Friday, November 5, 2010

Three events - one weekend

I’m going to repeat myself, but once again it appears that some events in really small towns can be more personal, more meaningful, and at times more fun to experience than events in big cities. To explain what I mean, let me tell you about three events that happened in Port Gamble over the weekend. Nothing unusual, nothing special, just a wedding, a halloween trick or treating day, and a seance. Well, alright. It’s not too often one talks about a seance.


This was a cute evening in an unusual setting. Let me explain. The postmaster of the Port Gamble Post Office got married in Port Gamble on Sunday. Nothing unusual about that, right? A Postmaster gets married, somehow you expect a “formal” wedding, especially in Port Gamble which hosts nearly a hundred weddings a year, many in a church built not in the last century, but rather the one before that, in a style with the narrow building and tall steeple to match the formal churches of New England. Or the weddings are held in “The Vista Pavilion”, a building built just for such occasions, with a special tent along side for the reception. The receptions often include string quartets to provide that formal atmosphere, (although karaokie is also known to break out). People really do come from other states just to have their weddings here and they do appear to be fun. I had never been to one here before last Sunday.

The Postmaster, Laura, married her beau, Terry, in Port Gamble Sunday. Now let me add some fun elements to that which made a whole different wedding out of it. The Postmaster, Laura, married her beau, Terry, who she met through an electronic dating service, and had the wedding in Mike’s BBQ Restaurant, on Halloween, which was held as a costume party by all who wanted to come in costume. So many elements were different from a “typical” wedding, each one making it more personal and meaningful than a “typical” Port Gamble wedding.

Informal!! Those of us in attendance were asked to stand in a circle around the bride and groom at the start of the service and we went around the room, each of us giving one word which said something meaningful about marriage. The words came out like “joyful, dedicated, love, commitment, gamble...” (“gamble”? that was my word. Well, we were in Port Gamble, and let’s face it, some marriages are indeed a gamble...)

After we all sat down the bride and groom lit candles together, gave each other a ring, and voila! suddenly were married.

Like at all weddings, they had a “first dance”, we ate (BBQ style), and there were many pictures taken, and in no time at all Kris and I were on our way home. We talked about the changes the economy has brought about for newlyweds since we filled that roll thirty plus years ago. We had one house to share, they have at least one extra they are having trouble getting rid of. Kris and I had virtually no commute. Laura has been commuting two hours EACH WAY to work and home, and now they will share that drive, each going the extra time three days a week. It must be tough being a newlywed these days, even for those who are old enough to have gone through it before. But I figure anyone who gets married at a costume party on Halloween, who laughs at “gamble” as a word to describe marriage, and meets his or her life partner through an internet site has got a leg up on having a successful and long term marriage. Kris and I wish the absolute best for the most recent couple to tie the knot in Port Gamble ... although they won't have that distinction for long.


A week or so ago my entry into this blog was a description of what the merchants here wanted to do for some of the kids in the area, wanting to show them the fun of Halloween, not just the greed, and hoping the whole families would join in. That’s exactly what happened and it was a delight!! Last year, as in previous years, the number of visitors was up (to 75 last year) and once again this year we had more, over a hundred this time, all appearing to have a good time. I mentioned in the last entry that Kris' quilt store, until we moved to Port Gamble, resided in a town which had 2500 or more trick-or-treaters and they trolled through the downtown area looking for handouts, like tunnel drilling machines under the streets of Seattle.

2500 is too many for anyone to have a good time. But a hundred was just right. And even those weren’t all just kids. I was nervous when the first visitors showed up, when Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson appeared, middle school aged and unaccompanied, but I learned in an instant from their comments and behavior that they were extremely polite, appreciative, and they left us glad to have seen them. If I'm not mistaken, they were the only treaters who arrived without a parent or two.

In our store (the quilt shop) we were giving away photos of all the kids (more for the benefit of the parents), with a candy bar for the kids. And it was fun.

(I’ve included some of those photos so you can see. But I've been having a terrible time posting photos, so my apologies to parents of kids who came but don't have a child here. As the Seattle ball teams always say, "Wait till next year.")

Afraid of a little blue spider? Never!

This young man was torn between the camera,
which he didn't like and the candy. He finally
came in.

I'm not sure what her costume was,
but she was having fun.

The spider won out.

Well, I did ask him to squeeze in tighter.
But could it have been like this in a larger city? Only if it was limited somehow. The kids played games to get their treats wherever they went, and that takes time. At one stop they had to throw a fishing line over a curtain. At another, they had to throw a bean bag through a hole. And at our stop they had to stand still for a minute. Maybe that’s the lesson to be learned; any part of raising kids takes time and should not be rushed for everyone to get the most out of it. When the parents stick with their kids and the whole family is having a fun time together, there's a whole different kind of "growing up" going on. Those become the kids that can't wait to come home at Chistmas, the kind that don't move far from home when they move out of the house, the kind that will raise their kids pretty much the way they were ... with respect and a touch of discipline.  And in a neighborhood.


I still have comments to make on the Ghost Conference which was here this weekend. In the meantime I got some photos of the trick or treaters I'm including. They are here under the title "Photos To Go With Halloween." I'll  have the ghost conference comments soon;  I'm not sure what to make of it (ghosts) after what happened to me when we moved here, and after what happened to some good friends here this weekend.

I also want to tell about some of the plans for adding to the events and use of the buildings here. It amazes me!!!   I should have that in a day or two.

1 comment:

Tango Zulu Imports said...

I also had Doc Watson and Sherlock Holmes in my store, and agree that they were very polite and respectful. One of them pointed out that our round pot-shaped baskets could be used as a tea cozy, which I never would have thought of, or expected them to. They were perceptive, as detectives should be!