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Postcard from New Dungeness Lighthouse, Washington

Postcard from New Dungeness Lighthouse, Washington

Once again we were reminded of the meaning of “Serenity.”   A hand-painted, driftwood sign that greets us each time we make the 5-mile trip down the beach at low tide and arrive at New Dungeness Light Station, beams “Welcome to Serenity.”  A second, similar sign pointing in the direction from which we just came says “Reality.”  If perhaps a bit clichéd, this humorous greeting conveys a meaningful truth.  If you haven’t spent a week in this difficult to access place near the end of a long sand spit in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, you may underestimate the value of “serene.”

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 DeWayne, Sharon and Janet unload.  Serenity sign.


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Postcard from San Jose. Do You Know The Way?

Postcard from San Jose.   Do You Know The Way?

Finding a New San Jose   

We fondly recall Dionne Warwick’s 1968 chart-topping hit, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?”, but even back then we thought the lyrics reflected more of a nostalgia for an earlier time than an up-to-date picture of the city. The real narrative of San Jose in 1968, and subsequently we thought, was of rapid growth and suburban sprawl consuming productive orchards and fertile fields–ironically, kind of a Bay Area version of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. Consequently, ever since, we’ve regarded San Jose as a place we drive through on our way somewhere else.

But we have changed our minds. Recently immersed in this city for a weekend, we discovered plenty of reasons to go to San Jose on purpose–and stay awhile. Our commodious accommodations at the Fairmont, San Jose–the kind of upscale, chain hotel we rarely indulge in–put us smack-dab in the center of downtown.


 Museum of Art and Tech Museum's thermal image of Janet and Stu

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Postcard from Richmond

Postcard from Richmond

Richmond? Really? Yes, Richmond

      “Welding school lasted just two weeks before I went to work in the shipyard as a ‘tack welder,’” said Catherine  Morrison.  “Once on the job my supervisor trained me after my regular shift, and I was soon certified as a ‘journeyman’ welder, raising my pay from 90¢ to $1.38 per hour.”
    She recently recounted this vivid memory near the site of the former Kaiser Shipyards at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Park Visitor Center in Richmond, California. Vivacious and tack-sharp at age 90-ish, Kay is one of the “Rosies” (or, more appropriately, “Wendy the Welders”) who helped build the 747 ships launched in Richmond during WWII. These women are the brightest gems of this historic park–they are living history–and were the highlight of our visit.


Museum sign and our docent, a real Rosie

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