Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands

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Dick’s better half

Dick's better half

My last post featured my brother Dick’s interests in lookout towers, and to give equal billing, I present Linda Morrison, who many of you know, first as manager of the Friday Harbor Bakery, then manager of the local Friday Harbor Sprouse Reitz five and dime store, then manager of the Wells Fargo bank branch. Around then she took on the toughest job of all, cancer survivor. This photo shows her, years later, managing an ever larger garden at their retirement home outside of Chehalis, WA, chosen for it’s somewhat midway position between the kids and grandkids. They’ve got a great three acre spread with a view of the coast mountains, lots of garden space, and a huge shop for all of Dick’s mechanical endeavors.

As the brother-in-law who stayed behind in the islands, I’m often asked by islanders who know her how she’s doing, and as you can see, all is well. Linda and Dick moved to Spieden Island, just north of San Juan Island, from Astoria, Oregon in 1974. Back then the island was owned by Canadians (a sale facilitated all those years ago by current islander Dennis McKay, a senior missionary with his wife Lorraine for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and Linda brought their four kids with them. First the kids attended school in Friday Harbor, but the travel to and from Roche Harbor in the winter was tedious and dangerous. Then they were flown off of Spieden to school in Friday Harbor. After enough of that silliness, Linda home-schooled them in a vacant house on Spieden set up as a school room. Hmmm, after this post and the one below about Dick and his lookout tower adventures, I think they should write a book of their adventures!

We all know many who move to the islands then move away as priorities change, the ferry ride (and wait) CAN be a grind, so I and many other islanders wish Linda and Dick well in their quest for fulfillment in whatever they do. I told Dick on the phone just a day ago that often I’m called Dick on the streets of town. I don’t bother to correct them, maybe a little bit of Linda and Dick’s spirit still resides on San Juan Island. I’ve proved with all of the above that memories of them still reside here!

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