On Monday (april fools) Rebecca & grandkids, Jaxson & Mason, arrived to stay with us during school spring break. On Wednesday Rebecca departed back to Bremerton for her job on Thur/Fri/Sat. So we tried to keep the grandkids entertained with the usual – family fire pit, videos, gardening w/oma, ninja line, swing, etc. Sunday it was back to the Edmonds/Kingston ferry & mommy.
On Monday, 08APR, Dan headed into south Seattle for another luncheon with some of his 1974 Coast Guard Academy classmates. There are about 15 of his classmates in or within a few hours of Seattle. For the last couple of years, they have had luncheons to reminisce about their time at the Coast Guard Academy & their lives since. See below internet link for last luncheon.
The next day another classmate, Jim Garrett - aka Stumpy, stopped by our house to visit. Jim had driven up from San Fran for the luncheon, but completed the drive after the luncheon occurred. So he decided to visit three classmates in the Seattle area before driving back to the bay area – we were one of the lucky onesJ! Great visit but way too short.
After the rains stopped the middle of the month was spent assembling a greenhouse kit Corrie had purchased at a deep discount. Instruction were pretty poor, but we only had to disassemble it once. A few days later Dan went to the Endodontist for the replacement root canal they started treatment of the infection of in March. Second “bad” old root canal in less than a yearL?
The 18th of April was a sad/somber day for Dan. He & his classmate Jeff Garrett (aka not stumpy) car pooled to Astoria, OR, for a memorial & celebration of life for their classmate Dick Lang who passed away 09APR. (see 10/11AUG2018 BLOG for Dan’s visit with Dick) Dick had made the last two class luncheons in Seattle, but was suffering significant health issues resulting from his lung cancer treatment fifteen years ago. We unfortunately learned on the 10th of April, Dick had passed in hospice care due to lung failure. Jim & Dan were invited to represent the Coast Guard & the CG Academy class of 1974 at a private memorial service being held by Dick’s wife, Betsy, & the immediate family in Astoria on the 18th.
Very early Thursday morning Jeff Garret & Dan began their carpool drive to Astoria, OR, for the memorial events in memory of Dick. Being well trained coasties they naturally arrived early (very early). Dan suggested they drive over to Hammond, OR, to see one of the last projects Dick was working on. Being an avid fisherman living in Astoria, sometime ago Dick started a search for a large warehouse/storage building that was large enough that he could easily drive his boat & trailer into; & very near to the Hammond boat launch.
Eventually he found the ideal building less than 1/2 mile from the launch. Dick fixed up a sleeping area upstairs with a small kitchenette; & washer & dryer downstairs. This not only allowed him to spend the night when fishing several days in a row without driving back to Astoria; but provided a spot for poker games with friends from the Moose Lodge. Dick’s last step was to install a boat rinse facility to earn some income from the hundreds of boats that use the Hammond boat launch. But since we are a much more environmentally aware society (& this being Oregon) there were many, many, hoops to jump through! First off the facility was only for “rinsing” not “washing”, there would be no water runoff, & water would be treated before entering the sewer system. The facility has been completed, but not sure Dick ever got permit to operate?
From there, Jeff suggested they head to Fort Clatsop - one of 12 installations of the Lewis & Clark National & State Historical Parks around the mouth of the Columbia River in Washington & Oregon. The park was created in 2004 & consists of 12 individual areas that ring the mouth of the Columbia River & stretches some 40 miles along the rugged Pacific Coast. It is joint venture between the National Park Service & the states of Oregon & Washington.
After a quick change into their Service Dress Blue uniforms, they drove to the Astoria Maritime Memorial immediately below the south end of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. At 2PM a small group of family & friends gathered for a Memorial Ceremony for Dick. This was in keeping with Dick & wife Betsy’s wishes. Their wishes were for this intimate ceremony, followed by the installation of maritime plague in Dick’s name on the walls of the Maritime Memorial; at a later date Dick’s ashes will be buried at sea from a CG Cutter. Jeff & Dan were honored to be invited to represent the Coast Guard & the USCGA Class of 1974 at the Memorial. Unfortunately the installations of the memorial plagues occurs once a year, & the Lang family missed the due date by two weeks.
At 3PM there was an open invitation to the “Celebration of Life & Potluck” for Dick at the Astoria Moose Lodge. In addition to more family, there were people who sailed with Dick on CG vessels; 911 personnel from the Astoria call center that Dick was key in upgrading & modernizing; fellow volunteers from local Disabled American Veterans office; Moose poker buddies; Relay for Life team members; a lady whose first high school date that her parents allowed was Dick; and lots of fishing buddies.
During the event there was a microphone at the front of the hall that anyone could spontaneously use to reminisce about their memories of Dick. Most of the recollections were humorous, some were sad (mostly about opportunities missed). But the one that really caught Dan’s attention was when Dick was 12, he and his 14 year old brother went on a multi-day bicycle trip in the UK without any adult supervision!
All too soon, Jeff & Dan had to start their drive back to the Seattle area. It was an emotional day, but they were satisfied that their classmate had a fitting send-off by family & the many friends who were touched by his life. Jeff & Dan were honored to represent the Coast Guard & the Class of 1974 on this special day in Dick's memory!
Easter Sunday, 21APR, Dan went to Stevens Pass for the last day of the ski season. The conditions weren’t the best & Dan only skied for two hours. The most interesting part of the day, was all the people in costumes?
During the month, after the rains stopped, we finally got most the fence & garden shed extension pretty much doneJ