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Come Saturday Morning

One’s 15th year of life is particularly fraught with change.  Childhood dreams give way to adult realities.  Adolescent collections such as baseball cards, coins, and comics sadly fall out of style – better left to tweens and those still trapped by out-of-fashion obsessions.  Jobs and college take center stage.  College prep means growing loads of […]

Epistle for Mr. McGreen

Have you ever wished you’d said “thank you” but never did?  For me, it wasn’t too late.  This essay was adapted from a letter* sent to my favorite teacher.  I just learned Mr. Wally McGreen passed away on March 19, 2022 at age 83, so share this essay as my parting tribute.  Dear Mr. McGreen:  […]

Poetry by Pauline

A photo album Pauline assembled during high school years yielded two of her poems.  Her first was brash and bawdy  while the second reflective and self-assured.   “Boyfriends” likely dates to her junior year (1944) judging by who’s mentioned in the poem and her album photos that year. The second, “This world that we’re livin’ in” […]

‘The Greatest Game Ever Played’

Some say it was ‘The Greatest Game Ever Played.’  I was there but have no memory of its magnitude. All I can remember is a box of Cracker Jack and a burning desire to own a bobblehead. Allow me to explain. On July 2, 1963, San Francisco’s Juan Marichal faced down Warren Spahn’s Milwaukee Braves […]

My Week in Ireland with a Welsh Rugby Team

This essay came from a letter written to my parents from Middle Mille, Wales.  It was completed from memories of what I left out.  Back then, I was too embarrassed to tell Mom and Dad the rest of the story.  April 24, 1978 Dear Mom & Dad: Well, it’s been some time since I last […]

Abraham, Martin and PCC

In the fall of 1968, Dion released a song that touched my soul.  About the same time, I started working Saturdays at a job that defined my life.  I still work there today.  This is the story of the song, that job, and a 15-year-old boy. The Beatles’ single “Hey Jude” backed by “Revolution” dominated […]

First Tastes of Mortality

More than fifty years ago, two grandparents died on the same day.  It was the last day of summer, and the first time anyone close to me had died. A dragon lives forever but not so little boys Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys. One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper […]

Strawberry Fields Remembered

We’d gone to a movie that Monday night – Scott Mitchell and I were at the Chalet Theater in Enumclaw.  The Chalet has long been the ‘We-try-harder’ champion of small-town theaters.  I hadn’t remembered what we saw until searching an archived copy of the Courier-Herald.  “My Brilliant Career” was an early-century period piece detailing the […]

The last coal miners of Rogers #3 mine

Working at a Coal Mine

My senior year of college was as different as night and day.  It wasn’t my original plan. By day, I inhabited the rarified air of life at a university where young men and women, often preening boys and girls, proffered great thoughts fueled by a steady diet of pot and booze.  At night, I worked […]

Cal Bashaw: A Life Well Lived

The day he graduated from Kent High School, his mom took him to lunch.  There she announced, “From now on, you’re on your own.”  He spent that night in the basement of Mrs. Shaffer’s home, the mother of the man, Marie Bashaw would soon divorce.  The next day, Calvin Frank Bashaw started a journey that […]

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