People sharing their passions Keeping Quileute traditions alive Making music, making connections On with the show: An acting life Coppersmith delights in passing along craft
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Departments Outdoor Recreation 5 | Explore these winter hikes on the North Olympic Peninsula Food & Spirits 7 | Pork cutlets recipe from Sequim’s 7th Avenue Steakhouse
Now & Then 37 | A look back at Aldrich’s Market in Port Townsend and Bekkevar Farm in Blyn The Living End 38 | Passionate living
Arts & Entertainment 9 | Dance the night away with the Black Diamond Contra dancers
In Focus People sharing their passions
12 | Just add Ruby The Forks Athletic and Aquatic center is a place to exercise, volunteer and hold a party 14 | Transformative clay Clay reflects Megan Smith’s passion for creativity 20 | A beautiful metal Coppersmith guides students in realizing their own art
Vol. 10, Number 4 • Living on the Peninsula is a quarterly publication.
22 | Is there an actress in the house? Sharon DelaBarre is at the ready to lend a hand when it comes to theater or artistic productions
147 W. Washington St., Sequim WA 98382 © 2014 Sequim Gazette John Brewer, Publisher
24 | A passion for marine life Feiro Marine Life Center docents are ready to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for sea critters
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26 | Making music and connections Aaron Vallat devotes his evenings and weekends to teaching music
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28 | You put your right foot in . .. Long time tree farmer finds relaxation — and love — in dancing 32 | A tradition of teaching culture Quileute teacher continues family tradition of cultural education 4 LOP Winter 2014
On our cover: Megan Smith hands glide at her potter’s wheel. Photo by Viviann Kuehl
226 Adams St. Port Townsend, WA 360-385-2900 Fred Obee: email@example.com © 2014 Port Townsend Leader
Feel like you’re atop the world at Hurricane Ridge.
The view from the Spruce Railroad Trail reveals snow-dusted peaks of the Olympic Mountains.
Winter hiking on the North Olympic Peninsula Story and photos by Michael Dashiell
o you love hiking on the Olympic Peninsula, but weeks of winter are looming and reasons to not break out those hiking boots — fewer hours of sunlight, the chill in the air, snow and rain and everything in between — are mounting? Yeah, I’ve been there. I got over it. Living in Washington means you’re going to get wet — yes, even living here in the Blue Hole. And it’ll be cold … not that, “Wow, it’s brisk!” kind of cold you get in the Midwest, or the “Gee, it’s chilly” kind you get on the East Coast, but the damp, depleting, “My soul longs for any place other than this” kind of Pacific Northwest cold. But living in the PCNW also means you’re adept at layering and putting on a happy face as you hit the trails. Plus, our area is still a hiker’s paradise, regardless of the temperature. Here are a few of my favorite winter hikes. Don’t forget the Ten Essentials of hiking: map, compass, sunglasses and sunscreen (even in the winter!), extra clothing, headlamp/flashlight, first-aid supplies, firestarter, matches, knife and extra food/water.
SPRUCE RAILROAD TRAIL
With many of the area’s hiking trails unreachable, the Spruce Railroad Trail is simply a gem. The trail starts on Lake Crescent’s north
shore, shortly after the road crosses the Lyre River. Take a short jaunt downhill from the trailhead through a fern-littered forest flanked by deciduous trees and pines to an abandoned rail bed that comprises much of the trail. The trail features a pleasant lagoon spanned by a wood and steel bridge, beneath black basalt cliffs on the right. To the south are snow-dusted peaks and ridges along the south shore, including the imposing Mount Storm King. >> How long: 4.0 miles each way; plus 3-mile roundtrip trek to North Shore Recreation Area. >> How hard: Easy. >> How to get there: Take U.S. Highway 101 to East Beach Road, west of Port Angeles at Lake Crescent. Turn right onto the road. Follow it several miles. Turn left just past the Log Cabin Resort on a road marked by a sign for the Spruce Railroad Trail. The trail starts on the right at the parking area.
ROBIN HILL FARM COUNTY PARK
The best of these for those who prefer a short day hike. With ample tree coverage among its 195 acres of forest, meadow and wetland, the park is usable in any weather. There are about 3.4 miles of developed foot trails and 2.5 miles of equestrian trails. The park also features 20 that
are maintained by WSU Cooperative Extension programs for pasture management, agricultural research plots/gardens and special water conservation and composting programs. >> How hard: Easy. >> How to get there: Take U.S. Highway 101 to Dryke Road west of Sequim. Turn north on Dryke, the parking area is on the right, before the road’s first curve. Or, take Old Olympic Highway to Vautier Road, turn left then drive to Pinnell Road, turn right. Parking area is on the left.
HURRICANE RIDGE/HURRICANE HILL Getting up to the ridge is sometimes a chore — recent efforts have Hurricane Ridge Road open four days per week during the winter instead of three — but once you’re there, it is a hiker’s playground. I suggest a snowshoe hike up Hurricane Hill if you can manage it. Breathtaking views abound. >> How long: 2.9 miles from the Visitor Center to Hurricane Hill; 2.6 miles from the Visitor Center to Switchback Trail via Sunrise Ridge >> How hard: Varies depending on the snow, wind conditions. On average, moderate to difficult. Snow covers many of the standard trail markings. Trails near the center are easy to moderate. >> How to get there: From downtown Sequim,
Winter 2014 LOP 5
take U.S. Highway 101 west to Port Angeles. Turn left on Race Street and follow that as it changes to Mount Angeles Road and then Hurricane Ridge Road. From downtown Port Angeles to the ridge is about 17 miles. Entrance fee or pass required. Visit www.nps.gov/olym/ for daily fees, passes and special discounts.
>> Other information: Make sure to chip in a $3 day-use fee at the spit and don’t forget your special “doggie bags” if you choose to take a barker to Port Williams.
A trek on Deer Ridge.
DEER RIDGE TRAIL
>> Other information: Call 452-4501.
SALT CREEK RECREATION AREA
The list of things you can’t do at Salt Creek seems shorter than what you can do — tent and RV camping; picnic spots; playground equipment for the youngsters and young-at-heart-sters; hooping it up at the basketball court; batting and fielding at the baseball/softball field; a full volleyball court with dirt surface; Army gun emplacement to pose for cheesy family photos; tide pool gawking; top-notch scuba-diving; horseshoes; swimming in the creek (weather permitting); whale watching; and probably a hundred other things — but there hiking also is awesome at the 196-acre piece of property. This was home to Fort Hayden during World War II until the federal government declared the site surplus and Clallam County took it over. Now it’s home to some great day-use activities and trekkers who enjoy a bit of surf and turf can hit the beach or some low-lying hills to pique their hiking interests. >> How long: Varies >> How hard: Easy to modestly difficult (various trails/hiking spots) >> How to get there: U.S. Highway 101 west to state
Highway 112, about 13 miles west of Port Angeles. After three miles on Highway 112, turn right on Camp Hayden Road and follow it directly to the recreation area.
THE BEACH HIKES: DUNGENESS SPIT RECREATION AREA & PORT WILLIAMS BEACH
Two more easier day hikes that work fine even under the wettest of winter conditions.
The Olympic Peninsula is replete with places to take one’s canine companions for walks, but hikes take a little research. Fortunately, pets are allowed on trails in Olympic National Forest and most state-managed Department of Resources land, so dog hikers and their owners are in luck. Deer Ridge Trail offers astounding views of Mount Baldy and farther back toward Buckhorn Mountain, Mount Deception, across the Graywolf River and into the Buckhorn Wilderness. Completing the trail means trekking into Olympic National Park, where pets are not allowed, so those with dogs should only expect to finish two-thirds of the hike up to the park boundary. (Minus a pet, hikers can finish the 5.2-mile hike at Deer Park.) >> How hard: Moderate
>> How hard: Ridiculously easy.
>> How long: 3.6 miles to ONP boundary; 5.2 miles to Deer Park Campground
>> How to get there: From downtown Sequim, hop on U.S. Highway 101 eastbound to Kitchen-Dick Road. Take a right and follow three miles to the Dungeness Recreation Area entrance. Take a left on Voice of America Boulevard and follow to the Dungeness Spit trailhead. To Port Williams from downtown Sequim, take Sequim-Dungeness Way north, then a right on Port Williams Road. Follow that until you hit water.
>> On the web: www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/ deer-ridge-trail.htm. n
>> How long: Varies.
>> How to get there: Drive 2.5 miles west of Sequim on U.S. Highway 101 to Taylor Cutoff Road. Follow sweeping right turn onto Lost Mountain Road. Turn left on Forest Service Road No. 2780, then right on Forest Service Road No. 2875. Look for trailhead and parking area at Slab Camp on right. No pass is required.
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7th Avenue Steakhouse Enjoy recipe for pork cutlets with honey/mayo sauce The 7th Avenue Steakhouse, 271 S. Seventh Ave. in Sequim, is not only noted for its tender beef, but its pork dishes, too. Chef/kitchen manager Richard Williams said he chose to feature Pork Cutlets with Honey/Mayo Sauce because, "It's a good quality dish and tasty with the sauce." A sampling of this simple but satisfying dish found the pork cutlets to be juicy and tender inside, with a light crispiness and no hint of oil, and the sauce a tangy sweet accent. At the restaurant, Williams serves the cutlets with skin-on mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables, both seasoned with garlic. With an extensive menu, 7th Avenue Steakhouse is open from 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. Call 360-683-4825 or find the restaurant on Facebook at www.facebook.com/7thavenuesteakhouse.
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It’s dark and near freezing outside on this November night, but the atmosphere inside is joyous and celebratory. The music is lively, the room is lovely, so why not grab a partner (or many) and dance the night away?
Black Diamond Contra Dance JOY FOR ALL SEASONS
Story and photos by Christina Williams
hat is contra dance? Renowned contra caller/musician George Marshall recently performed as the caller at a special Black Diamond Contra event this past November, and during a brief intermission, he shared some thoughts on the definition of this unique and ever-evolving dance form. The Massachusetts native discovered contra dancing in his teens during a summer job of trail building in the mountains of New Hampshire. Marshall tagged along with some older friends who piled 20 people into a 15-seat passenger van that had the seats removed. “Once a week,” he recalls, “we drove about an hour over hill and dale. We got to this field and there was a barn — and music and dance and laughter came spilling out of it. I went into
the hall, and there was the dancing, and I was immediately struck — it was like, ‘These are my people — where have they been?!’” Marshall’s decades of involvement in contra dancing have made him well suited to define the term “contra dance” for those of us who only recently have discovered it. “It’s a community dance,” he offers. “It’s unlike swing dancing, or Cajun, or salsa or whatever.” Marshall describes how, during the dance, you keep changing partners: “You’re dancing with a different person. This way you’re dancing with a whole group and that’s very nice.” He observes that that the community feeling of this traditioninspired dance was “one of the reasons that in the 1950s and 1960s there was a revival because people were looking for a community thing. It’s a way for people to come together. A lot of people
have met their partner at dances. Contra is a nice way to meet people and they really latched onto it. The music was whatever people had on hand in New England. There was a lot of French Canadian music coming down from Canada. There was southern music coming up from the Southeast. Whatever people had, they used, and there was also continuous dancing for 250 years.” If you live on the Olympic Peninsula and you believe that experience is an ideal way to learn, opportunity is just up the road. Except for a summer break, the Black Diamond Contra Dancers gather every first Saturday of the month at the Black Diamond Community Hall just outside of Port Angeles’ city limits. In addition to these monthly dances, a few times a year, the group hosts touring musicians like the Great Bear Trio and callers like Marshall. In addition
Winter 2014 LOP 9
The members of this popular contra touring group, The Great Bear Trio, have more in common than good musicianship — the mother keyboardist, Kim Yerton, and her two fiddler sons, Andrew, left, and Noah VanNorstrand, have a high energy style that surely will keep contra dancers on their toes for a long time to come!
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to calling, Marshall also has two bands in which he plays. For the recent November contra event, however, he worked as the caller. “I’ve been coming out to the Northwest since 1978, doing music and dance stuff,” says the versatile Marshall, “so every November, for the last 15-18 years, I’ve done a little tour with different bands and I organized the trips. Last year and this year it’s part of a 19-dance/19-day tour, so I work with a local band and my band, Wild Asparagus, and now I’m working with Great Bear Trio. I’ve worked with Great Bear a couple of times before, so I knew what their music was like and I really like what they do.” The Great Bear Trio is comprised of a keyboardist/piano teacher mother and her two adult sons in their mid-20s. Don’t let the brothers’ tender ages fool you. They’ve had years of serious practice under their collective belts and are making quite a name for themselves on the contra dance circuit. Says Marshall of the brothers: “They were 7 and 8 when they first heard my band Wild Asparagus, so they credit Wild Asparagus with turning them on to contra dance music. They were really into bluegrass music at the time. They heard this contra dance music and decided “Oh — we want to do that!’” Unfortunately, Great Bear’s touring schedule couldn’t accommodate an interview, but before we move along in this discussion of contra, I must mention the “footboard” that one of the brothers — Noah — was maneuvering with his feet as he played fiddle. Talk about multi-tasking — it was fascinating to watch! Black Diamond Contra coordinator Elizabeth Athair explains that Noah’s fiddle and footboard combo is loosely based on some Quebecois (French Canadian) music styles but that he has taken it in a dynamic direction that more closely resembles a kick drum. Athair’s contra musician guests had just left hours before she graciously invited me to interview her about the dance form that has long been her passion. She took up the task of planning dance events after local contra enthusiast/musician Bob Boardman died a few years ago. In the 2000s, Boardman planned the dances and Athair was among those who helped decide the way forward in his absence. “When all of us were trying to do it,” she says, “sometimes double bookings happened and it was just in the very first months afterwards when we were trying to figure it out. We concluded that just one of us should do it
and I was excited about it … There are people that will travel this country just to do contra dances,” she observes. Athair discovered her own affinity for the dance many years ago when she was living in an area that had a train connecting to Chicago. “There was a dance happening at a place called Dunes State Park,” she recalls. “It was just outside and someone was calling it. They welcomed anyone to come along and try it. I fell in love with the whole thing and I discovered that there was a lot of dancing in Chicago and so I would catch a train to Chicago to dance there. I started networking with people there and learning about other dances in other places.” Athair and her husband moved to Port Angeles around 2008, after leaving Chelan, where they’d lived since about 1989. “We moved here because we were ready for some changes,” she explains. One thing that has remained constant in her life is her passion for contra. When asked about the variations in contra music from region to region, Athair comments on the style of The Great Bear Trio whom she invited to play at the previous night’s event: “You know what? These kids — I keep calling them ‘kids’ because they’re only in their 20s — they’ve taken old styles and put contemporary songs into it. It seems like each age group takes the old ways and maybe creates something new or a variation of it.” Athair speaks thoughtfully as she considers the contemporary development of this music/dance
on people and to see ‘Why did they throw this out? Why aren’t the song and the call still together?’ Sometimes with that other group (of musicians) that came out with George (Marshall) there’s a certain combination of the music and the movement that creates this energy that is just like a trance, and so … kind of euphoric and amazing. It’s delightfully wholesome and fun!” As we wind up the interview, Athair speaks of her wish for the future of contra dancing here on the peninsula. “I’d love to see it in the schools — I routinely invite grade school, middle school, high school and college students. My husband Scot and I usually go around and pick them up. We take two cars so we can collect as many people as possible. Several of them have said — even for the prom or Set just off Black Diamond Road, the Black Diamond something — that they wanted to have contra Community Hall is reminiscent of old country-style dance especially for such events. She smiles barns and halls where people have been gathering as she repeats a question that she’s heard for community dances for generations. The date from these younger dancers: “Wouldn’t that 1940 is stamped into the front of the concrete steps, be much more fun? “ but many modern upgrades have enhanced the So — if you’re looking to add some joy usability of this local landmark. to your life in the new year, and you’ve wondered about contra dance, remember that the experience is available here most of tradition with very old roots: “There’s one friend the year (except for a hiatus in July and August). who calls — I think she’s from Tacoma. She’s been Can’t wait until the first Saturday of the month to calling for 20 years. She’s taken all the old songs. learn more? See Black Diamond’s website: www. Some of the old songs — I mean some of the calls blackdiamonddance.org. It offers a wealth of local have old songs with them, and so there’s been a information as well as links to people and events drift away from doing these traditional ones. She wants to take them all out and then practice them outside the area. n
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The Forks Athletic and Aquatic center has become a great place to exercise and even hold a fun-filled pool party!
SATURDAY SWIM LESSON SPECIAL Register by December 30th for Saturday swim lessons and receive a free pair of kids’ swim goggles. Or purchase a Gift certificate for swim lessons and receive a free pair of kids’ swim goggles.
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January 10 – March 7 (10 lessons) Saturday Swim Lessons including Parent/Tot, Synchronized Swimming and Diving. Registration Deadline: Until Classes Filled or 1/5/15 For more information, call us at 683.3344 or visit www.sarcfitness.com/swim-lessons.
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Take one empty Aquatic Center building, fold in some residents with an idea, sprinkle in a little donated exercise equipment, add some water and mix it up and top it off with an energetic woman driven to teach anyone that gets in her way how to eat better, exercise and feel better, and you may just have a recipe for a successful community venture. To make a long story short: the citizens of Forks voted to have a pool, the pool was built, the pool was open, people came and used the pool, then the pool was closed and it stayed closed. Along came a group of people who still wanted Forks to have a pool — Quillayute Valley Park and Recreation District Board members Nedra Reed, Don Grafstrom, Gordon Gibbs, Ron Anderson and the late Jim Smith formulated a new plan that would include a fitness center and a pool. The board decided the leisure pool would be filled in; the final choice for this procedure was that Styrofoam was placed in the pool and a layer of concrete was pored over to seal it. This area then become the fitness area and the lap pool remained is it was. Initially Ruby Swagerty was contracted to run the fitness and aquatic end of the business and the QVPRD managed the Forks Community Center portion of the building, which includes a dining room and a kitchen area. With Swagerty at the helm, the Forks Athletic and Aquatic center has become not only a place to exercise, it is a place for many to volunteer and a place to hold a party! Many local people are not only using the facility but are volunteering as well, like retired City of Forks Deputy Clerk Vivian Morris. The reopening of the pool also has brought about some much needed swimming lessons for non-swimmers of all ages, with options of group lessons or private ones. The fitness and aquatic center is not only for getting in shape. One of the first children’s birthday celebrations held in the pool was when Zoie Davis turned 7 and her mother Nerrisa reserved the pool for her birthday party. When asked how many youngsters attended, Zoie replied that there were so many she did not know a number. Her mother said about 25 friends and
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in 2012; we have had so many tragedies in our her “bad food kit” that includes among other community due to accident in the water.” things a several-year“It is so great to see this facility, something old fast food hamburger that the community is paying for until 2023, being that has so many used so again. I get so many positive words from preservatives in it that the community,” Reed said. “The QVPRD board is it never spoiled. It still looking forward to many more years of working looks like the day it with Ruby.” was purchased, only Reed also said the QVPRD board also is it is hard as a rock but passionate about keeping the facility operating. otherwise unchanged. Since taking over in 2012 Swaggerty has The message of made a few changes along the way and is open to the never spoiled members’ suggestions of new types of healthy hamburger is that activities, too. preservatives are bad Swagerty is driven to make people healthier. for our body. “If your With her energy and drive to teach West grandmother wouldn’t End residents a better way to eat and live, recognize it, then she has taken an empty facility costing area you shouldn’t eat it,” taxpayers money and has turned it into a hub Swaggerty said. of healthiness. Swagerty also operates the Swagerty’s biggest adjoining Forks Community Center portion Brandon Winters suffered a logging accident and uses the equipment at the reward in her teaching of the building for the QVPRD. For more facility to get strong again. of a healthier lifestyle is information on scheduling events in the the change it can make Community Center, call 360-374-2558. in a person’s life, and some of their siblings had a great time in the pool. The Forks Athletic and Aquatic Club and Forks with the cooking classes, the change can better Zoie also said the most fun part was going under Community Center are at 91 Maple Ave. in Forks. the life of an entire family by teaching better water with goggles on and doing twister cannon For more information and complete schedule of eating habits. balls into the water. She also added that her party activities, go to www.forksfitness.com or call 360Swagerty has offered an experience for those at the pool had a duck theme because according 374-6100. n that want to lose weight called to Zoie, “ducks like water.” “The Challenge.” Participants After an hour in the pool the party finished could win cash prizes and free up in the kitchen/dining room area for pizza and memberships in the weightcupcakes. To add to the whole water/duck theme loss competition. Several male Zoie’s grandmother Carin Hirsch created a beach participants in the challenge lost ball piñata. Nerrisa said, “The best part is there over 100 pounds each. was no planning games, the kids stayed busy in About Swaggerty’s the pool and no mess at my house.” transformation of the once But the driving force that has made the Forks shuttered and vacant pool facility Athletic and Aquatic Center a real success is the former Forks mayor and current woman that has been operating it as her own Quillayute Valley Park and business and that person is Swaggerty. She is Recreation board member Nedra driven to teach the community of Forks how to Reed says, “This partnership get moving and eat healthy. with Ruby is going very well. It Beside the exercise aspect of Swaggerty’s proves that public and private approach, she has added a juice bar and over 50 partnerships can work.” different classes that include cooking classes to “Ruby has been wonderful to teach people how to eat in a healthy way. She also work with. She has done all we has added outside group activities with hikes to expected of her and more.” the beach and other areas. Reed added, “Over 200 You never know when Swaggerty will show up Ruby Swagerty, in front on the left, poses on one of the hikes that children have learned to swim with her display of “unhealthy foods.” This past the Athletic and Aquatic center sponsors. since the facility re-opened summer at the hospital health fair she brought
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Potter Megan Smith shows a flat tray being made in her studio.
Clay reﬂects Megan Smith’s passion for creativity and connects her to others Story and photos by Viviann Kuehl
he gleaming array of shapes and colors filling a large shelf in her studio is a testament to Megan Smith’s creativity — and to her commitment to others. These particular vessels are designed to hold the ashes of loved ones, both human and animal. Elsewhere in Smith’s neat and tidy studio, set up in the garage of a house she helped to construct, is abundant evidence of her passion for both clay and the therapeutic effect it can have on people. The light colors of bisque-fired vessels are awaiting transformation through colorful glazes, which emerge in another firing. Clay trays are drying and await Smith’s special imprints from stamps she carved out of clay. A mass of handles filling a board wait to be attached in pairs to large cups. In a covered space outside, shelves hold the spacers and the work waiting to fill the two kilns. Clay is transformative, says Smith. “It’s a magical process. You start with a wet
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lump, make something, then it dries, it gets a bisque firing, is transformed again by glazing and you wind up with a useful, tangible object.” The clay is an expression not only of Smith’s individual creativity but the connection made between people who create in a shared space. She shares her passion with others through small classes, limited to three participants by her three pottery wheels. Over eight weeks, students get an introductory session of instruction and then the freedom to indulge their own creativity in two and a half hours weekly. “Creativity is so empowering,” said Smith. “It’s such a satisfying experience, I want to foster that in other people. “And it’s therapeutic for me,” she adds. “The studio can be isolating. Having other people around in my studio, with their excitement and enthusiasm, recharges me. I find that I do different things with other people around. It inspires me.”
Smith’s first exposure to a potter’s wheel was as a child during a family vacation to Orcas. “We saw a sign that said ‘try a potters wheel,’” recalled Smith, and she got the opportunity to do just that. “I didn’t know anything about it but I knew I wanted more,” she said of the experience. Growing up in Boise, Idaho, Smith took a clay class offered by Boise Art Museum as a preteen. Then at Colorado College, she majored in studio art, making prints, drawings and etchings. She figured that college would be her only chance in life to devote her time fully to creativity, and she took it, thinking she’d figure out how to make a living later. “I told myself I didn’t want to make a living as an artist,” she recalled, “I thought it would be too much of a struggle, but then here I am.” While there, she took a non-credit, extracurricular pottery class, her only formal training, as it turned out. After graduating with a degree in studio
Left: Potter Megan Smith’s hands shape the clay into a thin-walled vessel, destined to become a cup with handles. Above: Crowding the shelves in Megan Smith’s pottery studio are these vessels, made to hold human and/or pet cremains. Right: Megan Smith is fascinated with the tactile nature of clay. Here, she starts to form a lump of clay into a pot.
art, in 1991, she got a job in early childhood in Portland, Ore., and found a community pottery center. “I just loved going there, being with people making things, people engaged in their own projects,” said Smith. “I got more and more into pottery. Partly why I started loving it so much was because I was able to do my own thing and not try to imitate a professor. “Professors tend to present themselves as objective, and they can tell a certain level of craft, but are totally subjective in their tastes,” explained Smith. “I firmly believe that everyone is creative. Just follow your intuition. If you feel you shouldn’t do something, it’s probably an internal critic that judges, but you can stop that and just do it.” Smith carved designs in clay stamps she made for making impressions on the edge of plates. The texture of the glazes in the stampings reminded her of printmaking. During this time, she first heard about art therapy. “It was the first time I heard of the concept that creativity and healing are connected. Creativity and healing must be related; it made sense to me,” she said. “I think that I realized that there is something therapeutic in any kind of creative endeavor.” Intrigued by the idea, she began taking the prerequisite psychology courses at a local community college, working toward a master’s degree in art therapy. “It was something I wanted to do someday, but it took 8 to 10 years before I actually got into a program,” she noted.
In 1998, Smith moved to Port Townsend. “It was a time of great upheaval,” she recalled. “The only thing that was clear was I loved pottery.” She found a mentor in Lorna Smith (no relation), a Port Townsend resident and experienced potter. Lorna Smith gave Smith space in her studio and introduced her to craft markets. Smith began selling her wares and enjoyed it. “It was wonderful,” said Smith. “She gave me a little instruction, and at a certain level, a little instruction goes a long way. Then it’s practice, practice, practice.” Smith set up her first pottery studio in a rickety garden shed, covering the dirt floor with wood pallets to make a floor surface. The space was unheated, but it was hers. Later, she moved up to a converted garage studio, with heat and skylights. Then she got the chance to build her own house through a USDA housing program and put in another garage studio, her current space. In 2003, she went to Antioch University in Seattle for a master’s degree in counseling and art therapy. After graduating in 2005, she worked at Jefferson Mental Health and did family therapy for the county Juvenile Department. Working with the chronically mentally ill and staff at Harbor House, Smith helped individuals make tiles of any shape or design and then put them together in a large mural. “It’s a bright, permanent piece,” commented Smith. “It’s good for people to find their individual piece in the mural and to recognize that you’re part of a community.”
Mostly, however, she practiced traditional therapy. By 2010, she began to feel burned out and started thinking about funerary urns. When a couple asked her to make an urn to hold both their ashes, she took it as a sign and left her counseling job. As it turned out, their urn had their handprints in glaze entwined around its cylinder shape. “It was very sweet,” said Smith, who enjoys the challenge of making beautiful things memorializing lives. She made an urn for a lively 7-year-old boy, copying his writing to carve his name on it. She made one for a 7-month-old baby and several for pets and their owners. A large one for a horse was particularly challenging. Learning from her own experience, she advises, “Just trust yourself when you are making art.” Starting in January, Smith will be teaching a beginning hand-building class at Peninsula College, which will be listed in its winter catalogue. “It’s very exciting,” she said. “It’s a great space.” You can check out Smith’s work in shops and online. “I have special pieces in the Lively Olive store and mugs in the Mad Hatter, both in downtown Port Townsend on Water Street,” said Smith. “I also sell at Nash’s Farm Store in Sequim. I participate in holiday sales in downtown Port Townsend and I am happy to do special orders.” Smith has an urn website, www.ArtOfUrns.com, and an Etsy site, Megan Smith Pottery. She may be contacted at MeganSmithPottery@ gmail.com. n
Winter 2014 LOP 15
Carol Stabile in her studio. Photo by Jan Halliday
Serving You from Two Locations
Teacher draws kids/adults to Art
I have driven out to grade they are conditioned Marrowstone Island, to guess what an adult pulled into a driveway wants and perform rote hidden by brush, found memorization to please the my way through the first teacher. floor of a musty boatshed She takes the tray away and clumped up the stairs the tray. “Which objects to Carol Stabile’s art were blue?” she asks. studio. Each time she brings “Would you like to the tray back, the quesBy Jan Halliday make a box?” she asks, as tions are harder: “Which I sit down and take out my objects were touching each notebook. other? What touched the edge of Carol has just been gifted a huge the tray? What are the shapes collection of Japanese papers from of the shadows of the objects you an estate. A pile of small gift boxes observed? What shapes were in beshe has made sits on her table. tween the objects? What happened Last time I saw her, Carol drew to the shapes of shadows when I me into squirting shaving cream on moved the tray? paper. We dropped liquid acrylOnly the most rarely observant ic paint onto it, mixed it with a and fearless child will say that a fork, and then scraped it off with shadow touched the edge. In the a straight edge. The marbleized English language, shadows are results were surprising and smelled called shadows. There’s no word like a high school date in the 1960s. for how they change shape when I’ve witnessed Carol Stabile’s the light source is moved. Rarely, magic for over a decade as she’s if ever, is the color of a shadow disfreed children and adults from fear cussed among non-artists, importabout making art. Adults come to ant considerations for both drawing her frozen at the age of eight when and painting. they last attempted to make art As long as a student “sees” by and couldn’t. naming objects, they will never In one memorable lesson, with be able to draw well. What Carol eight-year-old children, she fills a knows is that once a student is tray with small objects and asks taught to see without naming, even them to look at it. a small child can easily be taught Carol is silent as they strugperspective and line drawing. gle to memorize all the objects on She began teaching primathe tray. She knows that by third
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ry-grade kids in her parent’s garage, in Berkeley, California when she was fifteen. “I’d hold up a cardboard box so that they could see just the end, a simple rectangle,” she says. “Look what happens when I turn it? What shapes do you see now?” By the second lesson her students were using color, then drawing their favorite animals, and four lessons later portraits of each other. Like all good teachers, she had a mentor. Her junior high school art teacher gave her an after-school job of helping prepare lesson plans; she was named art editor of her junior high school yearbook, drawing the cover and illustrating the interior. But Berkeley merchants were also supportive. At Halloween Solano Avenue merchants allowed students to use their store windows as canvases with “a real silver dollar” as a prize. The local newspaper, the Oakland Tribune, also gave art prizes to students. From a very young age, Carol says, she was a non-conformist. “When I was five, I picked out a flat but telescoping plastic drinking cup as a present for myself, because it was different from most glasses. She might have come to this by genetic predisposition. Carol is the great-granddaughter of Charles Heberer, a St. Louis impressionist painter who studied in Paris in the late 1800s. She doesn’t recall meet-
ing him when she was two years old, but one of Heberer’s paintings hung on the wall in Carol’s childhood home, making it clear that “an artist” was an acceptable career. The artist career issue, for Carol, was confused by cultural restrictions. Before Carol was born, her mother worked as a fashion illustrator and was offered a job by Disney Studios, but gave it up when she became a mother in the late 1940s. When Carol was two her father left the family; her mother went to work in an unrelated field and never picked up a paintbrush again. Carol lived with her grandparents nearby, and spent most of her childhood in the company of her grandfather. He had just retired at 57 and hung out with me,” she said. Co-owner of a fishing boat, her grandfather took her to the local hardware store where he sat around with his buddies in front of a potbellied stove. “I was free to wander, and look at hardware,” she said. “There were all these curious objects I couldn’t name. I was hyper-observant, I just wanted to look at everything.” In high school she planned for a career as a commercial artist, but was discouraged by her high school counselor as too difficult for a woman (how many of these cautionary people have destroyed dreams?). Carol met her husband Bill her sophomore year of college. She quit
school and moved with him to Oregon’s Eaglecap Wilderness Area when, after he answered a casting call to San Francisco’s “bearded hippies,” he got a part as an extra in “Paint Your Wagon.” Life took a brief downward turn when, to make money, she took a job back in California working in an accounting department. It was in a large room “filled with adding machines,” she said, and short lived. The following summer she took off with Bill again, this time to a commune in Sonoma County’s Russian River, where they slept on a tree house platform 30 feet above a canyon (which she also rolled off of one night, landing feet first and unharmed in the creek below). San Francisco artist, R. Crumb, stayed a few nights there and recognizing a kindred spirit, drew a sketch for Carol on the inside of a shoebox. “He was very shy,” she said. “And he didn’t sign it.” During the 18 years Carol and Bill lived in Northern California, she worked for a local school free of charge. There was no budget for art materials. “I used newspaper, or whatever I could find,” she said. “Anything can be altered and changed.” (She and her son Brian, now at the Seattle Film Institute, once used dry erase markers to outline the shapes and figures they saw in the fake marble of the shower-surround in the family bathroom). Without this kind of permissive freedom, demonstrated creativity and encouragement, many budding artists go nowhere. “A little girl draws a perfect daisy and is praised for it. At the age of eight she wants more praise and draws more daisies just like the one that earned praise when she was five,” said Carol. “But it doesn’t cut it with adults and she doesn’t know what she’s doing “wrong” so she gives up.” Carol, who has decades of lesson plans tucked away in boxes in her studio, says that most adults who come to her have been blocked most of their lives. “I design my curriculums around that stuckness,” she says. *** You can see a sample of Carol’s work and her contact information at carolheathstabile.blogspot.com
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Winter 2014 LOP 19
Coppersmith guides students in realizing their own art Story by Patricia Morrison Coate Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Becker, Seaport Photography After 15 years as a master coppersmith, Walter Massey still has the wonderment of a child about crafting and creating with what he calls “an agreeable metal.” A successful artist, the 67-yearold has fabricated works of copper sculpture at Massey Copper in Port Townsend since 2000 that are in private and public collections in more than two dozen states and several foreign countries. Copper is Massey’s favorite metal because it’s easy to work with and readily allows for spontaneous design changes. “You can’t do anything wrong with it — it’s just a beautiful metal,” Massey said. “It yields to the artist’s hand, while still retaining its own character and delivering delightful and unexpected additions to each piece. It was the perfect material for me as a sculptor.” The South Carolina native made his first connection with the Northwest in 1976 when he attended Seattle Pacific University for two years, studying art history and metal casting. For the next two decades, he and his wife and business partner, Norma, raised their five children while producing figurative sculptures, historical arts and crafts reproductions and ironwork in the Carolinas. For five years, Massey worked as one of several copper specialists at the Biltmore House, a 250-room French Renaissance manor built in 1895 near Ashville, N.C. The mansion alone covers four acres and its copper-clad roof and other ornamentation kept Massey busy with maintenance and repairs. The couple moved to Norma’s home state of Washington in 1997. From his workshop at 120 Fredericks St. a couple of miles from Port Townsend, Massey continues crafting salmon and other wildlife themes in various styles and other copper art as enhancements for gardens, homes and offices such as gates, wall pieces, fountains and 3-D sculptures. Working on his own projects kept him busy enough but something was missing — sharing his love for the medium and his talent with others. “I’m self-taught and if I had a gift, it would be that I’m a teacher. What I do best is what I teach because I have a passion for creating beautiful things,” Massey said in his soft drawl. “I don’t like being by myself — I like to share my passion — it makes me come alive.” From 2005-2009, Massey offered one-, two- and three-day “purchasing experiences” to copper novices from diverse backgrounds. He pre-made
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Walter Massey and Caroline Littlefield work on preparing a new base for the copper bowl she made.
Nancy Rhody hand hammers a bowl under the watchful eye of master coppersmith Walter Massey.
“I’m self-taught and if I had a gift, it would be that I’m a teacher. What I do best is what I teach because I have a passion for creating beautiful things.” — Walter Massey the foundation of the projects and students crafted smaller parts, assembling and welding them Massey Copper together. In 2014, he began one-day workshops 120 Fredericks St., Port Townsend teaching basic coppersmithing skills because “people find it hard to put two days together so 360-344-3611 now I offer one-day classes six or eight times E-mail: email@example.com a month. Copper is not expensive — what’s expensive is time so I ask how I can teach so my students can walk out with something good in In a group he’s fun to watch because he will pop five hours and really great in eight hours.” into someone’s project and pop out. There’s no Dell Jacoby has been Massey’s apprentice for hovering, which makes it possible that it’s our the past 18 months and is lavish in her praise for project, not his project.” Massey’s teaching style. The teacher and student The Masseys’ youngest daughter, Meredith, share an easy repartee. grew up with her father’s coppersmithing, “He’s very open and it’s hard to rein him in because he’s always saying, ‘Let’s do that!’ Students get the opportunity to work with direction but also the opportunity to go with their art and create where it takes them,” Jacoby said. “It’s that open creativity that just blows people away. They have the opportunity to go anywhere with that object and within the parameters of that project.” “My teaching methods are due to having gone to college for too damn long,” Massey said drolly. “I knew what kind of teacher I wanted to be. Let me see what you can put on the table right now. I’ll take my experience and put you in the driver’s seat. We take what you do know and work with that. I don’t have to put you down.” With a roguish smile, Massey explained, “The first couple of hours are organized chaos but I tell my students, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get it together.’ I make sure everybody learns how to weld and braze copper in the first few hours so we do have some structure.” In his small workshop, hand tools, copper pipes, sheets and wire plus projects in process cover several workbenches. Projects for sale, such as pot/utensil holders and light fixtures, hang from the ceiling and Massey’s signature sterling silver wash or colorized salmon sculptures are mounted on pegboard. With the tools of his trade strewn over every surface, it resembles controlled chaos, too. But his organized clutter doesn’t detract from his ability to teach. “He’s a great teacher because he will throw himself down and take the time to help me,” Jacoby said. “He’s very much on doing. He’s hands-on or he lets me get into trouble. Walter’s style is very generous, very quiet, very patient. Walter Massey teaches Taylor Clark about vine making.
working side by side as he passed along his talents and passion; the father-daughter duo continue that relationship today. “The ability to teach a skill or a trade to another human being after years of careful attention to one’s craft takes a certain kind of gift. My father, as with all things he does, applied himself with mastery, grace and kindness,” she said. “What story must the art speak here is an anthem I’ve grown fond of. That being said, it is the most gratifying exchange of energy and learning experience I’ve ever had … What a legacy!” Massey said he wants his students to teach themselves rather than look to him for a well of inspiration. When he said several times that he’s trying to work himself out of a job, whether he was jesting or not wasn’t clear, but this much is true. “I try to get people on autopilot and I can keep them out of trouble so their art will look good. I want them to tap into their own creativity and push up against the wall and away from it. That’s what I like to do,” Massey said. “What I like about the process is my students allow me to explore things that I’d never do if I were here by myself. I learn a lot more from my students than they learn from me, heading off in directions I’d not thought about, so it’s really cool.” Massey said he promises his students they’ll walk out of his workshops with their own creations that will appraise for a value equal to what they paid for the class plus have the experience of learning something new in a unique atmosphere. “I think making it themselves and putting themselves in the arena of actually being willing to enter the unknown creates an experience that has a value all of itself and that’s what I like about teaching,” Massey explained. “I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this job and I’m completely unemployable,” Massey deadpanned, “so I’m here to stay and get serious about this and keep coming back home to this stuff. What I’m doing now was a dream at one time. I’m living the dream but the viewpoint inside the dream is totally different than outside the dream. It’s a lot of work but a lot of fun. My emotions (about being an artist) are like a roller coaster but I’m standing on my feet. It’s got to be some kind of magic.” n
Winter 2014 LOP 21
Is there an
in the house?
T p C a
Described as a consummate professional, Sharon DelaBarre is at the ready to lend a hand when it comes to theater or artistic productions. Story by Mary Powell
Photos courtesy of Olympic Theatre Arts
It’s five minutes to curtain and the stage manager at Sequim’s Olympic Theatre Arts venue calls for places. All those involved with the production are a bit jittery, but after months of rehearsal of Neil Simon’s last written play, “Rose’s Dilemma,” they are ready to go. Theatergoers who have enjoyed a glass of wine and conversation in the lobby make their way to their seats. The audience quiets, the lights dim, the music cues and it’s on with the show. Sequim’s own Sharon DelaBarre plays Rose Steiner in “Rose’s Dilemma” and plays it to the hilt, as one might expect. “She did a beautiful job in ‘Rose’s,’” says Connie Jenkins, production manager for the play. “She is a consummate performer.” But then, theater has been part of her life since she was a high school student. Indeed, if all the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players, as William Shakespeare tells us in his famous monologue from “As You Like It,” then DelaBarre has landed on the right planet and that’s good news for the rest of us. DelaBarre, who admits to being passionate about all art, has shared her gift of acting as well as enhancing the artistic side of life on the North Olympic Peninsula since she and her husband, Del, moved to Sequim 25 years ago.
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Sharon DelaBarre, playing Rose Steiner, and Tom Darter, playing Walsh McLaren, in Olympic Theatre Arts production of “Rose’s Dilemma.” DelaBarre said it was one of the most challenging roles she has performed.
“Maybe in my next life I’ll be Meryl Streep.”
– Sharon DelaBarre, chairman, Sequim Arts Commission and theater aficionado Most recently, she was named chairman of the newly established Sequim Arts Commission, whose primary focus is to obtain a piece of art for the city hall building, now under construction. When DelaBarre says she is passionate about all art, she means much more than theater or painting or sculpting. “Art and creativity are such a major part of our everyday lives and most don’t even realize it,” she says, with a bit of that passion. For instance, she continues, “If you look at theater, it encompasses math, engineering, literature, electronics, you name it. You can connect the dots and see how art is part of all of us.” In DelaBarre’s world, dogs even play a part in the artistic arena, quite literally. About 12 years ago, she and Del began what they call a retirement business, that being organizing dog shows and
serving as kennel club superintendents. They have put together dozens of dog shows throughout the country, including Seattle, Alaska and Hawaii, and of course, the annual show in Sequim. And yes, the couple has their own “babies,” two golden retriever dogs.
BEGINNINGS DelaBarre was born in Independence, Mo., in 1946 (yes, she does share her age), but was raised in Fresno, Calif. Although it seems impossible when watching her on the stage, DelaBarre says she was extremely shy as a child and had difficulty speaking in front of a group, which is why she decided to become involved in the high school drama class. “There was a competition, which involved giving a reading,” she recalls about her start in theater. “I remember my father telling me I wasn’t being judged on appearance, but on how I spoke and presented myself.” It was good advice, because the shy high schooler took second place in the competition. “That gave me some confidence and then I started getting into plays and that started the creation of the monster,” she laughs, meaning herself. Today, her confidence, intelligence and calm
The cast of “Rose’s Dilemma,” a September 2014 OTA production. From left, Dalton Williamson, who plays Daren Clancy, Tom Darter, plays Walsh McLaren, Sharon DelaBarre as Rose Steiner, and Jennifer Sies, playing Arlene.
demeanor belies the shy child of yesterday. According to those who work with her at Olympic Theatre Arts, DelaBarre is the first to step up when something needs to be done, whether it be designing sets, building sets, serving on the board or acting. OTA board member Alice McCracken talks about DelaBarre’s good sense of humor and how she is “usually unflappable. If something needs to be done, and you can’t find someone to do it, Sharon can and will get it done.” DelaBarre earned a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from California State UniversityFresno and completed some graduate work in San Jose. While in college, she participated in a threemonth USO tour with a production of “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.” She looks back on the tour as one of the best experiences of her life. “It was an experience I wish a lot of young people could have,” she remembers. “When the show was over, the troops gave us Christmas stockings; I still have mine.” Was Hollywood a dream? Yes, she admits. She was in one movie, “Conversations with God,” from a screenplay her son Erik wrote. But, she says, she didn’t continue the dream. “Life happens. We’re always being given choices and the choice you make is the choice you live with.”
THE OTA CONNECTION DelaBarre’s life happened to lead her to an administrative position with the federal government, one that lasted for 35 years. Halfjokingly she says she can’t think of anything better than a theater background, especially in improvisation, as a training ground for government work. “You have to learn to think fast on your feet and take action in both arenas.” She and Del spent their first years together in Los Gatos, Calif., but in 1989 decided it was time to shuck the crowds and costs of California living,
Sharon DelaBarre is well-known among North Olympic Peninsula theater enthusiasts, having performed in several Olympic Theatre Arts productions. She and her husband Del owned DelaBarre & Associates for many years and are well-respected in the business arena. Photo by Mary Powell
and so began the search for a new home. At first, Seattle appealed to them, but then the thought occurred, why go from one metropolitan area to another? The two settled on Sequim and haven’t looked back. DelaBarre & Associates was founded in 1974, which specialized in providing management consulting and support service with conferences and exhibition programs. They sold the business last March and say they are now “actually retired.” It didn’t take long for DelaBarre to seek out community theater. And it didn’t long for her to find Olympic Theatre Arts. OTA was founded in 1980 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization consisting of community volunteers. The first play was performed at the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse. Three years later the Howard Wood Memorial Theater was created on Washington Street in Sequim. Eventually, the theater was deemed unsafe and in 2001, OTA purchased its present building, an old church in downtown Sequim. One problem: the old church meant much renovation which in turn, costs plenty of money. Thanks to dozens of volunteers — including DelaBarre, who was OTA board chairman at the time — and local businesses which lobbied for a community theater building and realized the importance of community theater, renovation began in 2003. Today, the theater itself is first-class, with a superb sound system, comfy seats, a large lobby for preproduction socializing and of course, an array of contemporary and well-known productions that rival those presented in metropolitan areas. One of DelaBarre’s first plays with OTA was “Lettice and Luvage,” another which she describes as being difficult, and “Little Foxes.” She directed “The Housekeeper” in 2011. DelaBarre would like to see OTA work closely with the school district, perhaps developing an internship program whereby students could work with OTA staff to gain experience not
in just acting, but lighting, stage sets, sound production and administrative procedures to illustrate what it takes to bring theater to the community. But that’s a future dream, one she hopes will come true.
Since the DelaBarres landed in Sequim, times have changed. “When we moved here in 1989, the biggest complaint was there was nothing to do. Now, people say there is too much to do,” she chuckles. She notices a demographic change in the city: retirees are younger, Sequim itself is getting a little younger, she says, and, she adds, “If you want to stay young, get involved.” Hopefully, DelaBarre will continue her acting gigs, but she would like to get back to what she calls her hands-on artistic endeavors, such working with clay and acrylics, “resurrect some of the things I used to do.” She will go beyond her responsibility as Sequim Arts Commission chairman to determine what can be done to enhance the artistic side of life in Sequim. “Life has been good to me,” DelaBarre affirms. “My training in theater and artistic endeavors has served me well, it really rounds out your personality. I have no regrets.” Well, she grins, maybe in her next life she’ll be Meryl Streep. n Author’s note: Focusing on Sharon DelaBarre’s role in the Olympic Theatre Arts organization in no way diminishes the hours and hours of work the dozens and dozens of volunteers have donated, and who, throughout the years, have been integral in bringing and keeping community theater in Sequim. Community theater has the special power to bring us together, to help our towns become communities and is quite often the first exposure people have to a live theater experience. — MP
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A 5-month-old sea star, right center, is dwarfed by a sea urchin.
DOCENTS SHARE PASSION FOR MARINE LIFE Story and photos by Patricia Morrison Coate ON ANY GIVEN SUNDAY, you’ll find Shirley Anderson and Jim Fedderly, decked out in their blue fleece with the Feiro Marine Life Center logo, ready to share their knowledge of and enthusiasm for sea critters native to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Both, not surprisingly, spent their careers as teachers — Anderson as a high school biology/chemistry instructor and Fedderly in the elementary grades. Anderson has a long history with the center — her parents knew Port Angeles High School science teacher Arthur D. Feiro who envisioned the center as “a multi-faceted, dynamic, living, breathing facility … providing a public display of marine organisms and ecosystems, a teaching laboratory, a public center for marine studies and a point of interest for tourists.” Feiro built the facility on the Port Angeles waterfront in 1981 but died in 1982. Anderson’s mother, a biologist, was among the first volunteer docents and often took her daughter along during her shifts. When Anderson moved to Sequim in 1991, she, too, volunteered and has become more and more educated about marine life ever since. She taught at Sequim High School from 1991-2002. Fedderly, a California transplant, segued
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into becoming a Feiro volunteer through the Olympic Coast Discovery Center nearby. He’s been a volunteer for five years after spending the previous 15 years teaching in a two-room schoolhouse. In addition to Sundays, Fedderly is one of the docents who lead fourth- and fifth-graders from across the county through the center’s North Olympic Watershed Science programs. “We greet visitors,” Anderson began. “Sometimes they’re from some place like Kansas, sometimes they’re professional marine biologists and we have the whole range in between. Sometimes they’re in wheelchairs and sometimes they’re blind. We show visitors our 18 exhibits and find out what they’re interested in. The beauty of this place is we give personal kinds of tours. Our role is to be really personal about the tours.” “My background was not with marine life but I learned from Deb Moriarty at the Discovery Center,” Fedderly said. “For me, I’ve been very fortunate to work with Shirley because I’ve learned a lot. Eventually, I started working with the school groups — the programs are really neat.” In partnership with the NOAA Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Olympic
National Park and Nature Bridge, Feiro staff host several hundred children throughout the school year. The fourth-graders learn all about plankton, some of which can only be seen microscopically, and the layers of organisms that rely on them for food and oxygen. “Their enthusiasm when they’re looking at the plankton under the microscope is unbridled,” Fedderly said. Fifth-graders troop to Peabody Creek near the Olympic National Park Visitor Center southeast of downtown Port Angeles, taking water samples along the creek in multiple locations until they’ve followed it back to the strait. They check for pH and pollution. “A fun thing at the end of the day is seining at Hollywood Beach with a 15-foot net,” Fedderly said. “We haul it across the bottom and the kids squeal with excitement. That’s the most important part of it for me — their enthusiasm.” Anderson and Fedderly seem to feed off each other in their fervor for learning about and sharing their passion for the local marine environment. “Jim and I enjoy looking up and investigating things we have seen — new saltwater always is coming into the tanks
“This is the best part of being a teacher because if you get to do what you love for the rest of your life, how lucky is that?”
Shirley Anderson and Jim Fedderly point out local marine life in one of the center’s touch tanks.
– Shirley Anderson
(from the strait) so with all the inflow and outflow, almost every time something new comes up in the water,” Anderson said. “It’s fun working with Jim because he likes to find out what things are, too. We’re like being a couple of kids again.” Fedderly also is an avid kayaker and last year captured a juvenile Pacific Giant octopus for the center at Freshwater Bay. Area fishermen also bring in interesting marine life from deep water. Anderson has had an upclose and personal experience with an octopus, too, but it wasn’t a pleasant one. She’s one of the volunteer weekly tank cleaners and nearly got tanked herself. “All of a sudden it had four legs and suction cups attached on my arm. Either the octopus was coming out of the tank or it was me going in,” Anderson said. “A man who was a biologist, thankfully, had to help me get it back in. I ended up with bruises on my arm and could have been bitten.” Anderson said the adult’s beak is hooked and hard like a parrot’s. An adult Pacific Giant octopus can weigh about 30 pounds and have arms 14 feet long with scores of suction cups. The take-away for visitors to realize as special, Anderson said, “is that three-fourths of the earth is covered with seawater. Even divers have such a tiny view of the millions of things in it. One of our goals is that visitors see and appreciate the unique life that is just beyond us — and to step lightly.” n
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MAKING MUSIC, MAKING CONNECTIONS Story and photos by Viviann Kuehl Aaron Vallat lives for music. A resident of Marrowstone Island for the past 20 years, he works as the construction project coordinator for Jefferson Healthcare during the day, but he devotes evenings and weekends to his first love, music. Vallat teaches music three nights a week, two for teens and one for adults, and plays in a funk/rock/soul band called The Better Half. He manages to make time for his family and construction projects, but he has so little down time, it’s hard to find a half hour free. “To be honest, there are often times when I feel like I don’t have the energy to teach either of my classes, or to volunteer with the Chimacum High School Band drum line, which I have been doing on Wednesday evenings this year. But I always come away from the classes energized and feeling positive,” said Vallat. Vallat, 46, has been in love with music since his earliest days. “Music has been a part of my life since I can remember. There are pictures of me with headphones on when I was 2 years old listening to the Beatles and the Bonzo Dog Band. When I was in grade school my father lived in an attic apartment over a family of folk musicians, so we would hear them play every day. A close friend of my parents, John Oliver, was a guitar player and always played at gatherings, which there were a lot of, and music was always a part of them,” recalled Vallat. A drummer, Vallat plays drum set; congas in the Cuban, Haitian, Dominican and Puerto Rican styles; timbales, bongos, claves and a myriad of percussion instruments used in the Caribbean; as well as some Brazilian instruments, mainly surdos, hapenique and double bell. He has dabbled in African-style djembe and djun djun playing, and currently works with Eastern Indian tablas. “My influences have been many and varied in my life. I listened to a lot of the Beatles and Bonzos as a kid, as well as The Band, Traffic, The Grateful Dead, all my dad’s collection of records,” said Vallat. “I don’t tend to have favorite musical pieces, but more favorite musical styles. I love it when people take different genres and mix them together, like the gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello, or the Klazz Brothers, who play classical music with Cuban percussionists.” Vallat was greatly influenced by the Canadian band Rush (“Neil Pert is the best drum set player ever!” he enthused), and Van Halen as a young teen, but began listening to more punk and alternative music in high school. His favorite bands were Dead Kennedys, DOA, Suicidal Tendencies, GBH, Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Butthole Surfers. He started his drumming early.
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Drummer Aaron Vallat uses his collection of drums to teach music to teens in his popular Rhythm Planet Teen Ensemble class.
“When I was 6, I was introduced to Phil Nakano, a Japanese-American who was trained in African drumming. I studied conga drumming and drum set on and off with Phil until I left home for college,” he recalled. “In sixth grade I joined the public school band program, which I stayed in until I graduated high school, so I guess my band teachers were influential. “I played trombone in middle and high school band, but have lost the skill as an adult, much to my annoyance, and I played snare drum and quads in the University of Washington Husky Marching Band. “I will always remember playing with the Husky marching band. There is something special about playing for a live audience of 75,000 people, but I have to say that seeing the joy in my students’ faces after a successful performance brings me a pleasure that I never anticipated. I know at that moment they are experiencing a form of the same joy I had with the marching band, knowing you connected with a group of strangers and gave them something, and they, in return, gave you something back. It’s a little hard to explain, but when it’s all working right and it happens, it is an exchange between people that I have never experienced in any other medium. “I think what I get out of sharing music is that unexplainable connection, that thing that brings the musicians and the listeners together in a special way. Even when it is just musicians playing together without an audience, you can still get that connection. It doesn’t happen every time, but when it does, you know it and there is nothing like it.” Vallat strives for that connection in his teaching as well. Currently, he is the director of the Rhythm Planet Teen Ensemble, a teen class with performance opportunities.
Left: Current members of the Rhythm Planet Teen Ensemble, a musical community that is now a 17-year-old itself, took time out from a recent weekly session to pose for a group photo. Front row, from left are Atlas Kulish, Sierra Ellis, Clover CoupCarlin and Callay Boire-Shedd. Back row: Vanessa McKinney, Daniel Elsberry, Cole Miller, Noah Falge, Forrest Brennan, Aiden Falge, Juliet Alban Vallat, Francois Ballou, Aaron Vallat (director), Zara Kulish, Mitch Brennan (volunteer), Emmett Erickson, Jill Alban (volunteer), Caleb Johnson, Emma Lewis and Franco Bertucci (assistant director). Not pictured is Daniel Neville (volunteer).
In 1996, Kip Hubbard asked Vallat if he would help with a hand-drumming class. “He was a teacher but not a drummer and he was having trouble staying a lesson ahead of the kids,” explained Vallat. “I was a drummer but not a teacher. We combined our efforts and it worked. It didn’t take us long to start our own nonprofit organization and start teaching not only music classes, but outdoor education, art and adventure classes also. The Rhythm Planet Teen Ensemble became our flagship program. When the nonprofit was dissolved, I retained the teen program and have run it ever since. It’s been 17 years and it’s still going strong!” Vallat’s motivations for teaching are varied. “I have had a desire to work with teens since I was in college and I thought I would wind up being with some sort of outdoor education program. Having a music class for teens was unexpected, but allows me to not only focus on the music, but is my chance to spend time with a segment of our population that I am drawn to be with. “I love the place that teens occupy: not kids anymore, thinking that they understand everything, but not yet adults. It is a creative, funny, loud, energetic, frustrating, volatile, confusing, joyous, crazy, fun time that can be very hard to navigate and is incredibly important to have adults tuned in to. “Music is what I am best at, so combining what I am drawn to do and what I do well just makes sense,” said Vallat. Vallat believes the value of music is unique to the individuals it touches. “It helps build community, it strengthens and preserves culture, it is a form of expression and communication that transcends spoken language, it is proven to reduce stress when played an hour a week, it is incredibly good for your brain. It is a way for people to come together from different cultures, classes, ages,” said Vallat. Francois Ballou, a five-year ensemble member, said, “He’s like a slave driver. I really like the fact that there are so many people passionate about music and we learn to play so many instruments.” “It’s social, and fun and it’s interesting to do music in a huge setting that I haven’t seen in any other program. We play Caribbean and Mediterranean, which is really cool,” said member Emma Lewis. “I like it a lot,” said member Aidan Falge, who kept playing in spite of a broken arm. “I would like people to know that there is a group of teens working hard to learn and perform music that means something to them, music that they would like to share with the public. And I would like it to be music that resonates with the people that hear it, for whatever reason,” said Vallat. “And if that ain’t enough, come out and dance to The Better Half because, by God, we’re a hell of a dance band!” n
Students in the Rhythm Planet Teen Ensemble listen intently as teacher Aaron Vallat gives instructions.
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Steve and Ann Johnson in their home at the Lazy J Tree Farm on Gehrke Road in the Agnew area. The two were married a year ago and enjoy both the farm by day and dancing the night away.
You put your right foot in … Longtime tree farmer finds relaxation — and love — in dancing
Story and photos by Mary Powell
et’s see, trees, specifically Christmas trees, and dancing — is there any possible connection between the two? Trees do sway in the wind and there was a weird movie made in 2009 called “Dancing Trees,” but most people probably would say there is really nothing that ties the two together. Most people, however, aren’t Steve Johnson, a tree-farm owner by day and debonair dancer by night. For him, being a steward of the land and of the dance floor simply go hand in hand. A stretch? Maybe. But for Johnson, overseeing the family tree farm and growing organic fruits and vegetables has been a part of his life and indeed, his soul, since he was 16 years old. Cutting a rug on the lustrous dance floor kicked in about 20 years ago and like his trees, has been a part of life since. Not only does Johnson like to take a spin on the dance floor as much as he can fit in, he teaches others to twirl, spin, waltz and swing. “Twenty some years ago I was divorced and didn’t want to mope around, so I decided to take some dance lessons,” the good-natured Johnson
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recounted. “I found I had some rhythm and I was having fun.” And that brings us to present time — or almost. About two years ago, Johnson was teaching a beginning swing dance class in Port Angeles. Among all the students was a woman named Ann who caught his attention. “He shook my hand and said, ‘Hi, I’m Steve,’” a soft-spoken, almost shy Ann remembered. When dance class was over, the two went their separate ways, and although Ann couldn’t at first remember his name, the two eventually began to date. Long story short, a year later he proposed to her at the Port Angeles Senior Center on the same dance floor where they met. “He lassoed my heart from across the room, there was no choice but to marry him,” Ann smiled. The two married Dec. 28, 2013. The couple dances three or four nights a week. When asked what they like to do in their spare time, you guessed it — dance. “Camping and dancing,” said Steve. “It’s a great way to recreate and get off the farm.” “But we always try to find a dance floor,” Ann added.
Back to the day job, the farm. It all began in 1955 when George and Eloise Johnson bought 20 acres of land and started a berry farm on Gehrke Road in the Agnew area near Sequim. As more acreage was added, the family changed the focus of the farm from berries to Christmas trees and as Steve puts it, Lazy J Tree Farm was born. When he was 16, Steve’s father died and Steve took over the management of the farm. Gradually organic apple and pear orchards were planted, as well as organic potatoes and garlic. In 2007, Steve added a composting operation to the farm whereby people can drop off yard waste and other organic materials, which is composted and turned into topsoil. “The compost is a good business, it saved the farm during lean times,” Steve said. The farm takes up 85 acres, most of that in Christmas trees. A couple of acres is in potatoes, with seven in fruit. A good portion of the fruit and potatoes head to the farm store, which sits across from Steve and Ann’s lovely home. Speaking of see page 31 >>
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Above: Steve and Ann Johnson enjoy a trip around the floor at a local outdoor venue. Photo courtesy of Ann Johnson Right: Lazy J Tree Farm is a certified organic farm and sells a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables at the farm’s gift shop. << continued from page 28 the home, when Ann began dating Steve, friends called the farmhouse the bachelor pad. In other words, nothing had been updated since time immemorial — Steve has lived in the family home since he was a 4-year-old, when the house was built. He gave Ann carte blanche to remodel and to her credit, it is now is a cozy, yet spacious place to live, manage the farm and entertain. The farm is peaceful and at the same time bustling. Pickup trucks are continuously coming and going to either drop off yard waste or carry off compost, while cars with tourists or customers peruse the farm store stuffed with fresh cider, honey, syrups, jams and jellies and plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, and at Christmastime, freshly made wreaths. The four full-time staff and high-schoolers hired during the summer season are in and out of the machine shop, the store and even the house, as is Steve’s son Graeme, who manages the farm alongside his father. Out in the fields stand rows of fruit trees and more rows of Christmas trees, all sizes and shapes, waiting for the season when families will mosey through the rows of trees, looking for just the right one on which to hang lights and beloved ornaments. The fragrance of Christmas among the trees is mesmerizing, conjuring up memories of old. Steve is the first to admit that farming is not stress-free. He is a good steward of the land, concerned about the environment and the future of farming, in particular, small farms such as his own. “Do we want to be simple or a conglomerate?” he wonders aloud. When Steve talks about his farm and the land within, he does so with a sense of affection and pride in his voice. He works with the North Olympic Land Trust, preserving a portion of
“Dancing is something you can do for your entire life.”
— Steve Johnson, owner, Lazy J Tree Farm, dance enthusiast
Siebert Creek on his farmland for salmon habitat and another section of the farm for “agriculture in perpetuity.” It’s also important to him for his fruits and vegetables to be certified organic and to build chemical-free soils. A favorite event for both Ann and Steve is the annual Clallam County Farm Tour that takes place in October. In 2014, eight farms participated, including the Lazy J. Typically about 2,000 visitors tour the farm and enjoy hayrides, the farm store, local musicians and a giant sand pile for the kids. Day is done, and guess what? It’s time to go dancing. “After a long day of work, he is still ready to go out dancing,” Ann said of her husband. And, she admits, so is she. Surprisingly, there are quite a few venues in the area for kicking up your heels. A favorite is the Oasis Bar and Grill in downtown Sequim or the 7 Cedars Casino east of Sequim. Both Sequim and Port Angeles senior centers offer periodic dance sessions, as well as Sequim Prairie Grange. In fact, Steve taught a swing class last summer at the Sequim Grange. Steve has enjoyed dancing for a long while, but about three years ago he was asked to teach others how to dance. At first he was a bit hesitant. “I found dancing fun, but didn’t want to turn dance into a job.” It didn’t turn out that way. In addition to teaching, Steve likes to organize
dances, particularly after he has finished a series of lessons. He has come up with a clever plan to put on these dances inexpensively. He charges $5 a head (his dance students get in free), so that he can hire a band for the evening. It’s a win-win for everyone. Dancing, Steve maintains, is not only fun, but is a great way to exercise and “get experience of learning relationships with a lot of people.” It’s a good social activity and, he said, learning new steps and patterns fights against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. He would like to see a younger crowd at the dances he organizes and — just as it was in junior high — get more men to sway and dip. A dream is to have a community center not simply for seniors, but for all ages where dance could be taught and evenings would be a mix of young and old swinging and swaying to the music. For now, however, it’s time for the swaying trees to sleep and for Ann and Steve to head to the nearest dance floor where Steve will take Ann into his arms, twirl her ‘round and’ round and most likely whisper a little sweet nothing in her ear. n
Christmas trees are the mainstay at Lazy J. There are a variety of trees from extra large to tiny.
Winter 2014 LOP 31
Chris Morganroth III displays his collection of baskets. On the right end of top row of baskets by various weavers, you will see a small tightly woven basket with a faint wolf head design. This basket is the work of Morganroth’s grandmother Suzie. This photo, taken by Jacilee Wray, appears in the book “From the Hands of a Weaver” published in 2012 by University of Oklahoma Press. Photo courtesy of Olympic National Park
A FAMILY TRADITION OF TEACHING CULTURE Story by Christina Williams
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Quileute culture teacher and advisor Chris Morganroth III takes a pen in hand and writes out his Quileute name on a napkin. “DU-WA’-SOOB” he says, emphasizing the middle syllable. “It has no meaning that I know of. My grandmother gave it to me when I was 6 years old.” At 75, Morganroth is now an elder himself. He looks back to his childhood, as he traces the path that led him from working as an Air Force mechanic on B-52 jets to teaching Quileute language and carving skills to students at the Tribal School in La Push. While he no longer teaches there on a regular basis, Morganroth continues his pursuit of cultural education, through his ongoing work with the Olympic Peninsula Intertribal Cultural Committee and other activities. His early years were steeped in the traditional ways of his Quileute-speaking grandmother whose married name was Suzie Morganroth. His father, Chris Morganroth II, was skilled in both traditional native and modern Western technologies. Both people strongly influenced Morganroth’s early years and the choices he would make throughout his life. Morganroth explains the importance of “naming” in his tribal tradition: “It was a custom that when you were 6 years old, you got a new name. You were no longer called ‘baby.’ My grandmother
named me and my sisters at a name-giving ceremony. There was drumming, singing and a medicine man or two and some very well-known tribal members from other tribes who sang their songs. It was an honor for me to get my name DUWA’-SOOB when I was 6. It’s a customary to get a new name. My grandmother passed away when I was 12, before I could get my adult name at 16, so I’m hanging on to this name.” Chris explains that his father (Chris Morganroth II) had two Quileute names. There’s a warmth and respect in Morganroth’s voice as he shares his memories and it’s clear that his grandmother was a remarkable woman her own right. Although she died over half a century ago, she was a capable by any standards. This beloved matriarch helped ensure the survival of her family and their heritage through applying her intelligence and spiritual faith to every facet of her existence. “She wasn’t a very big lady,” recalls Morganroth. “She was probably 5’ 2” — maybe close to a hundred pounds, I don’t know, but she could lift over a hundred pounds and it was just a way of life. She was so strong and she never wore shoes. Wherever she went, she went barefoot, and of course she was up in her years when she passed. She married a man from Germany in the late 1800s. His name was ‘Chris Morgenroth’ and I’m the third generation of that line. That’s where I get my name ‘Chris Morganroth III.’ ” Note: Suzie Morganroth’s family spells the surname with an “a” rather than and “e.” Morganroth’s German Jewish grandfather emigrated from Europe because at the time he
Chris Morganroth III speculates that his grandmother Suzie was about 18 years old when local amateur photographer Fannie Taylor took this photo of her on James Island. This may have been before Suzie Morganroth divorced her husband, Chris Morgenroth I. After the divorce, the young mother relocated with their children and built a house near the island. According to Morganroth III, his grandmother enjoyed spending time the top of the island while she was living in the area. Photo courtesy of Olympic National Park, Fannie Taylor Photograph Collection
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Bronze Award Since 2010 34 LOP Winter 2014
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“My grandmother spoke the Quileute language all the time and that’s why I learned the Quileute language. All of her ways were cultural … traditional. She taught me a lot about her Quileute ways of living: the foods, the medicines, the various things she made for her livelihood.” — Chris Morganroth III came to the United States, he “didn’t like what was happening with the Jews” in Europe, so he made enough money to pay for passage to America. He made his way west to the Olympic Peninsula where he met Morganroth’s grandmother, a beautiful young Quileute woman who understood English, but spoke her own language except on rare occasions. Morganroth describes his grandparents’ life together: “They had a place there on the Bogachiel River — that means ‘muddy water’ — and it’s a tributary of the Quillayute River, where our people are from. Their ranch was six miles from Highway 101 — up the river. My father was born there — on the Morgenroth Ranch — on Christmas Day, 1904.” Morganroth talks about the trajectory of his immigrant grandfather’s career and its effect on his grandparents’ marriage: “My grandfather went to college to study forestry and he became the first U.S. District forest ranger on the Olympic Peninsula. He loved his job so much that he was seldom home. My grandmother couldn’t stand that … and so she divorced him.” Morganroth’s grandfather was man of exceptional talent, and with respect to the career that he loved, it seems that he was at the right place at the right time. Fate presented him with an opportunity of historic proportion, but that may have contributed to the dissolution of his marriage. Morganroth explains that his grandfather helped draft some of the early documents that pertained to the creation of Olympic National Park, and that through his work, he became acquainted with President Theodore Roosevelt. After his grandparents’ divorce, Morganroth’s grandmother “put her children in a canoe and paddled all the way down to La Push — probably 30 to 40 miles by river.” There the newly single mother had a home built next to James Island, where she made a new life for herself and her children. Morganroth says that she liked to visit the top of the island when she lived near it. The family had to move after their house was inundated by a flood caused by a shipwreck at the mouth of the river. Suzie Morganroth raised her children after she divorced their father, and when her own daughter-in-law left her son (Morganroth’s father) she helped to raise her grandchildren. Chris Morganroth III was only 8 months old when his mother left the family. His father was extremely distraught. “My grandmother cried and cried and cried,” says Morganroth III, “and from then on she prayed for him every single day.” Her son managed to get through this difficult period and he eventually remarried. “My father was a strong man,” Morganroth observes, “and I would say intelligent. He went to work for Boeing for a while and taught riveting. He went to work for Todd Shipyards and helped to build the Lexington during World War II. While he was there, he taught welding — he was that good.” His father also was skilled at bow-making and carving model canoes, and this inspired young Morganroth. He recalls, “When I was 9, he took me to visit different people who were building canoes.”
As a child, Morganroth took a liking to carving after watching his father, a bowmaker, carve model canoes. His father took him to various canoe makers, even though he couldn’t touch Indian tools until he was 13. He recalls that there were some really great carvers in the Quileute Tribe and some of them were his relatives. Photo by Christina Williams After high school, Morganroth did some welding and worked at Boeing before his career as an Air Force mechanic. He was thrilled to work on B-52s and have some of the experiences that the Air Force offered, but after his service was completed, he wanted a change. “It took a while for me to decide,” he says, “and I was still doing carving on the side when the Quileute Tribal School first opened.” Soon after he started teaching there, the school expanded to K-12. Morganroth was hired to teach carving and the Quileute language. When the school grew, he was glad to reach more students. He observes
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Suzie Morganroth lived in this house in the Quileute village of La Push in her later years. The house no longer exists. Her grandson Chris Morganroth III explains that the place was built low to the ground and the heavy moisture in this coastal area caused the wooden structure to decay. Photo courtesy of Chris Morganroth III
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36 LOP Winter 2014
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that, “The young students really took to the language and the high school students really took to the carving.” Traditional canoe carving requires traditional material. “The most difficult thing to get right now is a cedar log,” explains Morganroth. He describes a recent innovation that makes the most of less wood: “We make cedar strips and glue those strips around a form. We’ll put a traditional bow and stern on the canoe. Out of one cedar log, we may able to get as many as five canoes.” Morganroth’s father first introduced him to various traditional canoe carvers, some of whom were his relatives. It was his grandmother who showed him the Quileute way of obtaining the necessities for their daily life. He shares his memories of accompanying his grandmother and her friends on their gathering trips: “She would go off in her canoe and gather the resources for medicines and her basket weaving and whatever other crafts she did. She was an outstanding basket weaver and had a lot of really nice basket designs that a lot of people wanted, and many people got them. She had a couple other friends that used to go up with her in her canoe, so my younger sister and I used to go up the river with them. My grandmother spoke the Quileute language all the time and that’s why I learned the Quileute language. All of her ways were cultural … traditional. She taught me a lot about her Quileute ways of living: the foods, the medicines, the various things she made for her livelihood.” Morganroth remembers his grandmother’s participation in traditional gatherings of a group called the Wolf Society: “The membership was not limited just to the Quileute Tribe, but it is said that it most likely began with the Quileute Tribe, because they are the ‘People of the Wolf.’ My grandmother also belonged to the Bear Society. She had to get initiated into that and they put these marks on her arms and her legs.” He draws a line of small dashes on his napkin to illustrate the marks, as he explains that she also was the very last person alive to belong to the Bear Society. Suzie Morganroth taught her grandson the Quileute language and shared with him many traditional Quileute life ways: “She would teach me the foods — some of them we didn’t have to prepare, like the sea urchins. We’d just sit there, crack ‘em open and eat the insides. The flavor of them just grew on me. I still eat them today!” For years in his role as a cultural educator, Morganroth has been involved with OPICAC — the Olympic Peninsula Intertribal Cultural Advisory Committee. Membership is comprised of cultural experts from the area’s various tribes who meet regularly with each other and work with Olympic National Park’s anthropologist Jacilee Wray on projects of mutual interest. As part of his work with the group, Morganroth was one of the co-authors of “Native Peoples of the Olympic Peninsula,” an OPICAC book project that offers an overview of the peninsula’s many indigenous communities. The 2002 publication was edited by Wray and published by the University of Oklahoma Press. Wray edited the most recent OPICACinspired book, “From the Hands of a Weaver,” to which Morganroth also contributed. Published in 2012 (also by the University of Oklahoma Press), this book is a fascinating exploration of the region’s weaving traditions and weavers whose works are represented in ONP’s historical collection of tribal basketry. The publication contains a thoughtfully compiled selection of essays, photographs and illustrations. It offers readers an opportunity to view basketry in a context rich with history and culture. The Quileute elder ponders the mixed blessings that the popular “Twilight” series has brought to the Olympic Peninsula. While it has sparked some genuine interest in this part of the Northwest, and undeniably created much-needed economic benefit, the fictional stories also have created confusion about the real Quileute Tribe and its authentic beliefs. Morganroth explains, “It was my job to inform people that we weren’t werewolves — they don’t even exist! I would say that 99 percent of the tribal people were spiritual people and really believed that we originated from the Wolf, and that likewise there were beings that were here on the face of the earth, and at the beginning of time, people could change from animal to human at will, and from human to animal. These were very important things to know. It further acquainted them with what was out there, that this was a part of this world, that it was a part of them, and that everything was connected in one way or another. They wanted to preserve it and make sure that spirituality was incorporated into everything they did ….” n
THEN Port Townsend Aldrich’s Market is a community focal point in Uptown Port Townsend, serving up groceries, sushi, deli items, wine and beer along with healthy servings of community interaction. The first store opened in 1895 when Clark Aldrich purchased a variety store from Robert Gray. In those days, school books and stationary were the staples on its shelves, but the store also stocked candy, fruits, vegetables and tobacco. The store was housed in several locations around the turn of the century and was handed from father to son. It opened in its current location in 1927. At its grand opening it was called: “The most modern, up to date store on the Olympic Peninsula.” As the years passed, Aldrich’s became an important landmark and a defacto community center. It went through several iterations and two owners until, on Aug. 4, 2003, Aldrich’s caught fire and the oldest grocery store in Washington still operating under its original name was totally destroyed. To make rebuilding the store possible economically, condominiums were added on the top floors. Aldrich’s reopened in July 2005 and once again became the hub of the Uptown neighborhood. Today, Aldrich’s Market is prospering once again, traveling a well-worn path more than 100 years in the making. Historical photo from the Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader collection. Today’s photo by Fred Obee.
Sequim Anna Campbell Bekkevar takes a ride in her birthday present, on what is now U.S. Highway 101. The buggy and a horse named “Maggie” were given to her by her husband, Olaf, in 1919. The house in the background is the beginning of the original Bekkevar home. The second picture shows that home currently, with the addition in place. Olaf purchased the property east of Blyn in 1911 when it was known as “The Little Michigan Settlement.” After his marriage to Anna in 1917, the family grew and prospered on what is now known as the 100-acre Bekkevar Farm. Many generations of the family continue to thrive and keep alive the dream of the run-away sailor from Norway, who was one of the first Masons on the Sequim Prairie. Son Richard and wife Winona (Lotzgesell), and their sons Dave and Jim with wives Trish and Andrea still live on the busy farm. The annual “Bekke Fest” celebration brings together the grandchildren, other family, friends and neighbors to enjoy all the history this family property offers. Photos courtesy of the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley.
Winter 2014 LOP 37
Passionate Living By Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith
When you hear the word “passion,” what images come to mind? Romantic passion between two lovers? The passion of sacrifice in religious traditions? The spark of passion that stirs individuals from mundane existence into new adventures and creative possibilities? The primal energy of the universe that calls us all out to play in this amazing world as we share our gifts of presence? Perhaps a blend of all. Love, commitment, risk and joy. One of our great cultural heroes recently departed the planet leaving behind a rich array of creative expressions. Maya Angelou spoke of living with energy and consciousness amid all of life’s challenges and blessings. She embodied what she described as her mission in life … “not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” What a great example for us to follow as we encounter what crosses our paths. If you want to reconnect with your own inner passion, simply return to your childhood and notice what you truly loved to do. Perhaps the action of physical sports or the journeys found in reading books or the joy of gazing at the night sky on a starry night or the exhilaration of singing and dancing to the tunes you loved or taking crayons and paints to color outside the box. Each of us was gifted with special talents and interests and those are the source of our true love of life … of our passion. To re-inspire the flame of your inner passion in the here and now, review how these childhood loves are playing out in your life right now. Notice it’s not about “working out” but rather “playing out.” What are you doing in this moment that makes your heart sing? How are you filling the gift of time and life that is uniquely yours? Are you filling your own inner well? Are you sharing it with others around you? Perhaps you are blessed to have blended your work with your passion. Perhaps your work supports your deepest passion. Perhaps that true passion has been buried under too many “shoulds, musts, oughts and can’ts.” It’s time to free that passion into further expression. Where can you reclaim what you love with passion, compassion, humor and style? Embodying and allowing expression are essential. Too often we align our souls,
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heads and hearts but forget to include our bodies. They are the vessels of our soul and the chalices of the outpouring of our gifts. The Olympic Peninsula is the perfect place to attune to nature and restore an honoring of your physical self. Walking on beaches, climbing mountain trails and ferrying from place to place are ideal. This embodied reconnection with nature allows our souls to open wide, our minds to welcome new perceptions and our hearts to receive rich remembrances of life’s beauty. Creating our lives is an organic and dedicated process that begins with setting an intention. The more passionate you are about any intention, the more energy will be present to manifest your vision. An alchemy of blending head, heart and body with soul calling. An enchanting of what you already have to allow that which you desire to emerge. There is a wonderful transformative question that can invite you to explore and rediscover your passion. Instead of making the usual “things to do” list or taking life so seriously that the fun all but disappears, consider this question around how to live your passion. Instead of “I must” or “I will,” why not shift into something more inviting? Imagine your passion in its next expression with “Wouldn’t it be nice if …?” No more musts, guilt or rigidity … instead the openeyed wonder that we all had as children. Life as invitation rather than duty. Mary Mannin Morrissey in “Living Your Field of Dreams” offers five essential questions to consider when setting a passion-centered intention called a dream. 1. Does this dream, this possibility enliven you? So much of our lives demand our energy without the much needed replenishment. Be sure this intention makes you look forward to life, engages you energetically and feeds your soul. 2. Does it align with your core values? When we are in integrity with our essential ethics, then an inner wellspring will arise to nourish us. Also, support from kindred souls will manifest in a unity of purpose and we don’t walk alone. 3. Do you need a Higher Source of
Inspiration to make it happen? If what you are visioning is something you can do easily alone, then it isn’t big enough. To really embrace passion, one also embraces the risk of great possibilities. 4. Will it require me to be more my True Self? This is the welcoming of your truest expression of the gifts with which you were born. To truly be who you’ve been sent to be is the most essential purpose for your presence on earth. 5. Will it ultimately bless others as well? When we seek Highest and Best for All, the energies of life uplift us. When we remember that our contributions affect the entire world, this unselfishness unleashes hope, grace and soul energy par excellence. In answering these questions, our passion quest begins. Where it leads will be a wondrous and magical encounter as well as a practical expression of who we are. When we follow our deepest passions, we create not only a more interesting world for ourselves but also a far richer world for others. In exploring our creative possibilities, in finding new ways to express them and in sharing what we discover — the world is made more enchanting. Our passions ignite us … our passions invite us forward … our passions nourish us along the way … our passions engage us with the world in an alchemical way that transforms all. “By pursuing your allurements, you help bind the universe together. The unity of the world rests on the pursuit of passion.” (Brian Swimme, “The Universe Is a Green Dragon”) Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith is minister to the Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center in Port Townsend, a presenter at conferences in the U.S., Italy, France and Great Britain, and spiritual tour guide for international pilgrimages. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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