Letters to the Editor

Palmdale columnist shares a Whidbey visit | Letter


My brother visited here for the first time recently. He included the following thoughts in the column he writes for the Antelope Valley Press in Palmdale, Calif.:


“Up on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle, where my sister lives, they recently opened a museum that would be of interest to many readers here in Aerospace Valley.

It is in Oak Harbor, and it is called the PBY and Naval Aviation History Museum.

It has actually been around for several years but just moved from the nearby Naval Air Station (Seaplane Base) to downtown Oak Harbor, on the site of a former furniture store, to make it more accessible to the public.

The museum is dedicated to memorializing the PBY (one of the most widely used seaplanes of World War II) and other aircraft flown at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island since its opening in 1942.

It includes a DVD with interviews of some of the original pilots and crew who flew or worked on the PBY at Whidbey Island. It also includes an F-16 simulator, which I tried and had no better luck with than the F-16 simulator at Edwards Air Force Base a few years ago.

It seems as an F-16 pilot, I am equally capable of crashing into the ocean and the desert.

Lastly, I’d have to say that the people of the Seattle area, both in the city and up in the rural areas I visited, are unfailingly friendly.

In most places, when you stop to ask for directions, if you’re lucky, the person will stop and tell you how to get where you need to go.

In Seattle, we had a fellow who graciously didn’t just tell us how to get to the light rail station, he took time out of his day to actually show us, walking us there himself.

That, of course, was above and beyond, but throughout the area, we encountered pleasant people.

I’m curious as to whether readers who are from that area or who have visited there share my fondness for the friendly people, or was it just an anomaly?

And if it’s true that Washington staters are nicer than other folks we encounter in our travels around the country, why?”


I thought those of us who live here might be pleased — and maybe have some comments.

Catherine Ballay


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