Last week I had the privilege of teaching a writing class to a group of talented, budding writers from Anacortes. I must admit that I learned as much, if not more, from them as they did from me. They all have a story to tell, be it fiction on nonfiction. Below is a short piece from Betty; a moment from the past that had everyone in the room in tears.
"Mr. Bob Remembers"
It was 5:00 p.m. and my owners arrived home exactly on time to
find me eagerly awaiting my long expected walk. I had slept most of the day, as
no one was home. I stood at attention awaiting them at the door. When they
entered the house, and I gave them my usual vigorous tail-wag, jumping
up and down, signifying I was glad they remembered me. My owner reached down and gave me a strong pat on my back and the usual
quick scratch under my front legs. Oh how I loved that attention. Then my owner grabbed my 30-foot long leash, and I knew we were going for that walk. I
stood still while he clipped the leash onto my collar, but I beat him to the front
door. I waited to see which direction we would head today. Would it be right to
the yard with the big dog I didn’t trust, or left past the old walnut tree where
I could root through the fallen leaves in search of a perfect walnut to bring
home and chew? He let me choose, and soon I was rooting though those leaves for a walnut I could proudly carry home. I was the highlight of
Betty Wright was sailing at age ten in her first boat, an 8-foot sabot sailboat, where she raced with several others in Alamitos Bay, Long Beach, CA. Her future husband, Jim, was commodore of the Junior Yacht Club in the bay and Betty was his secretary. She sold her boat to crew for Jim on his 17-foot National One Design sailboat. After college, World War two, and marriage, they moved to Portland, OR., spending 30 years with a variety of boats, the first one being that 16-foot outboard boat in which they cruised 3 different years in the 1950's from Anacortes, WA to Princess Louisa Inlet in British Columbia. They had a wealth of cruising information having started two different boating clubs, taking several different Power Squadron classes, and leading cruises to Puget Sound for years. Taking early retirement from their positions in Portland, OR, they moved to Seattle and later to Anacortes to be closer to their Hans Christian sailboat and their beloved Salish Sea. Her first book was The Expansion of Chandler's Square. Betty's apartment overlooked the addition being built for Chandler's Square retirement community right outside her apartment windows. She spent countless hours peering out her windows photographing and recording in an unprofessional way all that went on. It's a masterpiece of construction details for the lay reader, showing each phase over the 9 months of giving birth to the 25 new apartments in the community. Her biggest endeavor is the completion of Adventuring to Princess Louisa Inlet in 2012. It's a virtual resource for boaters as they travel with Betty and Jim from Anacortes, WA to Princess Louisa Inlet in British Columbia, traveling 438 miles in 2 weeks. Only accessible by boat and floatplane, Betty stresses the importance of using real marine charts, a supplemental Cruising Guide, the necessary use of tide and current tables, and a study of weather as they photographed and recorded each place they visited. Emphasis is on Sechelt Rapids, near Egmont, B.C., which is the second fastest salt water rapids in the world, a visit to Young Life Malibu Camp for teenagers, and impressive Princess Louisa, one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. She even tells how to visit these places without a boat of your own. You'll enjoy arm chair cruising with a vast array of 238 photographs and extensive Bibliography and Appendix. After reading the book, you will want to do it for yourself. As Betty states, "Princess Louisa Inlet is basically in our own back yard. The dangers of cruising are still there but with an understanding of safely cruising, the beauty should not be missed."