grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

01-31MAY16 - Sultan, WA (street fairs & a visitor from canada)

Saturday, 07MAY, we headed to Aunt Madeline’s (who we just visited about a week ago) for a “garden party”.  A garden party you ask?  As part of her 92nd b-day, & mother’s day, her children (Dan’s cousins) decided to spend all day cleaning her extensive gardens, & making small repairs to the house & decks (& even some hair styling).  Since her house is on a very steep slope, much of the work is now very challenging for her.  Upon learning of this event, Corrie invited ourselvesJ  In attendance were daughter Stephanie & husband Rob; son Bob; daughter Sheila & beau Alan; granddaughter Rosie; granddaughter Heide & husband Steve; & finally granddaughter Kayla & two great granddaughters & a new puppy.

Sunday (mothers day) we had Dan’s niece Marisa, husband Dave, & sons Jaxson & Ely over for BBQ; along w/Dan’s brother Shawn, wife Cindie & her daughter Shannon.  Corrie tried a new BBQ sauce for chicken – everyone loved it.  A good time, enjoyed by all.

Monday we drove to Stanwood, WA, for a tour & lunch at the world famous Pilchuck Glass School; founded in 1971 by the renowned Dale Chihuly (the one-eyed glass artist).  The “campus” is only open to visitors twice a year, we selected a tour allowing us to eat lunch in their cafeteria.  Well worth the time & money!!!!

As their websites states:

“Pilchuck Glass School was founded in 1971 by glass artist Dale Chihuly and patrons Anne Gould Hauberg and John H. Hauberg. What began as a one-summer glassblowing workshop has grown into the world’s most comprehensive center for glass art education. Thanks to the vision of the founders and the enthusiasm and dedication of all who have come to the campus, Pilchuck now hosts more than 500 students and artists each summer and is guided by a forty-one-member Board of Trustees. Pilchuck’s history is filled with stories of hard work, passion, and generosity. Although much has changed since the 1970s, the original core values of the school endure: to inspire creativity, transform individuals, and build community.
In the early days, artists and students worked with makeshift equipment and inferior-quality glass, happy to be making things up as they went along. Experimentation and exploration set the tone for Pilchuck and remain hallmarks of the school today. This small but enthusiastic community knew little of traditional techniques. Through trial and error, artists invented new forms and glassworking methods, and as this continued, the studio glass movement evolved. Over time, European master glass artists and designers visited the campus and introduced traditional materials and techniques—Muranese cane making and Czech kiln casting, among others—which were eagerly assimilated. The potent combination of Old World craftsmanship, New World individual artistic expression, and highly effective teamwork that emerged has come to characterize Pilchuck today.”

Thursday, 12MAY, early, early, morning we headed to Swedish Hospital in Seattle for the removal of Corrie’s thyroid.  We will not bore you w/all the medical details; but her thyroid has needed to be checked every year for many years (often w/needle biopsy); so we finally decided to remove it & take the necessary medication/hormones from now on.  We mis-understood the check-in info given us & we were way too early!  During Corrie’s procedure Dan learned that you could ride the First Hill street car for free.  So he jumped onboard for the roundtrip & a sightseeing ride of First Hill to Pioneer Square.

All went well with the procedure, & even though it is considered an out-patient procedure, they kept Corrie overnight for observation.  Because of traffic it took Dan over two hours to drive home, then early to bed.  Friday morning Dan headed back to hospital; thankfully Corrie was released by 9AMJ.  Upon returning home Corrie slept for most of the day & the recovery began.  After parking the Toad at home, Dan noted a piece of key stuck in the passenger door.  It appeared to be a portion of a house key very poorly filed down in an attempt to break into the car?

Friday, 20MAY, we were invited along to a retirement dinner for our neighbor across the road, Bob Johnson.  Bob had finally retired from his career at Boeing (after postponing it for a few years).  It was a nice evening at an Everett restaurant along with his wife Sara, family & friends.

Early Sunday morning, 22MAY, we headed to the University District Street Fair (supposedly the oldest “festival of its kind” in the USA?).  We are not sure what kind of festival it is the oldest of; but Dan thinks it might be that University Way (aka the AVE) was a very counterculture area in the 70s (Seattle’s version of Haight Asbury?).  Today there is very little counterculture/hippy presence in the shops on the AVE, or the vendors at the Fair.

As we were walking back to the Toad, Dan found a driver’s license, credit card & some twenties laying on the sidewalk.  He picked them up & was thinking of finding a cop at the Fair & turning it over.  When he notice young man leaning against a building on his cell phone.  Dan looked at the license photo & it was the man on phone.  Dan walked up to him, waving the license under his nose, & had to speak loudly to get his attention – Is this you!?!  Of course it was, & the guy thanked us profusely (but no reward offered).

As the Street Fair website states –
“The University District Chamber of Commerce held Seattle’s first modern street fair on May 23 and 24, 1970. Police close University Way NE to traffic from NE 50th Street to NE 41st Street, and turned over “The Ave” to 300 vendors and artists who catered to some 50,000 visitors during the weekend. The University District Street Fair is the brainchild of Andy Shiga (1919-1993), a Japanese American merchant in the U District and longtime pacifist, assisted by Safeco executive Ron Denchfield.
The success of the first University District Street Fair was all the more remarkable given the social and political tensions of the time. Riots had divided the U District community on several nights the previous August and only weeks earlier thousands of UW students had protested the United States invasion of Cambodia and the killings of four demonstrating students at Kent State.”
JOn 25MAY we decided to finally payoff our RV loan, several years earlyJ  For the first time in our married life, we have no debts.  Not knowing how to handle that, we have started looking at new cars (aka Toads).
Thursday, 26MAY, we picked-up Corrie’s sister-in-law, Elaine Riesmeyer at the Angel of the Winds casino.  She had driven down from Manitoba, Canada, with friends.  Elaine was the wife of Corrie’s brother Ed, who passed away last November (see below BLOG).  We have stayed in close contact w/her since the remembrance reception we attended.  Since last seeing her, we have talked about her traveling to Washington for a visit.  So she made arrangement to share driving duties with a friend planning on driving from Brandon, MB, to Vancouver, BC.  Her friend would drop her off close to us, & pick her up after about a week.
Friday not much was done as Elaine recovered from the two day drive & we made plans on what to do during her visit.  Saturday was cold & rainy, so we headed to the Schack Art Center in Everett for the Chuck Close Exhibition.  Although having never heard of Close, we found it was beautiful & excellent exhibit.  The most unique thing about Close as an artist is that 90% of his works are human faces (some subjects he has done numerous works of over decades), but Close has a rare genetic condition where he cannot recognize faces (even of close family or friends; or world famous celebrities)!
As the Art Center’s website says:
“Nearly 90 large-scale prints and working proofs by artist Chuck Close will be on view at the Schack Art Center in Everett, Washington from May 12 to September 5, 2016. The exhibition, titled Chuck Close: Prints, Process, and Collaboration, surveys the artist's groundbreaking innovations in a broad spectrum of printmaking mediums.
Starting with the large-scale mezzotint print Keith (1972), Close's first master print as a professional artist, and ending with recent, monumental watercolor digital prints such as Lorna (2012), the exhibit shows the artist's range of invention in etching, aquatint, lithography, handmade paper, silkscreen, traditional Japanese woodcut, and reduction linocut, among others.
Born in Monroe, Washington in 1940, Close is widely known for creating large-scale portraits in mediums ranging from painting to drawing and photography to printmaking. Always interested in the process required to generate his portraits, Close has consistently turned to printmaking to experiment with visual ideas, resulting in some of his most captivating and accomplished works.”

After the exhibit, we walked around Everett for a bit; then it was off to Ivars (a Seattle institution) for lunch, before calling it a day.  As we drove out of Everett we sited a boat that had grounded in someone’s front yardJ.
Early Sunday morning we drove to the Seattle Center to show Elaine the site of the 1962 World’s Fair, & to attend the Northwest Folklife Festival.  Which we last attended Memorial Day weekend in 2014.

As the Seattle Times said - "Northwest Folklife Festival takes over Seattle Center this weekend with music, dance, film, and art by community groups representing cultures around the world.  Old favorites and first-time artists from 65 cultural communities perform at 24 indoor and outdoor venues, with music, art and cinema of "India and Its People" as this year's cultural focus."

Not only was the music from around the world but so was the food.  There were vendors from Greece, India, Kenya, Peru, Thailand, Russia, Poland, Korea, & the list goes on.  Corrie went with a gyro, Dan & Elaine went with Kenyan sambusas & a matunda juice.

Monday (Memorial Day) we fired-up the RV & headed to Oak Harbor, WA, on Whidbey Island (which we last visited about ten weeks ago (see below BLOG link).  Thankfully we now had beautiful weather & it was a pleasant drive.  But since this was the last day of a national holiday, the traffic thru Deception Pass onto Whidbey was almost gridlock.  The traffic problems were compounded by the facts that is a narrow twisty two lane road; crossing two very narrow 1920s bridges; w/small viewpoints/parking areas to take in the spectacular scenery; & many campers for the holiday were trying to get off the island.  End result is tourists stopping in the road, waiting for someone to back out a small viewing area & no one being able to moveL.
After finally making it to Oak Harbor, we setup camp at the city owned/operated Oak Harbor City Beach RV (now called Staysail RV Park).  Then the ladies headed to the old town part of Oak Harbor for a walkabout.  Upon their return we walked along the beach, before dinner at Seabolt’s Smokehouse.

Tuesday, last day of May, was spent exploring the north end of Whidbey Island:
-viewing the currents ripping thru Deception Pass from the bridges connecting the island to the mainland

-walking the beach at Fort Ebey State Park

-exploring our favorite town on Whidbey Island - Coupeville (unfortunately the Dutch store has changed owners & was not yet re-opened for businessL)

-touring the military works at Fort Casey

Note – for more details about Oak Harbor & the sites we visited, see below BLOG.  The day was finished playing Mexican Train Dominoes back at the RV.