Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Who thanks the car guys?

All right, I admit it. I have an "issue". What is it? It's this: This weekend (July 2&3) this town should be crawling with cars ... hot rods, old cars, new cars, fast cars, race cars, test cars, antique cars... on and on the list will go. But that's not my problem. I'm a car nut, so I plan to enjoy that.

Most of you who know me, know I used to own an auto parts store and I sold these folks a lot of material. I only mention this to note that these car buffs have AN INCREDIBLE amount of time and money invested in these cars. Five years to restore one of these? Try ten or more to do it right. Remember when you could pick up a hot rod for 5 grand? You can pay that much for a stinkin' MANIFOLD nowdays.

They have pride in their cars. You can't blame them. And if this show is like most of the others, they will pay more to show their cars than you will to see them. Can you imagine calling up Larry, the Cable Guy and saying "Will you come to Port Gamble and pay us to put on a show that we will all watch for nothin'?" That's what happens at almost every car show. The people that pay to register (enter) are the guys that spent thousands to build the cars, not the many more who came to see them.

What is wrong with this picture? Here's something that might be wrong: at the last car show you went to, did you say "Thanks for bringing your car" to these guys? Are you going to put money in the donation basket for their cause? (Susan G Komen For the Cure For Breast Cancer.) Please do. If they can spend 50 grand on building a rod (and they spend that much or more) can you spend $20 on their cause?

You are going to get as much, or more, entertainment out of this show than they are. Help them get their "feel good" today by knowing that you showed your appreciation to them for bringing their cars and were willing to help their cause. Remember that they will be at Port Gamble from 10 am to 3 pm July 2nd and 3rd and their cause will be Susan G. Komen For the Cure For Breast Cancer. The last time this group got tegether there were over 400 cars!! Now THAT will be a pleasant sight.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Diane, a confident woman.

Let me begin "Part 2" of "Life is a Gamble" by briefly mentioning once again what intrigues me about Port Gamble. With only 50 people or so, it is truly a small town, like no other I've ever seen, although it is located close to others much larger, which always leaves one ready to compare lives lead in each. Are the results of living in large or small towns REALLY different? It didn't take me long to say "yes" and in telling about some of the people here, I hope to show you those differences.

This post is about a lady living five miles or so away from Port Gamble, but certainly one who qualifies as a small town girl. Diane (sorry, I don't use last names) and her husband Will spent many years moving away from Seattle, with Will fighting greater and greater commutes to be able to live in Kitsap county while working in the big city. With four children to raise, "where you live" becomes an important ingredient in that process for some, certainly for them.

In the mid to late 60's the commute lengthened to the point that the family was living in Kitsap County and Will was working in Woodenville. And those were the days when "commuters" were unheard of. At one time he and two others were the only regular commuters on the ferry. All this because of their four kids? Their commitment to "quality of life" must have been stronger than for most. They could have easily spent more time together in the crowded city with their children lost in huge schools rather than experience the time spent on the road just to be able to live a better kind of life.

Diane and I met soon after Kris and I arrived here. She was clearly a person who knew her way around, helping us learn the ins and outs of surviving in this town. About my age, she was pleasant, helpful, and experienced enough to know the people and enjoy spending time here. Even though they lived a few miles out of town, nearly every day they could be seen walking the dog here and drinking their brew at the Gamble Bay Coffee Co. Diane admits that bribing the dog to get it to walk with them is a daily routine.

One one occasion recently, I had been taking photos of one of the festivals when I saw her in a perfectly relaxed position, one that someone who enjoyed a special kind of comfort in her life would take.

Look at this photo. Isn't this a person who enjoys this world rather than fearing it? Doesn't it evoke some kind of peace, like knowing that you've done what you wanted to do and now you can relax and enjoy it?

After snapping her picture I asked her to stay at Gamble Bay Coffee 15 minutes and I would have something for her. I did. Not a 4x6, not a 5x7, not even an 8x10, but rather a 13x19 copy of the picture I had taken. She was speechless. Now I'm not going to insult her by telling you that she talks alot, but I will tell you that this was a rare occasion.

Since then she and I have joked many times about where she is keeping the photo, always, it sounds, at a place of honor in their house and always she makes me feel better that I took a good shot and that she appreciates it. Yes, "warm and fuzzy feelings" are a delight even at the ripe old age of "mid sixties", and it's always nice to feel something you have done is appreciated. It's one way of giving your kids a positive feeling about themselves, one of the tricks of raising confident children, but it works on us old guys as well, allowing us to walk away from a conversation with that day's "feel good" firmly in place. Not everyone has the ability to do that. Diane does.

And having met two of her children, both of whom have that same confident air about themselves, I am sure they will sit back, relax, and maintain that same "I'm going to enjoy this world, it's not going to conquer me" attitude their mother has.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Life's a Gamble, Part Two"

All right, I admit to being a little overwealmed by the comments of "more, more" which I heard when I said I was through writing. Some of you even thought I was making a fair description of this lovely place.

I had turned my activities towards helping Kris get her quilt store up and running, as well as spending what seems like months getting our house prepared to sell, the former done very sucessfully, the latter still a couple of gallons of paint from being finished.

But I still want to tell you what holds a town like this together and functioning so smoothly. Things and people like the maintenance crew, the one woman who meets and courts every business owner and individual who locate here, the people who plan the "big events", but most of all I want to tell you about the people who live and work here. They are the ones who keep the engine running. They are the ones that have more enthusiasm and a better work ethic than I've seen anywhere else.

I'm still waiting to see my first "goof off." You know, the summer help who is more interested in appearing good rather than being good. I'm sure they are here ... somewhere. I'll dig them out. And we will start this blog in "part two", which will show up sometime around the beginning of July.