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with Jim Freeman

Last Friday, I was informed at the Freeland Post Office there is a height and width restriction regarding the size of one's letters and numbers when addressing envelopes.

Here I thought by using BIG PRINT I was helping postal employees read zip codes. To quote my postal mentors, “People don't read these zip codes, Dr. Freeman. We use machines.” Back to the 8 point type. Can you see me now? Begin the beguine Most Wednesdays, a cadre of gentlemen gather in the corner of the Freeland Cafe bar. Their mission–laughter and lunch. The primary trio of attendees, all veterans, have combined ages in excess of a really good bowling score. Their stories will bowl you over even more. Unfortunately, this is a family paper.

“Tom, I checked my Webster's Seventh Collegiate Dictionary. Beguine is a rumba like dance popular on the islands of St. Lucia and Martinique if you use a lower case “b.” Beguine with a capital "B" is “a member of one of various ascetic and philanthropic communities of women not under vows founded chiefly in the Netherlands in the 13th century.”

Newcomers alert Thanks to John Allison of Wholesale Cutlery in Freeland, I am in possession of a two page list of “Rules for Whidbey Island Newcomers.” While the original author is unknown to me, maybe one of you deserves credit. Pick your fave. I vote for #19. 1. No neckties.

5. It is not allowed to mow your lawn between the first of November and the first of March.

“No way. Grable and Shaw were married.” “Nope, Shaw had eight wives, including Lana Turner and Ava Gardner, but not Betty Grable.” “I'll stake my caboose on this.” “Tom, I wouldn't mess with him. He knows.” added Montana Dave. “Gary, check on your tablet. Look up Artie Shaw.” Before you know it, I was eating cold french fries and drinking warm coffee, having talked my way into another apology. Tom was right again. Knowing my attention span is not unlike what Mark Shields said of Trump, “he has the attention span of a rabid tsetse fly,” I switched gears and asked each of the men which starlet from their youth would they enjoy spending a day or night with. “Sophia Loren,” said Tom enthusiastically. “Sonja Henie,” said Gary with a smile. “By the way, my Dad said that Mom had legs as good or better than Betty Grable.” “Kate Smith,” smiled Dave. “Boy, could she sing.” “I remember Mom ironing when she watched her fifteen minute TV show after I would get home from school. 'When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain' was the bomb.” “No, Jimmy, 'God Bless America' was her song.” Never argue with a coffee drinking jarhead from Montana. Our exchange, not to be confused with the PX, continued with our collective ramblings about Cole Porter, Nelson Riddle, Ethel Merman, John Wayne, Gene Tierney, Natalie Wood, Veronica Lake, Ann Miller, Terry Moore, Jane Powell, and Walter Cronkite. I made up the last one just to see if you were still reading. Friends at the Freeland Cafe. Laughter and

3. You can own a necktie and a suit, but you can only wear it off the island. 4. If you do wear the above on the island, you will be overwhelmed with sexual opportunities and never get any work done. You must be very careful.

6. If you do mow during these times, you will make your neighbor look bad, and his wife will try to get him to mow. He will resent this. Not a good way to keep friends. 7. Don't have too many clothes. Your friends might not recognize you if you wear different ones all the time.



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“Let's keep it that way, Tom. If I start to act regular, take me to Coupeville.”

Snohomish Tom, Montana Dave, and Norwegland Gary (his Mom is from Norway and his Dad from England), having finished their lunch, invited me to sit down to enjoy an after lunch aperitif. And then it began.

“Shaw didn't marry Grable. You're thinking of Harry James. And he cheated on her.”

360-679-4003 877-679-4003

“Thanks, Jim. That was fun today. You have a strange mind.”

2. No suits.

“Good question. I've never thought about it, but I like Artie Shaw's version the best. Why would a guy divorce Betty Grable?”


By the way, I looked up the word beguine. So, I called Snohomish Tom to advise him.

I stopped by last Wednesday to give Snohomish Tom an old copy of Whidbey Weekly which mentioned him. Knowing Tom does not always read this part of page three, I delivered his honorable mention. In fairness to all, the only persons who read page three every week are Teresa and TJ, but they get paid to read page three.

“Jim, you seem to know everything. What does the song title 'Begin the Beguine' mean?” asked Tom.



lunch in the lounge. It doesn't get much better, until the next time.

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390 NE MIDWAY BLVD | PO BOX 1098 | OAK HARBOR, WASHINGTON 98277 Publisher & Editor.......................................................... Eric Marshall Marketing Representatives................Penny Hill, Roosevelt Rumble Graphic Design............................................................. Teresa Besaw Production Manager......................................................TJ Pierzchala Circulation Manager.................................................... Noah Marshall

Contributing Writers Jim Freeman Wesley Hallock Kae Harris Tracy Loescher Kathy Reed Carey Ross

Volume 10, Issue 2 | © MMXVIII Whidbey Weekly

PUBLISHED and distributed every week. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The Whidbey Weekly cannot be held responsible for the quality of goods or services supplied by advertisers in this publication. Articles, unless otherwise stated, are by contribution and therefore the Whidbey Weekly is not in a position to validate any comments, recommendations or suggestions made in these articles. Submitted editorial is NOT guaranteed to be published. DEADLINES: The Whidbey Weekly is a submission based editorial with contributing writers. Please feel free to submit any information (please limit to 200 words) that you would like to share with the Whidbey Weekly. You may submit by email to, by fax to (360)682-2344 or by postal mail to PO Box 1098, Oak Harbor, WA 98277. Submitted editorial is NOT guaranteed to be published. Deadline for all submissions is one week prior to issue date. For more information, please visit

8. Ladies. If you really want everyone to notice you, wear 3-inch high heels. W H I D B E Y ’ S L A R G E S T S E L E C T I O N O F F I N E A RT S U P P L I E S !

9. If you really want to fit in, drive 40 mph up the highway. 10. And never signal while driving. 11. Formal wear is described as—tucking your shirt in. This is allowed when going out to dinner. 12. Before you move to the island, get rid of most of your clothes. The closets in most homes are too small to hold your city clothes. Besides, there is really no place to wear them. 13. You are allowed to wash your car—once a year. 14. Its pronounced “Wood-be.” 15. Do not under any circumstances, fertilize your lawn. This is really stupid. It will grow by itself, and you will have to mow anyway, and fertilizing it just makes it grow faster. Not a good idea. 16. Ladies do not carry purses here. If it doesn't fit into your pocket, you don't need it. 17. Do your shopping on the island. The exchange is real good. 1:1. If you think you have to go to 'America', unless you can save at least the ferryboat fare, plus gas, it ain't worth it. 18. Take your dog with you whenever you go to the store. You will fit right in. Then listen to them in the parking lot. 19. Island Time. When you find someone to do a job, don't expect they will arrive on time, or do the job from start to finish. Some require breaks in the middle of the job to go fishing or hunting. When someone shows up on time, praise them. 20. It's a game. See who can wait the longest at a four way stop. Have a great week. Only 35 more days until spring training! To read past columns of On Track in the Whidbey Weekly, see our Digital Library at



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Whidbey Weekly, January 11, 2018  
Whidbey Weekly, January 11, 2018