My column this month is going to be more of a grab bag (with apologies to Dave Gallagher, as "grab bag" is one of his signature, almost copyrighted turns of phrase) of barely interrelated thoughts on a whole host of topics … so let the stream-of-conciousness begin.
1. We live in an incredible town. I live in the Columbia neighborhood, an area so thick with trick-or-treaters on Halloween I almost expected a velvet rope and bouncer in front of half the houses. Lines formed with some serious wait times in front of a number of these houses, especially the spookiest ones. As my mother-in-law kept saying as we made the rounds (and my two kids collected record amounts of treats), "this is like something out of Norman Rockwell."
Tons of cars made their way up and down the streets, parents following children who had obviously been bussed in to take part in the neighborhood’s annual candyfest. Good for them! If they think Columbia is a safe, fun place to take their kids on Halloween, they’re right, and they’re welcome to come.
While it has been publicized that some neighborhoods in the county were giving out wristbands to identify "their" trick-or-treaters, I’m happy to say that Columbia had none of that.
2. The Pickford Cinema/Whatcom Film Association is on the verge of something really, really special. As a former board member of the Whatcom Film Association, operators of the Pickford Cinema, I can’t tell you how proud I am to hear that the concept of the organization’s "Dream Space" — the purchase and renovation of the former church on Bay Street next to the Radio Museum — has gone from concept to goal to reality. No longer is it a question of "if they can do it," the "doing it" is happening now. It’s going to be an incredible centerpiece to the city’s cultural/arts district. They’re not quite there yet — there’s still quite a bit of fundraising under way — but it’s going to happen, mostly because Executive Director Alice Clark and her staff and the ultra-dedicated board and volunteers won’t let it not happen. Way to go, WFA!
If you’ve never been to a movie at The Pickford, treat yourself to some great films you can’t see anywhere else in the cozy confines of our city’s art-film moviehouse.
3. It seems like it was still summer just a week or two ago. But it said 24 degrees on the Thompson Weather-O-Matic the day before Halloween — definitely not "put on your swimsuit" type of weather.
4. Speaking of pumpkins … Stoney Ridge Farm in Everson is one of our favorite places and is a true slice of Americana. Stoney Ridge is a family farm that has an annual pumpkin patch that seems to just get bigger and bigger every year. Hay rides, petting zoos, apple cider fresh from Stoney Ridge’s own orchard, a corn maze half the size of Whatcom County, homemade apple fritters, and a huge crackling fire to warm up by. Who could ask for more on a beautiful fall day? And we’ll be back there for our Christmas tree as well.