Thursday, February 12, 2015

Trip to Victoria

I was asked yesterday if I was Canadian because of the way I say "bag".  I said, "No, but my Mother is".
My Mom and I have been messaging back and forth about a trip from Seattle to Victoria aboard the Princess Marguerite that she didn't even get to go on but her parents took my sister and I when we were very little.
I don't remember very much about it except for being in a little stateroom and my Grandma making up a fizzy, fruity softdrink for us by dropping a pastel colored tablet in a glass of water.

"The Princess Marguerite" Photo by J. Barnard "Cruising the 115.2 km (72 miles) between Victoria, B. C. and Seattle, Washington, the turbo-electric vessel Princess Marguerite carries 50 cars and 1800 passengers on her 4 1/2 hour journey across the Juan de Fuca Strait and Puget Sound."

I only have three photos of the trip - I don't know if there are any more but my Grandma isn't in any of them.  Victoria was Grandpa's stomping grounds.  I don't think my Grandpa was shy but he appears camera shy.


Howard Johnson started his lifelong hotel industry career as a page boy at the Empress Hotel when he was a teenager. When he left that job, he got his younger brother, Thomas Johnson a job there who then went on to be their first (only?) 50 year employee.



"EMPRESS HOTEL Victoria, B.C. The stately Empress Hotel, a well known landmark in Victoria, as seen from the lawn of the Parliament Buildings." AVT-1031 Color Photo by W. J. L. Gibbons, AMPA


This is my Great Grandmother Ida Bookhout Johnson (1885-1968).  I think this might be the only photo I have of her and me together.  The other thing I remember about this trip is the matching pink and white tops my mom had sewn for my sister and me.  The inset at the neck could snap in and out.


I wish I remembered more about the trip I took with my Grandparents and being exposed to my family history there. I'm certainly glad I have a few photos.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Kalakala

Her nickname was "The Silver Slug". Some thought she was ugly. Kalakala means "Flying Bird" in the Chinook jargon.

From Wikipedia
She was constructed in 1926 as Peralta for the Key System's ferry service on San Francisco Bay. On 6 May 1933 Peralta burned as a result of an arson fire at the terminal where she was moored, resulting in the complete destruction of her superstructure. The hull was still intact and on 12 October 1933 the vessel was sold to the Puget Sound Navigation Company (PSNC), also known by its marketing name, the "Black Ball Line". PSNC funded a refit at Lake Washington Shipyards in Houghton, Washington (since annexed to Kirkland) to restore the vessel as a ferry.
In November 1934, William Thorniley, publicist for PSNC and president of the Olympic Peninsula Travel Association, named the new ferry Kalakala . . .
She made runs mostly between Seattle and Bremerton from 1935-1967.  I know she also made runs from Port Angeles to Victoria, BC as well.

Before the Space Needle, The Kalakala and The Smith Tower were considered THE Seattle icons.

"World's First Streamlined Motor Ferry M. S. Kalakala ~ Seattle, Wash." Ellis 1002. Mailed January 1945


"The World Famous M. F. Kalakala leaving the Seattle harbor on one of its many daily trips to Bremerton Washington." C5681 Ektachrome by Max R. Jensen Natural color by Mike Roberts Berkeley 2, Calif. Published by C. P. Johnston Company. Seattle, Washington

After she was retired as a ferry, she was used as a fish cannery in Alaska.  When she was retired from there, she was looking pretty injured and towed back to Puget Sound in 1998. She's been at a couple of different docks including Lake Union and then the last ten years she has been rotting and rusting in Hylebos Waterway in Tacoma and was considered an eyesore by many. There were plans to restore her to her Art Deco glory days and turn her in to a party venue or museum.

A few days after the Seattle Seahawks made their incredible all-hope-seemed-lost-come-from-behind win to earn the NFC spot in Super Bowl XLIX, the Kalakala was scrapped.  No last-minute miracle like the Seahawks for her. On Thursday January 22, 2015 she was slowly towed to the graving yard for scrapping.  I would love to purchase a small piece of Seattle history and even emailed the demolition company to inquire but I think they've been getting a lot of the similar requests.

My growing postcard collection includes several of the Kalakala so in tribute, please enjoy this unique structure. It will be a seek-and-find in some of them :-)


"Motor Ferry 'KALAKALA' World's first streamlined vessel in service between Seattle and Bremerton, Wash. on Puget Sound. (Kah-Lock-al-lah, Chinook for Flying Bird) is the world's first completely Streamlined Motor Ferry. The hull is divided into twenty-five water-tight compartments, making it virtually unsinkable, length over all 276 feet, beam over all 55.8 feet, passenger capacity 2,000, automobile capacity 110, has 5 decks, horsepower main engine 3,000, cruising speed 18 knots. The Kalakala is designed primarily to meet the needs of steadily increasing passenger and automobile traffic on Beautiful Puget Sound." C. P. Johnston Co., Seattle, Washington. 1C-P1990 Genuine Curteich - Chicago


"Seattle Skyline, Washington. In the foreground may be seen the all-metal ferry Kalakala while at the extreme right is the 42-story Smith Tower." Plastichrome by Colourpicture, Boston 15, Mass., ASA. Color by Lee Merrill, Tacoma, Wash. Pub. by Smith Scenic Views, Tacoma, Washington."


52 "Kalakala, Leaving Seattle Harbor on Moonlight Cruise" Chas. R. Laidlaw - Aerophoto 6A-H386 "C.T. Art Colortone" 


"Union Oil Company's Natural Color Scenes of the West. Seattle, a major Pacific Coast port and gateway to Alaska and the Orient. Tour the West this year with 76 gasoline"


"Seattle, Washington. This aerial view shows a portion of Elliott Bay, the waterfront, metropolitan area, Space Needle in the distance, Lake Union at upper right and the new freeway borders the far right of the picture. Color by Bud Kimball. Plastichrome by ColourPicture Boston, Mass. 02130"


"The Harbor Tourist - loaded with sightseers on a tour of Seattle's fascinating waterfront. No visit to this city is complete without this most enjoyable cruise." C-183 Ektachrome by Josef Scaylea Pub. by Ellis Post Card Co., Arlington, Wash. Made by Dexter West Nyack, N. Y. 39536-B


"At sunset on the Alaska Way Viaduct at Seattle, Washington. The Viaduct makes it possible to pass non-stop through the downtown business district. Docks and ships are very spectacular from the viaduct." Ektachrome by Max R. Jensen.

The Hyak was built in 1967 - the Kalakala was retired as a ferry in 1967 - they're both in this postcard.

"Seattle Waterfront - Seattle Washington This view shows the Waterfront from Ye Olde Curiosity Shop north to Magnolia Bluff. Known as 'The Gateway to the Orient,' Seattle's docks and piers accommodate ships from every country in the World At the left can be seen the new Super-Ferry M. V. Hyak as it approaches the new Ultra-Modern Ferry Terminal." Color by Pat O'Malley Plastichrome by Colourpicture Boston, Mass 12130. Distributed only by Smith-Western Co. Inc. Tacoma-Portland.

There she goes - sailing out of the picture . . .

"78 Seattle and its Famous Harbor, Washington 6A-H2682" Chas. R. Laidlaw Aerophoto. C. T. Art Colortone Reg. U.S. Pat. Off. Made only by Curt Teich & Co., Inc., Chicago. C. P. Johnston., Seattle, Washington. Postmarked September 1937

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Vintage Halloween Fun

It's been a while but I really do love the mid-century ads from Life Magazine.  Enjoy these vintage Halloween Ads!

Brach's Halloween Candy for Trick or Treat

October 20, 1958 Life Magazine
Brach's Candy For Trick or Treat

October 19, 1959 Life Magazine
Brach's Halloween Candies

October 1960 Life Magazine

Kraft Fudgies (illustrator Whitney Darrow Jr.)

October 20, 1958 Life Magazine

Kraft Candies Fudgies & Caramels

October 26, 1959 Life Magazine

Curtiss Candy Baby Ruth & Butterfinger
Saf-T-Pop, Curtiss Chum Gum, Circlets, Caramel Rolls, Penny Logs

October 1960 Life Magazine

Fleer Dubble Bubble Gum

October 29, 1956 Life Magazine

Post Treat-Pak (illustration by Dick Sargent)

October 28, 1957 Life Magazine

Post Treat Pak

October 26, 1959 Life Magazine

Reddi Wip

October 27, 1958 Life Magazine

Hawaiian Punch

October 26, 1959 Life Magazine

Kool-Aid

October 26, 1959 Life Magazine


Sunkist Frozen Fruit Punches

October 1960 Life Magazine

Alka-Seltzer "Feel UP to the fun that's so good for you . . ."

October 22, 1956 Life Magazine

Sylvania Bue Dot

October 21, 1957 Life Magazine

Chase & Sanborn (illustrator Whitney Darrow Jr.)

October 29, 1956 Life Magazine

Budweiser

October 1960 Life Magazine

Dutch Masters, the fine cigar

October 26, 1959 Life Magazine

Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy 55th Anniversary Mom & Dad!

My parents were wed October 17, 1959 and are celebrating 55 years of marriage today! 

Fall 1957, Dad was a student at the University of Washington and living in Terry Hall. He had previously spent a year at Whitworth where he was Pre-Med.  He didn't feel he was Pre-Med material and tuition was very expensive so he transferred to UW in the '55-'56 school year (? I think . . .). Here he is studying in his UW dorm room:



Fall 1957, my Mom was a 17 year old freshman at the University of Washington - she pledged a sorority and planned on earning a degree in Communications.
On campus at the UW:


My Dad writes this about their meeting and dating:
"October of 1957, I went to a sorority/fraternity open house (referred to as  "Stock Show") with Phil LeMoine and another Phil.  I noticed Bev - a short little blond in a red dress who was open and friendly.  It turned out Phil LeMoine had been trying to get us together.  We dated through April 1958 (mom had been quite sick with mono during the winter months so we didn't have very much contact then) when I joined the army - we said good-bye but kept writing." 
Mom threw a going away party for Dad before he left for boot camp and this is the earliest photo of them together (my grandparent's basement).


As my Dad wrote, my Mom was very sick that fall.  So sick that she had to drop out of the University of Washington.  Dad went off to the army before earning a degree because he still didn't know what kind of degree he wanted to earn.

"I was 16 weeks at Fort Ord (8 weeks basic, 8 weeks clerical training).  I was shipped off to Korea September 1958 for 13 months returning October 10, 1959.  Our only contact was by mail after the mono interrupted seven months we dated."
Last year, Dad gave me an old reel-to-real audio tape - we no longer had any way to listen to it. For his birthday, I had it digitally transferred and it turned out to be an audio letter he sent to my Mom while he was in Korea. It was so sweet!
I really don't know the story of the wedding proposal but a week after he arrived on leave, they were married.
The wedding shower the weekend before:

October 17, 1959





My Dad continues:
"We had a brief honeymoon in Portland, Oregon when I had to leave for my temporary assignment to Fort Benning, Georgia where I awaited my next orders.  I returned for Christmas and then left on January 5, 1960 for  Fort Sill, Oklahoma for Officer Candidate School where I couldn't take my wife.  She finally joined me August 1960.  If you count it up we had actually been together for four or five months from the time we met in October 1957 until August 1960 - our romance was primarily in writing.  I remember we ate out one night at a Pizza place in Oklahoma - we went to pay our check but someone else had picked it up for us because they had noticed us as a young couple in love - we have returned the favor to a couple of other couples during our life together."

Dad finished his time with the Army in 1962 at Fort Hood Texas - he felt his time in the army was the very best choice for him at that time.  They moved up to Seattle (with baby me) and joined civilian life; Dad started his career at Boeing. My sister Kristin was later born and time marches on.


Dad decided to take advantage of The G.I. Bill and go back to the University of Washington while still working at Boeing. In 1976, he finally earned his BA in Psychology.


The next year Mom began her quest for a degree again by taking courses at Bellevue Community College where she earned her AA and transferred to the University of Washington.  She became one of those knocked up college girls so she dropped out again. Of course we were delighted when my sister, Sarah was born.

They celebrated their 25th Anniversary in 1984 - when their oldest had been married a year and a recent graduate of the University of Washington, their middle was a senior in college and their youngest was a Kindergartner.


After Sarah was in school, Mom returned to the UW and finally graduated with a BA in English Literature in 1987.


They became Grandparents the following year in 1988.


My parents have fun together; they have stayed by each other's side.  I'm so grateful for this.
1988


1993


2003


2003


2004


2008


2009 - Their 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration with some of their wedding party (Phil Lemoine who originally wanted to introduce them to each other is next to my Dad)


2012 Mom and Dad with their three daughters, three sons-in-law, three grandsons and three granddaughters.


My parents have definitely modeled persistence whether it's achieving educational goals or sticking with each other through thick and thin.
Congratulations, Mom and Dad!  Cheers for  many more fun years together!