Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands


San Juan County Fair

San Juan County Fair

It is said that if you wish it to rain on the island, just schedule the fair for that time. This year was no exception. There had been a low pressure area that slowly came in from the Pacific Ocean over northern California, worked its way up through Oregon, headed back out to sea, then jogged back into the Northwest causing showers.

I worked an afternoon shift at the Friday Harbor Film Festival booth, rode my bicycle home just as the rain drops started to fall, then it proceeded to rain for the next two and a half hours…some shower! Yes, the island needed a good soaking, but at Fair time?

This scene of the “Zipper” taken late the next afternoon shows the clouds still lingering. The cool, damp weather may have driven the people mad that came from the mainland hoping to sell their wares, but for us involved with the first ever Friday Harbor Film Festival, the weather drove the hoards into the main building where we could capture their interest with our well-rounded list of documentary films.

The level of interested for the festival, coming this October, was both amazing and gratifying. I shook my head in disbelief at how grateful the locals were that we would volunteer our time to make these wonderful films available.

Our theme is “Stories of the Pacific Rim” from the many countries in and around the Pacific Ocean. So far there are twenty four films chosen, from happy ‘tales of the heart’, to controversial movies about the environment and captive killer whales (which are not whales at all, they’re the largest member of the dolphin family!)

If you’re going to be in or need an excuse to come to the islands in mid October, 2013, check out our office at 100 First street, the old King’s Video store (appropriate, don’tcha think?) or at least look at the film trailers on our website:

I was so excited about a film called “Shining Night” that I contacted Angel Michaels, leader of the San Juan Singers, and asked if it would be possible to join them on Friday evening, the first day of the Festival, when they’ll sing one of Morten Lauridsen’s choral numbers (which he will accompany on the piano) before the showing of the film by the same name about Lauridsen and his choral music. Lauridsen, winner of numerous awards, has spent summers the last 30 years in his cabin on the beach at Waldron Island soaking up the ambiance and inspiration for his creative works. His music is stunningly beautiful!


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