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The ’tweener month

As I sit down to write this piece in early May, it’s impossible to know what June has in store for us in terms of weather and — gulp — wildfire smoke.

I think of June as the ’tweener month — part spring, part summer.

The calendar tells us that June 20 marks the first day of summer this year. That means most of the month is technically spring, but the transition to summer weather often happens well before the solstice.

I remember as a kid some years when the last days of the school year were agonizingly hot. We didn’t have air-conditioned classrooms, yet my classmates and I were expected to keep our mental focus as we sat on the edge of passing out from the sweltering heat. Miraculously, the heat didn’t affect us come recess time. Go figure.

Once the school year was over, I spent most of the summer beneath the sun without so much as a worry about getting sunburned or staying hydrated. In those days, helicopter parents were the exception. The most important summer rule was being home in time for dinner. And don’t get grass stains on your clothes. Let’s just say I’ve never been one to miss a meal, but grass stains were a problem.

The days of being impervious to the summer sun have long passed for me. SPF, the UV index, wide-brimmed hats, insulated water bottles — those are now parts of my daily summer existence.

I’ve learned that it’s best to get out early in the day or late in the day to enjoy the great outdoors once summer weather arrives, regardless of whether it’s early June or late June. I’ve learned to avoid being outside when the temperature tops 90 or when the UV index approaches the red zone.

Oh, I’m still trying to avoid grass stains after all these years.


In this space a few issues back, I introduced Landmark, a monthly historical feature we were starting, with Wenatchee World staffer Madeline Happold taking the lead. Unfortunately, Madeline’s career took her to another newspaper, but I’m fortunate to announce that local historian Chris Rader has agreed to take over the project.

Many are familiar with Chris’ work with Confluence, the quarterly historical magazine published by the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center. Chris will be taking some of her past pieces from Confluence and reworking them for Foothills, but she’ll also write some new content for the Landmark series on occasion.

I’m very happy to have Chris contributing to the magazine and look forward to sharing her work with readers. And if you’re looking to read more of her work, be sure to buy her new book “Place of Plenty: A History of Wenatchee, in English and Spanish.” You can order it online at

Marco Martinez