I don’t recall details, but it was 1998 and I was on the scene with my trusty Minolta (a 35 mmm camera that blessed me with more than 20 years of service). On hand for a book-signing in LaConner that day were authors Tom Robbins, Shelbey Scates and JA Jance. I’m pretty sure I was broke, because I didn’t come home with a book. Gracious in their roles as famous authors that day were Robbins, best known among those in my generation for “Another Roadside Attraction;” Scates, best known among Northwesterners for his decades of work as a political writer/columnist based in Seattle; Jance, a mystery and horror story writer who split her time between the Southwest and Seattle. Robbins was promoting “Half Asleep in Pajamas;” Scates was fresh off the press with a biography about U.S. Senator Warren Magnuson; Vance was promoting “Rattlesnake Crossing.” Scates was born in Tennessee in 1931. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1954 and served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army between 1954 and 1956. He was a reporter for United Press International, the Associated Press, International News Service, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle Argus and the Hearst Newspapers. He also wrote three books, Warren G. Magnuson and the Shaping of the 20th Century, War and Politics by Other Means and Maurice Rosenblatt and the Fall of Joseph McCarthy, all published by the University of Washington.To the best of my knowledge, Robbins is still writing and claims a LaConner post office box.
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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