At Mom’s invitation, we spent an hour or so last week sorting through collections of Dad’s career memorabilia. Among the items were these buttons from the presidential campaigns of 1960 and 1964. Barry Goldwater lost to Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon to John Kennedy … but the tenacious Nixon (Vice President under Dwight Eisenhower) stayed with his dream and defeated Hubert Humphrey for the presidency in 1968. He defeated George McGovern in 1972 before the Watergate scandal forced him to resign. Dad, born and raised in Anacortes, was a child during the Depression. His father, Marion, was an FDR Democrat before Dad convinced him the Republican party more closely represented his desires from government. Dad told me he opted for the Republican party after doing a lot of reading during his World War II stint in the U.S. Navy. Our family left Anacortes in 1960 when Dad agreed to serve as administrative assistant to 2nd Congressional District Representative Jack Westland of Everett. That job in Washington, D.C. ran four years until Westland was defeated by Lloyd Meeds, also Everett. Dad went on to a long career in politics, splitting his time between Washington, D.C. and the West Coast.
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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