It was an evening to remember. We’ve talked about it for awhile, and we finally got it done … a gathering of Berentson men at the Edison Inn, less than a mile from where Grandfather Marion O. Berentson was born. Pictured here (l. to r.) are Dave, Duane, Richard, Steve and Dan. Dave and Dan are Duane’s sons. Rich and I are sons of the late Buehl J. Berentson, Duane’s older brother. The five of us have been blessed to have spent the bulk of our lives in Skagit County, all in business at one time or another. Duane and Dan have served in the public sector, too. Duane served 18 years in the State Legislature, followed by more than a decade as Washington State Secretary of Transportation. I had the pleasure of working with Duane when he ran for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1979. He came up just short, with rival John Spellman going on to defeat Dixy Lee Ray in the general election. I then had the opportunity to work with Dan at the Skagit Valley Herald and the Skagit Argus. Dave and Rich continue to work together periodically in the building trades, Dave as owner of a plumbing business and Rich as owner of a construction company. Duane’s retired now, splitting time between Burlington and Arizona with wife Joanne. It was great to spend time over dinner in the rich farming area Grandpa loved so much. Will have to do it again soon.
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.
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