On Whidbey: Stay in the game

I had an attic bedroom when I was a teenager, and when company came over, it was easy to listen in on adult conversations through the floor vent.

I had an attic bedroom when I was a teenager, and when company came over, it was easy to listen in on adult conversations through the floor vent.

Men would berate their bosses and say they couldn’t wait until they put in 30 years, pick up their gold watch and kiss that job goodbye. Interestingly, many of them died in their 50s, far short of their life expectancy.

Today, there are no rules. People work into their 70s and 80s, and many return to college to fulfill a personal goal.

JANE DITTON of Oak Harbor returned to class at Chapman University last week to begin work on a Masters in Human Resources. Jane got her bachelor’s degree after retiring from a long career in federal service at NAS Whidbey Island.

She turned 64 on Flag Day and was treated to lunch at Christopher’s in Coupeville. Her good friend HELEN BATES heard Jane remark that she needed to call this lady and that, so she secretly invited them.

They ranged in age from mid-20s to 80-something, and each shared a personal achievement and future goal. Not one of them mentioned slowing down. They plan to stay in the game.

Birthday greetings …

DOROTHY INGWERSON, longtime Oak Harbor resident, received royal treatment on Friday, June 10.

She celebrated her 93rd birthday at Day Break, the City of Oak Harbor’s Adult Day Services and Respite Center, as the staff threw her a party complete with banana splits and music provided by GEORGE KONOPIK.

In attendance were her friends JOANNE BOYLE, CRYSTAL RADACH, ETHEL WATSON and her niece, CAROL HALLQUIST with her husband Tony, who drove all the way up from Seattle to be part of the fun.

Inspiring leadership …

Some would call it good old-fashioned gumption, that combination of resourcefulness and intelligence that turns ordinary men into leaders.

KEVIN J. MARSHALL is a First Class Aviation Electronics Technician (Aviation Warfare) with Electronic Attack Squadron 131, the Lancers, based at NAS Whidbey Island. He was honored recently with the Adm. Claude V. Ricketts Award for Inspirational Leadership at the Navy League national convention in Norfolk, Va.

The award is presented to Navy enlisted people who show exceptional leadership and professional competence.

Marshall’s training of senior and junior Lancers was critical in the command’s selection as both the ComNavAirPac Battle Efficiency “E” award and the Association of Old Crows Outstanding Unit (Aviation) award. Also, the squadron credits his knowledge of naval aviation maintenance programs for their excellent performance on the Commander, Naval Air Forces Aviation Maintenance Inspection.

When the call went out for force presence in the Western Pacific, his initiative helped the squadron prepare for and execute the Navy’s first-ever Emergency Surge FRP deployment of a Carrier Strike Group, a full eight months ahead of schedule.

Well done.

Honoring our vets …

Members of the PBY MEMORIAL FOUNDATION will appear in the Auburn Veteran’s Day Ceremony and Parade on Saturday, Nov. 5.

The invitation comes from JOSHUA RADICK, account executive for radio station KBSG, and the City of Auburn. Radick handles planning for the event.

His colleague, MARK CHRISTOPHER (THELEN), emcee of the parade, is the son of retired Navy CAPT. GEORGE THELEN, who commanded VP-42, a PBY Catalina seaplane squadron based here in World War II.

The Auburn Parade, largest on the West Coast, draws over 3,000 participants in the parade alone. There are representatives of every branch of the service and opportunities to meet with different veteran groups after the parade. Attendance for this event exceeds 10,000 people.

See it again …

If you missed seeing the Traveling Vietnam Wall when it stopped at City Beach Park last summer, see it starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 2 at the Sedro-Woolley High School football field. It will be there until 5 p.m. July 4, as part of the town’s big Loggerodeo. Visit www.loggerodeo.com.

See you on June 29, meanwhile, stay in touch at lifeonwhidbey@yahoo.com or call 360-675-6611.