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SEQUIM GAZETTE

B COMMUNITY

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 • B-1

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SECTION

For sports fans, plenty to choose from at county fair

B-5

Sports • Arts & Entertainment • Schools • Calendar

SEQUIM GAZETTE

Take the Honor Flight

Hang on

Make yourself at home Finding your place while afloat

Veteran takes once-in-alifetime trip. See page B-2. •••••••••••••••

Classic rock jams in Quilcene

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK Mark St.J. Couhig

Moon Fest brings guitarist of Heart and popular impersonators for oneday event benefiting the American Cancer Society See page B-4. •••••••••••••••

Railroad Park celebrates 20 years

Special event set for Friday, Aug. 17, at the park. See page B-12. •••••••••••••••

Getting ready for another school year

No matter how hard I try to avoid it, every now and then I learn something new. This past week, for example, I had an excellent epiphany into the nature of Sequim, and into my place in it. Specifically I now know why, after two and a half years here, I continue to feel like an imperfect fit. Not a square peg in a round hole, exactly, but different. I grew up in South Louisiana — I spent my first 40 years there — and I continue to regard myself as a Louisiana boy. As I’ve often told friends and family, as soon as they do something about the heat and humidity I’ll be right back. My family and I then moved to New Mexico, where for 15 years we lived in a culture that is divided into three parts: 1) Native American, 2) Hispanic and 3) rich white folks. (Or four: us.) New Mexico is different from Louisiana, but not so much as you might think. Food is a big deal. Racial tensions are a daily fact of life. The education system is a bleeding disaster. But anyone who believes the U.S. is one great big

On a family cruise, we see Protection Island, right, and Mount Baker dead ahead. Sequim Gazette photos by Mark Couhig

homogenous melting pot would do well to visit South Louisiana or northern New Mexico. They are worlds unto themselves. That was further brought

“We tend to be loud. Raucous, even... It’s a South Louisiana thing. You wouldn’t understand.” home this week when my brother Kevin came to visit us in Sequim. He flew up to spend some time in our delicious bit of cool. We had a great time. In fact, everywhere we went we were having the best time of anyone there. Or certainly it sounded that way.

We tend to be loud. Raucous, even. Some people in Sequim find it frightening. Or at the very least, off-putting. It’s a South Louisiana thing. You wouldn’t understand. Kevin was astonished by the temerity of Sequim’s pedestrians, who regularly act upon their faith that drivers will respect crossing zones. We also did some touristy things, including a marvelous boat trip around Protection Island, which I had been wanting to revisit, this time armed with Mike D’s VLC (Very Large Camera). With its help, I’m now better able to make my argument that this peninsula is, at least for a few moments each year, incomparably beautiful.

Those of you who have never lived elsewhere may be lulled into complacency. I’ve attached photos. Take another look. Now back to the issue at hand: “It looks so peaceful,” one of my Facebook friends wrote. She used peaceful as a compliment. I don’t get that. Another, an old friend from Louisiana, saw the pictures of the seals. “First you make a roux, Cher,” he said. A bald eagle, one of That I get. I’ve always believed that perhaps a dozen we saw that day. peace of mind is boring. My brother and I also had a long discussion regarding regional differences. He told me one sure measure of America’s cultural diversity is this: as a thought experi-

ment, ask yourself if your U.S. senators could be elected in Louisiana. Patty Murray thrown into

See ISLAND, B-2

Animals for auction: Bovines help budding businesses 4-H, FFA youth work year-round for fair event by AMANDA WINTERS Sequim Gazette

Wolfpack, Timberwolf Days aim to get Sequim students ready for class. See page B-9. •••••••••••••••

In their sights

Sequim players make lots of noise at the annual Saundra Kent Memorial Tennis Tournament. See page B-8.

A freshly clipped Lord Tubbington chewed on his feed and swatted flies away with his tail as Morgan Dippert, 12, of Sequim, talked about what needed to be done to prepare the 18-month-old steer for this year’s Junior Livestock Auction at the Clallam County Fair. In her third year selling a steer at auction, Dippert works with Lord Tubbington every day, training him to walk for longer periods of time so she doesn’t have to pull him around the arena during the Aug. 18 auction. The Junior Livestock Auction, in its 21st year, has many requirements for participating 4-H and FFA youth to maintain a high level of care for the animals, including passing the Quality As-

surance exam, which is on responsible handling, veterinary practices and customer satisfaction. Individuals, businesses, groups or donors can participate in the auction by registering through the 4-H office at 417-2398. The purpose of the auction is to encourage leadership, resourcefulness and responsible animal husbandry in the participating youth. Raising Lord Tubbington Dippert, a member of Pure Country 4-H Club, said she feeds the steer hay and grain two times a day and as they approach the auction she pays special attention to his diet if he has been treated for something. “You have to wait for it to get out of their system so it isn’t in the meat,” she said. Last year, Dippert used the

proceeds from the sale of her steer to repay her parents for the money they spent on feed and then she bought Lord Tubbington. She plans to save the money from the sale of Lord Tubbington for college or a car, she said. “It’s a lot of work but it’s good, it’s responsibility,” said Morgan Dippert’s mother, Lesa Dippert. Her daughter also has learned about focus, money management, respect for

Morgan Dippert, 12, stands with her steer, Lord Tubbington, the week before he is auctioned off during the Junior Livestock Auction at the Clallam County Fair. Sequim Gazette photo by Amanda Winters

adults and record keeping, she said.

See AUCTION, B-2

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Deadlines

Deadline for items appearing in B-section is 5 p.m. Wednesday one week before publication at editor@sequimgazette.com or P.O. Box 1750, Sequim 98382, or delivered to the Sequim Gazette office at 141 W. Washington St.

Clallam Count y Junior Livestock Auction When: 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18 Where: Clallam Count y Fairgrounds, 1608 W. 16th St., Port Angeles; small arena by swine barn More information: Call the 4-H office at 417-2398 for preregistration.

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B-2 • Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SEQUIM GAZETTE

Veterans encouraged to join an ‘Honor Flight’ ‘You owe it to yourself’ by Mark St.J. Couhig

Sequim Gazette

Robert Barbee has a message for all World War II veterans. Sign up soon for a trip to Washington D.C., on an “Honor Flight.” “You owe it to yourself,” he said. Barbee was part of an Honor Flight contingent that flew out of Seattle on May 25. He describes the three-day tour as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. While he was required to make his way to and from Seattle, the rest of the tab was picked up by private donors. “No government dollars are spent on this,” Barbee noted. First stop, Baltimore, Md., where he and approximately two dozen of his fellow veterans were welcomed in grand style at the Hilton Hotel, including a great meal that evening. The next morning the entire group was bused into D.C., visiting first the World War II Memorial. “That’s the ‘honor’ part of the trip,” Barbee said. But that was just the beginning of a long, enjoyable day. After leaving the memorial, the veterans were bused to the Lincoln Memorial where they also visited the Vietnam and Korean War memorials. At Arlington National Cemetery they watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown. Before leaving the national cemetery they visited the Air Force Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial. And then they drove downtown to visit the Navy Memorial. They enjoyed a big dinner at the Golden Corral before returning to the Hilton where an epic bull session broke out in the lobby. “We fought the war all over again,” he laughed. “And you know, we won again.” The next morning the

Sequim’s Robert Barbee at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Barbee visited the memorial in May courtesy of “Honor Flight,” a privately funded program that provides veterans of World War II and other wars with the opportunity to visit “their” memorial. Submitted photo

group was bused back to the airport and flown home to Seattle.

Find out more

Barbee said he first heard about “Honor Flig ht” through the grapevine — from a fellow veteran down in Oregon. He said the program had lost some steam for a while, but in the past year has been reorganized, expanded and is better than ever. The first step: go to www. honorflight.org and register. Acceptance isn’t immediate. Some have been on the waiting list three years or more, Barbee said. But the program currently provides a priority for World War II veterans, plus other veterans who are suffering from a terminal disease. Because the older veterans and those who are ill very often require assistance, each veteran is required to be accompanied by a guardian who must pay $400 for flight, hotel and meals.

Barbee was accompanied by his granddaughter, Amy. He’s immensely grateful to the many who provided the flight and all of the attendant care. Barbee said the folks at Southwest Airlines, a major program sponsor, “took care of us very royally. They were very knowledgeable and knew exactly what to do.” When the veterans arrived in Baltimore they were met by a large contingent of volunteers. “It was fantastic. They had wheelchairs waiting for us and just wheeled us right through.”

ISLAND From page B-1

the Louisiana brier patch. It’s a pretty comical thought. In a recent blog post I pointed out that Louisiana politicians have all undergone guiltectomies. Caught in flagrante, they just ‘fess up, a confession almost always followed by an off-color joke. Here is an example, courtesy of Kevin: Recently the reporters in Baton Rouge thought they were onto a big story when Charlie Dewitt, the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, was accused of having prostitutes in his government-provided apartment near the capitol. The story suggested that a friend had borrowed the apartment for the rendezvous. A Washington state politician would have that deercaught-in-the headlights look. Not in Louisiana. DeWitt fired back with both barrels. “Why, that’s a damn lie,” he told the reporters. “Anyone who knows me knows if there was a prostitute in my apartment, I would have been the one with her!” Everyone had a good laugh. And the story died. Years ago on one welllubricated evening a former Louisiana politician told a group of us that he got out of government service when it became a federal crime to steal state money. We laughed like hell. To this day, I don’t know why. The sheer chutzpah of it, I guess. Who would put up with

that kind of stuff here? Politicians in Washington tend to be very sincere, very straight-arrow. Not that there aren’t any crooks; we just don’t have any crooks with flair.

So, what’s the difference?

This week I happened to be reading P.J. O’Rouke’s treatise on economics, “Eat the Rich.” It includes a long piece on life in Sweden. “It struck me that Sweden was the only country I’d ever been to with no visible crazy people,” he writes. “Every Swede seems reasonable, constrained and selfpossessed.” When a Swede asked him for his impression of Sweden, O’Rourke told the fellow, “It’s like Minnesota. You know, wholesome, hygienic, polite, cold climate, everything works.” “At shops, in restaurants, on the streets, everyone is so helpful and pleasant that it frightens Americans.” And I thought: Yes. That’s it exactly. I am, for the first time in my life, living in a Scandinavian culture. And I am, by birth and acculturation, a Mediterranean. My wife and I moved to Sequim when my motherin-law’s health declined. My wife wanted to take care of her. Whither she goest, so too must I. We declared it an adventure. And that it has been. It’s difficult to phrase ex-

actly how moving to a place where everyone is nice, and where virtually everyone is reasonable, can be declared an adventure. But my wife and I are aficionados of culture shock. We have visited many countries, but have never stayed in a resort. We’ve never been on a cruise. Once in Ireland we so tired of the postcard beauty of the touristed towns that we sought out and found what I certainly hope is the ugliest village in Ireland. To the great shock and pleasure of the locals — who for the life of themselves could not imagine why anyone with a few bucks would do so — we settled ourselves in the local pub and struck up numerous conversations. It was the best night of our trip. On a recent afternoon my wife and I found ourselves walking our dog, an unlikeable little rat of a thing that is my mother-in-law’s legacy, down Seventh Avenue, wandering past the gravel lawns to our manufactured home. A nd we laughed and laughed. How, we asked each other, have we arrived here? We two have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles together. As a result we are both very familiar with one of the pleasures that this life in Sequim has provided. There is a desire among travelers, an inexplicable one, for a particular kind of moment. You may be alone, or you may be crushed within a press of people. But there it is, and for a time it just fills up your heart: loneliness.

Honoring veterans

Barbee said the World War II Memorial was the highlight of the trip. “It was a long fight to get this memorial built,” he said. He

See FLIGHT, B-3

AUCTION From page B-1

Morgan Dippert said during the school year, every day after school if she doesn’t have homework she goes outside to walk her steer and scoop up the manure that comes with it. Before she raised steers, she showed rabbits in 4-H. Her older sister, Maya Dippert, also is involved in the Pure Country 4-H Club and this fall will begin participat-

Hundreds of seals were stretched out on the beach. Because the law requires boats to remain at least 200 yards from shore, binoculars are a must — as is a telephoto lens. Sequim Gazette photos by Mark Couhig

ing in FFA.

Swine and steer

Siblings Jamie and Becky Schroepfer, of Sequim, both have hogs in this year’s Junior Livestock Auction, said their mother, Tami Schroepfer. “They learn responsibility of how to care of animals, the heartache of caring for animals — Becky has lost a couple of calves — how much money it takes to raise an animal, how to get it ready

for show and all those things,” Schroepfer said. Jamie, 12, and Becky, 15, have both been involved in 4-H since kindergarten and are members of the 4-H Rascals Club. Schroepfer said they also learn how to do something from the start to the finish. This is Becky’s seventh year and Jamie’s fourth year to participate in the auction, each year using their proceeds to invest in the next year’s

project, she said. In addition to auctioning their hogs, Becky will be showing a dairy cow and Jamie will be showing a beef cow, she said. Becky also is in FFA. For more information on the auction, call 417-2398. Reach Amanda Winters at awinters@ sequimgazette.com.

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Make Yourself at Home  

Mark Couhig WNPA entry