Seattle 1978

Seattle 1978

Monday, February 24, 2014

Happiness Is

Need something cheerful on a cold, dreary, gray-rain, February Monday? A favorite video of mine lately is Pharrell Williams "Happy" . . . that'll make you smile!
Do you remember the Charles Schulz book "Happiness is a Warm Puppy"? This also makes me happy. Here are a few pages - Charles Schulz books are available on Amazon.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Vintage Prince George Summer

I wish I'd asked my Grandmother, Lucille Andrew Johnson, more about her childhood in Prince George, British Columbia in the 1920s and 1930s.  In going through old photos my parents have, I recently came across a few of Prince George.  The winter ones are here.  Below are a few summer photos.

 A favorite family story my mom relates was when my grandmother's brother, Orville Andrew was a teenager - he just had to have one of the fashionable one-piece bathing suits that were all the rage in the 20s.  The family couldn't afford it so my great Grandmother, Olga Espelien Andrew unraveled an old orange sweater and knit it in to a very stylish suit and Orville couldn't wait to going swimming with the gang in the Fraser River.  It was too late when he realized that his snazzy new suit stretched all the way to his ankles when he got out dripping wet!  He of course was mortified and my mom imagines the scene with words like, "I'll never forgive you!"  Poor Olga tried so hard!  She did squirrel enough money away and eventually Orville got a store-bought bathing suit.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Vintage Ski Jumping

Are you gearing up to watch some Olympic Ski Jumping? It has been included in the Winter Olympics since 1924. Here's what ski jumping looked like in 1932 in Prince George, British Columbia (786 km / 488 miles north of Vancouver).

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Gordon Murray Draper

Gordon was one of my Dad's cousins. Today would have been his 76th Birthday so I just felt like remembering him. He was Class President, voted "Most Likely to Succeed" and graduated one of the Top 10 Class of 1955 at Bremerton High School. He is mentioned (and I think probably  in the photograph) of the Phi Delta Theta news November 1955 (17 years old) as one of the "top men" new pledge of Phikeias of Washington Beta at Whitman College. (PDF page 145 on The Scroll of Phi Delta Theta)

July 7, 1958 the twenty year old was driving home from the east coast with four others.  Four of them had left Whitman in May to attended a Columbia University camp for engineering students in Connecticut. They had hoped to find summer work in Chicago before starting their studies at Columbia in the fall.  When they couldn't find work, they picked up one of the men's soon-to-be fiancee and headed home - Gordon told his mother (my Grandmother's sister) they would drive straight through taking two hour turns driving so they wouldn't get too tired.

Shortly after 1:00 am, a firetruck was returning from a false alarm. There was some evidence that the truck driver had been drinking but the blood alcohol level was not at the legally drunk level. Witnesses said the truck was in the oncoming lane preparing to make a turn when the collision happened. Gordon Murray Draper (20), Dick Amundsen (19), Jan Borseth (20) were dead.  Laurel Boniface (18) - Jan's fiancee and Victor Eugene Langdon (21) were injured (Laurel quite seriously).

A very sad ending to some very promising lives.  I would love to know whatever happened to Miss Boniface and Victor E. Langdon.  I hope they are living long happy lives.

Gordy's brother wrote me about him a while ago - his brother was shy when he was young but really blossomed in high school becoming very active in many circles.  He said people mostly knew him for his science and math skills.  However he recalled how brilliantly Gordy could debate almost anything (particularly with his father), and how deeply he cared for people. His brother felt he might have ended up as a minister or a statesman where  he could help people.   His brother knew he could play the trumpet but one Christmas break when the boys were home from college, they were enjoying a day in Downtown Bremerton with their mother when Gordy dragged them in to a music store, sat down at a Grand piano and played a flawless concerto.  A crowd gathered and applauded when he finished and his brother thought he'd play an encore but Gordy just grinned, stood up and went to the nearby drugstore for a bag of popcorn. 

You were taken much too soon - thinking of you today Cousin Gordy . . .