Life on Whidbey: Jukebox brought couples together

The Wurlitzer juke box cast a pale glow as couples stayed on for the last dance at the USO. She caught her breath as he held her closer. The wool jumper he wore felt rough against her cheek. They would part soon and this moment was all she’d have. She studied the stubble on his chin and breathed in his Old Spice after shave, committing them to memory. He took her hand and placed something in it. Unfolding her fingers, she saw the pin with the word “Sweetheart” written in gold script. When a girl got one of these, it meant she was waiting for her sweetheart to return from war. But would she? She watched him walk in the shadows, seabag on his back, and as he turned onto the lighted boulevard, blew a kiss to seal her promise.

OK, OK. I couldn’t help myself.

A vintage Wurlitzer juke box, Model 700 with wood panels, popular from the mid to late 40s, was delivered to the PBY Memorial Foundation on East Pioneer Way on Jan. 5. The item had been on their wish list for a long time, when MONA MOODY and daughters SUZANNE and ELYSE decided to buy one and give it as a gift to honor HENRY “BUDDY” MOODY, a radioman in VPB-43, part of GENE GUTHRIE’S PBY crew in the Aleutians during World War II. Moody died on May 20, 2005.

It was a bit ironic that the vintage gift came from Black Cat Antiques in Snohomish. During WWII, Black Cat squadrons of PBYs flew under the cover of darkness to shadow enemy convoys, report hostile aircraft and save the lives of downed American aviators.

WIN STITES, PBYMF president, said, “We are so pleased to accept this generous gift, and will add a plaque to honor Buddy’s memory.”

Then Stites tinkered with the record changer, RICK REZABEK copied serial numbers for the inventory and I poked around in the coin return until I dislodged a nickel minted in 1980. What a thrill!

It makes no sense …

Did you know we could lose the local Island County District Municipal Court Probation Department because of lawsuits in other counties? Losing this social welfare arm would send the court into an administrative tailspin and leave those on probation with the last laugh.

Currently there are five people working in this office: one domestic violence officer (half-time); an administrative assistant (half-time); a probation officer (30 hours); and two probation officers (40 hours a week apiece). They do not monitor felonies. Split up between the three probation officers, the full-timers handle about 100 cases a week and the 30-hour worker handles about 50 cases. If there are 200 active files, that means only 230 of them can be addressed; the other 170 are held until next week. Of course, if the caseload is 300 each (or 700 combined with those given to the 30-hour person), there are still 230 cases handled, but this time 470 of them must be put aside.

What can we do? First, call our reps in Olympia or send them an e-mail. They were just sworn in for another term.

Remind them that North Whidbey is expected to continue growing. Point out that just one probation officer is responsible for 200 to 300 cases. Instead of locking up the place, they could really use more help.

Call or email BARBARA BAILEY at 360-786-7914, Bai, and CHRIS STROW at 360-786-7884,

Got anyone in mind?

Surely you can think of someone who crusades for historical preservation as an occupation or helps out on rehabilitation projects. You have until March 7 to nominate your person to the State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. For the past 17 years, they have recognized people, organizations and projects. Recipients will be recognized at a ceremony held on Tuesday, May 8, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Columbia Room of the Legislative Building on the Capitol Campus in Olympia.

Forms and instructions are at deadline for submitting nominations to DAHP is Wednesday, March 7. Get your nomination form and instructions at or call Russell Holter at 360-586-3533, email

They’re going national …

How are we going to keep those COUPEVILLE CHEERLEADERS down on the farm after they’ve seen Anaheim? That’s the site of the National Cheerleading Competition in March … First things first, however, as they need to raise cash to cover expenses. That’s where you come in.

Buy (or donate nice items you’d choose yourself) at the rummage sale on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Coupeville Recreation Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For pick-up of donations, call 678-6485 or e-mail monroeland This event is sponsored by the parents of the Spirit Team.

Give me a call at 675-6611 or write to I’d love to hear from you.