Friday, April 13, 2018


Chris shot the above picture for the Spokane Daily Chronicle in April of 1977.  Here is the rest of the story as told by Chris:

There is a story behind this picture.

Early in the day, there had been an armed bank robbery in the Cheney area and the robbers escaped. There was a massive police search for these two guys around the back roads of Cheney. I was out there as a Chronicle photographer chasing around also. I was approaching my noon deadline for the final edition and was heading back into Cheney with the photos I had, mostly of a bunch of police cars (rather boring).

Anyway, as I approached Cheney I saw a huge plume of smoke rising from the campus. I followed the smoke and came upon the above scene. I jumped out of my news car and took a few shots of the fire and took off for Spokane. I was only about 15 minutes to deadline, but it could be pushed for major news. I called the city desk and told them to block out a six-column front page about the same depth and I told them what I had.

Since I knew all the police, including State Patrol and even Spokane City police were out chasing robbers still (I had a police scanner) I drove into the city never going below 80 MPH. I dropped the car off in our garage and ran to the darkroom and put the film in the chemicals. A few minutes later I saw I had the above shot, still a negative. I called the desk and said to give me about 5 more minutes. I put the wet negative in the enlarger and made the print, processed it, and took it down to the newsroom still damp.

The desk took the picture sent it to engraving, then onto the production. We made the evening edition. Not bad since I took the picture in Cheney not more than 30 minutes before the presses ran. Oh, the fire was caused by a welder cutting down some old metal beams, but that old WW2 wood was just tinder. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


All of the family in Redwood City, except Grace Marie and the future spouses of the grandchildren. 

As children, when my cousin and I would visit our grandparents on their farm in Eastern Washington, we would play with the blossoms of the tall hollyhocks our grandmother grew.  We would make hats for ourselves or turn the colorful blooms into dresses for puppets.  Then, years later, we learned from my aunt and my cousin's mother that the hollyhocks grew over the septic tank.  We were aghast!  How could something so beautiful have sewage below?  But I think that life is a little like that.  There are beautiful things in our life but sometimes bad things come into our lives as well.

I enjoy reading or watching biographies.  Last week I watched the movie "Temple Grandin."It depicts the struggles of an autistic girl.  She was an extreme case.  Sometimes I observe similar problems in some engineers, and other highly intelligent people.  They have problems relating to other people.  I think that my brother Jay was somewhere on the spectrum for autism.

I first noticed that Jay had trouble relating to other kids when I was five.  The neighbor kids had chained him to a tree in our back yard.  He enjoyed being wound up with chain.  It must have been like a hug to him.  In the Temple Grandin movie she enjoyed being hugged in much the same way they hold cattle still with a devise. So this and other observations of Jay's life lead me to believe that he had struggles that the rest of us don't.

This makes me think of the letter I found where Mother was defending Jay to my aunt and uncle and my dad's parents.  They highly recommended that he go to a trade school out of high school.  She was adamant that he would go to college.

 Mother expected all five of us kids to attend and graduate college.  Being the compliant and passive children we were, we obeyed her.  In order to pay for this advanced education it was necessary for each of us to obtain employment and save our money.  My parents moved us into a 32-foot trailer to save money toward our college expenses.  (Grandmother Stowell did not agree with this decision and I agreed with her.  We did have some good times living in Woodley Hills trailer park though.)

My brother, Jay, was the first to acquire employment.  He was hired to clean our church, Calvary Presbyterian, each week.  Mother didn't think that he could do a good job so she cleaned half the church for him. 

Just saw this on Facebook:

When I graduated from high school I was expected to get a job.  I applied to the library and other places but they weren't hiring then.  So for my first job, besides babysitting, Mother secured for me a job at a Presbyterian conference center.  She asked me if I would rather clean rooms or wait tables.  Disliking housework, I chose to become a waitress. Unfortunately for those who wanted their coffee first thing in the morning, (we did not drink coffee at home), I didn't understand the need for caffeine, and was behind in my coffee pouring. My salary was tips only. The attendees were generous despite my failings.

Evy's first job, Wayne thinks, was working as a waitress at an I Hop restaurant. Davy's first job was probably working as a newspaper carrier. And Wayne worked as a lifeguard.

Needless to say we all made it through college.  This week I'm reading Condoleezza Rice’s autobiography. Her parents had the same attitude that Mother did.  All the children must go to college.  Condoleezza received her doctorate.  Many other children in the community were college graduates because of the support and encouragement of her parents.  She grew up in the most segregated city in America--Birmingham.  The difficulties that were overcome are a lesson for us.  Some day there may be stores and establishments that do not serve Christians.  Currently in Lebanon and other places there are such conditions.

Everybody will have something to overcome in his or her life.  With God's help we can make it through.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


Here is an example of the stories Chris covered.

Another college classmate has passed away.  I knew Chuck Hiatt.  We had gone out one time and I had seen him at several EWU reunions for our class of 1965.  As a result of this loss I began to think about my wonderful life and all that had happened in college and beyond.

EWU highlights for me include the talk with Dr. Fretwell about my future as a psychology major.  After my failure in my descriptive statistics class she advised me to change my major.  I had my best grades in PE thanks to Pat Whitehill and Mary Jo Tracey.  With wavers from Dr. Leighton of all team sport classes I was able to graduate the summer of 1965.  Chris and I were married that August.

With a year as the commander of the EWU ROTC Sponsor Corps, and several other honors under my belt, and Chris having been EWU yearbook and Easterner photographer and Easterner editor (taking over from the editor who flunked out with a .007 grade point average), as well as mentors Dick Hoover and Pat McManus for Chris, we had plenty of background for future employment. 

With our degrees in hand we set out to look for work in Santa Barbara, CA. After a 3-month stint we returned to EWU to prepare to become teachers. We looked for work in Spokane.  I was hired to teach first grade. Chris transitioned from the color dark room for the Spokesman Review to news photographer for the Spokane Daily Chronicle.  Chris became famous in Spokane for his photographs in the newspaper.  My grandmother Stowell clipped and saved them all.  He did some guest teaching for EWU at the extension in Spokane.  He also was on the board for the Spokane Falls Community College. 

But we were a couple of kids who didn’t want to settle down.  Our dream was to live on a boat.  After joining the United States Power Squadron and taking seamanship classes we bought our first boat-- a 14-foot C -Lark sailboat.  After that we upgraded to a 17’ Thistle, and then a 21’ San Juan.  We bought and sold 3 houses, God blessed us with 2 kids, and then we set off for Seattle to begin sailing in Puget Sound.  We lived in Seattle from 1978 until 1982.  Then it was off for Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi for Microwave Electronics school.  Then to California from 1983 until 1985.  Then off to Arlington, WA, Kirkland, WA, and Woodinville, WA. 

The rest is history.   If you have been reading my blog you read about our sailing adventures from 1997 to 1999.  I published these memories on my blog for September 9, 2014 to September 16, 2014. 

Now we are in our “Golden” years.  Time to start on our new adventure.  So far we have tried a digital photography business and next will be publishing e-books.  Only God knows how many days we have but with His help we will make them count.

Monday, March 26, 2018


The movie "I can only Imagine" was a surprise hit at the box office over the week end.  Above is a You Tube of the title song.  Below is a link to an article telling about the showing.  Click here to read.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


I have considered, semi-seriously, living in our car at times.  It is paid for.  The roof over our heads is not.  Expenses and taxes increase on a daily basis.  I am genetically opposed to debt, as is God, (Romans 13: Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.)

 Maybe being buried in debt is from the enemy, but God means it for our good.  Somehow, if we trust in Him, He will help us.  He has before.  We have never missed a meal.

But then I see unwashed humanity living and defecating in the streets and piling up garbage.  Apparently they are drug addicts, alcoholics, or mentally ill.  Some say they are military veterans who can’t work.  We may call them lazy, or just not smart enough to get a job, but the truth is that it is a Spiritual problem.  God loves them and is waiting for them to repent of their sins and turn to Him.  My recommendation would be for the government to remove the wrongdoers who are stealing—(crime in the Soho Business District of Seattle is so bad the government will tow derelict vehicles in hopes that the criminals will leave.) The churches and Union Gospel Mission folks have gone into the areas and tried to help.  Only Jesus, if they will ask, can help them at this point.  Of course many prayers are going up for the situation.

I read “Street Lawyer” by John Grisham years ago.  The protagonist attempted to help an alcoholic homeless woman get back on her feet.  He gave her temporary housing and tried all kinds of different scenarios to help her.  Still at the end of the book she was in the same condition.  Jesus told us that this is the way of the world.  

We know that those who believe in Jesus will have a prepared room and a feast when they see Jesus face to face.  I hope and pray that God will be able to get through to these poories before it is too late.

Below are some other stories about the problems in Seattle.

Small business

Man lives in truck

Kate defaced

skate park

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


I believed in Jesus from the womb so to speak.  I don't remember not believing in Jesus.  I enjoyed attending church and always felt loved there.  So when I attended a "Youth For Christ" rally I felt no need to go forward to make a public declaration.  The message was simple-- John 3:16.  I had memorized this verse at a very young age.  I trusted in Jesus to save me.

When I listened to Billy Graham on the radio or on TV I knew what he was preaching was correct.  But I, like others, wanted in depth teaching from the Bible.  Billy pointed us in the right direction but his message wasn't going to help us defend our faith.

Here is a podcast from Breakpoint where the life and legacy of Graham is discussed. It is about 25 minutes long.  At one point, the difference between fundamentalism and evangelicalism is explained, in relation to Billy Graham. I come out as an evangelical.  Are you one or the other?