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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Keeping You Posted - Good Gossip

Every March I wander around the yard looking for signs of life in the garden and think thoughts like, "Hmmm, I wonder what ever happened to those (fill in the blank) bulbs Dave planted." Then I realized some of you might also wonder "what ever happened" to the people or situations I've written about. Just for fun, I've decided to make this week's post as enlightening to my curious readers as the old "party line" was to telephone users, with all the latest gossip.



"Hi! It's me, Candace, from Good Life Northwest."

"Oh, hi! What's new?"

"Well, plenty, to tell the truth. Are you busy? I have n-e-w-s."

"Ooooooo. Really? Like what?"

"Well, for starters, I went to a pizza party last Saturday night down at the Working Waterfront Maritime Museum on Dock Street, here in Tacoma"

"No kidding. Who was there?"

"The teen-age girls who participated in the Self & Sound program last October, offered by Sound Experience through a grant from A.S.T.A. Remember that story? The girls left behind families, boyfriends, cell phones, text messaging, TV, hot showers and other things they thought they couldn't live without, to sail around Puget Sound for six days on the tall ship ADVENTURESS. You must have read my blog post called Discoveries in Unknown Waters." So they had a reunion and were there with their families, Catherine Collins, Executive Director of Sound Experience, staff member Elizabeth Becker, a few crew members from ADVENTURESS, people from Tall Ships Tacoma and the museum, and me. Then we had a surprise guest, Erma Lewis, President of Soroptimist International's Tacoma club, who showed up with a check for a generous contribution to Self & Sound."

"She did? Wow. What a good example. I know Soroptimist works to "improve the lives of women and girls." And by the way, how are those girls doing?"

"Great! It was good to see them again. Many hadn't been together since they sailed last October. They had a lot of fun catching up and watching a presentation of the photos Elizabeth Becker took aboard the ship that day. Self & Sound taught them all kinds of things, like self-confidence, leadership, cooperation, and more. It really impacted their lives. The only thing is... funding for Self & Sound for 2009 still isn't secured, so the program could be in jeopardy. Catherine Collins works hard toward getting grants and other financial help, but in this economy it's tough. She's hoping the public will care about this great program. Even just by becoming members people can help, and sail for free too. She even gave every one of the Self & Sound girls a free one year family membership for their families, each valued at $85.00, to get more people out there on Puget Sound, realizing how important this education is. Wasn't that nice?"

"You bet. Say, what ever happened with the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie? I remember reading about that in your post called 'Getting History Back on Track'. How are the repairs going after those devastating floods in January?"

"Funny you'd ask. I just heard that the great organization 4Culture is contributing $50,000 for needed repairs. If you click on that blog post you can read a press release about it at the end of the post, in the comments."

"Wow. That's a lot. I guess their troubles are over now."

"I'm afraid not. As wonderful and generous as that gift may be, the amount required to do the job is estimated to be $100,000, so they still have to raise the rest. The most urgent need is to get the tracks repaired before the tourist season. The revenue generated by those train rides is crucial to their budget. Donations are still appreciated."

"I see. Hey, I loved reading about the contra dance you went to in that story called "Joyride" in Tacoma. When's the next dance at Wells Hall? I might show up and give it a try."

"March 21st. This time the band is La Pointe du Jour (which means "the dawning of the day"). Great name, isn't it? The caller is Mike Richardson and the dance goes from 8:00-11:00 that evening, with free lessons beforehand, starting at 7:30. You can go to the website for Tacoma Contra Dance for all the details and directions."


"You're welcome. That's all good news, but there's some that's not so good. Just this morning I called Karen Barkley from Toy Rescue Mission. Remember when I wrote about how there mission could become "Mission Impossible" back in December? Well, things are pretty grim. Without more funding they might have to close in June 2009. Right now she's trying to set up a Read-a-Thon through the Pierce County school district, as a fund raiser. Tacoma Community College Students are working on this event as a project. You can email their instructor, Mary Fox at, for more information."

"Hmmmm. I hope that works out. Hey, how's your Dad doing? Is he still 'Raking in the Memories' these days?"

"Sure is. He's doing quite well and almost halfway to his ninety-sixth birthday, I'm happy to say."

"I've gotta run, but it's been fun catching up. Oh yeah, one more thing... are you REALLY going to quit buying plastic wrap, like you said you would in that "Wishing You a New Year With Less" post?"

"Well, to be honest I still have a teeny-tiny bit left on that last big roll from COSTCO, and remember, I said I wouldn't buy anymore after I used it up."

"You haven't really answered my question."

"Okay, okay already. I WILL QUIT BUYING PLASTIC WRAP IN 2009. Did you hear that Readers? Yeah you, the ones listening in on the line. I know you're there. Margo? Are you with me on this?"