Friday, November 30, 2007

New Show at Waterworks Gallery

Waterworks Gallery
December 8 - January 6
opens with two San Juan Island artists
Jaime Ellsworth and Tom Small

Dog's World ~ Acrylic on Canvas ~ Jamie Ellsworth

Jaime has begun a new series of paintings on two of her favorite subjects, dogs and horses. Tom's newest sculpture in basalt and granite is beautiful to the touch and a visual treat for the eyes. Art new to the gallery includes the beaded sculptures of local artist, Susan Williams and a few other surprises from gallery artists.

View this show online as of December 6, 2007 at Waterworks Gallery

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Local Musicians Honored in LA

Local Songwriters Tom Doenges and Richard Hieronymus
nominated by the Los Angeles Music Awards

Friday Harbor residents Tom Doenges and Richard Hieronymus have been nominated by the Los Angeles Music Awards for Independent artists/writers(LAMA) for two songs they co-wrote. Tom Doenges aka TOM HENRY performed and produced both songs and has been
invited to attend this event.

The songs are entitled "ALL TIED DOWN" and "THE SHUTUP SONG." These songs can be heard along with others on a website called "broadjam". The songs can be played by going to the web site.

link to: Broadjam

The merit of the songs is figured by of number of hits and strength in the independent artist web sites along with and some other notable sites.

This event will be televised locally in Los Angeles the evening of Nov. 29th expecting to reach over 1 million people. Many celebrates will be in attendance.

Richard Hieronymus and Tom Doenges have worked together over the past 15 years on feature film scores such as MOLLY AND THE GHOST and THE MEANCO PROJECT. Currently they are writing songs for the film, MISCONCEPTIONS to be shot in January 2008.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Most Notable Pig

Champion Berkshire Boar - Adelaide Australia

Patience gentle reader, we are approaching the notorious “Pig Incident” that figures so significantly in the history of San Juan Island. Yet before we get to Lyman Cutlar, American prospector, potato farmer and author of the deadly deed, I’d like to say something about the pig.

This was no paltry pig, no ordinary hog. This was Charles Griffin’s prize Berkshire Boar. Berkshire Boars are thought to be the oldest breed of pig and first became notable over 300 years ago during the English Civil War when Oliver Cromwell housed his men for the winter in Reading, Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), in the English countryside. Since then Berkshire Boars have been widely valued for their outstanding texture and flavor. The breed can weigh in at as much as 1,000 pounds.

In the 19th century the Berkshire breed was introduced to Japan as a gift from the English. There they thrived and became known as the Japanese black hog or Kurobuta pork a name that literally means “unique dining experience”.

The English Royal Family kept a herd of Berkshires at Windsor Castle. The first hog ever recorded was the boar, Ace of Spades, bred by Queen Victoria. The Berkshire breed has also been enshrined in literature by some of England’s most beloved authors in the characters of Beatrix Potter’s Pigling Bland, P. G. Wodehouse’s Empress of Blandings and George Orwell’s Napoleon.

link to: British Pig Association

Pigling Bland by Beatrix Potter

Friday, November 23, 2007

Drama on Stage


Stage Left presents the award-winning drama "Doubt" by John Patrick Shanley Thursdays through Sundays at Roche Harbor Pavilion. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 4:30 p.m. on Sundays.

Island Stage Left will present an extra performance of "Doubt" at Roche Harbor Pavilion at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25 with the proceeds going to the fund to help the Banry Family. Suggested donation is $15.



The Benefit Players present "The Fantasticks" at The Benefit Players Theater, corner of Tucker Ave and Guard Street in Friday Harbor at 7:30 on November 30, Dec. 1 and 2.



The Benefit Players present "The End Game" by Samuel Beckett at the Benefit Players Theater at the corner of Tucker Ave and Guard Street in Friday Harbor at 7:30 on November24th and 25th, December 7th, 8th, 9th and December 14th, 15th, and 16th. As with all performances at BPT, admission is by donation.

San Juan Benefit Players is a 501(c)3 organization that was established to provide quality theater productions for the benefit of the community, and to assist the community in charitable and educational benefits.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wild Turky Feathers


2 cups boiling water
2 cups sugar

Boil together 5 minutes and add 4 cups cranberries.
Continue cooking until popping stops (usually 5 minutes)

Mrs. Karl Templin
1941 San Juan & Orcas Rebekah Lodge Cookbook

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hardy Pioneers

If you go into Friday Harbor’s Town Hall you will see this photograph hanging in the reception area. The hardy pioneer in the middle is Charles McKay, one of the first Americans to settle on San Juan Island. McKay and his friend D.W. Oakes were 49ers who after unsuccessful prospecting for gold in California took a schooner out of San Francisco to Astoria, Oregon. From there, they bought a large Indian canoe and paddled the rest of the way up the coast, around the cape and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca against formidable winds and currents, north and up the Frazer River. As I mentioned, these were hardy pioneers! Both men farmed on San Juan Island where they married native women and raised families.
Powder-Keg Island, Jo Baily & Al Cummings, p 30-31

Friday Harbor Founding Fathers
Edward Warbass, Charles McKay and Stephen Boyce

W. D. Oakes and I, returning from the Frazer River mining excitement, arrived in Victoria, B.C. on our way back to California. There we got acquainted with some hunters and they told us about San Juan Island. They told us what a fine Island it was, full of game. So we went there to see it. There appeared to be a lodestone on the island, for we got stuck there at once. We found the Hudson Bay Company had a station on the island. They had more than 2,000 head of sheep and cattle and horses. There was also an American Customs Inspector by the name of Hubbs. We took up farms and soon there came a number of other American citizens to the island. All took up farms, and among them there was a man by the name of Cutlar who took a farm.

Charles McKay 1908
source: Powder-Keg Island, Jo Baily & Al Cummings

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Island Holiday Events

November 23 & 24
Holiday Bazaar at the Elementary School
November 30

Memorial Park Tree Lighting ~ 5:00 PM
Port of Friday Harbor Lighting ~ 5:45 PM
December 1
CATS Festival of Trees ~ San Juan Community Theatre ~ 5:00 PM
December 2
“Winter Wonderland” Holiday Decorating Contest ~ 5:00 PM
December 5
San Juan Historical Museum
Old Fashioned Holiday Celebration ~ 5:00 PM ~ 7:00 PM
December 8
Lighted Boat Parade and Santa Ship ~ 5:30 PM
December 9
San Juan Community Theatre Teddy Bear Tea ~ 11:00 AM
Limekiln Park Lighthouse Holiday
“Tours to the Top” 1:00 PM ~ 4:00 PM

December 15
Roche Harbor Old Fashioned Christmas
Neighborhood Block Party ~ Late Afternoon
San Juan Singers Holiday Concert
San Juan Community Theatre ~ 7:30 PM

December 16
San Juan Singers Holiday Concert
San Juan Community Theatre ~ 5:00 PM

* * * * *

send holiday event news to
or leave it as a comment and I will post it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Arctic Raven ~ November 23

Hot Cider Reception 5:30 - 7:30 Friday & Saturday November 23 & 24th
This show will feature a new collection
of Native Arctic artwork & gifts from recent trips North

Puffin by Henry C. Shavings Sr. Woodcarving

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pumpkin Pie

The San Juan and Orcas Island 1941 Rebekah Lodge Cookbook

Pumpkin Pie, always a favorite, is featured in my Grandmother's 1941 Rebekah Lodge Cookbook. It is that time of year. If you are contemplating baking a pumpkin pie here are a few recipies from Island cooks for you to consider.

photo: Margaret Bell

Monday, November 12, 2007

Remembering Veterns

Colorguard: National Park 1998 Encampment

photo: National Park Service

"For more than 10 years, re-enactors from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada have been gathering to celebrate peace each August on the English Camp parade ground.

The annual Encampment commemorates the peaceful joint occupation of San Juan Island by British and American forces from 1859 to 1872, and final, peaceful settlement of the Northwest Boundary dispute." NPS

Link to: San Juan National Historical Park

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thirty Thousand semi-barbarous Californians

Victoria, 1858 ~ Illustrated News of the World

Adding powder to the powder keg building up on San Juan Island, in 1858 gold was discovered on the Frazer River in British Columbia. Here is a brief excerpt from: “an Irish-American itinerant journalist and California propagandist” J. Ross Browne’s account, The Golden State’s View of the Frazer Gold Rush, originally published in Harper’s Magazine 1861.

The British Lion had been slumbering undisturbed in Victoria for half a century, and was very much astonished, upon waking up, to find thirty thousand semi-barbarous Californians scattered broadcast over the British Possessions. Governor Douglass issued manifestoes in vain. He evidently thought it no joke. The subject eventually became a matter of diplomatic correspondence, in which much ink was shed, but fortunately no blood, although the subsequent seizure of San Juan Island by General Harney came very near producing that result.
~ J. Ross Browne

"Returned From the Frazer"

Resource: Unsettled Boundaries: Frazer Gold and the British-American Northwest
by Robert E. Ficken

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Things Heat Up

Punch cartoon from Vouri's The Pig War

Following the “exceedingly annoying affair” of the sheep auction on the beach tensions continued to rise. Both British and Americans received instruction from further up their command counseling them to maintain the peace. Neither country however went so far as to suggest ceding territory as a means to secure the peace. To the contrary, both sides saw retaining San Juan Island as being in their respective national interest.

Not only that but northern tribes were sweeping south with increasing frequency in fierce raiding parties attacking both settlers and southern tribes taking slaves, guns, pots and scalps (remember Issac Ebey). The common adversary inspired some cooperation between the British and the Americans while at the same time bringing the military closer in. The United States established military posts at Bellingham Bay and Port Townsend and by 1856 Rear Admiral HW Bruce of Her Royal Majesties Navy relocated his Pacific fleet from Central America to Vancouver Island.
references: Baily-Cummings Powder-Keg Island, Vouri's The Pig War

Welcome New Baby Orca J~43


photo: Gene and Merilyn Ohlson, Greenbank / via Orca Network

First spotted on Wednesday, J-pod's new orca calf J-43 is seen here swimming beside mother, Samish J-14 (right) and brother, Riptide J-30. J-43 joins brother Riptide and sisters Hy'Shqa J-37 (whose name means "blessing" in coast Salish language) and Suttles J-40. J-43's Great Grandmother, Granny J-2, is the grand matriarch of the Southern Resident Orca community. Granny and Great Uncle Ruffles J-1 were featured in the Free Willy movies.

link to: Raw: Orcas Near Alki King5 video

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chamber Music ~ Saturday

Saturday, November 10
Chamber Music San Juan Presents

Antonio Vivaldi
link to: text of the Four Seasons Sonnets in English and Italian

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Poetry Night ~ November 9th

Friday, November 9th 7:00 PM
Poetry Reading

Poet Sappho and Phaon ~ Oil on Canvas ~ Jacques-Louis David 1809
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

Featured Poets:
Ernest Pugh (actor/playwright)
Susan Wingate (published poet)
Wendy Wood (wildland firefighter, poet)
& Open Mic...

Hosted by Tom Odegard
Curious, Call 3213

- no devices please -
listen and speak your hearts, minds, & ephemera

Sunday, November 4, 2007

An Exceedingly Annoying Affair

So far, cool heads have prevailed regarding the touchy issue of just what national jurisdiction San Juan Island and its herds of Hudson’s Bay sheep belonged to. A bit of grease gets thrown onto the fire when the brand new state of Washington decides that San Juan Island should fall under the purview of newly formed Whatcom County. Hudson’s Bay farm manager and Deputy of the Peace, Charles Griffin had just been told by his colonial office “I have to authorize you to continue to treat those Islands as part of the British Dominions” when he was paid a visit by Whatcom County’s Sheriff Barnes.

In October of 1854 Sheriff Barnes gave Griffin the choice of paying $80.33 in back taxes or facing a sheriff’s sale. Initially, Griffin paid him no heed. Barnes left only to show up again with a crew of armed “bidders” who, after having rowed to the Island in 3 rowboats proceeded to have a moonlight sheep auction on the beach purchasing 40 Hudson’s Bay sheep. After a considerable struggle to load the sheep (10 escaped) into the 2 boats and an Indian canoe they were just shoving off early in the morning when Griffin and a posse of Kanakas (some said with knives) attempted to stop them. The Kanakas and Griffin gave up the pursuit recognizing that with drawn pistols the Americans had a superior show of force. Or so it seemed, as the Americans fell to their oars they glimpsed the Beaver, a well-armed Hudson’s Bay steamer out of Victoria.

Governor Douglas appraised the incident: “an exceedingly annoying affair”.

reference: Vouri, The Pig War, pg 33-37

William Holman Hunt ~ Strayed Sheep ~ Oil on canvas ~ Tate Gallery, London.

Spring Forward Fall Back

Turn Clocks Back One Hour Today

Friday, November 2, 2007

VOTE! General Election Nov 6

Women's Suffrage Parade ~ Pennsylvania Avenue 1913
They fought for our right to vote.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Meanwhile Back At The Ranch

Charles Griffin ~ Manager Belle Vue Farm

After the ill-fated Issac Ebey left his friend Henry Webber on San Juan Island as assistant collector of customs, Charles Griffin, manager of Hudson's Bay's Belle Vue Farm, issued a warrant for Webber's arrest. Webber, who was camped directly beside Belle View Farm in a tent ornamented with an American flag, resisted.

"This gentleman instantaneously presented a revolver at the breast of the constable, telling him if he touched him he would most certainly fire." Webber was armed with "two brace of pistols hung about his waist and breast, and a knife thrust in his boot at the knee."*

Griffin then ordered and was later advised by BC Governor Douglas to leave the American alone as long as he did not attempt to carry out customs duties. Webber, charged only with keeping tabs on Belle Vue farm and being paid $5 a day to do it was perfectly happy with the arrangment. He soon became best of friends with Charles Griffin.

quotes from: *p.31, Vouri's The Pig War