Archive | August 2011

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HURRICANE (I was there!)

My hurricane was called Yankee Clipper, Long Island Express, or simply The Great Hurricane . People still talk about the New England hurricane of 1938.  Today we designate  hurricanes by female names, which may or may not be significant.  For instance those girls named Katrina may wish to rethink the spelling of their name at […]


Some years ago, while decadently enjoying oysters fresh out of the sea on Georgia and Emmett Oliver’s deck overlooking the Hood Canal at Lilliwaup, Washington, a group of us began tossing aroound the wonderful Indian names of the rivers in the Olympic rain forest just across the highway from us.  Hamma Hamma, Dosewallips, Duckabush, Elwha, […]


For at least 8,000 years before Euro-Americans arrived, there flourished on the western shores of the North American continent a people and a culture highlighted by the omnipresent and hallowed dugout canoe.  It was an economic necesssity like a railroad or highway and also provided recreation which persists today in the sport of racing. In […]


Forty-two years ago, in  a period of relative innocence, I asked a recently graduated daughter who was soon to enter the University of Washington what she thought the most important social problem we faced as a nation.  She quickly answered “Overpopulation”.  I said yes, that is indeed a big problem, but I think drugs may […]


Webster devotes half a page to simply defining the word happy, but where is it?  Is it memory, or a place, or both?  We all have a memory of something wonderfully rich and satisfiying.  A sight or a place where you caught your breath in amazement, or comfortably settled in and stored it away in […]


Surely one of the world’s more enduring and fascinating murder mysteries is the late Agatha Christie’s “Murder On The Orient Express”.  By far, the most astute portrayal of the hero, Hercule Poirot, the diminutive Belgian detective who engages his “little gray cells” to solve all his cases, is that of  the British actor David Suchet.  […]


A long and sleepless night filled with anger and self-pity.  It doesn’t matter that it is your own idea, or that it is the right thing to do, when you watch all the heavy euipment which has been the source of your refuge and comfort for fifty years pass out the door, now belonging to someone […]