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Pioneer son Earle Darst celebrates 90th birthday
Earle Darst, great grandson of Oak Harbor pioneers Captain Edward Barrington and Christina McCrohan Barrington, enjoyed a picnic, cake and party with an assortment of his Irish cousins, representing the Barrington, McCrohan, Morse, O’Leary, Nunan, Davis and Dyer families, at their semi-annual Pioneer Picnic held recently in Oak Harbor at the family’s private Pioneer Park in Oak Harbor.
Darst prepared a talk complete with notes on Island and family history along with funny stories and jokes to rival the best of late night talk show hosts. He also mentioned his late parents Glenn and Madeline Darst, the family gift of music, entrepreneurial spirit and sense of humor. He spoke for quite a while, keeping the guests in stitches and entertained.
Darst lives near the beach in San de Fuca, and mentioned living about a quarter mile from the home he was born in. He also mentioned attending the one-room San de Fuca schoolhouse on the hill, Coupeville High School, as well as living some of his time as a youth in Crescent Harbor, where his father farmed before moving back to San de Fuca.
The son of a life-long farmer, Earle, as well as his late brother Gerald, spent his life farming. Gladiola, daffodil and iris bulbs and flowers are his specialty, like his father before him, as well as potatoes.
At the young age of 90, Darst is as active and agile as many men half his age. He continues to grow acres of flowers and other projects keeping him busy, as well as being known as a great dancer, where the ladies line up to take a whirl on the dance floor with him. He also walks each year in the Oak Harbor Irish parade, dressed in his finest greenery to celebrate his Irish roots.