continue to warm to her favorite art form. — by Susan Lagsdin



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

Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market, every Saturday & Wednesday through 10/26, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Locally grown and raised fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods, preserves, produce, flowers, crafts and jewelry, home and garden items. Fresh and wholesome right from the farmer. Pybus Market. Cost: free. Chelan evening farmers market, every Thursday, 4 – 7 p.m. Over 20 vendors selling produce, hummus, goat cheese, flowers and wool. Emerson Street between Riverwalk Park and Riverwalk Inn. Info: Village Art in the Park, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through 10/20 + Thursdays during July and August. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Outdoor art in Park downtown Leavenworth. Cost: free. Info: Bubbles & Heels, every first Friday of the month. What could be better than sipping bubbly, chatting with new and old friends and wearing

your favorite shoes? One Wines, Inc. 526 E Woodin Ave, Chelan. Cost: $10 per glass. Info: Cashmere Art and Activity Center, needle art every second Tuesday, 1 p.m. Pinochle every fourth Tuesday, 1 p.m. Hat Group every Thursday, 1:30 – 3 p.m., knitters, crocheters and loom artist welcome. On 7/13, 5-8 p.m. featured artists will be Carol Brewer and Ruth Reisler. Spotlighted artists are Katie and Dave Clark. Refreshments and music by Kirk Lewellen provided. Info: 782-2415. NCW Blues Jam, every second and fourth Monday, 7:30 – 11 p.m. Clearwater Steakhouse, East Wenatchee. Info: Summer Stage, 7/1-5, 9 a.m. Grades 3 – 5. This class is intended for youth who may be considering future participation in school production. Includes the opportunity to experience the technical aspects of theater. Performing Arts Center. Cost: $180. Info: Improv/Acting Workshop, 7/2, 7 p.m. Every Tuesday night with theater games for novice and experienced players. Fun, casual and free. Riverside Playhouse. Cost: free. Info: Kinderfest, 7/4, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Face painting, popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy, balloons, games and live entertainment. Downtown Leavenworth. Cost: free. Info: 548-5807. Independence Day Celebration, 7/4, 1 p.m. Visit the food and craft vendors, live music and entertainment at 4 p.m. until the fireworks at approximately 10:15 p.m. Walla Walla Point Park. Cost: free. Book Signing, 7/4, 1-3 p.m. Bonny Becker author of The Sniffles For


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Bear will be on hand at a Book For All Seasons. Book Signing, 7/5, 7 p.m. Luis Alberto Urrea author of Into the Beautiful North will be at Snowy Owl Theater. Sound of Music, 7/5, 6, 12, 13, 18, 19, 23, 25, 26. And 8/2, 7, 10, 13, 17, 22, 24, 27, 29, 31 and 9/1; 8 p.m. The sun falls behind the ridge, the moon rises over the valley and Maria descends the hillside singing The Hills are Alive. Ski Hill Amphitheater, Leavenworth. Cost: $30, $25 and $14. Info: Wenatchee First Fridays, 7/5, 5 – 8 p.m. Walk downtown for art, music, dining and entertainment. Downtown Wenatchee.

beer and wine garden, antiques, furniture and junk. Lone Pine Fruit and Espresso in Orondo. Info: Nutcracker Day, 7/6, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. A contest to create a unique way to crack a hazelnut — a simple task done in a complex or artistic way. Open to amateurs with four age divisions. Leavenworth Festhalle. Cost: $5 adults, $1 ages 6-17, 5 and under free. Info: 548-4573 or Public Roller Skating, 7/6, daily 1-3 p.m. Friday & Saturday 6:45– 8:45 p.m. Themed nights: 7/6-Patriotic, 7/12-Aloha, 7/13-Roller Derby, 7/20-costume, 7/12-superhero. Cost: $5 & $2 skate rental. Town Toyota Center. Info:

Two Rivers Art Gallery, 7/5, 5 – 8 p.m. Featured artist will be Jerrold Kinney. He is a native of the Wenatchee Valley and has exhibited his works in galleries and juried art shows in the Northwest. Over 40 local and regional artists show their work here. Local wines by Jones of Washington, complimentary refreshments and live music by the Rose Trio. 102 N Columbia, Wenatchee. Cost: free. Info:

Chamber Music Festival, 7/7, 8 p.m. Opening Gala. 7/12 & 13, 8 p.m. In the Shadow of Tchaikovsky, 7/19 & 20, 8 p.m. The many faces of Brahms. 7/26 & 27, 8 p.m. The Best of Europe, Mozart, Bruch, Beethoven, Schumann, Poulenc and Dvorak. Info:

Tumbleweed Bead Co., 7/5, 5 - 8 p.m. Showcasing wildlife enthusiast and painter, Lindsay Breidenthal. See her encounters with animals, storms and wildfire on canvas. Also Jenny Couch will be showcasing her concrete leaf yard artwork. Refreshments served. Cost: free. Info:

Summer Stage, 7/8-12, 9 a.m. Grades 6-8. Class intended for young teens that want a more intense theater experience. Includes opportunities for those who are serious about pursuing theater and want to put their skills to the test. Performing Arts Center. Cost: $250. Info:

Summer Concert Series, 7/5, 7 – 9 p.m. Live music every Friday night in Centennial Park. Bring a picnic blanket. Cost: free.

Alzheimer’s Café, 7/9, 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Mountain Meadows Senior Living Campus hosts a cafe the second Tuesday of every month. This is a casual setting for folks with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, their loved ones and caregivers. Des-

97 Flea Market, 7/6, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. & 7/7, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Live music on stage all day, food vendors,

| July 2013

Rockin’ Fireworks, 7/6, approx. 10 p.m. Fireworks will be discharged from a barge on the lower basin of Lake Chelan. Cost: free.




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serts and beverages will be served free of charge. Entertainment and activities for those wishing to participate. Join us to meet new friends and share experiences. Located at 320 Park Avenue, Leavenworth. Info: 548-4076. Book Signing, 7/11, 7 p.m. Susan Wiggs author of The Apple Orchard will be at the Wenatchee Public Library. LAKE CHELAN BACH FEST, 7/11 - 20. Week-long festival of live classical music throughout Chelan and Manson. Free winery string quartet concerts, children’s programs, Jazz night, jam session, Pops in the Park, festival orchestra and chorus and more. Tickets and schedule info at: Waterville Days, 7/12-13. Friday night 5 p.m. spaghetti feed by the Douglas County volunteer firefighters. Movie in the park at dusk. Saturday: live music, entertainment, food and craft vendors, quilt show, antique classic car show, games for kids and horseshoes — all in the shade of Pioneer Park, Waterville. Info: Keith Soderstrom 745-9555 or index.html Presentation, 7/12, 7 p.m. Susan Wiggs author of The Apple Orchard and Kevin O’Brien author of Unspeakable will be at the Leavenworth Public Library. And 7/13, 1 p.m. at A Book For All Seasons. Poker Run, 7/13, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Boats meet at Mill Bay Boat launch, then travel to five stops on Lake Chelan via your boat. Collect a card at each stop. Boat with the best poker hand wins. Lunch in Lucerne. Dinner and awards at Lake Chelan Boating Clubhouse. Costume contest. This year’s theme Mardi Gras. After party at My Buddy’s Place, 10 p.m. Cost: $20 poker hand, $200 boat registration. Info: Ohme Wine and Food Gala, 7/13, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Enjoy the views while savoring tastes of wine from 12 Wenatchee Wine Country wineries, paired with food from 12 of the top chefs in North Central Washington, using locally farmed food. Live music. Ohme Gardens. Cost: $60. Info:

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the night sky this month

Bright planets adorn both evening and morning skies

By Peter Lind


f you read this column last month you’ll remember that Jupiter, Venus and Mercury were bright in the western twilight sky all month long. With solar system mechanics again at work, in the span of about 12 hours Jupiter will move from an evening object to being visible in the early morning sky. Jupiter rises earlier in the morning each day and will pass within 1 degree, or about the width of your little finger, of Mars on July 22. The pair will be visible together through any small telescope at low power, which will accentuate their different appearance. Jupiter’s yellowish disk spans 33 minutes while reddish Mars appears just 4 minutes across, very small by any standard. Mercury joins the morning group of planets the last week of July. You’ll need binoculars to see it on the 25th but by the end of the month it will shine brightly about 45 minutes before sunrise. Venus continues on its orbit around the sun and is 90 percent illuminated, looking almost full on the first and close to 80 percent by the end of the month, much more crescent looking. It will also visibly grow over the same period. Through any telescope, watching the planet over the course of the month, you can easily watch the change happen. The slim crescent moon will rendezvous with Venus on July 10. The two are about 7 degrees apart, about the width of a small closed fist with the moon to the planet’s lower left. On the 12th, Venus crosses into Leo. The planet then heads July 2013 | The Good Life

toward first-magnitude Regulus, the Lion’s brightest star. On the evening of the 21st, the two lie just 1.2° from each other — it will seem like they are going to touch. Distant Pluto reaches opposition on the first of July and is visible all month long. Again opposition is where a planet is opposite the sun from our viewpoint, which makes it high in the sky at midnight. You will need a good 8-inch reflector telescope or bigger and very dark skies to see Pluto (some say Pluto is not really a planet but I am still a believer). If you find Pluto, Neptune should be close by and show as a small bright blue disk. Uranus comes up over the horizon around midnight and climbs high in the sky by dawn. If you decide to view the morning planets, on July 30, the peak of the Southern Delta Aquarid meteors will be happening. This minor shower has many faint meteors, created when dust specks burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, but occasional bright streaks from bigger particles will streak across the night sky. The moon, one day past last



quarter, rises around midnight and will drown out some of the many “shooting stars.” You may also see an early Perseids meteor from the major shower that starts in mid-July and peaks the next month. Delta Aquarid meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Aquarius, while Perseids emanate from Perseus. It was 44 years ago this month that a milestone in human history occurred. Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon. This was one of the most amazing feats that man has ever accomplished, and anyone who is old enough to remember will never forget where they were when the landing occurred. We have given holidays to many things and I believe it’s time to have a national moon holiday in honor of this most incredible thing that America ever did. Star charts of everything that was mentioned here are easy to find on the Internet by searching “star map.” Peter Lind is a local amateur astronomer. He can be reached at ppjl@



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

}}} Continued from previous page Roller Derby Skate-A-Thon & Bout, 7/13, noon – 1:30 p.m. family session, 1:30 – 3 p.m. experienced session. Bout starts at 5 p.m. and public skate after the bout. Town Toyota Center. Info: Bavarian Battle, 7/15. 5k-obstacle run. Battle through mud, foam, cargo nets, log jams, ramps, culverts, slippery slides, apple bins and more while you navigate the Leavenworth Ski Hill trails. Info: Compassionate Friends, 7/15, 7 p.m. This is a grief support group to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age, and to provide information to help others be supportive. Grace Lutheran Church. Info: Carol 665-9987. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 7/17, 20, 24, 27 and 8/1, 3, 6, 9, 14, 16, 20, 23, 30. 8 p.m. A playful return to ancient Egypt where Joseph escapes the evil plans of his brothers and a series of misfortunes emerge. Under the stars at Hatchery Park Stage, Leavenworth. Cost: $30, $25 and $14. Info: Summer Ale Fest, 7/19, 2 p.m. Live music by Kansas at 8 p.m. Town Toyota Center. Cost: $15 or $20 at the door. Info: towntoyotacenter. com. Chelan Man Multisport weekend, 7/20-21. There is something for every level of athletic ability. The weekend includes a first timer triathlon, a sprint, Olympic, and

half-iron triathlons and 10K and half marathon runs. Even have a Splash-n-Dash so the whole family can participate. Info: chelanman. com. Foothills Hiking challenge, 7/21, 9 a.m. Five trail sections on Jacobson Preserve. Park at the WRAC, trail begins along Skyline Dr. Sign up with Kelsey Schuttie 6679708 or Baxter Black, 7/26, 7 p.m. Dave Stamey and Baxter Black present an evening of cowboy poetry and music – mostly agriculture-related and humorous, sometimes poignant and touching and sometimes patriotic. Snowy Owl Theater, Leavenworth. Cost: $25, $20 senior, $30 at the door. Info: Footloose, 7/31, 8/8, 15, 21, 28; 8 p.m. and 8/3, 10, 17, 24 at 2 p.m. High octane dancing and unforgettable ’80’s tunes. Find your voice, kick up your heels, everybody cut footloose. Cost: $14, $25, $30. Downtown Leavenworth Festhalle. Info: 548-2000 or Lake Chelan Rodeo, 8/2-3. Performances 7:30 p.m. each night. Food vendor and beer garden open at 5 p.m. Chelan Rodeo Grounds, 71 Union Valley Rd. Cost: $10 adults, $6 students, seniors and kids under $6. Family pass $30. Info: The Rocky Horror Show, 8/1-17, 9 p.m. Performing Arts Center. Info: Book Signing, 8/2, 1 p.m. James Hunt author of Restless Fires will be at A Book For All Seasons. And at 7 p.m. at the Wenatchee River Institute. Crab Feed, 8/3, 6 p.m. Featuring hypnotist Joe Black. Town Toyota Center. Cost: $45. Call 888-7331 for reserved seating.


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Then & Now cartoons are seen daily on Dancin’ in the Streets, 8/3, 6-8 p.m. Wenatchee Avenue between First and Palouse Streets. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 8/7-10. The Short Shakespeareans, a children’s acting troupe founded by Sherry Chastain Schreck, celebrates its 35th year of performing live Shakespeare at the Riverside Playhouse. Evening performances are at 7 p.m. A matinee perfor-

| July 2013

mance is slated for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 10. Tickets are $8 for children under 13, $10 for seniors, $12 for adults and may be purchased beginning July 15 at Pak-It-Rite. Info: NCW WINE AWARDS, 8/10. Town Toyota Center. Info:

The Art Life


“... send me everything it takes to make pottery!”

Terry Johnson ‘I guess I just like making something out of nothing’ “One day in Kindergarten

class they hung a big sheet of white paper up in front of me and I remember being amazed — they were going to let me do anything I wanted on it!” With the same enthusiasm, Terry Johnson, Wenatchee sign painter, portraitist and potter has being making art ever since. The dimensions of his hangersized studio, “Terry Signs,” are as big as his ambitions, the calculated clutter as varied as his directions. Terry is pleased with the shop’s longevity in the community — in the same location on North Wenatchee Avenue since 1978 — and with its flexibility as he retools his own creativity. Not one to analyze his own work in academic jargon, he’ll quip about it, dismiss it, exhibit it proudly, store it for years, sell it reasonably, hoard it, peddle it. Measured in hours per week at the job, he may be one of the hardest-working visual artists in the area, and he’s been at it, in some form, for six decades. The south wall of the studio is a tribute to his early years and an artifact in its own right. Terry was contracted to replenish artwork on 650 billboards statewide, and the massive cement wall is still outfitted with an electric lift for painting 20-foot tall plywood advertisements. A pastiche of old dried paint

Terry Johnson finishes a painting of a SeaFair pirate — one of many, many projects he has around his gallery/sign shop. “I’ve been coming here for 14,000 days without a break,” he said. “For me, it’s not work.”

in concentric overlapping rectangles indicates the edges of hundreds of designs. That part of his art career ended with new technology and preprinted lightweight panels. Likewise, computerized graphics and instant printing has cut into his smaller sign painting, too. But he has clients who value his handwork. “Just count ’em — there are 22 places in this town you can get a sign made. But,” he said, “it’s still fun trying to do a better job than anybody else.” He’s been doing that since he was 10, selling signs out of his mom’s basement in Renton. Later, an encouraging art teacher set him up with ad commissions. College was neither a goal nor an option. He traveled to the poles and to Samoa and New Zealand in an icebreaker for the Coast Guard, and then worked July 2013 | The Good Life

on the Port Townsend police force, doing odd job art and detailing motorcycles and trucks all the while. When his folks moved to Wenatchee (dad Ray Johnson helped open Mission Ridge), Terry soon followed. By 1972 he realized he had the skills to make a living with his commercial painting, first as an employee, and then out on his own. He said candidly, “It’s a good indication when people pay you money for your art that you’re doing the right thing.” But gradually he shifted over to non-commercial paintings, joined galleries, and experimented with styles. Terry can easily turn from designing a three-inch by five-inch newspaper advertisement to depicting a solo mallard on a pond, or creating a commissioned portrait (like one in progress featuring a Seattle Seafair pirate



in full regalia). But the biggest change came when he was 60, when he turned to his latest fascination, pottery. “I love all artistic materials,” he said. “I guess I just like making something out of nothing.” His initiation into that art form was sudden. “I just told ’em (some happy art supply house) — send me everything it takes to make pottery!” Nine years later he has a body of work and a growing reputation. All around the room are fanciful animal motif urns as well as smaller vases with unique glazes, some destined for local galleries, all depicted on his website ( terrysigns.html). However, Terry, who refers to himself a Neanderthal artist, chuckled at the term “website.” He vigorously eschews online cyber sales. “It’s a phony — my friends with computers thought I should have one so they set it up.” (“Don’t go there,” he admonished, “There isn’t even a phone number.”) Walk-in, hands-on art is his specialty. And his shop is a magnet for folks with problems or projects. Terry’s always got an open door, multiple kilns, lots of easel space, and a few cool ones in the fridge. No organized classes, no artists’ consortium, just a few friends at a time making art together. He recalled one recent morning. “Some lady came in the other day and wanted a sign. While I was working on it, she actually made two pots. Said she’s never done that before.” — by Susan Lagsdin


column those were the days

rod molzahn

Coming for gold, getting rich from cattle W

ashington Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens’ determination to open the Columbia Plateau to white settlement was, in the opinion of whites and Indians alike, the driving force behind the Indian wars of 1855 – 1858. When the plateau tribes were finally defeated and forced to surrender, however, it was gold and cattle that first brought white men to the Columbia Valley, not settlement. The miners came first. Gold was discovered on Peshastin Creek during the Indian wars, possibly as early as 1856 but certainly by 1858 when Mortimer Robertson found traces of it in two locations along the creek. An Indian guide, Alex, told him there was much more, higher up the creek. Robertson did not pursue the find but continued on with his party of men bound for richer claims along the Frazer River in British Columbia. He was attacked by Indians after crossing the Wenatchee River and forced to turn back. By 1860, men returning from the Canadian digs were stopping to work the gravel along Peshastin Creek, Ingalls Creek and

Samuel C. Miller, Sr.: Known for his honest dealing at the trading post. Photo from Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center

another small tributary of Peshastin Creek that soon took the name “Negro Creek” (actually the more unpleasant version of that name) for Antoine Etienne or “Black Antoine,” an ex-slave from Louisiana who famously recovered $1,100 in one season from the creek. By 1860 North Central Washington had its first settlers, John Utz and Hiram “Okanogan” Smith.


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Both men had been part of the rush to the Frazer and both soon claimed land along the eastern shore of Lake Osoyoos. It was years before Hiram Smith knew if he lived in Canada or the United States. Turned out he was an American, but only by a little bit. The Canadian mines didn’t make many miners rich but they made fortunes for some Washington and Oregon cattlemen. The miners had to eat and men like John Jeffries, Major F.M. Thorp and Ben Snipes were ready to feed them. Large herds became commonplace along the Columbia on their 800 mile drive up the Cariboo Trail to the mines. The severe winter of 1861-62 killed over half the cattle on the Klickitat and Yakima ranges but the herds were soon rebuilt and the drives continued until growing Canadian herds closed the market. In 1861, 16-year-old Andrew Jackson “Jack” Splawn hired on to herd cattle on Major Thorpe’s drives. Splawn left a detailed account of happenings along the Columbia. Placer miners, both white and Chinese, were working along the river from Priest Rapids to Canada. The miners needed sup-

| July 2013

plies and small trading posts sprang up to meet the needs of miners and Indians. There were no settlers yet. By 1864 a man named Comstock was operating a trading post in a tent at Rock Island. A mile upriver a Chinese merchant had a store to serve the nearly 100 Chinese miners working a long gravel bar they had purchased from departing white miners. In 1865 Jack Ingraham bought out Comstock’s Rock Island business. By 1868 he had taken on a partner, John McBride, and by the next year they had moved the trading post to the south west side of the Wenatchee/Columbia confluence. Splawn described them as “border ruffians,” and “Two scoundrels who, for pure cussedness could not be excelled.” Splawn also recalled massive forest fires in 1868 that filled the air with smoke so thick that the lead cattle on a drive could not be seen two hundred yards ahead. He also recalled that two Germans, John Galler and Fred Ludi, settled in the Kittitas Valley in 1868. Galler later claimed they were the first white men to settle there. The next year “Dutch” John Galler became the first white settler in the Wenatchee Valley when he squatted on land along the Columbia near Malaga. The valley got its second permanent settler in 1871, 13 years after the end of the wars. Philip Miller bought 640 acres below Saddlerock in the area of Millerdale Street. It’s unclear who he bought it from – maybe from a young couple named Perkins or perhaps from trading

New arrivals to the Wenatchee Valley in the 1880s and ’90s were all taken up to the Miller farm where they tasted the brandy ... post owner John McBride. Whoever it was, they had partially constructed an irrigation ditch from Squilchuck Creek to the property. With Indian labor,

Miller completed the ditch and went on to develop his land into the showplace of the valley. He grew alfalfa, oats, wheat, corn, beef and pork, cabbage, onions and potatoes as well as apples and peaches. Phillip Miller’s peach brandy was a valley favorite and its fame spread across the Cascades to Seattle. New arrivals to the Wenatchee Valley in the 1880s and ’90s were all taken up to the Miller farm where they tasted the brandy and saw the promise of irrigation. In 1872 the valley got its second Miller (no relation to Phillip).

Sam Miller, along with his partners David and Franklin Freer, took over the trading post from Ingraham and McBride who, Splawn says, were facing arrest for selling liquor to the local Indians. Their case was thrown out the first time when Ingraham bribed the prosecuting attorney in Yakima. They were tried again a year later in Walla Walla, convicted and sentenced to a year in prison. The Freer brothers both died in the next several years leaving Sam Miller with the trading post and the care of the Freer’s halfblood children whose Indian

mothers had also died young. Sam not only ran the all-important trading post, he gained a reputation for helping everyone and for his honest dealing. He became the fledgling town’s first postmaster and the town’s first namesake. When the Postal Department asked the town’s name, Sam answered Millersburg. Historian, actor and teacher Rod Molzahn can be reached at 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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Pybus makes tasting Jones wines easier Pybus Market has opened

with fanfare and music. I was particularly fond of the Mariachi players and dancers, all of whom seemed to be enjoying themselves. But I was happiest at seeing the Jones of Washington tasting room facility. I’ve been to the Quincy tasting room, but not for quite some time; driving to Quincy to taste wines is just a tad too expensive these days considering the price of gas. The new Pybus location means I’ll be able to sample the new releases from the winery without having to pile up mileage on my car. Those of you who don’t know the Jones wines should make an

extra effort to amend this. Victor Palencia, the winemaker at Jones of Washington, has done some wonderful things with the juice of grapes, and he’s only getting started. Jones may possibly be the local winery record holder for having received more gold and silver awards in competition than any other of our local wineries, but I’m guessing here and actually haven’t counted. I’ve been a fan of the Jones wines since day one, when I was introduced to them at a fund raising event for the Wenatchee Valley College Foundation. Jack Jones and his daughter Megan represented the winery at the event and poured some terrific 2001 wines. Today, in 2013, the tradition of


| The Good Life

quality wines is continuing. Jones of Washington is a terrific agriculture success story. Jack Syrah to the five Jones planted the first varieties of white grapes in 1997, and wines: Chardonnay, today, the company has Pinot Gris, Riesling, three vineyards: Sauvignon Blanc and n Jones Vineyards Viognier. n Lewis & Clark Latest news on Vineyards the award-winning n Two Gun VineSauvignon Blanc, yards though, is that the Most of the fruit winery is already from the harvest of sold out of that one, the three vineyards is so you’ll have to wait under contract to other for the next vintage wineries, but Jones of to sample it. Washington winery The Pybus tasting also retains fruits from room is more than selected harvests for a place to sample their own wines. the Jones of WashThe vineyards are ington wines — it’s planted in a wide array also a kind of wine of grapes, including bar where you can not only the traditional The new Pybus Market sit and sip a glass of wine from awardvarieties of Bordeaux, wine while waiting winning Jones of Burgundy and the Washington winery. for others with you Rhone valley, but also to wander through some Tuscan Sangiothe other shops. vese and Spanish Garnacha, aka I’m a Jack’s Reserve Cabernet Grenache in France and the rest Sauvignon fan myself, but — of the world. it’s summer, finally; the sun is So it’s no surprise that Jones out and with luck there will be of Washington has a varied a breeze wafting through the list from which to choose your main corridor of the market. You favorite wine. may just find me there sitting When last I checked, Jones outside the Jones of Washington had eight red wines on its list tasting room sipping a chilled of available products, two being Pinot Gris or an Estate Riesling. Cabernet Sauvignon: Jack’s ReOn the other hand, accordserve Cabernet Sauvignon and ing to the Facebook page, Jones the Jones of Washington Estate of Washington has unveiled a Cabernet Sauvignon. Others innew Pybus Market label and a clude Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah, red blended wine… maybe I will Malbec, Cabernet Franc and taste that before I buy a glass. Petite Sirah — certainly enough Alex Saliby is a wine lover who of a selection to please even the spends far too much time reading choosiest of shoppers. about the grapes, the process of makVictor is also adept at creating wine and the wines themselves. ing both Rosé and white wines, He can be contacted at alex39@msn. from his award-winning Rose of com.

| July 2013

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Good Life July 2013  

Elvis flies first class • Crossing the Tour de France finish line • Asking your wife to take a driving lesson • Journey from Moscow to Beiji...

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