Seat of higher learning
First there was no college option on the island. Then Skagit Valley College in Mt. Vernon, a half hour drive from where we catch the boat to get home to our islands, set up a satellite operation in Friday Harbor. And now this elegant building with a million dollar view out over Griffin Bay sits also overlooking the Friday Harbor airport.
The only class at Skagit, as we call it, that I’ve taken is ‘how to play the guitar’. But many have taken at least one class, and some of those have gone on to earn a degree there.
It is said that a community with a college is better for it, no doubt about that, and on San Juan Island, it’s just one more jewell in our crown of opportunities for residents to better themselves. Let the tourists come to our humble island, we are educated, yea, even sophisticated, and ready to host them during their visit.
I hear the Hawaiian islanders are always ready to welcome tourists, but looking to the other side of that coin, are also eager to discourage newcomers moving to their paradise. I don’t think we’ve reached that point yet in the San Juans, but there may come a time soon enough when we’ll echo a prior Oregon govenor’s famous quote: “Welcome to Oregon. Enjoy your visit, just don’t move here.”