Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ANACORTES MURAL PROJECT.

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My last two blogs about Anacortes had photos of Bill Mitchell's murals. That's him in a photo I dragged off a website. His vision has certainly affected the town positively in multiple ways.  You can read all about Mitchell at the link below.
http://www.goanacortes.com/arts_and_community/article_4d7ede94-cfe8-11e3-afae-001a4bcf887a.html
And the next link is of a couple who took pictures of some of Bills Murals and they met Bill and got some history about each one. Terrific job.
http://www.trailergypsies.com/Washington/Anacortes%20Mural%20Project.htm
I took about 40 photos but some I like better than others. It is hard to choose a favorite.
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Dennis is in front of the Post Office. Cute as can be.  I suspect he may have been a post master here or worked for the P.O. long ago. Mitchell likes history and does quite a bit of it in his work. He has over 150 murals in town.
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Chuck Peterson was a Ferry Skipper then suffered a head injury. He retired to just be Chuck.  I'd like to meet him. Doesn't he look like a fun guy?
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And, equally fun, this gal. I'd like to meet her, too. She reminds me of my sister. I have a picture of her sitting on my dining room table telling fortunes at a family wedding after party.
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This dude loves his car. Me too!
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Obviously a fisherman.
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This is Steve Rydeburg, a "dirty" hippie, cleaned up. Used to have the best parties. I like his politics, the peace symbol he wears around his neck.
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Jim  is a unique character. I told him to pose for a Bill Mitchell picture. This is what he looks like.
I wanted to load my album, but we are over our byte allotment, so it will have to wait until I can get a free signal somewhere. Maybe the library tomorrow.

Monday, August 18, 2014

ARTS AND CRAFTS IN ANACORTES

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We spent an hour or so walking around Anacortes when we were there. The town is old, and pretty, in part because of the Anacortes Mural Project which I’ll blog about tomorrow.
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A lot of fun shops, crafts, artwork, antiques, found stuff;  just the kind of eclectic stuff to make you happy and stir your own creative juices. Since I’ve done metal art, the license plate artists intrigue me. Where do they get those old license plates anyway I wonder?
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Both pictures taken through the window, with a lot of annoying reflection. This guitar can actually be played.

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It is fun to walk the downtown streets and find a full-sized character standing in a doorway.
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As in real life, even the dog has his place. Don’t you just love it?
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And who knows? Maybe the Bill Mitchell Mural inspired the city to get artistic with their real hydrants.  Adding a public drinking fountain, and some color. Why not?
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The perfect mural for a saloon window.
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And this brewer is right next to his brewery.
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I’d like to take this crab home with me…
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…and the chicken too. Just to see what my chickens might think of a bird this size. I cannot buy because stuff doesn’t fit in the motor home, so I just peek at all the fun stuff.
windy ain't it? by sarah Denby

I was way overdue for an art fix. I stopped by AnchorArt Space, a gallery featuring the work of Sarah Denby and Andrea Joyce Heimer. The painting above is entitled “Windy, ain’t it? By Denby.
Laura falls in love with undeserving men. Joyce Heimer

I’m a words and story person.  Heimer’s painting above had a story that went partly like this:  Laura falls in love with undeserving men…  You will have to visit to read the rest of the story which is written in pencil directly on the wall.
Cocktail Hour Denby

Cocktail hour by Denby.
The Donnybrook of 1989 took place in the community garden project...

“The donnybrook of 1989 took place in the community garden project…”  so goes the story with this painting by Heimer. I really liked the stories with each painting.
Vacation, Sarah Denby

Vacation 1  by Denby.  There is a similarity to the two women’s work, to my eye. And, Denby can get very abstract. I liked her work with the least abstract best, but to all a different taste. Both women have websites if you are interested.
The Business since 1878
The Business, (since 1878) has a sculptured arch around the doorway. Just a walk around town is an art fix for me. Great place to visit.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

ANACORTES EAGLES CLUB FUNDRAISER BARBEQUE

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Anacortes Eagles Club puts on a yearly fundraiser barbeque where they serve salmon, chicken or ribs, barbequed on these huge barrel pits. The cooks were taking a bit of a break.
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The women bake home-made pies, beans, coleslaw and serve you. They close  a section of the street to set up their cues and tables.
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When in the West, eat salmon. Done to perfection. Our plate was heavy. I believe we were dished out a half-pound of silver salmon. Whoever cleans it, didn't leave a bone. I guess I was too hungry to take a picture, light breakfast, no lunch. We went inside to eat. We managed some blueberry and cheery/rhubarb pie, too. Good stuff.
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Jim's Eagle's Aerie closed about two months ago. He made arrangements  to switch his membership to Anacortes Club. People here are very friendly. I took a picture of this unusual rocking chair. It was built and carved and donated by a long ago member.
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We walked around town taking pictures of murals that Anacortes is known for. I'll publish them and some art tomorrow. Finally got an art fix. On the way, we met this sweet little papillon.
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I swear, when she saw the camera she stopped and posed for me. Her owner says she does that because she is a show dog. Traveling like I do, I enjoy other people's pets and no longer have a dog or cat of my own.
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I spent two hours before our Eagles dinner in the library, catching up on some business stuff when we first got to town because our signal is so slow in the park. But, I can't pass an Elks Club, since I'm a member from Sonora.  The people in this Elks Club were also very friendly. Three murals graced the club walls.
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They commissioned this one to honor a couple who raised more money for children through their club, than any club in Washington by making and selling Jam. Arlitta Pitcher and Stan Jewell. He is 89 years old, now, and they no longer attend.
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And, they honored member Carl Frantz, a Sea Scout, who brought them fish, and boats, and apparently a lot of fun.
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This gentleman was a band leader that for years played the Elks major dances. Not many clubs, it seems, have those big dances any more. His name is on that bass fiddle but I couldn't read it in my editing program. Sorry sir!
Weather was beautiful, with a full day, in a friendly town. Life is good.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

IF I WAS A KID...

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We stayed in camp yesterday, doing house chores and decided to pick more blackberries.
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The berries are humongous. We try to pick only the ones that fall into your hand, no tugging. We took home enough to put some in our tiny freezer.
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We took a walk around camp after dinner and the kids were loading into the hay wagon. If I was a kid, that is exactly what I'd be doing.
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What I wouldn't be doing is playing with an electronic device on a hay ride. Actually, the hayride had plenty of adults on board. They took four trips to fit everyone in. The ride around the park takes about 30 minutes.
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The tide was out and we could walk over to the island and sit under this stand alone tree on the point. On our visit in 2009, we got a picture of an eagle in this tree.
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If I was a kid, I'd be doing just what these girls are doing. Walking the driftwood balance bar. After all that talk yesterday about age, it kind of makes you yearn for childhood days. Momentarily, anyway. I wouldn't want to relive it or go back.
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On the point, the Swinomish have a co-operative where they take a salmon catch out of the bay and then they have a big feast, part religious ceremony and a division of food. Everyone gets a share. We were here and saw the salmon catch in 2009. Really interesting.
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Thousand Trails leases this park from the Swinomish. And each park marker has a Swinomish painting. They are treated with great deference and respect.
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At low tide, we walked to the opposite end of the park, to the adult lodge and then home. A beautiful evening after all that rain. This photo deserves a click to enlarge it. La Conner is a lovely park, quiet and woodsy.

Friday, August 15, 2014

THE THREE MUSKETEERS.

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Jim Jaillet, Bill Gallagher, and Al Penta call themselves the three musketeers. They met in fifth grade and remained best friends through high school. This is the first time in 14 years they've all been together. We met for a long lunch at the Skagit County Food Co-op in Mt. Vernon. Talk about timely, everyone worried about arriving on time, traffic was heavy, Al was coming from Monroe, Bill from his business meeting in Van Couver, Jim and I from  La Conner, and somehow we met in the parking lot, having all arrived at the same time.
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 Jim and I have spent time with Al, and time with Bill, but not together. We are, as they say, old farts now, and much of the talk focused on aging with the conclusion that none of us feel "old", just older. And, a promise not to let another 14 years go by before another reunion. They all attended school in Revere, MA. We last met with Gallagher in New Hampshire, last summer, and Al, in Monroe, last fall. I love listening to these guys reminisce. The stories just reel out, ..."do you remember when we went to school and there were only the two of us in class because it was a big Jewish Holiday and we were the only Christians..?"  And,  "..how many miles have you ridden that bike, Al?"  "About 100,000 miles since I started seriously riding. I try for 5,000 miles a year." He is so amazing and will probably outlive all of us.
Bill showed us a recent picture of his mother at 99 years old. She'll be 100 on November 14th. The whole family will go to Florida for a big birthday party. She gave up smoking at 81, but still drives, and does her own shopping and housework.

We all talked to Bill's wife Loretta, on the phone. She's had some health problems but is doing better.  Al's girlfriend, Kim, had a last minute crisis at work, and couldn't come. She is set to retire about the first of the year. I'm very thankful to them for inspiring Jim to go to Cuba, which we have planned for Oct. 2015. Bill said he'd like to go just to see all the old cars.

They talked about another close school friend, Dolly and her partner Arthur. They were celebrating Arthur's birthday out of town when a tornado went through Revere, the first in recorded history. It took off part of her roof, broke all the windows, smashed lamps and a backyard shed disappeared and two, giant trees in her back yard felled like twigs. It swiped two more houses beyond hers then stopped and wheeled through another section of town before disappearing. Dolly is so dramatic, I can't wait to hear the story from her personally.  Dolly's house was THEE meeting place when they were teenagers. Watching Elvis's first appearance on Ed Sullivan's show, from the waist up. And, so much more. Fun years.
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And, all too soon, it was time to say good-bye with a promise to meet again as soon as possible. Al will travel to Revere in September. We are so glad Bill had a business trip to the West Coast to make this reunion possible. The most important things in life, family and friends. We are thankful and fortunate to have both.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

BERRIES TRUMP RAIN.

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Windows you cannot see out of greeted our morning, but Jim wanted to go to Mt. Vernon and find blades for his razor and pick up some drug store type items while I stayed and did some computer projects with a sloooow signal.
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The rain lightened up and since I don't melt, I decided to pick some blackberries we had scouted out the night before. I came back drenched but triumphant. And, I caught Jim  by cell and requested he bring home vanilla ice cream. Made a great lunch. My container filled six berry baskets.
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I had mail to pick up at Anacortes Post Office, so we stopped at the Eagles for a beer before the Farmers Market opened. New friend, Johnny, claimed he stopped the rain just for us. Anacortes Erie is one of the friendliest clubs. Johnny told me he is a full-blooded Quinault Indian and he had great stories to tell.
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The market opened at 4 o'clock and the first thing I saw was round eggplants...
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...white eggplants...
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...and varigated eggplants. I love buying them just because they look beautiful in my fruit bowl. And, I like eating eggplant, though Jim doesn't touch the stuff. I bought the odd ones I'd never seen before.
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Everything is so fresh and beautiful. I bought carrots, lettuce, tomatoes and peaches. I love farmer's markets.DSC08031 (Copy)
Another thing I like about the markets is the food. There were ten different dinner plates you could buy, different types of Mexican, Greek and salads. Another booth featured grilled sausages and hamburgers. At this stand a woman sold nothing but corn on the cob. If you like, she dresses it with whipped cream and cheddar cheese,  or chili. We were planning on a veggie burger at the Eagles and neither of us were hungry at that point.
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A young musician serenaded the shoppers next to a "cafe" area of tables and chairs for people to sit and enjoy the food and music. Only one person was eating. It was only about 4:30.
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The pecan tart looked tempting.
egg yolk crust and crumble topping -blkberry tort
Home baked, the woman told me she makes her blackberry tart with a strong egg yolk crust and a crumble top. The desserts go before the entree  food offerings. I wonder why that is?
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Flowers, at $5 a bloom can be like this one,  the size of your head.
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The colors and size just knock you out.
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My friend Pam gave me a foldable vase for the Motor Home, but space is limited and we only used it once. If the weather was nice, I could put a bloom on our outdoor table when we stay in one place for a week.
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We went back to the Eagles and it turned out they were having a big barbeque this weekend, grilled silver salmon,chicken or ribs with home-made pies. They canceled their regular dinners to prepare the big feast. They suggested the Island Cafe close by. We passed this picture of Rudy Malland, Banjo King, father of Bev Malland, a good friend of Jim's. He loves Anacortes and claims if he had to park and live permanently some place, this would be his choice.
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When we returned to the motor home, the tide had just come in next to our camping spot.
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A could see a light blanket of fog coming in too, and within ten minutes the whole area, including the camp grounds, was swallowed in mist.