Faces of the Peninsula Studio Bob: Art crusader Emily Westcott: Sequimâ€™s flower lady Books to write, stories to tell Green thumb grows in Port Angeles Supplement to the Sequim Gazette and Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader
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Your journey to beating cancer just got shorter. You don’t have to leave the North Olympic Peninsula to get exceptional cancer care. Located in Sequim, Olympic Medical Cancer Center delivers world-class cancer care close to home. Our affiliation with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance gives our patients full access to the world-renowned therapies developed at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s. If you’re dealing with cancer, Olympic Medical Cancer Center can help. Visit omcforhope.com or call (360) 683-9895.
Departments Outdoor Recreation 10 | Best hiking trails for your dog
Now & Then 35 | A look at Port Townsend’s Victorian seaport era 4 1 | Port Townsend’s Haller Fountain and Sequim’s Cline Barn
Food & Spirits 12 | Baked aioli oysters Arts & Entertainment 20 | The thrill of pussy willows
Out & About 39 | Joyce Depot Museum preserves railroading past The Living End 42 | An Enriched Life
Faces of the Olympic Peninsula 5 | Glass tool tradition Tools for the growing glass-blowing art market 9 | Bogachiel Tourist Park A look back at West End tourist cabins 13 | A crusader for art Bob Stokes sees Port Angeles as a destination art community
Vol. 10, Number 1 • Living on the Peninsula is a quarterly publication.
16 | Sequim’s flower lady Emily Westcott wears many hats
147 W. Washington St., Sequim WA 98382 © 2014 Sequim Gazette
22 | Rooted in rhodies Brinnon’s Whitney Gardens is in full bloom
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24 | The Greenhouse Diana Politika grows her dream business 28 | Stories to tell Jess McKenzie and his so-called “checkered career” 36 | More than sweets and lights Entrepreneurial soul mates live a creative (and sweet!) life 4 LOP Spring 2014
Production: Mary Field, Graphic Designer Trish Tisdale, Page Designer On our cover: Jay Cline of Port Angeles captured this photo of Striped Peak near Salt Creek where there were gun emplacements during World War II. This cove is on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Locals call it “The Cove.”
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Jim Moore in his Peninsula shop where he makes over 20 kinds of tools for glass working.
l o o t Glass
tradition Story and photos by Viviann Kuehl
A ring of driveways winds around through the woods like a labyrinth to the shop of Jim Moore Glass Tools. A door on the ordinary-looking shop building opens into a small entry room with the expected posters and bookshelves, but then you see more. An eerie mounted head, with a blend of natural parts and a welded steel jaw with jutting triangular steel teeth, has steel hooks curving out from its spine, completely
eclipsing the welded steel chair shaped like a red rocket below. The unassuming door into the shop opens onto another world, with huge mechanical flypresses raising their metal arms in salute high above anyone’s head. An exuberant man with a halo of reddish hair and a ready smile, Moore’s shop reflects his vitality. At first glance, it’s hard to take in all the many different things in the space, all neatly in place.
This is where Jim Moore, and a few others, craft the handmade glass tools he has become known for. “It’s a weird, interesting business you’d find only on the peninsula,” said Moore, and it evolved out of his life experiences. “I stumbled into blowing glass,” recounted Moore. At 22, he quit school and found odd jobs, working in a plating plant, painting houses, welding, metalworking, sharpening scissors,
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A handful of hand-forged blades destined to become glass cutting shears.
These blades will be paired to become diamond shears, used to cut molten glass.
These waffle crimping tools are machined in carbon steel to press textures into hot glass.
through a friend, Larry Jeffers. One day Jeffers asked Moore if he wanted to blow glass. It sounded easy. “Glass blowing is addictive,” noted Moore. “You just want to do it more and more. You can chase it forever.” Over the next eight years, from 1983-1992, he pursued the art of glass blowing, scraping along trying to make a living. “The tools were so expensive, I had to make my own,” he said. During that time the number of glass workers in the area grew from what could fit into a small bathroom to hundreds, said Moore, and he found that he was obliged to make duplicates of his glasswork to meet customer demand. “I hate making the same thing twice,” said Moore. “I thought if my stuff is all the same, I’ll make tools.” Moore began to supply the growing market for tools, using his experience as a glass blower along with his metalworking skills, and began to develop a line of quality handcrafted tools. Tools shape the glass product, as reflected in the work of the Romans, Etruscans and others, said Moore, who enjoys his part in shaping today’s glasswork. “Glass making has been around 4,000 years,” explains Moore. “I’m not making
6 LOP Spring 2014
“I hate making the same thing twice. I thought if my stuff is all the same, I’ll make tools.”
– Jim Moore
anything new. It’s a long tradition.” He started with a pair of tweezers made for a friend. “After some struggling, he had his tweezers and I had a six pack of Pyramid,” recounted Moore. “Soon enough I was spending a lot more time making tools than blowing and constantly making little improvements to the basic tool designs as well as my technique.” His first catalog, on a plain sheet of paper, shows diamond shears, trimming shears, jacks, a puffer, tweezers and a graphite paddle. Now he offers over 20 different tools of various designs and sizes on his website at www. toolsforglass.com. Moore’s wife, Liz Moore, handles all of the packing and shipping to send around the world.
Moore has become one of the half dozen or so glass tool makers around the world and has distributors on four continents. “I was in the right spot with the right thing at the right time. Imagine that,” said Moore. “There’s not much glory in making tools but there’s a living and that’s what I wanted.” He also got the satisfaction of making quality tools, working out the details of design and material. “My objective is to make a good tool for a reasonable price that will last a long time,” said Moore. He repairs or replaces any tool that goes wrong. “I try to build the tools so they don’t fall apart, because I don’t like to repair them,” he said. To make his jacks, he starts with buying the sheet steel that is laser cut and shaped into the handle. The blades are made from 5/8 inch rod steel, forged by power hammer, then plasma cut and shaped by grinding. The blades are brazed to the handle, before the final finishing. Each step is carefully done to create a tool of lasting beauty and each of the tools is created in small batches, keeping Moore from boredom in his work and maintaining the long tradition of the craft, in the woods on the Olympic Peninsula. n
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Bogachiel Tourist Park Story by Christi Baron Photos by Dorothy Burr LEROY SMITH came to the West End in 1915 when he was 19 years old. He had left Michigan with two other men, one of whom already had spent some time in Forks in 1913. The three boarded a train and headed west. After three days they were finally in Seattle. All were hoping to lay claim to a homestead, but found they were late for claiming a good one, but it just so happened there were just three left in Clallam County. They boarded a boat leaving for Port Angeles at midnight and arrived at six in the morning. In Port Angeles they bought pack boards and groceries, and headed out for Lake Sutherland. The trio found an old homestead cabin near Indian Valley where they spent the night and the next day made it to Maple Grove. A man there took them to look at three timber claims; they were straight up the mountain to the head of Eden Valley. One of the men was so disappointed that the land was covered with so many trees; he wanted open space for to raise sheep, that right there he sold his share of his groceries to Smith and the other man and left. The two never saw him again. After taking a ferry across Lake Crescent the two walked to Snider Ranger Station. They walked all the next day never seeing a soul finally making it to the Sol Duc bridge just outside of Forks, where they finally saw the first car. The occupants asked if they wanted a ride and drove them in to Forks and the Cottage Hotel, but they didn’t stay there. They heard of an empty cabin near Mill Creek where they set up their belongings and within a day they both had jobs. In 1918, Smith got a job with a survey crew,
Dorothy at about 2 years old standing on the newly completed southern leg of the Olympic Loop Highway, the Bogachiel Bridge in the background.
Cabins in the Bogachiel Tourist Park
surveying for the right of way for a new road that would start in Forks and head south, the road would eventually go all the way to Hoquiam/Aberdeen. At some point, along this new road right of way, Smith found some property to purchase near the Bogachiel River. He married Hoh area school teacher Theodora Squires and in 1928 their daughter Dorothy was born, In April 1929 the new family moved in to a $35 house near where Smith began building a small store and cabins, along the future U.S. Highway 101, called the Bogachiel Tourist Park. With living quarters in the back this was where Dorothy Smith Burr would call home for the next 17 years. She’s a spry 85 now. Things were pretty quiet along the future highway with just area neighbors coming to use the little store and gas station, but in 1931 when the Olympic loop was completed, things began to pick up. Smith built small cabins and a community kitchen near the river which was used for get together. Burr remembers the cabins used by traveling tourists and men that came to work in the area. The biggest event to happen to the Smith family was when in 1937 the news came that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was going to be coming through Forks. Schools closed and the people of the West End came from everywhere to line the streets waiting to see the president. Burr’s father didn’t want to head in to Forks to see the president but his wife and neighbors all encouraged him to close the store and gas station. A neighbor said she would stay behind and watch the place if anybody needed anything. So the Smith family set off for Forks, the president was to arrive about 10 a.m. but by noon still no president and then there came the motorcade. They slowed a bit and then sped off going south.
The Smiths got in their car and tried to follow but law enforcement kept them back. Once they got back home to the store and gas station the neighbor had quite a story to tell, it seemed that several cars had stopped for gas including the president’s car and then continued on their journey down to Lake Quinault. When Burr was 11 she got to start working in the store. She recalls everything being in bulk and having to measure it out. Since they lived in the back of the store she remembers that passersby and neighbors were always coming to the door needing something when the store was closed. As World War II started, Smith was approached by the army to allow them to camp near the river on his property, Smith was not too excited about the idea, but the army told him it was them or the Japanese and Smith relented. Burr and her mother served as airplane observers during the war and each received a recognition pin. Burr was told she was the youngest recipient of the honor. They never did spot an enemy plane but one time they got a report that a Japanese sub had landed at Kalaloch and they would be at their home anytime. The rumor turned out to be partially true, a sub was seen but thankfully no invasion occurred. In 1945, The Smiths sold the tourist camp and moved in to Forks, Burr finished high school, attended college, married her husband Bud Burr and raised her family in Forks. She was a correspondent for the Forks Forum for many years and still plays her clarinet in the Community Orchestra. Her husband Bud died a few years ago. The Bogachiel Store operated under a number of different owners until the late 1970s and then in September 1990 a suspicious fire was the end of the roadside enterprise. n
Spring 2014 LOP 9
Hiking the peninsula, on two legs and four Story and photos by Michael Dashiell
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight — it’s the size of the fight in the dog, Mark Twain once famously quipped. I think that holds true for hiking with dogs, that it’s the size of the hike in a dog that matters, particularly when you’re halfway through a 16-miler and your dog decides he/she is refusing to take another step. I’ve hiked with my fair share of canines and size hasn’t mattered particularly mattered. I’ve hiked with dachshunds that go and go and go, while a Northwest Farm Terrier (about three times the size) preferred shorter hikes that were more like long walks. In either case, the North Olympic Peninsula is a great place to strap on the old hiking boots (and for the dogs, little booties, if you like). And while pooches aren’t allowed in Olympic National Park, there are plenty of city and county parks, various trails and Olympic National
Forest land they can visit. A few tips before we get to my favorite local dog-friendly hikes. All hikes come with one or two proverbial red flags, so it’s best to be prepared: 1. Carry poop bags. Can’t stress this enough. I see too many dog-accessible trails ruined by hikers/walkers who don’t clean up after Fido. Don’t be that guy/gal. Take a couple of little bags, stuff ‘em in your pocket or backpack and get going. 2. Bring extra water. Dogs get thirsty, too, and they can’t tell you … unless you own Mr. Peabody. A collapsable dish and an extra water bottle makes a big difference for your hiking buddy. 3. Bring extra dog food. See above. 4. Check your dog’s paws. We get to wear the nice, thick-soled boots while most times dogs are on their own pads. While this usually offers
Plenty to sniff at Railroad Bridge Park.
good protection, even short hikes over rough ground can do damage. Check those paws several times during longs hikes in particular. 5. Bring a blanket. If it’s a short hike, leave it in the car. Dogs have an amazing ability to carry mud, dirt and who-knows-what from Mother Nature into your vehicle, so it never hurts to have an old rag or two to dry him (and you) off after your sojourn. 6. Stay aware. Not all dog hikers are friendly and not all human hikers are friendly. Plus, many of our local trails are horse-friendly and oftentimes horses and dogs in close proximity do not mix well. 7. (Most importantly!) Stay on leash. I know, I know, you want Fido to run free. So do I. But for reasons above and others I haven’t dreamed of, your dog needs to stay close to you and under control — for your hiking party’s sake and others.
Railroad Bridge Park is one of this area’s true gems, its crowning glory a railroad trestle that was built nearly 100 years ago and is now a pedestrian and bicycle path, and part of the Olympic Discovery Trail. The trestle here spans the indefatigable Dungeness River as it snakes its way north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. But Railroad Bridge Park is much more than that. It’s also home to the Dungeness River Audubon Center, a collaborative learning base, and 28 acres of unique and varied Olympic Peninsula habitat. Fortunately for us day hikers — even those with four-legged friends — the park offers several winding trails on which to spend an afternoon. After gazing at the majestic Dungeness upon this 600-foot bridge-turned-wooden-walkway, dip down to trails below the bridge. Smaller dogs may need some help getting over the occasional log. These trails are not only home to various birds but also a number of amphibians and reptiles, from frogs to salamanders and even a few snakes, so watch your step. With picnic tables and a picture-postcard view of the river, this is a great spot to spend a lunch break.
Railroad Bridge Park How long: Varies How hard: Easy to moderate How to get there: From downtown Sequim, take Washington Street west. Turn right on Seventh Avenue, then turn left on Hendrickson Road. Follow that for 1.2 miles, then turn into parking area on right.
Get a good view of the Railroad Bridge trestle by hiking just west and backtrack with river-level trails.
R da few th gr th T on th be ca m at to If yo ou sh in ya se hi
Dogs are allowed at Robin Hill Farm County Park, as long as they’re on leashes.
Robin Hill Farm County Park is a fine place to go for a day hike along more than three miles of foot trails. Spend a few peaceful moments in the upper meadow, explore some of the agriculture projects the WSU Cooperative Extension program’s got going on and possibly meet some new friends on the trail — as long you don’t mind a little mud and gun shots. There’s so much to like about Robin Hill: the pedestrianonly trails, the horse trails, the wetlands and pocket forests, the varying terrain. The people we meet at the park seem to be looking for a respite from their media-driven worlds. Located just a few hundred feet from U.S. Highway 101, it feels miles away from almost everything.But be warned: As a sign at the Dryke Hill trailhead indicates, the county has decided to spend money on trail materials rather than trash cans. If you bring a picnic — or more important for dog-walkers, your pet decides to leave a present — be prepared to pack out your garbage.And, as the trailhead note indicates, you should keep “yippy” dogs off the horse trails, to avoid freaking out their much larger trail brethren.A few hundred yards away is Sunnydell Shooting Grounds. The range, open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to dusk, can startle animals and hikers alike if they’ve not been in the area long.
DEER Ridge Trail How hard: Moderate How long: 3.6 miles to ONP boundary; 5.2 miles to Deer Park Campground 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. On the web: www.nps.gov/olym/plan yourvisit/deer-ridge-trail.htm (Also see trail reviews at www.wta.org)
Robin Hill FARM County Park How long: 3.4 miles of foot trails and 2.5 miles of equestrian trails. 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 and turn right. Parking area is on the left.
A gem of a park at Port Williams Beach is Marlyn Nelson County Park. The park itself is about an acre, with four picnic tables, a saltwater boat launch, parking lot, toilets and little else. It’s not the size of the park that people come for, but rather the hundreds of yards of public-access beach to the south and about 1,000 feet of access to the north. (The park was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1944, to honor Marlyn Nelson, a 19-year-old sailor killed aboard the battleship USS California during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.) Both north and south paths have typical Washington state beach properties — lots of rocks of various sizes, driftwood, sand fleas, sea plants in varying states of decomposition. To the north the walk ends somewhat abruptly, as about three football fields down the coastline the public access ends at the Graysmarsh Farm property. Despite the occasional dour-weather Sequim day, many dogs and their “handlers” flock to Port Williams. Young dogs in particular will enjoy this hike. I’ve seen dozens of wide-eyed pups frantically racing to and fro between the chilly saltwater of the strait and the bulwark-like cliffs looming above Port Williams Beach.
Port Williams How long: About 2 miles roundtrip How hard: Easy How to get there: From downtown Sequim, take Sequim Avenue one mile north to Port Williams Road, then take a right. Drive about 2.5 miles east or until car becomes wet.
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. Check out Deer Park Trail, one that offers astounding views of Mount Baldy, farther back toward Buckhorn Mountain, Mount Deception, across the Graywolf River and into the Buckhorn wilderness. Completing the Deer Ridge 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, although the campground generally is closed through to mid-June.) Lush undergrowth and moss-covered evergreens are abundant here even in winter months, with Douglas-fir, rhododendrons, salal and kinnikinnick lining the path. The trail looks as green as any local forest trail during the summer. With clear skies, see grand views of the Buckhorn and snowcapped peaks of the Olympics. A full trip takes hikers up nearly 3,000 feet to the 5,400foot Deer Park campground. The steepest part of the trail is a 35-percent grade, but my dachshund Louis did just fine with that kind of grade.
Try to keep dogs on their leash at all times. Here, Louis — off leash for just a moment — gets acclimated to the Deer Ridge Trail in an early spring hike.
Spring 2014 LOP 11
Baked Aioli Oysters
Recipe courtesy of Michael’s Seafood & Steakhouse 1 dozen XS-Pacific oysters Stuffing 4-5 slices of bacon 1 Tablespoon minced shallots 1/2 ounce anisette liqueur or Pernod 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 cup raw spinach
Aioli topping 1 cup mayonnaise 3/4 ounce fresh basil 2 teaspoons minced garlic Preparation: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Stuffing Chop bacon into small pieces, crisp in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Drain bacon fat and return to pan. Add shallots, cook until shallots become opaque, add liqueur, allow alcohol to cook off, approximately 1 minute, season with pepper. Allow to cool. In a small sauce pan over medium heat add 1 ounce of water and fresh spinach. Heat until spinach is wilted. Drain excess water, set aside and allow to cool. After bacon and spinach have thoroughly cooled, squeeze off excess water from spinach and chop into bite sized pieces, combine spinach with bacon.
Michael’s Seafood & Steakhouse was has been a local favorite for over a decade. It specializes in fresh locally caught seafood daily, free range meats, local organic vegetables, delicious hand-tossed pizzas, a world-class wine list and a full bar where drinks are created from scratch using fresh squeezed juices to order. The cozy booths are the perfect spot to settle in with that special someone or have a business meeting over gourmet appetizers. The bistro room accommodates groups up to 40 people and offsite catering is also available. Open seven days a week at 4 p.m. and closing at 10 p.m. SundayWednesday; Thursday-Saturday closing at 11 p.m. Featuring a happy hour menu 4-6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to closing. Thursday is “Locals’ Night” and the happy hour menu is all night long. Sunday is Family Night and features a “Dinner for 2 for $25” as well as children under 11 eat for free. Michael’s Seafood & Steakhouse is at 117 E. First St., Port Angeles. Call 360-417-6929 for reservations.
Sauce Combine mayonnaise, basil and garlic in a food processor, puree on high until well combined. Thoroughly wash and shuck oysters. Cut abductor muscle underneath oysters. Place half shells on a lined baking pan. Add desired amount of stuffing to each oyster and top with 1/2 Tablespoon aioli topping. Bake 7-10 minutes until golden brown.
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Bob Stokes is crafting this metal lamp as a commissioned piece.
Stokes is a crusader Story and photos by Patricia Morrison Coate Some people live their lives, leaving barely a ripple behind them. Others leave a wide wake because of their eclectic personalities and an enduring impact on their communities. Asked why he might be considered a “community character,” 65-year-old Bob Stokes, with his shock of white hair and oversized glasses said, “Probably because I’m out and about promoting the art scene. I see it as all part of a bigger picture of Port Angeles as a destination art community that we all can benefit from, including me.” Although Stokes only has been in Port Angeles since 2005, he’s left an indelible imprint on the downtown with 15 welded steel sculptures
called “Avenue of the People” and a series of bronze benches. He also is known for promoting artists with shows and experiential theater at Studio Bob, 118½ Front St. And he is the owner of Harbor Art at 110 E. Railroad Ave. where he creates his metal work sculptures and metal light fixtures. Plus Stokes showcases local talent at Studio Bob as part of the Port Angeles Second Weekend Art Event. The gallery spans three days. He’s also involved in Art on the Town and the Second Saturday Art Walk. If it’s art, Stokes has his finger in it. “I need a project at all times — it’s a reason to get up in the morning you know,” Stokes said. “There’s nothing magical about it. I’m
not driven to be an artist — it just sorta fell into my lap.” The rewards, he said, are simple. “I get paid for the delivery of a project and I get the satisfaction just of doing it. I don’t honestly have an answer for what media is my favorite. I’ll do whatever I need to to pay my bills. Some might say that’s not a true artist — I don’t know if that’s true or not — I’m just thankful I have enough talent that I can do anything that comes my way.” For 25 years Stokes had his own company with 30 employees designing and creating furniture, clothing, lighting and fashion accessories, in addition to commission pieces all over the world.
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Spring 2014 LOP 13
Left: Stokes holds ceramic miniatures of a bear and cub he’ll sculpt live sized in bronze within the next year. Above: For Harbor Art, Stokes will build a dozen small statues using paper templates and bronze.
“I got to the point 10 years ago I was just done with it, so I packed up my shop and boat and moved up here,” Stokes said. “My dream was to come to a small town, live on my boat, do an art project for a year, then move, living as I worked.” Stokes said. “Port Angeles was the only one that said it had all kinds of opportunities for art projects. I got a project every year so it’s obvious that I haven’t left town yet. I’m perfectly content living on my boat with my portable workshop. Then I found the Studio Bob building and thought I had gone to loft heaven!” The second floor of the two-story historical building is a cavern that Stokes has carved up into studios for artists to create and display work, relax in his lounge (The Loom) and perform avant-garde theater, including burlesque and a standing-room-only vampy “Drag Night” on the Alle Stage. He plans to apply for a grant to bring in an artist in residency for a year. He is a steel and bronze sculptor and abstract painter as well as a metal worker. Stokes is not self-effacing — he appreciates his talent — but he’s not self-infatuated either. “I wouldn’t say I have a style … well, actually it’d be abstract because it’s the easiest for me to do and it comes naturally,” Stokes noted. “Metal sculptures are abstract to a point but that’s not to say I can’t do some-
thing realistic. I’m now doing 12 small sculptures for the Harbor Art gallery.” Stokes said he’s inspired by something challenging, to see if he can even do it. “I spend a lot of time in my head thinking about how to do a project — sometimes too long — then I’m up against the deadline for delivery. It’s another zone and I just go ahead and do it without thinking about it. When I’m back at the first stage I think, ‘Why am I putting myself through that?’ because a lot of the time I agonize over how I’m gonna do this.” Stokes told a tale on himself to illustrate his point: He was commissioned in 1995 to create a fountain with 12 sculptures representing 11 of the ships lost at Pearl Harbor for its 50th anniversary. He said he spent the first three or four weeks in denial, saying, “Why me?” Then all of a sudden he had a six-week deadline looming. “Everything changed and I designed 12 different sculptures and delivered them on time. It took getting back into that corner that got me clicking so to speak.” What he modestly doesn’t say is that he won two design awards in the process. He says he believes strongly that Port Angeles is and can be even more
“I’ve got this dream that we could be a destination art community — it might be a dream but that’s what I’m pushing for.” – Bob Stokes
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of an art destination. “I’ve got this dream that we could be a destination art community — it might be a dream but that’s what I’m pushing for. I would just love to have this town thriving. Instead of traveling to deliver (commissioned) artwork, I would rather have a booming art business locally,” Stokes said. “I’ve seen the city go full circle and I’m definitely in favor of art, in helping out. I’m amazed I’ve found a city that’s been very accommodating about different ventures.” The community has been enthusiastic as well about his innovations in the local art scene. “I’m amazed how many artists there are on the peninsula — a lot come out of the woodwork and a lot are still unknown,” Stokes said. “What makes me different from other artists is that both sides of my brain function — one side is art and the other is business. Other things that make me tick are twice a year I do a Bring Your Own Art Show in July and January. It always tickles me that people are timid about showing and selling their art. Through the show they blossom — I think we artists are our own worst critics. The show lets people know they are worthy.” Commissions are his bread and butter and are in public and private collections. He recently finished a tabletop version with ceramicist Cindy Elstrom of a California bear and her cub. When completed in about a year, the life-size bronze sculpture will be in a park in Tahoe City, Calif. He’ll cast 1,000 small examples of it to sell in a gallery there which will support more public art in Tahoe City. Meanwhile, Elstrom oversees Harbor Art where 14 artists sell their ceramics, paintings, jewelry, fiber, photographs and metal work. Soon there will be four kilns in the back rooms with Stokes’ established metal workshop. Ever thinking of business, too, Stokes got a catering and liquor license and will serve beer, wine and food on the deck next to Harbor Art. If Port Angeles has “community characters,” Bob Stokes is a fine one to have and his legacy will live on for decades. n
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Stokes created this silk lamp for his lounge in Studio Bob.
Above: The Dungeness Lighthouse looks tiny from the cockpit of Emily Westcott’s 172 Cessna. Right: Westcott and her 172 Cessna 4-seater plane she named Sally. Emily earned her pilot’s license in 1996.
Sequim’s flower lady
(also known as ‘Captain of the Weed Patrol’)
Story and photos by Mary Powell When Emily Westcott first asked me to go flying with her, I thought she was joking. I mean the woman is 70, and while I’m almost there myself and that’s not old by any means, it surprised me she not only knew how to pilot a plane, but actually owned one. The day she took me up was one of those sparkling clear cold days in January when everything was in view from however high we were in the air. While I was excited to take a short flight around Clallam County — and a teeny bit nervous, I admit — Emily was unfazed by any of it. After driving out to the Sequim Valley Airport, she walked over to her blue and white 172 Cessna 4-seater, undid the ropes tying it to the ground, gave it a once-over, opened the passenger door and told me to climb in. She did the same, hollering “clear” before closing the door. And away we went, me fumbling with the seat belt and headphones, her talking to “Sally,” which I came to find out is the plane’s name. Halfway to Port Townsend, Emily starts telling me a story
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about some kids she recently took on a flight and one of them accidentally leaned on the passenger side door handle, causing the door to open slightly. The kid thought it was funny, wanted the door to open all the way. Not two minutes later, I shifted in my seat and darned if I didn’t hit that door handle. Needless to say, I didn’t think it was funny, was sure I was going to plunge to the ground. “It won’t open,” Emily assured me. “Just hold the door in until we land.” Sure thing, I said, pulling as hard as I could. Obviously I didn’t fall out. She told me she decided to learn to fly and buy a plane because it was too complicated to drive to Orcas Island and Seaside, Ore., two of her favorite places to visit. But, she admits she is still at times afraid of the whole thing. This she tells me while we are up in the air. Chances are you know Emily Westcott. Maybe not as a pilot or close friend, but one who is a good friend to Sequim. On any given day or evening, you might find her in the
Left: Westcott in the pilot’s seat of her 172 Cessna on a quick trip to Port Townsend for a quick cup of coffee at the Spruce Goose restaurant. Above: It’s fun to pick out landmarks while flying over Sequim. This was on a sunny day when Westcott flew the author to Port Townsend and back.
audience at a city council meeting, a planning meeting, a school board meeting or walking the streets of downtown Sequim (in a good way), checking hanging flower baskets on light poles. Emily is a slight woman, but as spry as they come. She knows all the right players in town, those that can assure things get accomplished. She can be a bit outspoken, has a wicked sense of humor, is down to earth and can detect when someone is handing her a bunch of you know what. The first time I met Emily was from the bottom of a ladder in the middle of downtown Sequim, with her halfway to the top, directing the placement of a flower basket on a light pole. Working for the Sequim Gazette at the time, I was looking for a good story and heard about this woman who made sure there were flower baskets decorating Sequim during the spring and summer months. From the get-go, it was obvious this was a woman with an extraordinary sense of community To be sure, Emily is a volunteer extraordinaire. If there is a project that needs doing, Emily more often than not, will lend a hand. That includes weeding empty lots and making sure the city is fully lit up with Christmas lights
during the holiday season. For instance, when Poulsbo RV left Sequim, the lot was apparently overgrown with weeds. “I went out and got about 20 people and we cleaned the place up,” she said. “No sense in having it look so bad.” That, in a nutshell, is her philosophy — no sense in leaving anything that needs doing undone. Sequim City Manager Steve Burkett knows only too well the ability Emily has to cajole others to help out. “I ended up spending most of a night with her and other volunteers screwing lightbulbs into wreaths for the downtown Christmas decorations,” Burkett, who has great admiration for Emily’s passion for civic commitment. “You just can’t say no to Emily.”
From whence she came A native Washingtonian, Emily was born and raised in Tacoma. She went on to get a degree in physical education from Washington State University, came back to her home town and taught elementary and junior high school physical education classes, a job she admits she didn’t really enjoy.
“The problem was,” Emily declared, “I didn’t know anything about elementary PE.” Consequently she returned to school for what is known in teaching circles as the fifth year and earned a master’s degree at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. “After that, I didn’t want to teach.” That, however, didn’t stop her from teaching. It seems there was an opening at the former Maple Lane state correctional school for juvenile rehabilitation in Centralia. At 23 years old, Emily took the job, ready to tackle a tough, to say the least, bunch of teenage students. “When you are 23 you think you can save the world,” she said. She stayed 10 years, said she loved the job and the students. She insists she wasn’t a good teacher and that the school was as good for her as she was for the school. Maple Lane closed in 2011. Facilities for juvenile rehabilitation moved to Grand Mound. From there, Emily took a year off, enrolled at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma and earned her administration credentials. Fortunately for us on the North Olympic Peninsula, she applied for an assistant principal position at Port Angeles High School. In 1979,
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“If we had only two or three or five Emily Westcotts, it would be amazing what we could accomplish.” – Steve Burkett, Sequim city manager she packed up her things and moved to Port Angeles. Six months later she moved to Sequim, deciding to commute to Port Angeles. Again, a good move for the rest of us. In 1982, Emily married Ken Whitney, owner of the former Red Ranch Inn and restaurant, now the Olympic View Inn and Baja Cantina. It was a busy time for Emily — she helped manage the inn and restaurant and continued working in education. After Ken died in 1993, Emily managed the business for the next three years — and taught at the Sequim Alternative School. Emily retired in 1998 but has been a substitute teacher for the Sequim schools since.
Flower baskets and Christmas lights
Sally, Westcott’s 172 Cessna “lives” at the Sequim Valley Airport.
Whenever I have visitors from out of the area, they rave about the lush flower baskets throughout the town — and ask how it happens. The answer is one Emily Westcott. When Emily first arrived, she thought she had been transported to the end of the world. However, it didn’t take long before she was fully ensconced into the philanthropic way of Sequim life. Early on she was part of a group called Retail Trade, a precursor of the Sequim Downtown Association. The group was responsible for the fireworks shows and flower baskets. But how was the basket project to be sustained? Emily had the idea to involve the horticulture and agriculture students at Sequim High School. It was a win-win for both the city and the school. Emily procured sponsors for individual baskets, students design and plant the baskets — all from seed and carefully nurtured in the greenhouse — and the city hangs them on the light poles in early summer. The school also garners a portion of the funds for supplies from the sponsorship money. And Sequim’s citizens and visitors are left with a lovely garden in the sky, the flowers growing halfway
down the poles by summer’s end. Almost as soon as the flower baskets come down it is ready for the Christmas wreaths, lights and decorations to go up. Guess who’s hot and heavy into that project? Uh-huh, Emily Westcott. It’s only mid-March, but Emily already is stressing about how many lights she will have to replace next Christmas, if there will be enough money to buy them or will there be enough volunteers to help out. Closets, the garage and even the bathtub at her Sherwood Village condo are stuffed with strings of lights needing to be checked. “I’m already excited about next year,” Emily said with a little twinkle in her eyes. (Speaking of her eyes: those three little diamond studs along the side of her right eye? They’re stick-ons. I often wondered about those, thinking they were pierced, and finally asked. Said she put them on once for some such event and now buys the little things by the handful.) As if that isn’t enough, Emily often goes through town, tidying up spots where weeds grow, getting help from those needing to work off community service. The work earned her the title ‘Captain of the Weed Patrol.’ I asked City Clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese how important and valuable Emily is to the city. “She is an amazing woman,” she responded. “We all love her.” Burkett added that is is great to have people in the community like Emily. “I’ve told Emily that she can’t retire or go anywhere before she has a replacement for herself,” he said And that, he added with a smile, includes dying. Emily doesn’t know this yet, but this year the city has decided to start an annual Westcott Award that will go to volunteers that go above and beyond what is expected — just as Emily herself has done for all these years. “When I first moved here it was culture shock,” Emily said recently over a cup of coffee. “I love it now. Everyone is friendly, lot’s of nice people. And I kind of like being a big fish in a little pond” But what Emily enjoys most, she said, is the “civic stuff.” Which is, once again, to the benefit of Sequim’s citizens. n
The run down Things to know about Emily... >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Has a 172 4-seater Cessna airplane named Sally Has a black and white cat named Queenie Drives a 1989 Buick Reatta Eats out most evenings because it’s not fun to eat alone Once owned and managed the former Red Ranch Motel and restaurant Former assistant principal of Port Angeles High School Hopes never to have drive on Interstate 5 in Seattle
Right: Attending civic meetings is part of Emily Westcott’s daily life. Here she has a cup of coffee during a break at an informational meeting about the city’s future.
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The thrill of pussy willows Story by Viviann Kuehl I love pussy willows. In the dreary gray days when winter seems to linger on and on, and spirits are as frozen as the landscape, pussy willows are such a welcome delight. Shining like a bright furry beacon, they are the first sign of spring, even before crocus, daffodils, violets or skunk cabbage. Before any sign of green, they are there. In those dark hours, their promise is riveting. Every year when February rolls around I wait for the pussy willows like kids waiting for Christmas. The first ones to come out are on a bush right by the road. I always watch for them, but still I’m always taken by surprise. The first day I saw the pussy willows this year, the skies were dark, as was the ground, and everything else, and the pussy willows stood out bright and white. The first ones happen to be big ones, but there are all kinds of willows and they make all sizes, from big fat ones as big as the end of your finger to delicate little pea-size ones.
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The colors are different, too, from shining white to a soft dark gray. Whatever the size or color, they are all soft and furry. They pop out from a shiny dark covering, new as a baby and just as soft. They can be petted just like a cat and I love to put them against my cheek to feel their delicate softness. Willow branches are long and straight, and the pussy willows can be lined up close along the branch, like a tufted line, or spread out more sparsely, depending on the year. The Chinese favor the branches with lots of pussy willows for New Year celebrations because their plenitude is a sign of prosperity. Willows also keep evil spirits away on Tomb Sweeping Day in China. The Poles use them in celebrating Dyngus Day, with young men flirting by tapping pussy willow branches on the legs of attractive young women. In places where palms don’t grow, willows are substituted in Palm Sunday rites. When the weather warms, a branch can be broken off, and as long as it’s about a foot long and thick as a pencil, it will grow roots when simply stuck in the moist ground that willows thrive in. Willows pump water out of the ground when they grow. They thrive in full sun with damp roots, a combination that makes them very successful along streams. They can shade the water with their long, strappy leaves, making even water temperatures and less evaporation for fish. The shade and the sticks that may fall in the water provide protection and hiding places for the fish and the roots hold out against erosion. Willow branches are bendy, and favored for the making of chairs and other furniture because of that, with twining branches creating graceful curves and a solid frame. The bark of the willow contains salicin, an anti-inflammatory similar to aspirin. In fact, aspirin’s main ingredient was first discovered in willow bark. The pussy willows are the baby catkins of the willow. Some willows are male and some are female. If you break off a branch to take the pussy willows home, they will last indefinitely if kept dry. If put into a vase with water, they will continue to grow and become all yellow with pollen, and the branches will sprout little green leaves. When summer’s greenery comes out, the pussy willows will be gone, becoming the seeds of the willow almost imperceptibly in the mass of leaves. When I was a little girl, my grandmother was in tune with the seasons. She took me out to see the pussy willows in the earliest spring. It was an exciting time and now I take small children to see them. It’s still exciting. n
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Spring 2014 LOP 21
Owner Ellie Sather relaxes with George in the home she lives in at the Whitney Gardens & Nursery.
RHODIES Story and photos by Viviann Kuehl
Ellie Sather, elegant in her garden apron, always serenely smiling and perfectly coifed, seems a constant at the Whitney Gardens and Nursery in Brinnon. Sather didn’t come to the Whitney Gardens until she was 40. Now she’s 74 and still loving living with the rhodies and her dogs and cat, and enjoying the energy of her crew and the beauty of her surroundings. The third owner of the lush garden in Brinnon, Ellie grew up on a dairy farm in Enumclaw, went to the University of Washington in Seattle, and in 1965 she got her degree in graphic design. She worked for Boeing for 14 months, but the cutthroat atmosphere got to her. “I said, ‘I need to be where I can feel it’s OK for me,’” she recalled. She got a job at Consulting Services, doing land use plan graphics. At the time, planning was just starting and was contracted out, Sather explained. She did the Shelton and Mason County plans, among others. As planning became more established, planners were hired by the government agencies needing them and outside consulting declined. Sather decided to get into the big time in graphics, choosing Minneapolis, one of four major graphic arts centers in the country. There she did the work she loved, with pho-
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tography and graphic design. She did a lot of it, working up to 12 to 15 hours a day. “As much as I loved what I was doing, it was too much,” said Sather. In 1970, her parents had bought the Whitney Gardens and were running it when her father died in May 1979. The next February, she came to help her mother, Anne Sather. It turned out to be a wonderful partnership and a great change in her life. “Mom and I got along well and she was a walking encyclopedia, so I could learn from her,” said Sather. “Growing up, I was an agrarian, with dirt under my fingernails. We did a lot of work on the farm.” There was a lot to learn. Luckily, that’s just what Sather likes best. Whitney Gardens founder Bill Whitney got interested in hybridizing rhodies in Camas and went on to become a leader in the field. People learned how to graft and propagate after World War II, said Sather, and when private collections were damaged in the war, people began to realize they needed to grow these plants to save them. “There was a great sharing after the second
World War,” said Sather. “Before that, it was competitive. People would go on expeditions to exotic places. China has a huge number of species and they would go collect and bring the plants back to their private gardens.” In 1955, Whitney chose Brinnon for the site of his experimental garden. He put in over 10,000 plants in the first few years to continue his extensive work crossing various rhododendrons to create the improved plants that became new standards. He also planted trees and azaleas. Whitney worked diligently for 40 years to create his masterpieces. One of his most well known hybrids was named Anna Rose Whitney, after his mother, but there were many others. Sather put her graphic arts to work on creating the first Whitney Gardens catalog, featuring many of these plants, and found that her talent carried over into landscape design.
Above: At the Whitney Gardens, resident dogs Fred and Ginger are attentive to owner Ellie Sather. Right: Whitney Gardens comes alive in the spring. Courtesy of Ellie Sather.
“I took a lot of classes, agriculture and nursery research through the universities,” said Sather. She gradually became conversant in the plants, their care, propagation methods and the nursery business. Today, the Gardens hold over 2,500 different varieties of plants. “There is so much to learn. I liked what I did and it was healthy,” recalled Sather, who got stronger as she put in lots of hours outside. “I liked the people I worked with. The farmers were very nice, kind and generous, most of them.” She still likes the people she works with and they learn from each other. Sather’s three employees are like a family, she says, and have been with her for 16, 14, and 10 years. Two of them, Barbara and Eric Smith, recall that on their wedding day, 16 years ago, Ellie took over with the customer they were serving so they could get away to marry. Sather enjoys solving problems, from blown transformers with her Christmas light display, to beaver damage, to modifying buildings, to maintenance and tractor upkeep, to accounting, publicity and website work. Putting plants into pots instead of the ground made a big difference, in cost and convenience.
“You learn about business from doing business,” she said. “Mom knew what to do and how to do it and I learned from her.” Anne Sather recently died at the age of 100½. “She had a great life and no regrets,” said Sather. “Would I have thought that I could do this when I came home? No, but I learned that I could survive, I could make it, and just being here made a big difference.” Sather prides herself on the quality of her plants and the cleanliness of her gardens. She maintains 9-foot-wide pathways for beauty and for plant sanitation, appreciated by the USDA inspectors on their annual visits. Visitors appreciate the colors, the scents, the beauty and the variety of plants in the garden, landscaped around a fish-bearing stream and the mammoth rhodies first planted by Whitney 59 years ago. “The high point for me is all the people that come in as repeat customers,” said Sather. “There are some people that are avid gardeners that come for the last time because they are dying or selling their house and they want to say goodbye to you and your garden. It’s nice to think they would do that. Those are the people you made an impact on and that’s pretty darn good. That’s terrific.”
Brinnon is a small community, and Sather depends on visitors. “I’m always grateful when people come back because that makes a difference for us. You make it in spring and summer or you don’t make it.” With the recession there was a little bit of decline, said Sather, but she notes that a straight line is a good line, and she is working to make it through by taking on landscaping on the side. “We try to do our best to get enough jobs to make a difference,” she said. “We have to do something to bring in money. You have to diversify.” Sather is planning to turn her mother’s living quarters into a vacation rental, complete with a disability shower. She is expanding the gift shop, as a community resource as well as an income stream, with the garden aprons funding a local scholarship. Looking ahead, Sather is hoping that one of her nephews will be interested in taking on the Gardens, but she figures she has another 10 years to figure that out. “I’m here temporarily until I can’t do it any more,” she said. Meanwhile, the gardens continue to be a source of beauty and solace and plants. n
Spring 2014 LOP 23
The Greenhouse 81 South Bagley Creek Road Port Angeles, WA 98362 Call for seasonal hours: (360) 417-2664 www.thegreenhousenurseryportangeles.com
The Greenhouse Story and photos by Christina Williams Diana Politika opened her plant business — The Greenhouse back in1996. “I grow things that appeal to me,” she says. The — nursery is just east of Port Angeles and offers classic favorites, trendy exotics and unusual varieties of slower-growing plants that she’s propagated herself. “I don’t charge extra for them,” she explains, “I’m here working, anyway. Some things that I grow may take four years to bloom!” Politika’s patience and dedication have paid off. As she describes her journey to creating the nursery, you can see why she feels that it was her destiny. But it didn’t happen overnight, and it required planning, dedication, and years of hard work! As a young girl, Politika learned about propagation from a neighbor in her hometown of Enumclaw. She began potting and growing things throughout her childhood. “I didn’t fancy myself a gardener,” she recalls, “it was just something that I did.” She also bonded with her indoor plant collection. “When I was 17,” she says, “I moved to Europe and I had to get rid of all my plants — it just killed me.” Eventually, she returned to Washington and settled with her husband in Port Angeles. After their son was born, she constructed her first backyard greenhouse. “Soon,” she recalls, “I had more plants than I knew what to do with, so I started selling them.” After three years, she wanted to open a nursery. Her businessowner husband said, “No, way!” He didn’t want to re-visit the stress of those lean startup years. As they discussed alternatives, she considered an accounting career, and took college classes. When she got very good grades, her husband realized that she was serious about starting the nursery. One day, he called her on his cell phone. “Hey!” he said, “There’s a sign on a little piece of property out here!”
24 LOP Spring 2014
See Page 26 for a Q&A with Dana Politika Left: Diana Politika at her plant business, “The Greenhouse,” located east of Port Angeles. Opposite page: Politika’s home-bred unusual primrose was tagged with her family name — “Politika.” The seed was requested by the Des Moines (Iowa) Botanical Garden and Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Below: The Greenhouse’s success was the result of Politika’s years of hard work.
Politika looked at the place years earlier when a family was selling it. With no heirs left, the state became the seller. “I made a ridiculous offer and they accepted,” she says, “A list of things fell into place when I started this—the barriers toppled like dominos.” The sale closed in June 1995, but the property had to be cleared and drained before the greenhouse went up. She finished it on November 15, 1996. Three days later it snowed. “We’re not talking a little snow,” she explains, “This was three feet of the type of snow that takes down a building. It was happening all over town!” She says, “It was one of those things that are just meant to be,” as she describes that day full of synchronicities: I looked out the window and said, ‘If I don’t get “I woke up at 6 a.m. — out to the nursery and get the snow off of the roof, it’s going to collapse!’ My husband replied, ‘There’s no way you’re going to get out of the driveway.’ I told him, ‘I have to at least try, or I’ll blame myself forever!’” She was dressed and ready to leave in 20 minutes. “Right as I opened the door,” she recalls, “a vehicle went by. I grabbed the snow shovel, and I just went in front of the wheels and tied out into his path. Because of how high the snow was, I followed his pathways. He went around the block, and back out to ‘I’ Street. There was no reason whatsoever for him to have done what he did,” she observes, “but that was the make-or-break that got me out to the nursery!” She set to work as soon she arrived, as every minute counted. As she cleared snow from the lower part of the roof, she moved a ladder every four feet along the outside of the greenhouse. “My shins were bruised,” she recalls. Unable to reach the snow on the roof’s peak, Politika entered the building. She set her ladder on tables, and tried to pitch snow off the roof from underneath. It was about 8:30 a.m., and the snow didn’t budge — by then it was raining. Politika saw the structure move, and feared it could collapse. “Then the door opened,” she recalls. “It was my husband and stepson—and they were worried.” Her husband explained that his truck got stuck in the middle of the highway. She remembers her reply: “Leave it, honey! There hasn’t been a car by here — you’re OK!” The two men finished clearing snow from the roof, and her nursery was safe. Politika wanted to help her nurseryman friend, Wayne, but by then it was too late; his place already had collapsed. Wayne has long since retired from the plant business and Politika’s nursery is now well established. The days are finally getting longer, and thank goodness for that! As we enter planting season, Politika and her staff delight helping each customer find just the right thing to make their garden fabulous. n
Spring 2014 LOP 25
Spring at The Greenhouse:
Q & A with Diana Politika By Christina Williams As we enter spring, it’s time to get out into the garden—whether that means country acreage, a city lot, or a planter on the balcony of your apartment! In this interview, Diana shares her passion for plants, as well as some helpful advice for the season:
Snowdrops (above), a pink flamingo (below) and golden cypress are among the treasures found at The Greenhouse.
Diana, you’ve been established here for a long time — what do you see as the latest trend in your plant business? Edibles! People really are becoming conscious of what they’re eating. Berries are among the most popular edibles that we carry. They have a lot of anti-oxidants and they’re so Northwest. Blueberries, raspberries and blueberries are among the favorites. Almost every plant that we sell comes from Washington. I’m not bringing in anything from California, except for citrus because that’s the only place I can get it. What about the cold — do you have to bring citrus inside during the winter weather? It should be kept in a pot — in the bitterest part of winter you need to shelter it. It doesn’t need to go in a house if you have a garage. I’ve had snow on mine for days and it survived. It’s the Meyer lemon. A lot of varieties can’t do that, so I don’t bring very many up here — just the ones that are likely to do well in the Northwest. What kind of plant would you recommend for the novice gardener — something interesting, but fairly foolproof? That depends. We’d discuss it with them and tailor the choice to suit them. We’d find something with a really fast result, rather than a slow grower. We don’t want a person to look around three years later, and say, “Hey, where the heck is that plant I put in?” When people don’t have a lot of space for a garden, what do you suggest? Containers! And there are a couple things I recommend that people frequently overlook: One is to use high quality soil. The other is to fertilize. You can’t grow plants well in containers without fertilizer. It can be organic, liquid, or time-release, but you have to feed the plants so they thrive. Can you over fertilize? FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ON THE CONTAINER! Good point… As long as fertilizer is diluted to what the directions say, you can stand there and pour it over the plant every morning and it won’t kill it. Fertilizer is a salt, and salt draws water to itself. If you put it in a pot, it draws water out of the root. That’s how you get the burned tips!
26 LOP Spring 2014
Aha! What do you have for impatient gardeners? What blooms fastest and longest? It depends on the time of year.
What if you could buy anything for the nursery without thinking about cost? I look at products all the time and think “Gosh, our local market wouldn’t support that.” We’re not Bellevue or Woodinville. Still, I can get just about anything that someone wants.
What if someone gets a late start, after realizing everyone else already has planted? It happens all the time. Commercial cutting gardens, for example, often don’t plant until late June. You can go later than that—maybe into July for some annuals. Just remember to water. For a specific plant, I might recommend the recently developed Super Petunias. They have masses of flowers and you don’t have to deadhead them. You just let them be and after they bloom, the petals shrivel, disappear and more flowers cover them. When I had them at the farmer’s market, they were so popular that I’d sell out. They’re great bloomers…
As an independent nursery owner, how do you do that? Customers can place a special order with us. I deal with many excellent small growers. I know what they grow, so we take special orders. We ask that the customer be a bit flexible in timing. I’m also aware of the cash flow here in Clallam County. OK, what fabulous thing can someone find for $20 or so? I’d suggest they walk around and pick out a few plants and a pot that we can put together for them. We also have little “gift” things available, and we try to suit all budgets. This year we’re growing more “basket stuffers” ourselves, in smaller, deep containers for healthy roots. It’ll be less expensive to the customer, and we can ensure the quality since we do the growing. We’re trying to stay employed! By growing it here instead of buying it from another grower, we’ll save the customer money while maintaining quality.
What’s the best way to get that WOW factor in your garden? COLOR! When you come to the nursery, go for color. If it’s for a container, first you get the thriller—the dynamic focal point. Then you get the filler—the companion plants that set off that full eye-catching effect. And finally you get spiller—a trailing or cascading plant that gives visual weight. How do you keep color as long as possible in an annual cutting garden? VARIETY! We’re lucky in the Northwest. We may not be able to grow some things that thrive in California, but due to our climate we have a wider range of plants that do well than almost any other place in the United States.
Speaking of growing, what’s the biggest surprise you can recall as a plant grower? Ah…a primrose from China. The guys from Heronswood went on one of the first plant expeditions to China. I obtained some primrose seed from that expedition and it was unbelievable. Regrettably, we sold the last plant by accident. It was just stunning. I grew it from seed and it was unlike anything I’d ever seen. The flowers were huge, in a brilliant coral color with frilly edges! We have another spectacular primrose out front. I obtained the original seed in a seed swap and have been playing with it — cross-breeding it — for about five years. Now they have some seed at the Des Moines, Iowa, Botanical Garden. They asked for it after seeing a picture of it that I posted online! It will also appear at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
What kind of flower would do well in an area that gets mostly shade? Bleeding heart! In fact, if it doesn’t get any direct sun, it could bloom almost right up to frost. In the sun — it goes yellow. I’d also recommend hostas, primroses and baby’s tears—it keeps the weeds down. And if you have a customer who tells you “money is no object”… Then we’d tell them, “Do come see us and we’ll take care of you!” 1 Family Dining Restaurant in America
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That is pretty amazing. Do you have one last bit of advice before we wrap? Well, we’re open year-round and we’re full of advice. Nobody works here who doesn’t know plants. Everyone who works here is a plant geek — I promise! n
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So you cultivated this variety yourself ... do you have a name for it? We have an unusual family name, and I think everyone wants to have a legacy of sorts, so I’ve tagged this fragrant plant with the family name, “Politika.” It’s not a name like “Smith” but this will be the only Politika! It’s classified as a florindae. It grows to about three feet, unlike most primroses, and its color isn’t the usual yellow that’s more characteristic of the species. Every plant has uniqueness about it — sometimes you have to look hard for it, but that special quality is there to find. That’s one of the amazing things about plants…
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They have received the seed and as soon as the plants emerge here I’ll be sending them some. They have an Alpine house there. This allows them to grow plants that like cool weather during the hot muggy summers that they have in Brooklyn.
Jess McKenzie and his wife Joan Worley moved to Sequim in 1997 from Fairbanks, Alaska. Jess says there are enough people in Sequim that hail from Fairbanks there was once an annual picnic.
Books to write, stories to tell Story and photos by Mary Powell
veryone has a story, yet most people say they don’t, that they aren’t interesting or are a bit shy when it comes to letting the world in on their secrets. Jess McKenzie is one those fellows, wondering right off the bat why anyone would want to read about him. Turns out he is interesting, one of those people you could listen to for hours. And he is a bit shy about sharing his story. Nonetheless, it didn’t take too much to convince Jess to talk about his 81 years of life. In a soft-spoken voice laced with a slight Southern accent, Jess’s stories are reminiscent of wellknown author and storyteller Garrison Keillor, both using word pictures to conjure up stories of past events and places. For Keillor it’s about lakes with names like Minnetonka and Nokomis and rocket tail fins on a white Cadillac convertible. For Jess, it’s about Southern towns like Woodsboro, Texas, and Norman, Okla., and a concoction called cowboy stew. The accent comes from being born and raised in the southern part of the country. Jess was born in 1932 in Woodsboro, Texas, population now about 1,630, not too far from the Gulf Coast. “Refugio County,” Jess clarifies. A book in the works — “about 99.44/100 percent finished” — is about a Texas Gulf Coast town, similar to where Jess grew up. More about the book later.
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After high school, Jess earned an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of North Texas in Denton, not far from the Dallas, Fort Worth area. Now, Jess loved music and in fact, played the tuba and double bass. He initially enrolled at North Texas with the intention of being a music major. “It didn’t take me too long to realize it was not for me,” Jess remembers. And here’s why. The University of North Texas is and always has been, one of the most respected comprehensive music schools in the country. As Jess puts it, “North Texas is the Juilliard of the Southwest.” Tenor sax phenom Billy Harper is a graduate of the school; Harper made history in the 1960s as the first AfricanAmerican member of the famed One O’Clock Lab Band which originated at UNT. “I thought I had talent, but found out all the real talented kids went to North Texas,” Jess says. “I mean really talented.” He promptly changed his major to biology and earned his master’s degree at UNT, as well. Along the way, Jess found time to get married and raise two sons, one retired from law enforcement and one doing graduate work in English at the University of Utah. Unfortunately, his first wife died and in 1995 he married Joan Worley. In 1997, the two moved from Fairbanks, Alaska, where Joan taught college, to Sequim. “There were lots of places for us to live,” Jess
recalls. “But Sequim had about the best weather we ever experienced,” although he does admit he is still not used to the wet. Plus, he adds, “Sequim is well-known in Fairbanks, a lot of people down here from Fairbanks.” According to Jess, there was once an annual picnic for all those migrating from Fairbanks.
A ‘checkered’ career
If it sounds as though Jess has lived in many places throughout the country, he has. Most locations had to do with his career, which he calls “checkered.” Not a checkered past, he clarifies, but a checkered career. After graduation, Jess was employed with the federal government at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground, about 85 miles south of Salt Lake City. There he supervised the Emergency Operations Center and directed exercises in chemical accident and incident response. Before moving to Utah, however, he participated in biomedical research at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine in Ohio. He also held appointments at the University of Oklahoma as adjunct professor of physiology and zoology. He retired from the federal government in 1989 and then worked as a nuclear, biological and chemical safety manager at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. He was also an adjunct professor of zoology at Weber State U.
In a nutshell... >> Born in 1932 in Woodsboro, Texas >> Has lived in several states >> Enjoys amateur radio, gardening and writing >> Is writing a book and wants to write a cookbook >> Is teaching himself InDesign, a professional desktop publishing program >> Has a bloodhound named Hubie, after St. Hubert >> Favorite author is Clifton Fadiman >> A member of several scientific societies >> Says people are nice in Sequim
Left: McKenzie and Worley enjoy a sunny day in the park with Hubie, a bloodhound named after St. Hubert, patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians and metalworkers. The ultra friendly dog lives up to all those titles!
“Life has been pretty nice. Oh, I’ve met some stinkers, but I’m not going to talk about them.” — Jess McKenzie “You know what adjunct means, don’t you,” Jess jokes. “It means you don’t get paid.” Jess claims he is not much of a traveler and consequently hasn’t lived in another country. He wanted to join the Army but his parents wouldn’t sign for him, as he was underage. “So I lied about my age and went into the Texas National Guard,” he says. He was assigned to Fort Benning outside of Columbus, Ga., where he attended weapons school. He never saw combat, but mourns lost friends who fought in the Korean War. “I didn’t have a lot of interest in combat, I thought, hell, that could be dangerous.”
Retired in Sequim
After he and Joan settled in Sequim, Jess decided he wasn’t quite ready for total retirement. As he puts it, he did a “stint” at the Fifth Avenue Retirement Center as a weekend manager. Says he met a lot of nice people, but after a while, thought better about total retirement. Joan in the meantime, was freelancing for magazines in the area and eventually worked as a copy editor for the Sequim Gazette. Jess has been a fan of amateur (Ham) radio and writing for most of his life, so he is enjoying
those two passions. He does get a bit animated when talking about Ham radio, saying things like 1/10th of one watt to France and back, (what?) and how exciting it is to use Morse code. “There’s nothing more thrilling than Ham radio,” he says. “It’s like fly-fishing. You can fish with flies or with dynamite.” Hopefully that means something to fellow Ham radio enthusiasts. Although he is an author of more than 70 scholarly and government reports, he is now writing a novel. The book, he explains, is about the Texas Gulf Coast in about 1938, modeled after Woodsboro, a place Jess calls a typical Texas Gulf town. When will the book be published? Well, at 99.44/100 percent finished, Jess admits he just can’t think of an ending. And, before he finishes the book, he wants to write a cookbook. That’s right, a cookbook. Seems his mother — and his father — were both excellent cooks. His mother put together a cookbook called the American Woman’s Cookbook. Jess’s idea is to publish his own book with some of his mother’s recipes and some of his own. That would include such delicacies as the aforementioned cowboy stew. What is it? If you have a queasy stomach, might not want to read
on. That said, cowboy stew, as Jess tells it, is the leftovers thrown together after the ranch hands butcher a steer, and that might include eyes, intestines, liver, brain — you get the picture. “I’ve had it, it’s good,” insists Jess. Getting to know Jess is proof there are people in our midst who are doing amazing things, are interesting and have stories to share. It’s true it is probably difficult to see your story in print, but it is the reader’s privilege to take a peek into another’s life, such as that of Jess McKenzie. Oh, almost forgot. There is another, and perhaps most engaging part of Jess and Joan’s life and that is one exuberant, large, friendly, soft brown, drooling bloodhound named Hubie, short for Hubert. Hubie is named after St. Hubert, a 7th century bishop said to be the patron saint of hunters, mathematicians, opticians and metalworkers. Now, according to Jess, Hubie is extremely gifted when it comes to tracking things, a trait the bloodhound is known for. However, he says, there is only one problem. “If he hears the sound of a gun, or a hammer, or a firework or any loud, sudden noise, he is going home.” And that would be that. n
Spring 2014 LOP 29
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That may still be ST. true, especially with W CL AY the Hastings and Terry buildings – two other dominant downtown structures Y R E -- both empty. V O C ASnn collects T. IS L IN D NKoral GE from GEOR histories A CAPE R GLEN COV F E residents for the Jefferson County Historical Society. The Historical Society has appointed itself to the . FR EDER N ST ICK daunting Etask RSO of keeping F F Glen C U.S. Post E track Jof everything that Office ever Industria happened here. I ask her, “How will you track this?” “We’ll save your article,” says Ann. And thereST.will TON be building and HINGfire district WAS records, deeds, photographs and bound newspapers that OLD F chronicle the life and times of Port Townsend, and the comings and goings of its T. businesses. WATER S The most recent shuffle began with building owner Dave Peterson’s sudden closure of the subterranean coffee shop Undertown, in the basement of the Mount Washington State ferry t Baker Block building, followed Coupeville, by his closure of the Terry Whidbey Island Building next door. Peterson, also the city engineer, guided streetscape improvements that included sidewalk replacements downtown last year. As the dust Jefferson County settled, tenants re-evaluated International Airport their leases. Some, weary of shopkeeping, retired or closed their stores. Others packed up To Seatt their inventories and moved to Ferrie better places. It happens every FO year and is called the Water UR C St. ORN To ERS Shuffle. RD. Port The ownersAngeles of Bazaar Girls, for example, are ecstatic with their move from the Terry Building into a spacious waterfront shop on the first floor of the historic N.D. Hill Building. A wood stove keeps the yarn store, equipped with a big square table and ironing boards, in a homelike coziness. Quimper Sound, perhaps the state’s oldest purveyor of records and CDs, moved into the vacant Undertown space. Of course many stalwarts have anchored the town for ❱❱ T. CE S PIER
A flock of resident pigeons is wheeling in unison over Water Street to settle on the roof of the Mount Baker Block Building in the heart of downtown Port Townsend. I’m watching them through the window of the fourth floor, while sitting at a table with Ann Welch. Ann’s great-grandfather Charles Eisenbeis built this four-story building with its stone-walled basement in 1889. Her grandfather George Welch and her dad Joe shared an office on the first floor where the elevator shaft is now. The building still smells as it did when she was a child, Ann says. It’s a faint odor of heating oil, paint and the scent of the saltwater bay, just one block away, that seeps through the sand under most of Port Townsend’s historic waterfront business district. I ask Ann for her unique perspective of Port Townsend and the astounding number of businesses – more than 50 – that, in the past two years, have moved, opened with new owners, closed or have been substantially remodeled. “Newbies talk about how downtown was boarded up when they came here 35 years ago,” says Ann. But she says that isn’t true. “People took care of these old buildings or they wouldn’t still be standing,” she says. Most of Port Townsend’s commercial core is well over 100 years old. For years, during her childhood and that of her father, what is now a National Historic District was stable, because its retailers sold practical necessities, such as hardware, candles, groceries, clothing, prescription drugs; or offered services or entertainment, such as bars, restaurants, a bank and a theater. People who perceived the town as “boarded up” may have been wandering around Port Townsend after dark, she says.
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I D IDAN
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and plumbing, rewired, refinished floors, restored facades, remodeled interiors, re-grouted the bricks, and who are moving forward to sustain Point and repurpose theirKalabuildings. Owning a commercial building in a historic district is a neverending labor of love. Because of the love, and investment, The Huffington Post recently named Port Townsend as one of the top 10 small towns in North America. We are grateful that we’re not Detroit. (Jan Halliday shops locally, wherever she lives.)
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22 ❱❱ decades. Maricee, specializing in women’s North America–made clothing has held on to the same spot on Water Street for more than 30 years. Robin Bergstrom won’t be driven from his antique garage on Washington Street; VE. has thrown SPECT A Waterfront Pizza PRO dough and slathered on tomato sauce in the same place for at least two generations. The venerable Leader newspaper has been in its 1874 Adams St. building since 1916. RH Aldrich’s grocery, built O Uptown inDY1895, burned to the ground and was resurrected on the same corner. Don Hoglund’s pharmacy originally anchored the Mount Baker Block Building, and then was moved to the Port Townsend Plaza in the 1960s, where his son, Don, manages it now. Locals bless all of these building owners who have replaced leaking windows
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Port Townsend photo collection By Chris Cook Photos courtesy of Bill and Kathy Sperry Rare photographs of Port Townsend's Victorian seaport era are among those captured in a collection of hundreds of photos owned by Bill and Kitty Sperry of Forks. The Sperrys purchased the collection in 1986 and recently have digitized the historical prints and 35 mm slides taken of prints culled from individuals in the Port Townsend region. They hope to find a new home for the collection. The unlikely source of the collection, gathered from the early 1950s into the 1980s, was a bureaucrat and Port Townsend resident interested in local history. He advised local residents on applications to collect Social Security. “He was the guy people came to see to file Social Security,” Bill Sperry recalls. “He always asked them if they had (historical) photos.” The Sperrys acquired the photos from his widow when they owned and operated the Starrett House Antiques store in Port Townsend in the mid-1980s, a business they later expanded, moving it one block away to a site on Water Street, a location they named the Port Townsend Antique Mall. A highlight of the collection is a panoramic photo of the “Great White Fleet,” the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet that anchored off Port Townsend in spring 1908, during a tour that included stops in Port Angeles, Bremerton, Tacoma and Seattle, too. The fleet comprised two squadrons of massive battleships with hulls painted stark white, quite a contrast to the classic wooden sail and row boats popular today in Port Townsend. The Great White Fleet circumnavigated the globe from December 1907 through February 1908 by order of President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt used the cruise to demonstrate America's new naval might and as a show of power that the U.S. would protect its newly acquired territories in Hawai‘i, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and elsewhere. Port Townsend celebrations are featured in the photos, with its citizens decked out in Victorian clothing during the actual Victorian Era of the town. Also Port Townsend's working sailing schooners of yesteryear, the formerly thriving uptown section of Port Townsend its busy streets lined with people, grand Victorian-era houses under construction, the main streets of the town when it had wooden sidewalks. Especially interesting is documentation of the troubles faced by the Chinese community in Port Townsend over 100 years ago. Bill Sperry said some of the Chinese landed in Victoria, B.C., and then were smuggled across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Port Townsend. Labor
Clockwise from top left: • Port Townsend parade probably to welcome the White Fleet during World War I. •
One of the White Fleet vessels during World War I.
Quileute Indians receiving food by boats in the 1900s.
contractors along the waterfront sometimes lured Chinese men aboard departing merchant ships, using an underground tunnel to hide their departure. Vintage photos of Chimacum and other nearby Jefferson County towns are in the collection, too. The Sperrys now run an antique-general store at their 110 Business Park operation located at the corner of U.S. Highway 101 and State Highway 110 — La Push Road in Forks.
Spring 2014 LOP 35
The life of a creative couple Story and photos by Christina Williams Bob Lumens making a batch of fudge at Northwest Fudge.
Bob and Lindi Lumens have been multitasking together — in business and life for nearly 30 years. They sell their homemade fudge and chocolates (and about 800 kinds of candy) at their downtown Port Angeles candy store, Northwest Fudge. “We’ve been making fudge since 1989,” explains Lindi. She regularly works the counter at the store and invents and perfects their confection recipes. Bob is the resident fudge and candy maker. As current president of the Port Angeles Downtown Association, Bob’s duties frequently take him out into the community. Both he and Lindi are well-versed in multi-tasking. As Bob talks, he works to arrange some candy in the front window. Behind him, there are display cases and shelves brimming with fudge, handmade chocolates, hard candies, candy sticks and gummies — just to name a few. Bob shrugs at his candy arrangement in the window. “Lindi does the display,” he explains, “I don’t drape!” Good thing, as he has enough to keep himself busy. For years Bob was board president of the Port Angeles Light Opera Association. “During my PALOA presidency, Lindi was managing the business,” he says, “and we sold tickets at
36 LOP Spring 2014
the store. She did the graphics for many of the shows and both of us did newsletters. There were so many projects!” While Bob is no longer PALOA’s president, he’s still active in the organization. He’s been very involved in the technical operation of theater production. He offers, “Lights and sound happen when you move in.” Speaking of which, Bob works with the Friends of the Port Angeles Performing Arts Center. In his role as a lighting consultant, he assists in co-coordinating the upgrade of the lighting system at the Port Angeles High School auditorium. When these entrepreneurial soul mates first met in San Diego, Bob owned a small commercial printing business. Lindi explains, “We did typesetting — mostly newsletters, business forms in one or two-color printing. It wasn’t like it is now. You had to design the visuals using computer programming and it was difficult to get the layout right without a screen.” She learned to use the programming code quickly and credits her success to her combined aptitudes for right and left brain thinking. “I was the typesetter,” she says. When their daughter Cori was born, the baby kept her parents company in the shop. Lindi explains how
the couple combined family life and business life from day one: “We had a busy week after the Monday Cori was born,” recalls Lindi, “By Thursday, I was back at work.” After delivering the bundle of joy earlier that week, the new mother had another due date — two printing orders were scheduled for delivery that very same Friday! After their son Garrett was born less than two years later, Bob and Lindi decided to explore new family friendly business opportunities. “We wanted to move north, but we weren’t sure how far north,” recalls Lindi, “so we took a couple of trips along the coast.” The Lumens’ visited local candy stores — partly as a family treat, but also to research the candy business. Lindi recalls talking to several store owners: “They were all happy,” she says, “One store owner confessed to us that her family decided to run a candy business because everyone that came in the store seemed happy already — or they wanted to be.” Bob and Lindi relocated the family to Bellevue where they bought a small 10-foot by 10-foot fudge-making kiosk in a mall. The previous owners taught them fudge-making basics and the Lumens took it from there, developing their
Lindi Lumens at the counter
Northwest Fudge 108 W. First St., Port Angeles Stop by to try the Flavor of the Day!
own recipes, and expanding the line of products. By the time they sold the business, they carried over 500 products. For Lindi, the move to Washington was a sweet homecoming (no pun intended!); she was born in Seattle and remembers her early years there with fondness. Inspired by her childhood in the Northwest, she’s now working on a series of children’s e-books for 4- to 7-year-olds. The title of the series, “Jonathan Jones” is based on a young boy’s adventures in nature, near his home at the edge of the forest. Using her graphic arts experience, Lindi is currently illustrating the first three books in the series, as she develops the story for a fourth book. She creates digital graphics and also does paintings on canvas. Her many whimsical candy-themed paintings are on display at Northwest Fudge. From behind the sales counter, Lindi talks about the impact of combining business and community activities with family life during the children’s early years: “We didn’t have the time to take vacations — to go places and do a lot of things, but at least we had time together. I would rather have had the time and ability to do more things with the children. They turned out fine, though. We’re still very close, so it worked out well in the end.” How did the Lumens family begin their involvement in local community projects here on the Olympic Peninsula? Bob credits his then young daughter Cori. Shortly after the family relocated to the peninsula, she insisted on auditioning for an upcoming production of “Anything Goes.” During one of the first dance practices she attended, it became clear that they needed more male cast members. Cori raised her hand and announced with great enthusiasm and certainty, “My daddy will help!” The rest is history. n
Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday Most Sundays noon-5 p.m. 360-452-8299 nwfudge.com
“Making a Wish” is one of Lindi’s candy-themed paintings on display at the shop.
Spring 2014 LOP 37
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OUT & ABOUT
Riding a rail into West End history Joyce Depot Museum preserves railroading past Story and photos by Reneé Mizar Hearing the infectious enthusiasm in Margaret Owens’s voice as she recounts the history of timber, trains and all things Joyce, one could easily assume she is a native of the area. But the West End transplant’s remarkable passion and knowledge of the past comes from her decade-long post as curator of the Joyce Depot Museum. “I lived in Joyce a long time and never even wondered why it was called Joyce! Of course, now I could spiel on for 45 minutes about it,” Owens said. “I love being in here, it’s like a little home away from home. When people pull up it’s like someone coming to visit.” (For the record, although it may dash a seemingly common inclination to think the town was named after a woman named Joyce, the town’s namesake was a man named Joe Joyce.) From her vantage point behind the former Chicago-Milwaukee Railroad depot’s original ticket window, now the visitor check-in counter, Owens oversees a vast and ever-growing artifact collection that collectively tells the story of Joyce, Port Crescent and all points west. From Civil War memorabilia with local ties and the original 1914 cash register from the Joyce Store to a pump organ from an old-time family homestead and assorted tools from the demolished Elwha Dam powerhouse, the mu-
seum appears chockfull of objects appealing to nearly every interest. Owens said the museum receives new donations all the time, so much so that an adjacent annex building was built several years ago. It how houses a 1890 Studebaker buggy and 1915 Republic farm truck, both used locally, as well as old local maps that trace the railroad lines that once crossed Clallam County.
History carved in cedar
History is quite literally carved into the walls of the former train station, which will celebrate its 100-year anniversary with a party in summer
Joyce Depot Museum curator Margaret Owens at the former depot’s ticket window, now the visitor check-in counter.
2015. Numerous names and dates are whittled into the log walls of what used to be the depot’s waiting area, etched by longtime residents and otherwise anonymous railway riders alike. “Sometimes a name means something to somebody,” Owens said, pointing to the etched name of notable lifetime West End resident Jim Kerr. “Too bad more people didn’t carve more things.” Also in full-view within the museum are numerous black-and-white photographs of the depot dating back to when it first opened in 1915 and spanning the decades since. “They only built two or three log depots and this is one,” Owens said, noting the logs are yellow cedar. “Things have been upgraded but the logs are right where they were.” Owens said the need for West End timber precipitated the construction of the railway line that linked east to west in 1915. As timber between Joyce and the Elwha River was depleted, she said, a concerted push was made to access timber farther west. “They’d barge the cars across from Seattle to Port Townsend and so you could connect all the way west to Twin, which at the time was the biggest logging camp on Earth,” Owens said. “They pretty much ran out of that timber at Twin by 1930.”
Spring 2014 LOP 39
The storied history of the depot also includes a brief brush with the U.S. Army and its Spruce Production Division during World War I. Owens said soldiers arrived in 1918 to build tracks that peeled off of the mainline about two miles west of Joyce that wrapped around Lake Crescent in order to access spruce for the war effort. “It’s a driveway now, but that’s the old railroad grade heading toward the lake,” she said, noting the location on one of the museum’s many maps. “But just as they got that track built, the war ended so that spruce never went to the war effort.” Owens noted that in the early 1920s, the U.S. government sold its soldier-built track to a private operator who until 1951 also leased the depot-fronted Chicago-Milwaukee line to haul timber east. Now long-removed from the days in which trains roared through Joyce, the old depot has gone through several different incarnations over the years. Owens said the building had been used as a church, rental residence, antique shop and a few different restaurants. A local museum preceding the current one also occupied the space in the 1970s. Mary Pfaff-Pierce, whose family owns the museum property as well as the neighboring Joyce General Store, said her parents Leonard and Doris Pfaff purchased the land in the late 1950s. She said that after her father’s death in 1997, her mother had the old depot refurbished and they turned into the full-blown museum of today. “My mom used to spend a lot of time with Margaret, telling her all of the stories,” PfaffPierce, whose West End family roots go back generations, said of Owens. “That really piqued her interest.” The museum is now managed by the nonprofit Joyce Museum Society, with Pfaff-Pierce serving as its board president and Owens the museum’s only paid staff member, and operates on donations.
Doorway to a scenic byway
Not unlike the train tracks that once connected the depot to Eastern Clallam County and beyond, Owens said the museum often serves as a jumping-off point for travelers to the West End. As such, Owens, who serves on the Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway Association, said she tries to stay hyperaware of happenings along state Highway 112. “For visitors in the summer, it’s kind of like a welcome mat to Highway 112 and going west,” she said, noting museum visitors come from all over the world. “There could be 10 cars pulled up and because we’ve got the annex building now, I’m running back and forth making sure everybody finds what they want to find. We don’t have a storage place, so everything we get is put on display.” Highlighting the natural history of the area, the museum also has a growing collection of shells, bones and other fossils.
40 LOP Spring 2014
Top: The Joyce Depot circa 1915. Courtesy of Joyce Depot Museum Collection. Above left: Joyce Depot Museum curator Margaret Owens with an 1890 Studebaker buggy donated by a local family and housed in the museum’s annex building. Above right: Vintage baseball and mitt on display in the Joyce Depot Museum.
“Going west from here is just a fossil wonderland,” said Owens, pointing to a shelf filled with locally gathered fossils. “It’s great to show, especially the visitors, what they could possibly recognize at the beach.” While the sheer amount and variety of objects housed within the old depot is remarkably vast, considering the museum a mere showplace of artifacts would be to overlook some of its greatest treasures. Nestled among the vintage objects is the recorded history of Joyce and the surrounding area, stored within books, maps, newspapers and binders filled with obituaries, article clippings and written oral histories of longtime
residents. The archive collection is a largely underutilized resource, according to Owens, but one that’s not lost on her. “There’s so much beneath the surface in the written accounts and diaries and stories,” she said. “Every so often I just go through everything because things mean more to me over time. As I learn more, things jump out at me and I can remember to tell somebody.” The Joyce Depot Museum, located at Milepost 51 on state Highway 112 in Joyce, is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays. Its open hours are extended to four days a week – Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday – in the summertime from Memorial Day to Labor Day. n
Haller Fountain in Port Townsend has been a public gathering spot for more than 100 years, and for most of that time, Galatea the sea nymph from Greek mythology, has held court there. Originally, the statue was a pot metal casting donated by Theodore Haller. It was installed at the bottom of the stairs to uptown Port Townsend in 1906. Over the years, the statue and the fountain suffered all kinds of abuses. Trained trout reportedly once lived in the pool, a vehicle once drove down the stairs and knocked the statue into the street, it was painted badly and vandalized and even altered from fountain to planter, as shown in this 1955 photo. But when children climbing on it broke off a limb and damaged some cherubs in the early 1990s, Mark Stevenson and David Eisenhower were commissioned to reconstruct the statue. The new bronze statue, installed in 1993, stands to this day. The Central Fountain of St. James Court in Old Louisville, Ky., and Venus Rising from the Sea at Kimberly Crest Gardens in Redlands, Calif., are nearly identical statues to Galatea. Historical photo from The Leader Collection. Today’s photo by Fred Obee.
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Located along Clark Road in Dungeness is this picturesque twostory farmhouse and former dairy barn. Constructed in 1892, the fully-restored farmhouse remained in the Elliot Cline family for several generations. The barn, constructed by W.C. Shahan for then-owner William Henry Cline, was added to the farmstead in 1934. The big red barn has undergone a renaissance of sorts in recent years with a complete renovation undertaken by current owners Charles and Barbara Steel. Enhancements made since 2009 have included a re-roofing, addition of new sliding barn doors, cupolas and exterior windows, and considerable interior improvements. The Steels, who originally intended to build a glass structure as livable space within the barn, have instead decided to make the 80year old structure available to the community as a rentable venue.
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Historical photo by Western Air Photos in 1951, Joy McCarter Collection, Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley. Recent photo by DJ Bassett.
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Spring 2014 LOP 41
An Enriched Life By Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith
Isn’t the world an amazing creation? Diversity on every level of being that invites us to awaken as spring emerges from the winter’s chill. Infinite stars in the clear night skies above, birds and animals stirring in nature around us and the first signs of new foliage and blossoms arising from the silent earth. And most of all, the call for us to come out from the warmth of our cozy homes and venture again into the excitement of life outside. One of the most wonderful aspects of life here is that amid the diversity of old and young, liberal and conservative, foresters and tree huggers, artisans and engineers, world travelers and lifetime locals — we all share a common love of where we live. Many have interesting stories of how they came to be here, far off the beaten path. Out of all this comes a great embrace of our differences that allows us to live peacefully side by side and to enrich our lives. Recently, Port Townsend had a city project where one would see the street workers pouring concrete right beside street musicians playing lilting melodies. Creativity in many forms, side by side. The Olympic Peninsula is home to a richly diverse culture. From the lavender farms of Sequim to the sand castle building contests in Port Angeles to the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. Art abounds everywhere from hand-woven scarves to watercolor seascapes to large metal dragons and carved wooden bears. Music fills the air with classical, blues, steel guitar, jazz, fiddle, choro and ukulele festivals along with street musicians from the Crow Quill Night Owls to David Michael’s harp to unknown talents who share their tunes. Our greater world offers even more infinite diversity through the mineral, plant, animal and human kingdoms. Each creation is absolutely unique, but it is easy to only perceive life from the limited scope of oneself. We humans are 98 percent alike in DNA which reflects our essential oneness. From only 2 percent comes our differences, but what a distinctive creation that tiny piece makes. Each soul coming with its own physical form into its family of choice and a physical locale and time. How can we not celebrate the
42 LOP Spring 2014
wonder of that and expand our welcoming of even richer diversity in others? A piece called “The World as a Village” portrays our amazing variety as humanity. If there were 100 individuals gathered, there would be 61 Asians, 14 Africans, 11 Europeans, nine Latinos, and five North Americans. Half would be female and half male. There would be 70 non-Christian and 30 Christian. There would be 30 children and 70 adults. Of those, 20 would be living in fear of death and only eight would have money in the bank. Looking at this really invites us to see the world through the eyes of another. We can look beyond ourselves into new worlds. Wade Davis expresses this beautifully, “The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you. They are unique manifestations of the human spirit.” To allow an honoring of these differences and to celebrate their contributions is one of our deepest callings as human beings. We each have our own world view, but to expand to include other possibilities brings deep soul growth and enriched life. It used to be that we of Planet Earth did our sacred work in the inner sanctuaries of religious temples, but now we are doing it outwardly in our lives through our thoughts, actions and prayers. Our inner worlds and outer worlds are one if we can unite them in our consciousness. The world “temple” comes from the Latin “templum” which was a place set aside to observe the heavens. “Religio” meant to relink or rebind. Thus to do spiritual soul work is to set one’s sights on a higher vision that renews perceptions beginning at our own places of life. It is to take the time to consciously expand our sense of reality and to reestablish our connection to it. Our relationships are the modern frontiers of spiritual awareness and growth. They are the tender places where we can be more fully present and share our gifts. They are the most sacred and profoundly human connections we are invited to experience. Having a circle of kindred souls is holy ground that nurtures us, but we also can expand that circle to include more variety. To explore
beyond present boundaries is the calling of life. Allow the birth of spring to birth a new flowering of who we are and what we do with the deepest energies of life. There are as many ways to do this as there are moments in life. Just be willing to do it. Find humor and interest in differences. Open to compassionately respond without judgment. Bless the difficult people encountered. Nurture inner growth and expand outer connections. Offer hope and be welcoming to the lives of others. Let love transform each one and make our world a more conscious, gracefilled place for the journeys of our souls. To not only accept but to appreciate differences while embracing a sense oneness can be challenging. Jean Houston reminds us of the simplicity and yet challenge of doing that. She calls love “the evolutionary energy par excellence” and shares that it “carries us to the thresholds of our lives and allows us to be seized by possibility … in high empathy there is always high empowerment — a quickening.” Let this season of spring quicken the spark of love within and be empowered to step out into the outer world from the perspective of an inner one. Open to explore new adventures here on the Olympic Peninsula and in the world beyond. Join the voices of birds that fill our skies by letting your soul sing but also listen to the songs of others. Each is a gift to our shared world. The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith is minister at the Unity Spiritual Enrichment Center in Port Townsend. She will be presenting Mystical Journeys in France for Winter Wanderlust and then lead a pilgrimage there in September. She is a student of the universe and dedicated to interfaith alliances. She can be contacted at revpam@ unitypt.org.
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