(click – and click again – to enlarge photo)
I rode with Jean to his high – second floor balcony – assignment, and can witness to the skill he showed in moving the crowd into a shape most fitting. The event itself involved a sequence of about eight speakers – preservationists and/or politicians. Clay Eals was the Master of Ceremonies and he wore his big blue Australian (I think) hat. (You can find Clay about four persons over from the far right end of the “This Place Matters” sign. He is in a white T-shirt.) The sun came out just before Jean started to work. Every speaker Clay introduced was told that they should keep their remarks to 30 seconds, which means, I think, two minutes, but never more than that. Our recent mayor, West Seattle’s Greg Nickels was there and with a fine beard too. He kept his remarks to two minutes, which was in the spirit of 30 seconds. Greg is in red just up and left from the left end of the “This Place Matters” sign. The message was also a chanting motif of the event, with each speaker repeating the line while leading the crowd in a chorus of “THIS PLACE MATTERS.” At one moment in this chanting I looked too longingly towards the closed chicken dinner house, the Homestead, and imagined – or heard – in an interval of “This Place Matters” one sounding of “Chicken Platters” while remembering the many poultry feasts we enjoyed during the founding and funding of The Log House Museum. Someone counted 196 faces in that chorus. Someone else added three Waldos. So it was a crowd of two hundred then.