For Re McClung, watching toys pile up in her garage is a joy to see. In a way, it’s therapy. McClung said she is pleased to still be involved with the Toys for Tots donations program on Whidbey Island this holiday season. She knows what the sight of those toys would have meant to her daughter Megan McClung, a former U.S. Marine killed in Iraq in 2006. And she knows what they would have meant to her husband Michael McClung, also a former Marine who died of natural causes in July. Both had giving hearts and held soft spots for children.
Walking into the basement of Jack Tingstad’s house is like taking a trip back in time. Trains traverse the old railroads of Colorado, making their way through mining towns. “It’s a great hobby, especially in the Northwest during the winter,” Tingstad said. Tingstad will host his 13th model railroad open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at his home on 508 Broadway St. Tingstad has volunteered at the food bank for 10 years, and asks those coming to see the trains bring a donation for Gifts of the Heart food bank.
In the world of cheese-making Freeland resident Pam Cassidy has staked her claim. Cassidy recently took home a first place award in the American Dairy Goat Association’s 2013 Cheese Competition. Cassidy made a soft cheese called “Pure Bliss Herbed Goat” that won in the “Flavored Soft Cheese Tub/Bulk” category of the amateur division. She has been working on the recipe since she first started cheese-making in 1998, perfecting it three years ago.
Coordinating a feast that serves an entire community is no small task. Jack Stiltz tackles that role every Thanksgiving in Oak Harbor with the support of a dedicated core group of organizers and an army of volunteers. And he said he still draws inspiration from another man he called his best friend. Keith Bartlett is still heavy on his mind.
Fees could be increasing for those who swim at John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool in Oak Harbor. After three hours of discussion during a budget workshop on Thursday, Nov. 14, the North Whidbey Parks and Recreation District Board of Commissioners gave direction to parks Director Bill Walker to look at cutting 5 percent in wages and salaries and increasing all program dues by 10 percent, including Masters and North Whidbey Aquatic Club. The board needs to approve a budget by Dec. 1.
Although the calendar indicates otherwise, the holiday season is starting to take shape around some parts of North Whidbey. Members of the Oak Harbor Garden Club have been on the hunt for quality clippings of Douglas Fir for their annual wreath-making project. The pieces will come together inside a shop at a club member’s home starting Nov. 29, and the work will continue at least through the first week of December.
Life gets so crazy for Marcus Raymond that sometimes he literally doesn’t know where he’s going. As a traveling entertainer, Raymond is booked on cruise ships all over the world. He remembers once arriving at an airport ticket window and being asked for his destination. So frazzled by sleep deprivation, his head spinning from so many other trips, he honestly couldn’t remember.
The Association of Naval Aviation Whidbey Island Squadron 40, will meet for a no-host lunch at the NAS Whidbey Island O'Club Tuesday, March 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A touch of magic isn’t just in Brittany Geragotelis’ books anymore. Since the publication of her first book, “Life’s a Witch,” the Oak Harbor native has been enjoying the magical feeling of success.