No brats, beer, for earliest presidents

Thank you to our North Whidbey neighbors who have worked so hard setting up the food, carnival and parade for us to enjoy this Friday and through the weekend. Fireworks cost money and it’s time we thank the many local businesses who donate each and every year for our enjoyment.

It was much simpler in the “old days” when all one had to do was send a messenger on horseback to request a speaker, full lodging supplied, of course.

GEORGE WASHINGTON called in sick on July 4, 1790, and practically every member of the JAMES MONROE family was sick. Monroe heard the Declaration of Independence read by Richard Bland Lee.

Poor ZACHARY TAYLOR died from eating a combination of cherries and milk on July 4, and a “great concourse of citizens” drank to the health of JOHN ADAMS in 1797.

Speech writers literally burned the midnight oil crafting messages for JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, ANDREW JACKSON, MARTIN VAN BUREN, MILLARD FILMORE, FRANKLIN PIERCE and JAMES BUCHANAN.

THOMAS JEFFERSON threw open the doors of the executive mansion to host the first public Fourth of July reception. President JAMES MADISON heard an oration at the Baptist Meeting House in 1810. The White House had not yet been rebuilt.

In 1848, JAMES K. POLK attended the laying of the cornerstone of Washington Monument. Twenty-nine New York regiments stood in front of the White House of President ABRAHAM LINCOLN. ANDREW JOHNSON cancelled his trip to Gettysburg where he was to honor the return of peace by consecrating a national monument.

My thanks to JIM HEINTZE, author of “Fourth of July Encyclopedia,” who gave his permission to use parts of his research. His book contains thousands of interesting side notes about our commanders-in-chief and what they did on their day off, July 4.

Gold in my drawers

Stepping inside GERALD’S JEWELERS on Midway Boulevard takes my breath away. Diamonds gleam from their polished cases and I know better than to even stop for a look-see.

DAVE FIKSE, whose parents established the store in 1958, welcomed me. I took a baggie from my purse holding several old pieces of gold jewelry I had forgotten in a dresser drawer. He inspected and weighed them, making notes on a pad of paper. He asked, “May I issue a check now?” and I said that would be best.

We parted like old friends and when I want diamonds, he’s my man.

Which reminds me, when the gavel came off her Soroptimist pin, SALLY MAYLOR took it to Gerald’s for repair. In just a few minutes, the goldsmith appeared from behind his desk at the back and handed it to her. “No charge.”

I am an advocate of shopping locally, so it felt right to see a young man sitting on a velvet stool while still in his work clothes, looking for the perfect engagement ring. Stop in or call Gerald’s at 675-3377.

It’s America’s music

Church is a place where single young men and women can find friends whose values match their own.

Music allows even shy types to break the ice while swaying and clapping to the beat.

See where I’m going with this? Singles, you are most cordially invited.

“Sweet Land of Liberty,” a patriotic musical program, will be held at First United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. July 3. Come early for a good seat.

You’ll hear favorite hymns, American folk music, patriotic tunes and a “Salute to the Armed Forces.” Members of the armed forces are asked to stand when their song is played.

This is a thrilling musical kick off to Independence Day. “We’d especially love to have current and past veterans in our midst,” said PEGGY MILLER-STEPHENS, Pastor DAVE LURA’S right hand gal.

Oh, to be an artist

A Spirit of the Northwest art show benefiting the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation will be held at the Coupeville Rec Hall July 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and July 13, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


A reception will be held July 11 from 5 to 8 p.m., same place. Admission is free. Call Gerry Roberts at 678-3068.

It’s a happening

Be sure to catch the combined Health Fair (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and sidewalk sale (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at Ace Hardware Saturday, July 5.

“It’s about community awareness,” said CHERYL WIELDRAAYER, Ace store manager. “Some vendors and businesses include Soroptimists, Vials of Life; the Lions Club, health screening bus; Whidbey Furniture, therapeutic beds; Hummingbird Farm, ‘Plant a Row’ for the hungry; and an open house from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Harada Physical Therapy, a stone’s throw from Ace.”

Remember, harmless looking sparklers can burn little fingers, toes and eyes. Watch out.

Write to or call 675-6611.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 22
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates