I’ll be honest. I was trying to find a good excuse to mention, with all possible subtlety, that the fourth annual North Central Washington Wine Awards is coming this very Saturday to Town Toyota Center, and if you have even a passing interest in wine or food this event is not to be missed.
I could see my father’s face, ordering me to spend my summer at the high school, in typing class. I was a mere 14 years old, so this was the functional equivalent of a prison sentence. An entire summer would be wasted as the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog and all good men came to the aid of their country. “Learn to type, son, and you’ll always have a job,” he snorted. He thought this was really important, and he was right — I learned to type ...
It was dusk on this beautiful Fourth of July. I set off from Leavenworth for home before 10 p.m., expecting a peaceful drive down the Wenatchee Valley. Somewhere near Peshastin I heard an explosion, and then another. There were bright flashes, ahead, behind, port and starboard. Across the river rockets streaked skyward, as if someone had given the command to open fire. There was plenty of red glare, bombs bursting in air. The long American tradition of celebrating freedom by blowing things up was at full roar.
I was dreaming again. My old portable radio sits on the middle of my dining room table, just as it did so many years ago. I’m in my usual straight-backed chair, nervous, leaning forward, elbows planted, staring straight at the radio as if I expect something dreadful to happen. It’s early evening but already dark. My wife is in the next room stitching on her latest quilt. I hear familiar, scratchy sounds, ads for Bob Feil Boats & Motors and Hooked On Toys, then the voice: