The Worm takes on two kinds of stars and who knows how many salmon
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Watch out for that shooting star: Yes, the Worm is well aware that they’re not really stars. They’re meteors. But whatever you want to call them, if you like watching them, head out Saturday night or early Sunday morning before the sun rises for the Perseid meteor shower. Assuming it’s still clear, and there’s not a lot of smoke, the best place to see them is wherever the sky is darkest. In other words: as far as you can get from the city lights.
They happen when the earth comes close to the comet Swift-Tuttle every August, and tiny pieces of debris the size of a grain of sand, and sometimes as big as a pea, are pulled into the earth’s atmosphere.
Some skywatchers think the Perseids are the best show because they are typically fast and bright meteors, and often peak at 50 or more per hour in a dark sky. The Worm likes the Perseids because they happen in August, when the weather is generally just right to grab a blanket and head out in the middle of the field, lie on your back and look up at the sky.
And this year, there’s an extra bonus. The Perseids happen on a Saturday night, and The Worm isn’t scheduled to work again until Monday!
But hey, if you can’t get out there Saturday, keep your eye out other nights. Saturday’s just the peak.
Wenatchee’s ties to the Fireballs: Remember Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs? Well, neither did the Worm. But a quick listen to a Youtube recording of “Sugar Shack,” and the memories come floating back. So, what’s that have to do with Wenatchee? Turns out, Gilmer’s sister lives here.
The World’s librarian and chief researcher Linda Barta happens to be reading “Echoes of the Sixties,” a profile of 43 composers and performers who influenced “an entire generation,” according to the book. Written by Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March, the book was first published in 1999 by Billboard Books, and released last year electronically.
In it, the authors interviewed Gilmer, and he mentions his sister, Jane, who lives in Wenatchee with her husband, Don Reichert.
Linda, being the researcher that she is, decided to check out the tie, and found that his mother, Elizabeth Gilmer, lived in East Wenatchee, moving here a few years before she died in 2005.
Survivors included her daughter, Jane Reichert, of Wenatchee, and “James A. “Jimmy” Gilmer of Nashville, Tenn.” Attempts to locate Jane were unsuccessful, but if you see her, you might tell her the Worm is looking for her to ask about being the sister of someone deemed to influence a generation of us who grew up in the 1960s. Just wondering how much he influenced his sister. Or perhaps she influenced him?
Tradition of sharing continues: With sockeye returning by the thousands, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation have been inviting other tribes to share their bounty.
For the last few years, the Colvilles have been using their fishing boat, the Dream Catcher, to net salmon returning to the upper Columbia River where Chief Joseph Dam blocks further passage. Before hauling in their load, tribal fishermen nab the naturally-spawning salmon and release them, keeping only the hatchery fish, distinguishable by their clipped adipose fin.
With such a huge return this year, the Colvilles have hosted fishermen from the Coeur d’Alene Kalispel, Kootenai, Wanapum, Shoshone-Bannock and Spokane tribes.
Already this year — and the run’s not over — the Colvilles have netted over 8,000 sockeye, and distributed fresh fish twice to their own members in Nespelem, Omak, Keller and Inchelium. They’ve also vacuum-sealed some of the salmon and are storing them in a freezer to distribute this winter.
A news release from the Colvilles quotes fishermen from other tribes. Some say the experience has been useful in teaching tribal children the importance of salmon to their culture. Others say they’re happy to get more salmon back into their diets.
A fisheries biologist for the Shoshone-Bannock tribe says they’ve invited the Colvilles to their annual buffalo roundup this fall.
Colville Tribal Chairman John Sirois says it’s inspiring to see the ancient tradition of trading returning to their tribes.
“We honor these gifts of salmon, bison, roots and berries by sharing and trading what we were given by the creator,” he said in the news release. “We raise the health of all of our people through sharing these medicine gifts.”
This week’s Worm was compiled by reporter K.C. Mehaffey. Got a tip? Email us at email@example.com
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