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lifestyles in the Walla Walla Valley

T H E VA L L E Y ’ S P E O PL E , W I N E & F O O D


December 2013 $3.95

SPorTS ConCuSSionS WHaT you SHouLd KnoW Supplement of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin


13WGH007_WWLifestyles_SURGERY.indd 1

Eight blocks south of downtown on Second Avenue

6/13/13 2:15 PM


Wall a Wall a Lifest yles 3

Bordeaux Meets New World... 100% Estate. 100% Sustainable. 100% Walla Walla. Serving Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and our proprietary Bordeaux-style blend, “Trine.”

Sit. Sip. Enjoy the wine country view.

Our tasting room is open seven days a week between the hours of 10am and 4pm. We can be found just south of Walla Walla at 1704 J.B. George Road.

open 7 days a week from 10am to 4pm

Find us in Woodinville, too!


3796 Peppers Bridge Road 509.525.3541 | 509-525-6502 | info @


At T. Maccarone’s we may not be known for our “seriousness.” But one thing we do take seriously is our service to you, because you are why we exist. We’re serious about providing you with unparalleled fine dining. We’re serious about making your meal a true experience. We’re serious about how much we adore our community. Happy Holidays from all of us at T Mac’s, Seriously! Call for reservations: 509-522-4776 4 N. Colville Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362

4 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles

BARKWELL’S 53506 West Crockett Rd, Milton-Freewater, Oregon • 509-386-3064


Open Wednesday-Sunday 9:00am-5:30pm

Poinsettias 3 sizes in 6 colors • Live Wreaths Christmas Decorations and Gifts & Personal Items • Home & Garden

Clay in POTTERY Motion STUDIO A Very Unique Gift Shop A Holiday Shopping Tradition

Delight your senses this holiday season in a beautiful gift shop filled with fantastic finds. Hand-made pottery, raku lamps, sassy jewelry, designer scarves, home decor, art glass, unique ornaments and so much more.

Studio & Gallery Open Everyday 541-938-3316


85301 Highway 11, Milton-Freewater • Wall a Wall a Lifest yles 5

December Contributors Jim Buchan is a sports writer and former sports editor for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. He can be reached at 509-526-8323 or Writer

Chetna Chopra is the associate editor of Walla Walla Lifestyles magazine.

Associate Editor

Steve Lenz is the art director for Walla Walla Lifestyles magazine. He has been a photographer and graphic artist for 20 years. Photographer


Diane Reed is a writer, photographer, historian and keen observer of life. She grew up in the East dreaming of becoming either a cowgirl or a famous writer.


6 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles

Karlene Ponti is the special publications writer for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. She can be reached at 509-526-8324 or

Andy Perdue is editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. To learn more about wine, go to Writer


Robin Hamilton is the managing editor of Walla Walla Lifestyles magazine.


Lindsey Thompson is the founder of the Thompson Family Acupuncture Clinic.


Rebecca Thorpe is the fitness instructor and director of aquatics at the Walla Walla YMCA.


table of contents


December 2013 PUBLISH ER

Rob C. Blethen EDITOR


Jay Brodt


MorE TaSTinG rooMS, MorE Fun

While locals may wonder about the plethora of wineries downtown, tourists and convention-goers love them.


WinE MaP



Know where to go to buy, to taste, to enjoy Walla Walla’s renowned wines. Sports concussions: Youth sports, from recreational leagues to high-school football teams, have been tasked with preventing concussions in young athletes. Here’s what’s going on, locally.

18 26 30 31


Robin Hamilton


Chetna Chopra


Vera Hammill


Steve Lenz

WHEn in douBT, SiT iT ouT

It’s the new mantra from athletic directors and trainers, coaches and doctors.


James Blethen, Ralph Hendrix, Steve Lenz, Jason Uren

LiVinG WiTH TrauMaTiC Brain inJury

Alyssa Latham has had five concussions and finds the road to recovery daunting.

TESTinG For ConCuSSionS

Many schools and medical facilities are using the ImPACT – a computerized exam to test athletes’ response time and other cognitive markers.

FindinG THE PoinT For ConCuSSionS: HoW Can aCuPunCTurE HELP?

East Asian medicine has been tapped to treat everyone from soldiers with traumatic brain injuries to children who have a mild concussion.


BaLanCinG aCTS


WHaT’S nEW in W2?

Concussions can occur from a simple fall. Practice finding your balance and reduce those risks. Professionals who do body work – therapeutic massage, acupuncture and yoga – can help renew body and mind.








WHErE in WaLLa WaLLa?

Dawn and Gary Brumfield find their own terroir.


Masood Gorashi, Jeff Sasser, Donna Schenk, Colleen Streeter, Mike Waltman EDI TOR I A L A SSISTA N T

Karlene Ponti


Kandi Suckow


Rick Doyle rickdoyle@w

Robin Hamilton robinhamilton@w FOR A DV ERT ISING IN FOR M AT ION

Jay Brodt jaybrodt@w

A Joyous Noel at the Waldheim Mansion PLEASE LIKE US


Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes 7


Downtown Wineries Thrive, Thanks to Restaurants, Hotels By Andy Perdue, special to Walla Walla Lifestyles

Downtown Walla Walla wineries have just about everything they need: restaurants, hotels, tasting rooms and convention crowds. About the only things missing are vines. And at least one winery is working on that. Vicky and Casey McClelland have a long history in the Walla Walla Valley. They launched Seven Hills Winery in June 1988 — the No. 5 winery in the Valley and, for more than 10 years, the only winery in Eastern Oregon — and the McClellands helped plant the original Seven Hills Vineyard near Milton-Freewater. In May 2000, the McClellands relocated their winery to downtown Walla Walla, sharing a building with Whitehouse-Crawford, a restaurant whose dining room looks into Seven Hills’ barrel room. “We love being downtown,” said Vicky McClelland. “Downtown has the full package. You can walk from place to place, take a break or have a meal. Other areas of the Valley don’t have much food service.” And while the winery has its 20-acre McClellan Estate Vineyard near Milton-Freewater, the only vines at the tasting room are some Baco Noir growing up the side of the building. “We use it as a solar screen to absorb the heat before it hits the building,” she said. Sharing a parking lot with the Marcus Whitman Hotel helps the downtown wineries thrive, McClelland said, especially when a convention is in town. “We definitely know when they are skipping their meetings,” she said with a chuckle. Inside the Marcus Whitman, six wineries share the lobby, and this works well for all downtown wineries by turning this area of town into a destination. McClelland said that when tour buses arrive, 40 to 60 people can get off and split up, which gives everyone — patrons and tasting rooms — a better experience. “It gives them two hours to let everyone have their own adventure,” she said. “When you have a really large group, people don’t get that intimate service. The downtown area makes it possible for 40 people to arrive together and have a different experience.” Jim Moyer, owner and winemaker for Fort 8 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles

Walla Walla Cellars at Main and Spokane streets, could not agree more. “There’s no question about it: Downtown is a huge advantage,” he said. “It’s easily walkable. We do really well here.” Fort Walla Walla Cellars opened in October 2003 and, at the time, was the closest tasting room to Whitman College, which created nice business on parent weekends. Even today, Moyer sells 85 percent of his 2,000 cases straight out of the tasting room. That much wine being sold directly to consumers means more money in the winery’s cash register. Moyer said he is busy every month, except January and February. “It’s pretty consistent, especially May through December,” he said. Moyer figures the only times when other areas of the Valley outperform downtown with tasting-room traffic are during Spring Release Weekend in May and Holiday Barrel Tasting in December. “On those big-event weekends, people want to see grapes,” Moyer said. The crowds downtown are still significant, but they aren’t like those that head south of town, he said. Moyer has noticed unusual crowds when Washington State University’s football team is playing at home. Typically, they’re wearing sweatshirts supporting the University of Southern California; Stanford University; University of California, Los Angeles; or University of California, Berkeley. “You can’t believe the number of people who come here on their way to Pullman or on their way home,” Moyer said. “They come up for the football game, but they’re also coming to Walla Walla to taste wine.” One of downtown Walla Walla’s newest tasting rooms is Mark Ryan Winery, which opened in June 2012. Owner Mark McNeilly is bucking a trend of Walla Walla wineries opening satellite tasting rooms in Woodinville: He’s a Woodinville

winemaker who has come to wine country. “Outside of Washington state, Walla Walla is synonymous with Washington wine,” McNeilly said. “I really got the idea to open the tasting room based on having a lot of friends in Walla Walla.” He said business at his new tasting room has been outstanding. “We’re on one of the prime spots on Main Street,” he said. When the location became available, McNeilly received nearly simultaneous calls from friends Trey Busch at Sleight of Hand Cellars and Justin Wylie at Va Piano Vineyards. “I drove over that day and signed a lease,” he said. McNeilly makes all his wine in Woodinville and has no plans to move any of his production to Walla Walla. And that keeps his focus on creating a great tasting-room experience. “A lot of people stay downtown, and people start and finish their day in downtown,” he said. “The downtown core has a great feel with thriving restaurants, tasting rooms and retail shops that are not tasting rooms.” Many of McNeilly’s best customers from the West Side have decided to check out his new digs, too. “Whenever I’m in the Woodinville tasting room, they tell me about their great experiences in Walla Walla,” he said. “The two tasting rooms definitely fuel each other. It’s a different scene in Walla Walla, and it’s fun to see both sides.”

“Downtown has the full package. You can walk from place to place, take a break or have a meal.”

“This is the one that started it all for me.� 376091V

-Lucy Martin, Portland, OR.


w w w. re i n i n g e r w i n e r y / v i s i t

Crafting Distinctive, Terroir-Driven Wines in the Walla Walla Valley.

Tasting Room Open Daily 11a.m. - 5p.m. & by appointment 1793 J.B. George Rd. | Walla Walla 509.529.0900 |



Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot & Sauvignon Blanc

TA S T I N G R O O M HO UR S : Open Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1979 JB George Road | Walla Walla, Washington 509.520.5166 |

Wall a Wall a Lifest yles 9

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St. AMAVI CELLARS 3796 Peppers Bridge Road 509-525-3541 2. BASEL CELLARS ESTATE WINERY 2901 Old Milton Highway 509-522-0200 3. BERGEVIN LANE VINEYARDS 1215 W. Poplar St. 509-526-4300 4. BLUE MOUNTAIN CIDER 235 E. Broadway, Milton-Freewater 541-938-5575 5. BUNCHGRASS WINERY 151 Bunchgrass Lane 509-540-8963 6. CASTILLO DE FELICIANA 85728 Telephone Pole Road Milton-Freewater 541-558-3656 7. DON CARLO VINEYARD 6 W. Rose St. 509-540-5784 8. DUNHAM CELLARS 150 E. Boeing Ave. 509-529-4685 9. FIVE STAR CELLARS 840 C St. 509-527-8400 10. FORGERON CELLARS 33 W. Birch St. 509-522-9463 11. FOUNDRY VINEYARDS 13th Ave. and Abadie St. 509-529-0736 12. FORT WALLA WALLA CELLARS 127 E. Main St. 509-520-1095 10 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles


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13. GLENCORRIE 8052 Old Highway 12 509-525-2585 14. GRANTWOOD WINERY 2428 Heritage Road 509-301-0719 509-301-9546 15. JLC WINERY 425 B. St. 509-301-5148 16. CAVU CELLARS 175 E. Aeronca Ave. 509-540-6350 17. L’ECOLE NO 41 WINERY 41 Lowden School Road and U.S. Highway 12 509-525-0940 18. LODMELL CELLARS 6 W. Rose St. 509-525-1285 19. LONG SHADOWS 1604 Frenchtown Road (Formerly Ireland Road) 509-526-0905 By invitation only. Requests accepted on a limited basis. Please call to inquire.

20. MANSION CREEK CELLARS 9 S. First Ave. 253-370-6107 21. NORTHSTAR WINERY 1736 J.B. George Road 509-524-4883 22. PEPPER BRIDGE WINERY 1704 J.B. George Road 509-525-6502 23. PLUMB CELLARS 9 S. First Ave. 509-876-4488

10 31

24. REININGER WINERY 5858 Old Highway 12 509-522-1994 25. ROBISON RANCH CELLARS 2839 Robison Ranch Road 509-301-3480 26. SAPOLIL CELLARS 15 E. Main St. 509-520-5258 27. SAVIAH CELLARS 1979 J.B. George Road 509-520-5166 28. SEVEN HILLS WINERY 212 N. Third Ave. 509-529-7198 29. SINCLAIR ESTATE VINEYARDS 109 E. Main., Ste. 100 509-876-4300 30. SPRING VALLEY VINEYARD 18 N. Second Ave. 509-525-1506


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31. SULEI CELLARS 355 S. Second Ave. 503-529-0840 www. 32. SYZYGY 405 E. Boeing Ave. 509-522-0484 33. TAMARACK CELLARS 700 C St. (Walla Walla Airport) 509-520-4058 34. TEMPUS CELLARS 124 W. Boeing Ave. (Walla Walla Airport) 509-270-0298 35. TERTULIA CELLARS 1564 Whiteley Road 509-525-5700 36. THREE RIVERS WINERY 5641 Old Highway 12 509-526-9463


37. VA PIANO VINEYARDS 1793 J.B. George Road 509-529-0900 38. WALLA WALLA VINTNERS Vineyard Lane off Mill Creek Road 509-525-4724 39. THE CHOCOLATE SHOP 31 E. Main St. 509-522-1261 40. WATERMILL WINERY 235 E. Broadway, Milton-Freewater 541-938-5575 41. WOODWARD CANYON WINERY 11920 W. Highway 12, Lowden 509-525-4129

Wall a Wall a Lifest yles 11

Walla Walla

Dining Guide

Clarette’s restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 S. Touchet St., Walla Walla • 509-529-3430 Open daily, 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Clarette’s offers many locally sourced foods and consistently is voted the valley’s best place for breakfast. Generations of locals have marked important occasions with its classic American-style breakfasts. Located on the Whitman College campus, one block off Main street, near the travelodge. Lots of parking. Breakfast served all day.

The Marc restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jacobi’s italian Café & Catering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 W. Rose St., Walla Walla • 509-525-2200 • 416 N. Second Ave., Walla Walla • 509-525-2677 • Dinner daily, starting at 5:30 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Using locally sourced produce, poultry and Come “Mangia Mangia” in Walla Walla at Jacobi’s meats, Chef Antonio Campolio has created an Café! At Jacobi’s Café you can enjoy our signaambitious and creative menu. try the “Bacon and ture italian cuisine and experience casual dining Eggs,” a tempura-fried Red Boar Farms pork belwith customer service that is second to none. ly served with a soft-poached, locally produced you may dine in our vintage train car or sit back egg. All menu items are thoughtfully paired with and relax on our patio. Because when you are local wine selections. Vegetarian dishes are as inItalian Café & Catering thinking italian ... think Jacobi’s! triguing as non-veggie options.

Mill Creek Brew Pub . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 S. Palouse St., Walla Walla • 509-522-2440 • Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-midnight; Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. for 15 years, Mill Creek has served locally brewed, handcrafted beers. you’ll find great values on the kid-friendly lunch and dinner menu, served inside or out on the largest patio in town. Local wines, daily specials and great atmosphere, all await you at Mill Creek Brew Pub.

Patit Creek restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 725 E. Dayton Ave., Dayton, WA • 509-382-2625 Lunch: Wed.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; Dinner: Wed. & Thu., 4:30-7 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 4:30-7:30 p.m. Named in “Northwest Best Places” as the only four-star French restaurant east of the Cascades, Patit Creek has been serving great cuisine — without the attitude — since 1978. While all the entrees are exquisite, their meat dishes are truly notable, especially the Medallions of Beef Hiebert. An imaginative wine list and remarkable desserts make Patit Creek a gem worth traveling for.

T. Maccarone’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 N. Colville St., Walla Walla • 509-522-4776 • Open daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Welcome to T. Maccarone’s, a modern, Washington wine-country bistro influenced by classic Italian sensibilities. Join us in our downtown Walla Walla restaurant for a celebration of the senses – from the fragrant allure of white truffle to the warm spark of candles in our intimate dining room, let us help make your wine-country experience truly memorable.

Thai Ploy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311 S. Ninth Ave., Walla Walla • 509-525-0971 Open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. Roast Duck Curry, Lemon Grass Barbecued Chicken, Coconut Prawns, Pad thai and more. A great menu of Thai dishes, expertly prepared. enjoy a glass of wine, cold beer or tasty thai iced tea with your meal. Plenty of room for groups or just the two of you. if you’re looking for a true thai dining experience, thai Ploy is the place for you.





outdoor dining


under $10

reservations recommended Food Past 10 p.m.

12 Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes

$11-$25 over $26

Walla Walla

Blending Old-World perspective with the pioneering spirit of Walla Walla

Winery of the Year

Open Thu-Mon 11am-5:30pm

12 consecutive years


33 West Birch Street Walla Walla 509-522-9463

— Wine & Spirits Magazine

• One of Washington

Est. 1983

State’s first artisan, family-owned wineries

Open Daily 10am – 5pm

• Estate grown wines

41 Lowden School Road, Lowden, WA

A Tasting Room and More

certified sustainable &

14 miles west of Walla Walla on Hwy 12

Salmon Safe


Taste Wine Daily 1-4 Live Music Every Weekend

Named Best Tasting Room

Reserve Tasting

“The tasting staff walks

Fridays 3pm • April to November

visitors through L’Ecole’s

Private, seated tasting and tour of the historic

prize-winning lineup

Frenchtown Schoolhouse

without pretense, a modest approach that’s

Space is limited. Please make reservations at



— Seattle Magazine 376107V

15 E. Main Street, Downtown Walla Walla

Watermill Winery

A legacy of passion for outstanding red wines. Elegance. Character. Consistency.

Open Daily 11am-5pm 235 E Broadway Milton-Freewater, OR (541)938-5575

Don’t miss Walla Walla’s pioneer, award-winning winery in the shadow of the picturesque Blue Mountains.

~tastings are always free.~ 376090


Handcrafted Hard Cider | PHONE: (509) 525-4724 Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes 13


Now available at


TiKi Teriyaki Grille


205 Wildwood • Walla Walla 509-522-4757 Visit us at


Warm Holiday Greetings




From All of Us at


5 3 6 NE ‘C’ Street College Place, WA 99324


14 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles





A Life Well-Lived is Worth Remembering Your wishes fulfilled ...

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HOT POOP 373547V

Walla Walla • 525.9080

315 West Alder, Walla Walla, 525-1150 252304rh 373533V

85464CLCL 85897

Herring Groseclose Funeral Home

210 E. Main St.

Operating & Real Estate Loans Crop Insurance Country Home & Lot Loans Appraisals



Meghan Bailey | 509.525.2400

Wall a Wall a Lifest yles 15

It just makes sense.

Jim Tackett Debbie Miller Judy Hicks (509) 526-1247 (509) 526-1486 (509) 526-1244 NMLS #498681 NMLS #498677 NMLS #498670

Janis Craig (509) 526-1231 NMLS #376179

509-525-2000 800-234-7923 Member FDIC



At Baker Boyer, we not only want to guide you to a brighter financial future—we want to get you there the best way possible. We make our loan decisions locally and get to know each of our clients personally. Contact us today or apply online at:

122 W Fifth St. Waitsburg–Charming 1910 Vintage Craftsman 4,681 square feet with 5 bed rooms 2.5 baths in Historic Waitsburg close to downtown and schools. In need of some TLC, but truly a diamond in the rough. Features include covered front porch, French doors to Juliet balconies, beautiful and dramatic staircase, wood floors, sun room, large open dining/living room area with glass-fronted built-in china cabinets. Basement has good ceiling height, partially finished with entertainment/hobby room and half bath. MLS #112146


Comfort Inn & Suites of Walla Walla • 100% Non-Smoking Hotel • FREE Deluxe Breakfast • 2-Room Suites Available • FREE Wireless Internet

Locally Owned and Operated By Kerry Lees & Family

• Indoor Pool & Spa • Business Center

• Chapel • Church • Graveside • Serving All Faiths • Serving All Cemeteries • Courtesy Hospitality Room

• Exercise Room • Dog Friendly

Call the Hotel Directly for Packages

Elizabeth Brandt Licensed Funeral Director

Kerry Lees

President Licensed Funeral Director

Shelley Anthony, BMS Licensed Funeral Director

(Casket or Urn)

Caring Professionals Serving the Walla Walla Valley & Milton-Freewater Since 1940 1551 Dalles Military Rd. • Walla Walla • 525-3397 • 16 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles

Assortment of Walla Walla Valley & Columbia Valley Wines. All of our wines are available for home purchase. 375830V


(Seats 85 at Tables)

• Crematory on Site • Pre-Arrangement Plans • Flexible Prices & Services • Competitive Price Guarantee • Convenient Location • Large Parking Lot • Catering Available • Horse Drawn Carriage Available

Monday – Friday 5:30 – 9:30pm Saturday 5:30 – 10pm Closed Sunday

509-522-3500 • 1419 W. Pine, Walla Walla

health Photo by Nick Page

lifestyles in the walla walla valley


WHEn in douBT, SiT iT ouT


LiVinG WiTH TrauMaTiC Brain inJury


TESTinG For ConCuSSionS


FindinG THE PoinT For ConCuSSionS: HoW Can aCuPunCTurE HELP?

33 34

BaLanCinG aCTS WHaT’S nEW in W2? Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes 17


DeSales football players scrimmage during a recent practice. DeSales Football Coach Mike Spiess says the team had fewer practices in pads and helmets before the season – a decision he made to reduce the risk of concussions.

Concussion in Youth Sports

How local school-sports programs are learning to recognize its signs and manage its risks By Robin Hamilton / Photos by Nick Page If you are the parent of a middle-school or high-school athlete, you are probably aware of the intensified concerns involving sports concussions. While concussions can happen in any sport, medical and sports professionals agree that football leads the pack in sports-related head trauma. Although the number of concussions from soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball and cheerleading have also seen a rise, officials say the statistics are higher for football due to the popularity of the game, the numbers of players participating, and the violent collisions. The National Football League has finally 18 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles

owned up to the consequences of years of helmet-to-helmet contact by its players after the suicides of pro athletes such as Mike Webster and Dave Duerson were linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Debilitating head injuries to collegiate players have become public knowledge, and the increase of mild and severe traumatic brain injuries suffered by younger players have become a major concern, as well. Recently, the NFL began its own program to prevent youth-sports concussions — “Heads Up Football” — and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a similar program — “Heads Up: Concussion and Youth

Sports.” The tide has begun to turn in terms of sports-concussion awareness in professional, collegiate and school football programs. In Walla Walla and surrounding school districts, several football coaches, athletic directors and athletic trainers say they have been trained to recognize the symptoms of concussion in their players. Coaches are turning any suspicious cases over to their athletic trainers, who assess the athlete and determine if medical follow-up is needed. The new mantra, say these sports professionals, is, “When in doubt, sit it out.”

to talk with their position coach first, so we know what is going on, how the athlete feels, when and how anything may have happened. We are around every drill and constantly talk to the kids about keeping their eyes and screws up (the screws of the face mask that attach it to the helmet). We show video of the correct and incorrect ways, and we demonstrate it to kids,” Hisaw says. In the smaller Southeast 2B League, the DeSales High School football program has an athletic trainer, Anna Taylor, who, like Wa-Hi’s Athletic Trainer Chris Eastep, supervises all the sports at the school. Taylor makes sure all DeSales athletes undergo the Immediate PostConcussion Assessment and Cognitive Test, known as ImPACT — a computerized test that measures response time and other neurocognitive markers — which forms a baseline for each player. Eastep does the same at Wa-Hi. DeSales Head Football Coach Mike Spiess attended the 8th Annual Sports Leadership Conference held at the University of Notre

Dame last June and came away with a new plan for preventing concussions among his players. One presenter at the conference, sports concussion expert Dr. Steve Simon, recommended limiting the amount of contact, including during practices, to lower the incidence of concussions and thus, potentially, save lives. “We work hard on teaching the right technique and emphasize that the helmet is not a weapon,” Spiess says. Is Spiess concerned that fewer practices with pads and helmets will make his team less competitive? “I observe what the other teams do,” he says. “We’re the only team in our league with an athletic trainer; one team has a doctor on the field during the games. We play teams where there are kids staggering off the field after getting hit. Reducing contact in practice probably does hurt us competitively, but I’ll take that trade-off.”

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In 2006, Zachery Lystedt, a 13-year-old football player in Auburn, Wash., was sidelined after he smacked his head on the ground in a play during a game. Though Zachery reportedly grabbed his head in pain after the impact, he was back in the game after halftime. That action — returning to play after an initial concussion — had severe consequences. Zachery later collapsed on the field and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He had surgery to remove both sides of his skull to relieve the swelling in his injured brain. Although he survived, Zachery had to endure months of rehabilitation to learn to speak again and is permanently disabled. Zachery and his parents have turned his disability into a fight for sports-concussion awareness — especially of the “second-impact syndrome” that Zachery suffered. In 2009, Washington state passed the Zachery Lystedt law, which requires any student athlete suspected of having a concussion to leave the field, be assessed by staff trained in concussion signs and symptoms, and be given medical clearance before being allowed to return to play. The law also requires every student athlete and his or her parents to sign an information sheet saying they have read and understood the risks associated with concussions that may occur while playing a particular sport. At Walla Walla High School, Coach Eric Hisaw says that the school’s football program has limited the number of organized practices, in accordance with the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association’s new guidelines, to 20 for the spring and summer. This includes the team’s football camp. “We do have regular practices with helmets and go full contact, but we do try hard to not go to the ground, and/or have many days that we bang really hard. The first part of the year, we went ‘no pads’ on Tuesday, for about three weeks, and it seemed to have helped us stay healthy.” Other steps the football program has taken include helmet fittings, an emphasis on yearround physical training and awareness, and training on the part of the coaching staff. “I personally read the warning/safety label to the team every spring and fall to warn the entire team of the dangers involved with football,” Hisaw says. “We also instruct the players

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The Second Impact That Changed Everything


DeSales Cheerleading Coach Cathy Hamada

DeSales High School cheerleaders practice a stunt. The DeSales cheerleading staff has a checklist it adheres to when teaching stunts, says Coach Cathy Hamada, and the athletes progress slowly from simple to more advanced moves.

‘A Stunt Gone Wrong’

DeSales Athletic Trainer Anna Taylor

Physical therapist and athletic trainer Tim Conley

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Football is not the only sport that raises the concussion stakes. “Last year, we had approaching 50 teams with 700 athletes. Many of them are two- or three-sport athletes,” Wa-Hi’s Eastep says. At DeSales, cheerleading is one of the most popular sports. Though the school has just 111 students, 19 are cheerleaders. “The reason so many girls want to cheer is because of the stunts,” says Cheerleading Coach Cathy Hamada. And stunts — all moves where a cheerleader leaves the ground — mean the potential for injury. Last year, that’s exactly what happened. “It was a stunt gone wrong,” Hamada says. The girls were doing an advanced stunt, she recounts, one they had just done three times, perfectly. This time, the flyer, or the person in the air, came down sideways, and two girls were hit by the stunting cheerleader’s body and feet. Luckily for the girls, the coach knew the procedures, and Taylor was called in to assess them. They were given the ImPACT, and the results were measured against the injured cheerleaders’ baseline tests. Taylor recommended that they see the school’s physician, Dr. Glyn Marsh. Both girls

were diagnosed with concussions, and one is still restricted from cheerleading. That student has had two injuries, Taylor says. One kept her out of the 2012/2013 football season; after the second injury, she was out of cheerleading and school for three to four weeks. This year, she had her second concussion, and was out for almost for seven weeks of the 2013/2014 season, and out of school two to three weeks. The other student was back after a few weeks. Hamada, still visibly shaken from the experience, called the event “traumatic” and emphasized that what happened was “no one’s fault.” One of the injured athletes was Hamada’s daughter. For the more advanced stunts, Hamada says, the coaching staff has a checklist, and the girls must progress in a certain order — from simple moves to more complex ones. She also says that the team does extensive training for stunting, attending a clinic every three years and taking an online class every year. Wa-Hi’s Eastep describes the potential for injury in cheerleading as serious. “You have an athlete flying 12 to 15 feet in the air,” he says.

Glyn Marsh Jr., who is the physical medicine a concussion — it’s time to pull the child out recommendation is they never play that sport and rehabilitation specialist for Providence St. of play.” again. The risk of adding more damage on top Mary Medical Center, is the go-to physician for In the clinic setting, Marsh does a physical of those injuries is that they will end up with Walla Walla and DeSales high schools. exam, looking for neurological changes, sensory some kind of permanent disability from it.” If Taylor determines that a DeSales athlete changes, weakness, neck injuries and, in rare In terms of recovery time, Marsh says, “The needs further examination, she has the student cases, even spinal cord injuries, for which he old-school thought was that after an impact, transported to the emergency room. If they are would get an X-ray done. To determine struc- it’s all done. But doctors and researchers now stable, she has them make an appointment tural abnormality in the brain, he might ask know that a concussion is a process, not a mowith Marsh’s office. for an MRI or CT scan. However, with those ment in time. The changes occur over days and “In reality, a concussion and a mild trauwhose symptoms have subsided, imaging isn’t months. The changes to the blood supply and matic brain injury are the same thing,” Marsh often required. to the energy needs of the brain go up dramatiexplains. The distinction is made between mild, As in the case of Zachery Lystedt, a second cally after a concussion, and certainly after a and moderate or severe, traumatic brain injury. blow to the head is the worst-case scenario, second concussion. “In moderate and severe TBI, you have Marsh says. “There’s a great fear about second“If someone has a first concussion, they are changes on a MRI. You can see damage to the impact syndrome — receiving a second conat higher risk for a second concussion — we brain.” says Marsh. With mild TBI or concus- cussion when the first concussion has not yet don’t know exactly why this is. They may have sion, he says, the MRI will look normal, but healed. For some reason, when that occurs, been just more susceptible to a concussion in the athlete will have some clearly apparent the injury and the changes to the brain can the first place. It may have to do with play style, physical symptoms . be catastrophic, so catastrophic that if a perthe type of sport they play, or their neck-muscle Marsh’s simple definition: “A person is dison has second-impact syndrome, it can result mass isn’t as big, which may have helped cause agnosed with a concussion when they have in death. Those who don’t die usually end up the first injury, and the brain is more apt to loss of consciousness less than 30 minutes and with severe disability.” That’s why there is such receive more damage. Once a person has a first amnesia lasting less than 24 hours. intense scrutiny focused on players with an one, they could be more susceptible to brain “The diagnosis of concussion requires at initial concussion. injury at any point in their life,” Marsh says. least one of the four following symptoms: “For a person who has had more than three loss of consciousness; loss of memory of the concussions while participating in a sport, my events immediately before or after the injury; altered in mental status at the time of the injury; focal neurological deficits that may or may not be transient. “A moderate or severe brain injury is diagnosed when a person has loss of consciousness lasting more than 30 minutes or amnesia that last longer than 24 hours.” For the athletic trainer or doctor on the field, there are good ways to screen for concussion. The SCAT2 — the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 2 — is a set of simple questions to determine if a person has a concussion, Marsh says. “It’s along the lines of ‘What’s the score? Who’s winning? What quarter is it?’ If there’s any delay, or if the person seems Dr. Glyn Marsh Jr., the sports medicine supervising physician for Walla Walla High School and DeSales High School, dazed at all — any question rates boxing as the most dangerous sport in terms of concussions. But, he says, football causes more head injuries that there might have been because of its popularity and the sheer numbers of players. Photo by steve Lenz. Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes 21


When Medical Intervention is Called For


DeSales Volleyball Head Coach Hailee Rogers says the staff teaches the team to call plays and talk to each other to avoid collisions.

Which are the Riskiest Sports? “In terms of the highest risk, boxing is the most dangerous — the goal is to give your opponent a concussion. Fortunately, our nation doesn’t have a large number of young athletes boxing,” Marsh says. But, because of the nation’s love of the game and the sheer numbers of players, Marsh says, football has the highest percentage of concussions. “There are statistics that the average high-school student playing football has 1,000 to 2,000 helmet-impacts a season. That’s huge. Each one of those hits could result in a concussion.” According to the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Sports Medicine and

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Fitness, sports are broken down into three categories: non-contact, limited contact, and contact or collision sports. In collision sports such as football, ice hockey and soccer, the players deliberately hit other players, or hit the ground, with great force. Non-contact sport is free of bodies colliding or regularly hitting the ground. Archery, dance and badminton are categorized as “non-contact.” Basketball, however, is in the limited-contact category, even though collisions occur with regularity — and with some intent. DeSales Girls’ Basketball Coach Tim Duncan says that basketball has become more of a collision sport. Duncan blames the officials for that.

Basketball has become a more physical sport, in part because of the increased athletic ability of the athletes, Duncan says. “Because of this, the game has become more difficult to officiate and has become more physical,” he says. “Because athletes have become faster, there is more contact going after loose balls and more contact out front. Some of the contact is hard to control because it is hard to see who is doing what. Athletes can also jump higher now, which creates more contact in rebounding situations. The more physical contact usually comes from players playing out of control while going after loose balls. An official can make a call, but it’s after the fact.”

Coaches, athletic trainers and medical School. (Parents should check with their child’s able. There are free sports-concussion courses professionals who deal with youth sports are school for its compliance with this regulation.) for coaches, athletic trainers and nurses, and increasingly aware of the potential for concusThere is no reason for people working information for parents and the public is sion and most are being proactive in getting with student athletes not to be knowledgeavailable on the CDC website. The Walla Walla training in recognizing and School District and DeSales treating concussions and havHigh School are working ing the confidence to send the with Marsh and Providence athlete for medical follow-up St. Mary Inpatient Rehabilicare, if necessary. tation Center’s Tim Conley, Every state, except Missisa physical therapist and an sippi, has adopted the Zachathletic trainer, to inform ery Lystedt law, though how students and parents about many parts of the law they the risks and warning signs follow varies. of concussion, guidelines for Locally, the schools that returning to play, and what have followed this protocol to expect from the concussed and have taken seriously the student athlete. call to action by the CDC, the “Teachers have to be on Washington State Interschoboard, too,” Conley says. “A lastic Association and the student with a concussion University of Washington is probably not going to be include DeSales High School, able to keep up with their Walla Walla High School, schoolwork as easily as they Touchet High School and Wa-Hi Athletic Trainer Chris Eastep tapes a player. Athletic trainers are the front did before the concussion.” Waitsburg (Prescott) High line for the medical supervision of athletes.

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Training the Trainers

Health What Should a Concerned Parent Do? “There is no sport that is risk-free from concussion,” Marsh says. “In North America, after football, hockey is ranked very high, and there’s evidence that heading the soccer ball puts a person at risk for concussion. I discourage heading the ball, though in the course of a game, the player is probably going to do that.” There are, however, ways to minimize the risks: “Making sure whoever is coaching is thoroughly educated in concussion. Even though young athletes recover remarkably well, coaches need to make sure they don’t get a second concussion. If in doubt, sit it out,” Marsh says. “We’ve seen improvements in professional sports. In hockey, the larger, bigger hits, hitting people from behind, are heavily penalized or [players] are forced to leave the game without pay, and officials are discouraging those highrisk behaviors. They do some of the same things in football.” But in terms of youth sports, Marsh says, more needs to be done. “Making sure football goals have enough padding, because athletes sometimes run into them. At younger ages, we need to rule out certain kinds of hits — helmet-to-helmet hits. But it would really take a movement among the nation, and parents taking an active role trying to shape and change the rules, especially for our young athletes. “I would want to make sure that whoever is coaching or monitoring the game should be educated. Young brains recover remarkably well, given the appropriate amount of time. What worries me about parents is they need to realize it will take a couple of days for the symptoms to appear. “The worst thing to have happen is a child athlete become disabled, [have concussion] affect their memory, their IQ. As parents, we get overzealous — ‘My kid’s going to go all-state, he’s gonna go pro.’ The reality is that most of the kids who play high school football don’t go on to play college or professional football.” Marsh says that he understands the impulse of the athlete to get back in the game. “You want to get out there — to sit out on the sidelines can be really discouraging. But players sometimes minimize their symptoms. They say, ‘Coach, I’m fine, put me back in.’ But they need to take the time

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to recover. Most concussions go undetected. Athletes need to be aware of what a concussion feels like — a little dazed, headache, a little nauseous, having a hard time focusing in class, or feeling overly fatigued — they could have a concussion. I encourage athletes to be aware of those symptoms. The month it might take you to recover is worth it.” For Conley, everyone connected to youth sports needs to be educated in the risks and to take them seriously. “I’m astounded at parents and coaches who aren’t experienced in this, coaches and parents who don’t understand why an athlete with a head injury has to be out. “If someone breaks an arm or leg, there’s no question that’s an injury that will keep them out for the season, but with a head injury they look normal, and they might not realize they have a concussion. It can take days for it to come to the surface. Teachers



and parents should recognize it: if they’re thinking more slowly, hesitating and trying to think of the right word to say. Parents should be on alert for a difference in their behavior. Teachers should, as well.” As concerned as Marsh is about the risk of concussion, he would not discourage students from playing a certain sport. Still, he says, “There is no athletic game that’s worth a child’s life or their function, their IQ or their ability to function, or get a good job.”

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As the baseline step, the athlete needs to have completed a physical and cognitive test and should not be experiencing concussion symptoms for a minimum of 24 hours. Keep in mind that the younger the athlete, the more conservative the treatment. These are the five steps of the RTP progression:

STEP 1: LIGHT AEROBIC EXERCISE The goal is to increase the athlete’s heart rate. Exercise time is 5 to 10 minutes and includes exercise bike, walking or light jogging — absolutely no weightlifting, jumping or hard running.

STEP 2: MODERATE EXERCISE The goal is to limit body and head movement. Exercise time is reduced from a typical routine. Activities include moderate jogging, brief running, moderate-intensity stationary biking and moderate-intensity weightlifting.

STEP 3: NON-CONTACT EXERCISE The goal is more intensity, but without contact. Time should be close to the athlete’s typical exercise routine, and activities can include running, high-intensity stationary biking, the player’s regular weightlifting routine and non-contact, sport-specific drills. This stage may add some cognitive component to practice, in addition to the aerobic and movement components introduced in steps 1 and 2.

STEP 4: RESUME PRACTICE The goal is to reintegrate in full contact practice.

STEP 5: RETURN TO PLAY The goal is to return to competition. It is important to monitor symptoms and cognitive function carefully during each increase of exertion. Athletes should progress to the next level of exertion only if they are not experiencing symptoms at the current level. If symptoms return at any step, the athlete should be instructed to stop the activity, because this may be a sign that the athlete is pushing too hard. Only after additional rest, when the athlete is no longer experiencing symptoms for a minimum of 24 hours, should the athlete begin again at the step during which symptoms were experienced. The RTP process is best conducted through a team approach and by a health professional who knows the athlete’s physical abilities and endurance level. By gauging the athlete’s performance on each individual step, you will be able to determine how far the athlete can progress on a given day. In some cases, you may be able to work through one step in a single day. In other cases, it may take several days to work through an individual step. It may take several weeks to months to work through the entire five-step progression. Before the start of the season, learn about your state, league or sports governing body’s laws or policies on concussion. Some policies may require the athlete to take a training program or provide written clearance as part of the RTP process.

REMEMBER: While most athletes will recover quickly and fully following a concussion, some will have symptoms for weeks, or longer. You should consider referral to a concussion specialist if the symptoms worsen at any time, symptoms have not gone away after 10 to 14 days, or the patient has a history of multiple concussions or risk factors for prolonged recovery. These may include a history of migraines, depression, mood disorders or anxiety, as well as developmental disorders such as learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes 25


There are five gradual steps — adapted from the International Conference on Concussion in Sport Consensus Statement — to help safely return an athlete to play.


Living With Traumatic Brain Injury By Jim Buchan / Photo by Steve Lenz

Alyssa Latham still remembers that tasty bowl of cereal like it was yesterday. Lucky Charms, floating in a pool of sweet remember much after that, although I know milk. Scrumptious. that I did go to the hospital and that I was out “It was the best bowl of cereal I had ever of basketball for three to six weeks.” tasted,” Latham recalls of that winter morning Concussions are relatively common in comduring her sophomore year at Walla Walla High petitive athletics. Take to the court or the field, School. “Such a treat.” and chances are good you’re going to get your Trouble was, not a single spoonful found its way to her mouth. One after another, they missed their mark and dribbled down her chin. “My mom came in, and the whole thing was down my throat, all down my front,” Latham remembers. “And I didn’t feel a thing, not the cold milk on my face, nothing. It sounds kind of funny now, but at the time, it was scary.” Latham was recovering from a concussion, and numbness was just one of the symptoms. “I remember being unstable and wobbly on my feet,” Latham says. “And I had no sensation of feelings. I could grab something sharp, and I wouldn’t know it.” Latham, who gradu- Alyssa Latham with some of her multiple sports awards. ated from high school in 2000, was a three-sport star for the Blue Devils, and she suffered three bell rung sooner or later. concussions during her prep athletic career, Despite state-of-the-art protective gear, footand two others since. The first one occurred on ball players are among the most likely to suffer the basketball court, right around Christmas head injuries. But athletes in virtually every during her sophomore year. sport run the risk of suffering a concussion. “I was dribbling the ball, breaking a press, Professional baseball and hockey players and I probably should have passed it,” Latham have seen their careers end in recent years, berecalls. “There were two girls on me, at the time. cause of concussions. Cyclists wear head gear One pushed me, and the other tripped me. And for a good reason. And it’s been determined I hung on to the ball instead of catching myself. that heading the ball in soccer can lead to “It didn’t knock me out, but on the video concussion-like symptoms. you could hear my head hit the floor. I didn’t Boxing is very likely the most violent and 26 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles

dangerous sport of them all. Muhammad Ali, with his vacant eyes and slurred speech, is the poster child for the long-term repercussions of years of head-pounding inside the ropes. There is greater awareness of concussion injuries today than ever before. Because of that awareness — not to mention state safety laws that have been passed in recent years — high schools and colleges have implemented testing programs that enable trainers and coaches to evaluate and monitor athletes’ cognitive skills after they have suffered a head injury. Here, in Washington, the most common test is the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Test (ImPACT). At Wa-Hi and DeSales High School, for example, all athletes, and that includes cheerleaders and dance-team members, are required to take the test once every two years before entering into competition. The test measures verbal and visual memory, processing speed, and reaction time. Once a baseline has been established, athletes who suffer head injuries are required to retake the test and must achieve a comparable baseline score before they are allowed to return to the court or field. “When a kid suffers a head injury, they come out of the game, and they don’t go back until the trainer or a medical person evaluates them,” Wa-Hi Athletic Director Don Wilkins says. “And our coaches have training in that area as well. “We’ve had a considerable number of those

health Latham was a three-sport star during her athletic career at Walla Walla High School, where she suffered three concussions. Since then, she has had two more. Photos courtesy of Alyssa Latham.

injuries — head injuries where we used to say someone got dinged,” Wilkins adds. “And it isn’t just football. We’ve had them in volleyball and in cheerleading. We’ve had them in swimming, where kids get in the same lane and run into each other. And we consider everything a possible concussion and look at it from that standpoint. “If we are going to err, we’re going to err on the side of being too safe.” Chris Eastep has been Wa-Hi’s full-time trainer since 2001. In addition to administering the ImPACT, his responsibilities include attending every varsity football game (home and away), as many home events as possible in other sports and as many practices as possible. “A lot depends on what we see as the highest-risk area,” Eastep says. “If football is having a no-pads practice, for instance, I will go to the soccer game, instead. Usually, Don Wilkins directs me where to be.” But Wa-Hi is a huge Class 4A high school, and Eastep admits that his is more than a oneman job. DeSales, a much smaller Class 2B school, has also hired a full-time trainer, Anna Taylor, the daughter of Tim Conley, who filled that role at DeSales for many years on a volunteer basis. Conley was the director of outpatient rehabilitation at St. Mary Medical Center and is now employed by the hospital as a physical therapist. “I was right on my dad’s coattails since I was a little kid, both at St. Mary’s and at DeSales,” Taylor says. “I helped him out, as a student. I

started [college] on a nursing path, but knee injuries in high school and college led me into athletic training.” Taylor, who also teaches physical education classes at Assumption School, is DeSales’ first on-staff trainer. “When the Lystedt law came out, I was very uncomfortable with anything other than having someone on staff,” DeSales Athletic Director Greg Fazzari said, referencing the Zackery Lystedt Law that went into effect in May of 2009. The safety law sets guidelines and establishes mandatory requirements for anyone suffering a head injury during a high school athletic event. Washington was the first state in the nation to enact such a law. Since then, 42 additional states have followed suit. Like Eastep, Taylor attends all Irish football games, home and away, and home events in all other sports. And she’s on call for all practices. “I attend practices a minimum of three days a week, checking in with each team,” Taylor says. “Some days I’ll have kids waiting for me in the training room, other days I just check with the coaches. And I travel as needed, especially during tournament play where a team is gone for a couple of days at a time.” Sideline assessment is a big part of the job, she says. “You ask a series of questions, where you make the athlete think,” Taylor says. “It can take time, sometimes 15 to 20 minutes, checking their immediate and delayed memory. Not every time you get hit in the head or fall hard does it result in a concussion. If they come off

the field, are doing fine and know what is going on, if their memory is fine when you ask them questions, they can continue to play. “But the state of Washington makes it very clear: If there is any suspicion of a concussion, there is no return to play.” Wa-Hi and DeSales have both experienced the heartbreak of fatal head-injuries. Wa-Hi senior offensive lineman Chuck Anderson suffered a head injury in a football game against Pendleton in the fall of 1971, fell into a coma and subsequently died. In 2001, 14-year-old John Quaresma sustained a similar injury in a freshman football game and died the following day. “I was involved in both of those,” Wilkins recalls. “I was an assistant football coach the night Chuck was hit before the ball had been snapped, and I was the athletic director when John suffered his injury. “Football is a collision sport, there’s no getting around it. But you look at the number of people injured on bikes and skateboards, and, per capita, it could be higher than football. At least, in football, we have the best protective equipment money can buy.” More recently at DeSales, in the spring of 2008, Irish senior pole vaulter Ryan Moberg fell awkwardly during a practice vault in the school gymnasium. Moberg landed on the back of his head, slipped into a coma and died 45 hours later at Providence St. Mary Medical Center. Concussion symptoms aren’t always the same, which Latham found out when she suffered her second concussion on the softball Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes 27

Health field during the spring of her junior year at Wa-Hi. She was playing second base at the time and, as the cutoff, ducked to avoid an outfield throw to the second-base bag. But the throw was low and struck her on the side of the head. “I fell over, and I remember looking up and the sky was going in circles, around and around very fast,” Latham remembers. “It took a few minutes to stop, but my dad was there and he took me to the hospital. “I was completely normal after four weeks, and there was no similarity between the first and second concussion. I wasn’t wobbly, mostly just nausea, which I didn’t have with the first one.” But Latham would discover that concussion injuries can be accumulative in terms of severity. To her own surprise, she made it through a three-sport collegiate career — two years at Walla Walla Community College and two at College of Idaho, where she was a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-American soccer player — without suffering another concussion. But shortly after graduating from C of I, Latham took a spill while snowboarding at Mount Hood, cracked her face on a patch of

ice and sustained concussion No. 3. “I knew what it was, but the symptoms weren’t very bad,” she recalls. “I just took myself out of things for a few weeks, rested and didn’t exercise. I just waited until I felt normal again.” Concussion No. 4 happened in 2009 after Latham had returned to Walla Walla, obtained her master’s degree at Walla Walla University and had gone to work for the YMCA. “I was playing basketball at the Y when it happened, and I knew right away what it was,” she says. “The person guarding me was pushed from behind; his hand and knuckles went into my face and broke my nose. “I got my nose fixed, but I didn’t go to a doctor for my concussion. There was no nausea, but I was spacey and dizzy. Still, I just put it behind me, which, looking back, I feel kind of stupid.” That’s because her fifth concussion — and her last, she hopes — was, by far, the most serious. And, for her, the most embarrassing. “It was last Easter [2012],” she remembers. “We were having an adult Easter-egg hunt with my sister, brother-in-law and husband at my parents’ home. My dad hid the eggs, and I was racing my husband (Pat McConn) to one of the eggs.”

Latham circled one tree, she said, and sprinted, head down, directly into another. “It was a huge tree, and it did not have a smooth truck,” Latham says. “I hit the top of my head, kind of a new spot, and it was so loud in my head. And it bounced me back, and I fell on my buns. “I felt so stupid. I got up and said, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine,’ I was so embarrassed. But the next day I went to work and right away had a meeting with my boss, up in my office at the YMCA. I was just kind of staring, and a co-worker came in and said, ‘You must have had a crazy Easter,’ thinking I was hung over. “That’s when I realized I had a concussion.” Latham went home and immediately made an appointment with her doctor. Six long months passed before she was able to return to her job. “I was nauseous, dizzy and completely out of it,” she remembers. “I had no appetite, which is never normal for me, and I was given a series of medications to help with brain chemistry and focus.” Also, for the first time, Latham was given the ImPACT. Since she had never taken the test before, her scores were compared to everyone

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Concussion: By the Numbers •

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates reveal that 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions occur each year.

5 to 10 percent of athletes will experience a concussion in any given sports season.

Fewer than 10 percent of sport-related concussions involve a loss of consciousness (e.g., blacking out or seeing stars).

Football is the most common sport with concussion-risk for males (75 percent chance of concussion).

Soccer is the most common sport with concussion-risk for females (50 percent chance of concussion).

78 percent of concussions occur during games (as opposed to practices).

Some studies suggest females are twice as likely as males to sustain a concussion.

Headache (85 percent) and dizziness (70 to 80 percent) are the most commonly reported symptoms immediately following concussions for injured athletes.

An estimated 47 percent of athletes do not report feeling any symptoms after a concussive blow.

A professional football player will receive an estimated 900 to 1,500 blows to the head during a season.

Impact-speed of a professional boxer’s punch: 20 mph.

Impact-speed of a football player tackling a stationary player: 25 mph.

Impact-speed of a soccer ball being headed by a player: 70 mph. Source: Sports Concussion Institute (

Wa-Hi Coach Eric Hisaw, right, converses with an assistant. Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes 29


else who had ever taken the test. And the results were anything but positive. “My scores were low — so low that it really scared me,” she remembers. “When you score 3 percent out of 100, that’s not good.” Latham was advised to stay off the telephone. She was instructed to avoid watching movies with complicated plots. And she was told to lie in the dark for periods of time. “I was letting my brain rest, with not a lot of input,” she says. At the same time, she was warned against sleeping too much. “I had to set an alarm, or I could have slept all day, and that’s not me,” she says. “I would also forget to eat, and family members were constantly checking up on me.” Most disturbing of all, she wasn’t even inclined to spend time with her 2-year-old daughter, Mazy. “Here I am, at home with my daughter, and I can’t really do much with her,” Latham says. “Some days I would want her, but by the end of the day I was completely whipped, and I was in bed as soon as my husband came home. Most of the time, my husband, my mom and dad, and my sis watched my daughter. “With concussions, you find that you can be short and mean and get angry quickly. I don’t know how bad I was. I tried not to be.” Gradually, she came out of it. And, in September, she was able to return to her job at the YMCA. “There were headaches after six months, and some dizziness,” she says. “But cognitively, everything seemed to be pretty good.” Exercise was also prescribed — light weights and hiking — and that helped alleviate the headaches, she said. Now, she’s back on the basketball court, although she is finally learning to play it safe. “Everyone is very nice in noon ball,” she says. “People let me know when they are setting a screen, I don’t go into the key anymore, and I don’t rebound. I don’t play like I would have normally played.” She has also given up softball, soccer and snowboarding, and she sold her motor scooter. “I try to avoid things that put you in certain situations,” she says. “Otherwise, I’m leading a pretty normal life.”


Testing for Concussions By Jim Buchan / Photo by Nick Page

Chris Eastep looked at me, shook his head, and said two of the most dreaded words a young athlete can hear. “You’re out!” control. the same three that were highlighted in the What? You mean I flunked? I did fairly well on the first segment, word original pattern. “Based on your test scores, I couldn’t let you discrimination, where a series of 12 random I aced the circles and squares, but struck play,” Eastep said, firmly. words appeared on a computer screen for 1.5 out with the X’s and O’s. Eastep is the certified athletic trainer at seconds each. After a brief delay, a second series The fourth segment, symbol matching, Walla Walla High School. At his inwas equally difficult. But vitation, I had just taken the ImmeI scored better in the fifth diate Post-Concussion Assessment segment, which was the and Cognitive Test (ImPACT) in rapid-fire matching of his office out on the Blue Devils’ colors with corresponding campus. words — the word “RED” Granted, I’m not a young athin a red box being correct, lete. Not even an old one. the word “GREEN” in a But since I was working on a blue box incorrect. story that focused on sports conThe sixth segment was cussions for Lifestyles magazine, probably the most interI thought it would be helpful to esting of all. take the test. But I didn’t plan on First, three random failing it. letters appeared on the The ImPACT is administered to screen, then 25 small all athletes at Wa-Hi — and most boxes, with the numbers other high schools in the state of 1 through 25 randomly poWashington — to establish a cogsitioned within the boxes. nitive baseline score prior to their You were then asked to The ImPACT is designed to test verbal and visual memory, reaction time, motor entering into competition. In the speed and impulse control. count backwards from 25 event that they suffer a head injury, to 1, as quickly as possible, they are required to retake the test and achieve a of words appeared for a similar time of 1.5 sec- by clicking on the individual box that matched score similar to their baseline score before they onds each, and you were required to determine each number. At the conclusion, you were asked are allowed to return to competition. which words were repeated from the first series to record the three letters that had appeared To the best of my knowledge, I hadn’t sufand which were new words. when the test had begun. fered a concussion since I fell out of a tree and But the second segment, design memory, I managed a correct average of 9.4 on the landed on my noggin when I was 10 years old proved to be impossible. reverse count — between 15 and 16 — and I — more than half a decade ago. Yet, there were Similar to the first segment, a series of 12 scored 80 percent on the three-letter recollecmy test results in black and white. random squiggly patterns appeared on the tion. Passable scores, I guess, but not nearly Verbal memory composite: out; visual screen for 1.5 seconds each. Then a second set enough to overcome shortcomings with the memory composite: out; visual motor-speed appeared, and you had to decide which were squiggles, symbols, and X’s and O’s. composite: out; reaction time composite: out. repeats, and which were new. Eastep told me later that one of his Wa-Hi I was embarrassed, to say the least. My only Unlike words, which I could easily identify students reverse-counted from 25 all the way defense was that I might have hurried through with, the squiggly patterns were completely to 1 every time he took the test, which Eastep portions of the test. Eastep had warned me to foreign to me. And my test scores revealed that and I agreed was amazing. take my time and carefully read all directions. I got nearly as many wrong as I did right. Now that I have a baseline, I’d like to take But I had a noon tee time that I wasn’t about The third segment displayed a random patthe test again. I think I could do better in sevto miss. tern of 26 X’s and O’s, with three of them higheral of the segments. At the very least, I could Just the same, the ImPACT is not easy. It is lighted. After an interlude in which you were match my baseline score and become eligible divided into six separate categories that are asked to identify red circles and blue squares to play in the next game. designed to measure verbal and visual mem- in rapid-fire fashion, the X’s-and-O’s pattern But about those squiggles … ory, motor speed, reaction time and impulse reappeared, and you were asked to highlight 30 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles

health Often, acupuncture needles are first inserted at the opposite end of the body from an injury. In the case of a concussion, this would be the ankles, tops of the feet, and hands.

Finding the Point for Concussions: How Can Acupuncture Help? By Lindsey Thompson, EAMP, L.Ac. / Photo by Steve Lenz

Concussions create serious health concerns at any age. They generate real physical and emotional pain. They hinder your daily life. Concussions or traumatic brain injuries have myriad symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, severe and mild headaches, sensitivity to noise or light, cognitive issues, memory loss, difďŹ culty concentrating or focusing, insomnia, anxiety, depression and possible personality changes. Whether a concussion occurs from a soccer or football injury or a car accident, it is a traumatic brain injury. The U.S. military has been using acupuncture as a means to decrease the symptoms of concussions successfully since 2008. Soldiers who received concussions from improvised explosive device (homemade bomb) explosions often experience pounding headaches, severe

insomnia, dizziness, sensitivity to light, and mood changes. The reports of acupuncture used for these soldiers show remarkable results in overcoming the insomnia, headaches and, eventually, the rest of the symptoms.

How Does East Asian Medicine Approach Concussion Treatment?

East Asian medicine, often referred to simply as acupuncture, approaches concussion by assessing what pattern of a traumatic brain injury the individual has. In East Asian medicine, not all concussions are created equal. The severity of the concussion and the cluster of symptoms will relate to the individual’s health before the concussion. For instance, if the individual has a poor Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes 31

Health diet consisting mainly of potato chips, soda and other fast food before getting a concussion, then they are more likely to have certain symptoms and severity of symptoms in comparison to someone who ate non-processed foods and slept regularly before receiving a concussion. This is an oversimplification, but I hope you see my point. No two people are created equal, and thus, no two concussions are alike. Using acupuncture for concussions involves inserting fine, solid, sterile acupuncture needles into specific acupuncture points to address the individual’s symptoms. There are over 360 acupuncture points on the human body, and each one has a specific clinical indication. Some points soothe anxiety and relieve depression, others reduce the feeling of pain, and still others help improve brain function. A trained acupuncturist or East Asian medicine practitioner, as they are known in Washington state, has a master’s degree in East Asian medicine and knows how to combine acupuncture points to address the most pressing symptoms of a concussion. Acupuncturists will often feel your pulse at each wrist, look at your tongue, and check facial complexion to get further information about your overall

health. This will help to guide acupuncturepoint selection. With concussions — and almost any injury — acupuncture needles are first inserted at the opposite end of the body from the injury. With a concussion, that means the ankles, tops of the feet, and hands. The theory behind this is that points farthest away from the site of injury have the strongest influence on that injury. Specific points on the feet and hands are clinically indicated for use with various conditions that happen on the face, head, neck and shoulders. These points have been passed down in writing for a few thousand years. The other theory behind using these far points is that they begin the process of circulating blood, energy and neurotransmitters before you approach the injury. Going straight to the site of an injury without using this protocol is akin to going over to a neighbor’s house for dinner and using a battering ram to open their door, instead of knocking. It is just plain polite to knock first. The last acupuncture points that would be used in a session to treat a concussion may be scalp points or points on the neck near the

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base of the skull.

The Key to Success The key to achieving the best outcome with acupuncture when dealing with a concussion is to seek treatment with an acupuncturist as soon as possible. The more quickly an individual receives acupuncture after a concussion, the faster they will get relief, results and recovery. Concussion symptoms can seem harmless, at first. They mask themselves as mild cognitive dysfunction, mild memory loss, and difficulty concentrating, besides the more obvious headaches, dizziness, etc. If not properly treated, these symptoms can linger for months and years. It is worth it to seek medical advice quickly when a concussion is suspected. While acupuncture can help reduce the severity of — or help to completely relieve — the signs and symptoms of a concussion, it is still very important to continue to be seen by a medical doctor and/or physical therapist who specializes in evaluation and care of concussion patients.

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By Rebecca Thorpe

While I sat sipping my coffee one recent morning, I glanced at the writing on the coffee-bean container. “Smooth and balanced” was how my coffee was described. I have to admit, the taste was smooth and balanced. I wondered how they achieved that delicious state of affairs. Having the right ingredients would be the place to start. If a person can add the correct ingredients to their life and to their exercise regimen, they can claim to be “smooth and balanced,” just like my coffee. Concussions can occur when a person loses his or her balance and crashes into something. Those that are at the greatest risk for this kind of concussion are children and young people up to age 20, and the elderly. The young are at risk because they play more sports and contact sports than other age groups, and they risk falling and hitting their heads on the ground or having forceful contact with another player. The elderly are at risk for losing their balance during daily life and hitting their heads as they fall. Both populations could

use some help becoming more smooth and balanced in their actions to prevent falling and receiving concussions. Balance is the key to preventing falls. Bottom line, if you can stay on your feet, it is unlikely that you will hit your head. Physical therapist and athletic trainer at St. Mary Medical Center, Tim Conley, says that the elderly “develop poor balance and strength and lose nerve sensation that helps with balance. Some [of this] is related to age, and some with illness.” For example, with diabetes, “the person develops peripheral neuropathy where they begin to lose sensation in their feet, and it works its way up.” When a person loses nerve sensation, they have trouble perceiving where their body is in space, become imbalanced and are more likely to fall. Loss of flexibility is also a major cause of instability. “When [the elderly] lose flexibility, they tend to get in postures that take them out of balance,” says Conley. For example, if a person develops a kyphosis, where their chest muscles shorten, causing the head and neck to jut out ahead of their feet, they are already in a falling-forward position. Not surprisingly, the young, too, must work on their flexibility and balance to keep from falling. However, they also have to contend with aggressive contact while playing sports or balancing at accelerated speeds on sports equipment such as skis and skateboards. Leslie Snyder, senior program director of Healthy Living at the Walla Walla YMCA, recommends that young athletes work on core stability and proprioception. Proprioception is understanding where your body is in space. Snyder says, “If you do an exercise like a lunge and focus your eyes forward, you can either look at a different

spot or close your eyes while continuing the exercise. You have taken your external cues away and have to focus on your internal cues to keep from losing your balance.” She also recommends any exercise that creates instability in order to improve stability. She uses wobble boards and Bosu and stability balls with many of her younger clients to enhance core strength and balance. For seniors, Conley recommends re-educating nerves by doing exercises that challenge balance. “Like muscles, nerves become stronger when they are challenged,” he says. “The good news is, if you’ve lost it, you can regain it.” And while we exercise, we aren’t just gaining muscular strength, but also nerve sensitivity. Conley and Snyder both like exercises such as tai chi, yoga and aquatic exercise to help seniors gain strength, stability and improved nerve-sensitivity. Working on core strength, flexibility and balance is a great physical goal for any individual looking to improve health and wellbeing. It is key to preventing falls and concussions for any age group. If you have lost some ground with your balance or are playing a sport where concussions are a possibility, look for ways to include stability in your exercise routine. There are lots of good resources within the medical and fitness industries. If you have already suffered a concussion and are looking to prevent another, get medical clearance from your doctor and seek out physical therapy or a fitness routine that is appropriate for you. Like my morning coffee, being smooth and balanced is about adding the right combination of ingredients. Be sure to include some kind of strength, flexibility and agility exercise into your daily life, and stay on your feet.

Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes 33


Balancing Acts and Other Healthy Lifestyle Tips

What’s New in W2 Renewing Body and Spirit It’s that time of year again — time for stress, aches and pains, and overindulgence. Why not take care of yourself, instead? Lifestyles looked around and found some new resources and practitioners in W² that are focused on your well-being. Enjoy! By Diane Reed / Photos by Steve Lenz Lindsey Thompson offers acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine at Thompson Family Acupuncture Clinic on Birch Street. Thompson, a graduate of Whitman College, earned her master’s in acupuncture and Oriental medicine at the four-year program at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland. Acupuncture can be used for many conditions, including chronic pain (especially of the back, neck and shoulders), headaches, anxiety and depression, as well as ailments such as insomnia, acid reflux, fibromyalgia and colitis. The needles used in acupuncture treatments are so thin that most patients barely feel them, and many find the treatment relaxing. East Asian herbal medicine can often tackle complex conditions and temporary illnesses like the common cold. It also provides an excellent complement to acupuncture. Thompson sees this multipronged approach as a way to treat the entire individual. She often collaborates with physicians to provide patients a holistic complement to Western medical care. Acupuncture is covered under many insurance policies; Thompson recommends checking with your carrier. (FYI: Lindsey Thompson writes a quarterly column on the benefits of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for Walla Walla Lifestyles magazine.)

Thompson Family Acupuncture Clinic 120 E. Birch St., Suite B, Walla Walla 509-520-7993 Follow it on Facebook

34 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles

Lindsey Thompson demonstrates a classical Chinese medicine needling technique on Marcelle Baumann. It is used for neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and for post-concussion care and post-stroke recovery.

health Courtney Morgan helps Chrissy Dora find balance in Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose). Adjustments and specific alignment instructions help to keep students safe, and encourage a deeper practice at Revolver yoga studio.

Courtney Morgan’s Revolver Yoga Studio is about much more than yoga. Morgan received her teacher training in the Ashtanga and lyengar traditions at YogaWorks, New York. Her approach to yoga is to share the love of movement in the body and stillness in the mind. She and her teachers, Christine Mueller and Robin Brodt, work closely with students to help them cultivate awareness through breath and movement, while keeping them safe with proper alignment.

Revolver Yoga’s classes are offered at a number of levels, from beginning to advanced, and students range from 18 to 75 years old. Classes are listed on their website, and preregistration is not required, except for the 6 a.m. classes. Morgan also has degrees in fine art and conceptual design, evident in her sleek, serene and visually interesting studio. Her artwork, large pieces done in the color field style, hang in the alcove adjacent to the studio, a welcoming seating area in which to enjoy a cup of tea after class.

Revolver Yoga Studio 4 S. Fourth ave., Walla Walla 509-520-3131 Follow it on Facebook

Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes 35

What’s New in W2 Mattie Hewitt Eisenberg’s name for her new practice, t.y.m.e., is an acronym for Thai bodywork, yoga, meditation and energy-work. When used together, they create a comprehensive holistic program for healing and transformation. The benefits include increased range of motion; greater energy, focus and compassion; and relief from anxiety and physical discomfort. Eisenberg’s background includes a degree in Spanish literature, studies in dance and movement, and an early career as an educational counselor at a community college. In 2006, she decided to study yoga and trained at 7 Centers Yoga Arts studio in Sedona, Ariz. She has taught in Boston; at the Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa in Tucson, Ariz.; and at workshops across the country. Eisenberg’s approach has its basis in mindfulness, physical and energetic anatomy, and a commitment to communication and connection. She interacts with her clients to assess their mental and physical needs, arriving at a personalized approach. Eisenberg also teaches aqua yoga at the Walla Walla YMCA and plans to offer workshops and classes in town.

t.y.m.e., Thai bodywork, yoga, meditation and energy work Mattie Hewitt Eisenberg Walla Walla 509-876-7390

Deborah Riley, LMP, is a professional massage therapist specializing in John Barnes Myofascial Release, a combination of neuromuscular and craniosacral therapy. Myofascial Release is a safe and effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle, sustained pressure on myofascial connective tissues to eliminate pain and restore motion. The technique is used to ease chronic pain and headaches, and lessen the effects of

Mattie Eisenberg uses a combination of two techniques. She compresses and tractions the thigh to release knots, stimulate circulation and elongate the muscle tissue, while increasing flexibility in the knee and hip joints.

conditions such as fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel and chronic fatigue syndromes. Riley also teaches proper body mechanics, as well as how to enhance strength, improve flexibility, and postural and movement awareness. Riley, a native of Irrigon, Ore., studied at the Ancient Arts Massage School and Clinic in Richland. She offers deep tissue, craniosacral and neuromuscular massages, as well as pregnancy massages.

Her wine body-wrap is apropos for the Walla Walla Valley, using the powerful antioxidant and exfoliating properties of the grape. She provides neck, back and foot massages for events, and teaches classes in couples massage, perfect for couples and caregivers. Her services and classes are also offered at Cameo Heights Mansion in Touchet.

Deborah Riley, who specializes in John Barnes Myofascial Release, demonstrates a gentle cervical release on her brother Andrew Riley. The cervical release portion of the session takes five minutes to complete.

Deborah H. Riley, LMP 936 E. Sumach St., Walla Walla 541-571-2903 Follow it on Facebook

36 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles



Dawn and Gary Brumfield at their home vineyard. Their logo stands for “Miracles Vintners.”

Second Act: Dawn and Gary Brumfield Find Their Own Terroir By Diane Reed / Photos by Nick Page

Chatting over a cup of good coffee in their Walla Walla home, Dawn and Gary Brumfield are warm, happy and relaxed. The couple, high school sweethearts, grew up in Tillamook, Ore., and moved almost 20 times during Gary’s Army career. So, settling into their comfortable home for the long run has been a welcome change. It’s a far cry from where they were just a few years ago. Gary, who retired from the Army in 1999 after 21 years of service, was a manager for General Dynamics Land Systems on their Stryker retrofit contract at Fort Lewis, Wash. His job involved eight months of travel a year,

which included going to destinations as far away as Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Dawn was a social worker at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a job which included working with patients suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder.

And although Dawn and Gary loved their home in Steilacoom, Wash., they weren’t enjoying the stress levels of their respective jobs or the congestion of the state’s West Side. When Dawn had the chance to transfer to the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA MediWall a Wall a Lifest yLes 37


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Dawn Brumfield happily left a stressful job on the West Side and was, for a time, a social worker in Walla Walla. She has now found a new career as a manager for Maison Bleue Family Winery’s downtown tasting room.

cal Center in Walla Walla and be closer to two of their grandchildre in Pendleton, the couple decided to make the move. Walla Walla’s laid-back atmosphere, sunnier weather, abundance of wineries and local terroir — a term that refers to the soil, climate and other environmental properties that influence how wine grapes mature — also appealed to these wine aficionados. Dawn arrived in town in October 2010 and spent her first cold winter in Walla Walla in an RV park while Gary sold their home. He followed her here in January of 2011. After a frustrating job search, Gary, adopting the spirit of “Will work for wine,” started volunteering at Zerba Cellars and Three Rivers Winery. Knee-deep in bottling wine, and with the encouragement of a local tasting room manager and winemaker, it occurred to him that a new career path might be right under his nose. Three months later, Gary entered the enolContinued on pg. 40 >

Dawn picks Walla Walla Sweet Onions from her home garden.

Some of the harvest from their home garden.

Dawn and Gary’s garden, after most plants have been removed for the winter. Wall a Wall a Lifest yles 39


<continued from pg. 38

Gary Brumfield has already begun to see grape clusters at his home vineyard.

ogy and viticulture program at Walla Walla Community College. He spent one year studying viticulture, and his second year learning winemaking. He also discovered the winemaking business is downright physical — he lost 28 pounds in three months. Gary says it’s “the most physical thing [he’s] done since Army basic training.” Currently, he is a harvest cellar assistant at Saviah Cellars, and “learning something new every day.” In the next year or two, he hopes to work his way up to being an assistant winemaker somewhere in the Valley. After an injury sidelined her for five months last year, Dawn decided not to go back to social work. She struck out on a new path, one that initially led her to a job in the tasting room at Seven Hills Winery, and more recently as the manager at Maison Bleue Family Winery’s new bistro-style tasting room at 20 N. Second Ave. She is enjoying the relaxed and friendly nature of her new work. Gary and Dawn are also in the process of establishing their own winery, Miracles Vintners. 40 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles

They are starting with a small vineyard on their one-acre property, which has 50 Petit Verdot and 50 Cabernet Sauvignon vines. The Brumfields’ goal is to produce quality wines available on an allocation-only basis. The name of their winery pays homage to a miracle in the Bible, the turning of water into wine. This year, Dawn and Gary are buying a ton of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to produce their first vintage, Cana Cabernet (look for it in 2015). Thanks to winemaker Devin Stinger, Gary will be utilizing the facilities at Adamant Cellars for the first production. He will be working with several of his classmates from the WWCC program who are also making their own wines — Josh McCarthy (Ascend Cellars), Jason Fox (Lagana Cellars) and Chuck Hundley (Tricycle Cellars). The Brumfields have found the wine industry to be the friendliest business they’ve ever experienced. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the competition is more friendly than cutthroat. Dawn and Gary have noticed how everyone helps each other, whether it’s loaning

equipment, lending a hand or simply providing encouragement. It’s much more like family than strictly business. When Dawn and Gary were looking for a home in Walla Walla, they knew they wanted space for their dogs, but the added benefit of the house they got was that Dawn was able to plant her first vegetable garden, a luxury she never had while they were a military family. Her 800-square-foot garden features raised beds full of vegetables, and spills over into the yard to accommodate sprawling vines of pumpkins, squash and watermelons. The Brumfields found their terroir in the Walla Walla Valley and are enjoying new careers, great restaurants, music, Life Church and friends. Their son A.J. and daughter Ashley and their families are frequent visitors. As Dawn says, “You can re-create yourself and enjoy life,” and it’s clear that Dawn and Gary are savoring their second act in a place they love.

Historic Homes

The 1896 Baumeister Mansion at 124 Stone St. lights up with holiday spirit and lovely decorations.

Party On With Joy By Karlene Ponti / Photos by Steve Lenz

Life is too short not to have a party. And a good one, at that. Every year, Roger and Julia Russell have a holiday party that has grown in proportion and splendor. Dec. 7 will be their 10th annual celebration at the 1896 Baumeister Mansion, 124 Stone St. The elegant, three-storey home is the perfect setting for a festive party like this. “It’s the 10th year, so we wanted it to be more spectacular,” Julia says. She constantly thinks of decorating combinations and designs, so planning for the festivities begins early. It’s fun, and she loves all of it. This petite woman, full of energy and vibrance, radiates joy. “I’ve always wanted to bring everybody together,” Julia says. The first party started with a wine tasting for a small group. From there, it grew. “If it’s not fun, it’s not a party,” she says. “The theme is always a color-combination thing. Last year was white on silver, with a little bit of green. This year will be heavy in gold, white and red. Those vases that usually have red lilies will be explosive with gold balls,” she says.

Julia will modify existing arrangements, pull out the silver and add whatever touches of white, gold or red are needed. “I’m celebrating life. The colors make me happy! Ten years is a milestone. I might bring in a little green. It’s a classic Christmas party, so there will be lots of poinsettias, but more spectacular! I want [guests] to be bedazzled totally.” Julia has some experience in interior design, which helps her in her projects. She just keeps thinking about what she wants to do to design the annual extravaganza. The formal dining room, with its white fireplace, will be extensively decorated in gold and red. The sunroom off the formal dining room is already decorated with flair. A large part of decorating for the party will be the embellishment of the banister and staircase. The heavy gold and red will be accented by some touches of green, to make the colors pop. On the main floor, Julia will have huge poinsettias and orchids.

“It’s taking shape in my mind,” she says. The kitchen will be decorated in gold and red, with lots of red bows hanging from the large chandelier. The 15-foot ceiling provides the perfect venue for cascading gold and red and white in any manner Julia decides. The whole house is open to people, except for the pool room, for safety’s sake. “But there’s no red wine in the bedrooms, due to a previous accident,” she says. Julia wants the home’s entrance to be welcoming, radiating traditional Christmas, and in her and Roger’s style. Julia loves carolers, nutcrackers and an assortment of welcoming wreaths. “It will be very traditional. The house is traditional; I’m very traditional,” she says. “My husband helps tremendously,” she says. “He’s my best friend, my right hand in all of this. Without him, I couldn’t do it. He has sacrificed a lot for me.” The house spoke to Julia when she was house-hunting. Wall a Wall a Lifest yles 41

Historic Homes

Traditional Christmas finery decorates the already magnificent home.

Roger and Julia Russell select a color theme and lavish decor. 42 Wall a Wall a Lifest yles

“This house is lovely. When I first saw it, it was saying to me, ‘Buy me, buy me,’” Julia says. “She’s a beautiful old lady; it’s the most beautiful house in town,” she says. The home has an energy of lightness and joy — a friendly spirit, so to speak. Julia says there are more. One of the spirits in the mansion is thought to be that of Olga Baumeister, who lived there years ago. “Some of the ladies will see a sort of fog and then a strong smell of roses,” Julia says. “It’s not my perfume. I’m allergic to perfume. “It was not in my plan, to buy a mansion. But I love it so much, sometimes I just dance in here for sheer pleasure,” she says. “I go into other houses, and there’s always something frightening about them. This one was not frightening at all.” The party is planned quite a way in advance — and Julia has known for a long time what she’s going to wear. “I’m going to be lovely in gold,” Julia says, but she isn’t saying more. Her favorite colors are yellow, gold and other warm colors. “Also, green is one of my favorite colors,” she says. The party will have about 250 to 300 guests — the numbers are down from some previous years. “We are slowing it down a bit this year. It gets out of hand. We need to breathe, this year,” Julia says. The party may be a tad more mellow and reflective than years gone by, but it’s still opulent by most measures. And it’s still a lot of work. Julia begins her ribbon selection in September. After the planning, the actual embellishing of the home begins. Julia starts decorating at the beginning of October. “It takes me a month,” she says. “There is a group of ladies, the Ladies of the Mansion, who help me. They all bring something to eat, to help me. Without that, it becomes too expensive.” Guest bring their own wine; those who don’t drink alcohol can bring the drink of their choice. There will be entertainment. “Last year, Mary Derby sang opera beautifully. That is a tremendous gift. I dabble in flamenco, so I change into a flamenco dress made for me in Spain,” Julia says. In this way, she honors her Spanish heritage. Julia lives in a state of enthusiasm and excitement about what her life has to offer. What is she so happy about? “I’m alive!” she says. It’s important to be thankful for the obvious. Party on!

Guests can enjoy an assortment of refreshments, fruit and cheese, caviar and more.

The home is very classic and traditional, so are the Christmas decorations, brightly lit and colorful.

Wall a Wall a Lifest yles 43


dEC. 6

the exhibit “head to toe: Language of Plateau indian Clothing” continues. tamástslikt Cultural institute, Pendleton. Details: 541-966-9748.

Christmas Magic Parade and tree-Lighting. the parade starts at ace hardware at 6 p.m. and ends at Freewater Park. at 7 p.m., the Christmas tree lights up at Valley Christian Center, Milton-Freewater. Details: 541-938-5563.

THrouGH January artist Dianna Woolley presents her latest works, “the Fine art of encaustic Painting.” Olive Marketplace and Café. Details: noV. 29-30; dEC. 1, 5-7 Walla Walla Community College theatre arts Department performs “Buried Child” by sam shepard. 7 p.m.; Dec. 1, matinee: 2:00 p.m.; China Pavilion, WWCC. Details: 509-527-4575. dEC. 2 Ladies’ Night Out in Dayton for holiday shopping. Downtown merchants stay open late. Details: 509382-4825. dEC. 3-14 “Frank Munns Retrospective” is the featured exhibit. sheehan Gallery, Whitman College. Details: 509-527-5249. dEC. 4 Celebrate a Victorian Christmas with an elegant holiday Open house. 4-7 p.m., Frazier Farmstead Museum, Milton-Freewater. Details: 541-938-4636. start the holidays in front of the Christmas tree. 5:30 p.m.: Christmas tree Lighting in College Place at the fire station. Details: 509-529-1200. Contra dance, an old-fashioned country dance. 7 p.m., Reid Campus Ballroom, Whitman College. Details: 541-938-7403.

dEC. 6-8 start the season with the holiday Barrel tasting. each participating winery celebrates in its own unique fashion. everything from music, art, food and fine wines. Details: 509-526-3117. dEC. 6, 8, 13, 15 holiday Open-house at the Blue Mountain Lavender Farm. Lavender treats available at Farm Boutique store. Lowden. Details: 509-529-3276 or dEC. 7 Christmas Bazaar. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Center at the Park. Details: 509-527-3775. holiday Farmers Market and concert. 9 a.m., Crawford Park, Downtown Walla Walla. Details: 509529-8755. Milton-Freewater american Cancer society Cotillion. elks Lodge, 611 N. Main st. Details: 541-938-3633. Decorated for the holidays, Kirkman house Museum holds its Victorian Christmas Jubilee. Details: 509529-4373. Whitman College Chamber singers and Chorale Fall Concert. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital hall, Whitman College. Details: 509-527-5232.

Walla Walla Community hospice presents the annual tree of Life ceremony. 7 p.m., Die Brucke Building, Downtown Walla Walla. Details: 509-525-5561. dEC. 10 Walla Walla high school Christmas Gift Concert. 7 p.m., auditorium. Details: 509-526-1916. the Walla Walla symphony presents “sounds of the season.” 7:30 p.m., Cordiner hall, Whitman College. Details: 509-529-8020. dEC. 12-15 a performance of “Ukulele! a Variety show” combines sketch comedy, song and dance with the music and attitude of the ukulele. 8 p.m., harper Joy theatre, Whitman College. Details: 509-527-5180. dEC. 13 Walla Walla University Music Department presents the annual Christmas Concerts. two concerts, one at 6 p.m., another at 8 p.m. Walla Walla University Church. Details: 509-527-2561. dEC. 15 Walla Walla Valley Bands Concert “in the holiday Mood.” 3 p.m., Walla Walla Community College Performing arts Center. Details: 509-301-3920. dEC. 16 Walla Walla Choral society Concert: “Gloria.” 7:30 p.m., Walla Walla University Church, College Place. Details: 509-386-2445 or dEC. 17

dEC. 5

Barrel-Racing Jackpot. Walla Walla County Fairgrounds. Details: 509-527-3247.

the “First thursday” Concert features the Walla Walla high school Christmas Band directed by andrew Ueckert. 12:15 p.m., st. Paul’s episcopal Church, 323 Catherine st. Details: 509-529-1083.

the Wa-hi Band holiday Program. 7 p.m., Walla Walla high school auditorium. Details: 509-526-1916.

Watch brightly lighted floats, and celebrate the season. 6 p.m.: Macy’s Parade of Lights, Downtown Walla Walla. Details: 509-529-8755.

dEC. 18

dEC. 5-6

dEC. 8

Kids-only Christmas sale. Community Building, Milton-Freewater. Details: 541-938-5563.

the Feast of Carols. step up and celebrate with holiday music, and bring cans of food to donate. 7 p.m., Cordiner hall, Whitman College. Details: 509527-5232.

dEC. 5-7 Providence st. Mary Medical Center Christmas Fantasy Gift Bazaar. Details: 509-522-5924.

Waitsburg’s home-town Christmas includes a parade and everything decorated for the holidays. Details: 509-337-8849.

the Wa-hi Choir Concert. 7 p.m., Walla Walla high school auditorium. Details: 509-526-1916. dEC. 19 the Wa-hi Orchestra holiday Concert. 7 p.m., Walla Walla high school auditorium. Details: 509-526-1916. dEC. 31 Wildhorse Resort & Casino New Year’s eve party. Details: 800-654-9453.

4 S. 4th Ave Walla Walla

New encaustic work by

DIANNA WOOLLEY November – January

Olive Marketplace and Cafe 376885 SL

44 Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes



Regular Events Monday


Live music. 9 p.m., Wildfire Sports Bar at Wildhorse Resort & Casino, Pendleton. Details: 800-654-9453.

Most Monday nights, live music at Vintage Cellars. 10 N. Second Ave. Details: 509-529-9340.

“Blues and Barbecue” with live music and “West of the Blues BBQ.” Charles Smith Winery, 35 S. Spokane St. Details: 509-526-5230.

Live music. 9 p.m., Sapolil Cellars, 15 E. Main St. Details: 509-520-5258.

Comedy jam. 8 p.m., Wildfire Sports Bar at the Wildhorse Resort & Casino, Pendleton. Details: 800654-9453.

Music or DJ. Music: 9 p.m., DJ: 10 p.m.; Marcy’s Downtown Lounge; 35 S. Colville St. Details: 509525-7483.

Open mic. 7-10 p.m., Walla Walla Village Winery, 107 S. Third Ave. Details: 509-525-9463.


Tuesday “Trivia Game Night.” Red Monkey Downtown Lounge, 25 W. Alder St. Details: 509-522-3865. Wednesday First Wednesday of the month, wine tasting. Plateau Restaurant at Wildhorse Resort & Casino, Pendleton. Details: 800-654-9453.

Live music. 9 p.m.-midnight, Anchor Bar, 128 E. Main St., Waitsburg. Details: 509-337-3008.

Live music. 8 p.m., Laht Neppur Ale House, 53 S. Spokane St. Details: 509-529-2337.


Most Saturday nights, live music. Vintage Cellars, 10 N. Second Ave. Details: 509-529-9340.

Pianist Carolyn Mildenberger. 5-7 p.m., Sapolil Cellars, 15 E. Main St. Details: 509-520-5258.

Live music. 9 p.m.-midnight, Anchor Bar, 128 E. Main St., Waitsburg. Details: 509-337-3008.

Music. 7-9 p.m., Walla Walla Wine Works. Details: 509-522-1261.

The first Friday of each month, free admission at Tamástslikt Cultural Institute, Pendleton. Details: 541-966-9748.

Live music. 9 p.m., Wildfire Sports Bar at Wildhorse Resort & Casino, Pendleton. Details: 800-654-9453.

Open mic. 8 p.m., Laht Neppur Ale House, 53 S. Spokane St. Details: 509-529-2337.

Music. Dayton Wine Works, 507 E. Main St., Dayton. Details: 509-382-1200.

Karaoke. 8 p.m., Wildfire Sports Bar at Wildhorse Resort & Casino, Pendleton. Details: 800-654-9453.

The second Friday each month, acoustic jam. Skye Books & Brew, Dayton. Details: 509-382-4677.

Music. Rogers’ Bakery, 116 N. College Ave., College Place. Details: 509-522-2738. Record your music. 5 p.m., Open Mic Recording Club at Sapolil Cellars, 15 E. Main St. Details: 509520-5258.

Live music. 9 p.m., Sapolil Cellars, 15 E. Main St. Details: 509-520-5258. Music or DJ. Music: 9 p.m., DJ: 10 p.m.; Marcy’s Downtown Lounge; 35 S. Colville St. Details: 509525-7483.

Exper ience


wor l d - c l a s s m er l ot

Immerse yourself in the Art of Blending and take home your own custom blend.

Northstar Winery is dedicated to the production of ultra-premium Merlot, considered among the world’s best.



(or call 509-301-3480 for appointment) No Tasting Fee •


Holiday SeaSon

Stocking Stuffers Candles Soaps & lotions Bath Products

Tasting Room Hours: Monday - Saturday 11am - 5pm ~ Sunday 11am - 4pm

Midnight Oil

1736 JB G eorGe road, Walla Walla 99362 ~ (866) 486-7828




Soap Co.

54 E. Main St • Walla Walla Downtown next to Macy’s

n o r t h s t a r w in e r y.c o m I tem #156 ©2013 N orthstar WIN INery ery, Wall a Wall a , W Wa a 99362

Wall a Wall a Lifest yles 45

Photos by Steve Lenz

Where in Walla Walla?

Last issue’s clue: Which large family-owned farm has this view off Hood Road?

Answer: HT Rea Farm


Last month’s winners:

This popular photography spot is a great viewpoint to take a gander at geese.

Dixie Ferguson John Wheeler

Zelda Kelso Larry Nienhueser

Contest rules: If you have the answer, email it to, or send it to: Where in Walla Walla? 112 S. First Ave., P.O. Box 1358, Walla Walla, WA 99362. The names of 10 people with correct answers will be randomly selected, and they will receive this great-looking mug as proof of their local knowledge and good taste.



Special Advertising Opportunities The Homes Issue

January Lifestyles Reservation Deadline: December 2, 2013

The Wedding Issue

February Lifestyles Reservation Deadline: December 30, 2013


Call your Union-Bulletin Marketing Consultant today! Mike Waltman Masood Gorashi 509-526-8337 509-526-8339 Jeff Sasser Colleen Streeter Donna Schenk 509-526-8343 509-526-8333 509-526-8338

46 Wall a Wall a Lifest yLes

Visit the Walla Walla Lifestyles Website!

TASTING ROOM 18 North Second Avenue Walla Walla, WA 99362 Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Monday 10am to 4:30pm Sunday 11am to 4:30pm (509) 525-1506

WINERY AND VINEYARD 1663 Corkrum Rd. SUMMER RANCH EXPERIENCE Visit the Ranch on Saturdays, May 24 - August 30, 2014 11am to 3pm, without appointment. Wednesday through Friday, winery visits by appointment, 10am to 3pm.


Walla Walla, WA 99362


Let us help you with your Santa duties!


Lots of great holiday gift ideas for the man or woman on your list.

. Cozy sweaters, scarves and gloves . Jewelry and accessories . Shoes, slippers and boots (including Uggs!) . Premium denim . FREE gift wrapping 103 EAST MAIN D O W N TO W N WA L L A WA L L A 509.525.4783



O P E N 7 D AY S A W E E K item # 180 Š2013 Spring Valley Vineyard, Walla Walla, Washington 99362


Wall a Wall a Lifest yles 47

Find the right doctor for you at Providence Great doctors Easy appointments for children and adults Online access to email your doctor, book appointments, view test results and see your records with MyChart Onsite lab and radiology services Access to the region’s largest number of specialists, the most advanced technology in the valley, an award-winning local hospital and a health care system recognized nationally for excellence

It’s not just healthcare, it’s how we care. Book your primary care appointment today at 509-526-3333 373553V

December 2013 - Walla Walla Lifestyles  

The Walla Walla Valley's people, wine and food.

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