Category Archives: Paul’s Musings

‘Rogues’ Christmas’ – This Year at the Taproot Theatre

Northgate Santa, 1952. He knows when you are sleeping…

Greetings, all! FYI, this evening’s performance will not be held at the usual Town Hall location, which is closed for remodel and reconstruction! All Town Hall events are now sprinkled throughout the city in many different venues. Ours is at Greenwood’s Taproot Theatre. For direction and info on parking, please click here.

Thanks for the suggestion to clarify this, Clay Eals!

Paul and Jean at Town Hall

James Street Alley blend
James Street Alley blend

Join us for an evening of entertaining yet erudite edification at Seattle’s Town Hall, 7:30 PM, this coming Friday! Historical whimsy mixed with a whiff of sulfur and a touch of elysium.

Also, come early (or stay late) to explore the redecorated North Lobby, jam packed with Now and Then comparisons hot off the presses. Reception follows the (very) illustrated lecture.


The most spirited of this blog’s users known that it has at last found a stable home that promises to deliver a service that will rarely be interrupted by ghosts in their or our machines. Last weekend, we fled Lunarpages for with ‘Roosevelt Way, 1946’ being the first feature carried by our new server.

Now, unexpectedly, and yet not so surprisingly, other ghosts have taken hold on one of the blog’s three soft machines that embrace like boxcars in the blog name DorpatSherrardLomont – the founders.

Paul Dorpat, at 75 easily the oldest among us, fell to the floor of his and Genevieve McCoy’s Wallingford kitchen after announcing, “I think I’m having a heart attack.”  His more than thirty years of hygienic luck stumbled with him.  First pounding his chest, McCoy then called 911, which soon arrived and sped the crumpled codger to the UW hospital’s ER, and the basement drive-in we, its neighbors, may hope to never visit.  With sirens wailing, (Paul notes that from the inside of a 911 ambulance these ear-splitting heralds are effectively muted–he’d often wondered about that) Paul arrived mid-afternoon last Thursday, February 6th, in what we might imagine as the crypt at the east end of the U.W. Hospital.  As of Tuesday the 11th, he was still there.

Paul’s diagnosis was wrong.  While an arrhythmic flutter in his heart contributed to the winter collapse, it was the milky way of blood clots in his lungs that gave the most to dropping him.  Together, his heart and his lungs were not delivering the oxygen needed to ascend even a single flight of stairs.  Now after a few days of beta-blockers, anti-coagulants, and procedures like the placing – directly thru his heart – of a filter shaped like the Eiffel tower to catch more of his left leg’s contribution of clots before they reach the heart-lungs-head (you might look it up), Paul is feeling not so bad for now, considering the alternative.  (We will make updates on the we hope progress of this soft machine later on.)

Jean counting Paul’s beats per minute, which at that moment on Sunday evening, Feb 9th, were 84 with an oxygen rating of 95 percent

Paul was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday evening and is now home again. The overall news is very good, as his heart, while overclocking a bit to keep oxygen flowing, is doing well; the hope is that the embolisms will dissipate over time.  Currently, Paul is hard at work on his next Now & Then.

Dorpat 75th + MOFA inauguration

Paul, I’m going to post a few photos from last night – all in thumbnails. Perhaps you’d like to say a few words about this combined anniversary and our now-flourishing Museum of Forsaken Art…. (Formerly known as the Museum of Forlorn and Forsaken Art.)

Jean may I stay with MOFA?  MOFA is a museum flourishing in its hopes and expectations.  The donations made to MOFA this Monday last (Oct. 28th) will increase the size of our collection to what we known not what.   About 30 contributions were made, a generous addition to the hundreds got already from many years of collecting, most of it from north end sales set up on lawns, in garages, basements, and sometimes throughout structures.  These last, you know, are often given special status as “estate sales” and to enter these buyers may sometimes stand in lines holding numbers.   We have.  As pleasing as is MOFA’s new collected art, about 80 new members for the MOFA Board of Directors were also sponsored and admitted on this evening, all of them signing the MOFA Board certificate, which they kept then for themselves.   (We will print an example at the bottom – one left accidentally, we are confident, at the event by FMOFA (Friend of MOFA) Clinton resident Paula Kerby.  It will be seen that her signing was sponsored by her husband, Bill Kerby.  Although it is not necessary for a sponsor to be either related or a member of the board, it is satisfying when they are. Soon after, Paula sponsored Billy.  (At this rate the MOFA BOARD may need to rent one of Seattle’s larger venues for its tenth anniversary to arrange seats for its thousands. I expect that the show will be exciting.)  The confidence of our charter members is a testimonial to our preparedness.  We will be ready.  Here are a few of Jean’s portraits of the newest charter members.  Certainly, without exception they appear proud.  Soon MOFA will have its own page linked to this one.  There we may all watch the collection grown in both size and interpretation.  Board members are encouraged to criticize the works of the collection.  As the Board Certificate puts it, so long such criticism is given “in the spirit of our better mothers.”  Members will share the compassionate good sense of one who agrees that  “If you cannot say something nice then do not say anything at all.”  One who will take care to “Do unto their collage as you would have them do unto your own.”  We will be identifying these Board Members, as recorded by Jean late during the tail of the evening event at Ivar’s Salmon House on, again, Oct. 28, 2013.  (Of the many who were not able to be there, we certainly missed MOFA’s First Curator, Berangere Lomont, who we show at the bottom – next to the BOARD CERTIFICATE – standing a the front door of the Forsaken Art House in 2010, and the future site – still – for MOFA.)

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Paula Kerby's neglected membership card
Paula Kerby’s membership card – lost or neglected?
Charter Curator  Berangere Lomont at the front door of the Forsaken Art House, ca. 2010, and future home of the Forsaken Art Museum ca. 2014
Charter Curator Berangere Lomont at the front door of the Forsaken Art House, ca. 2006, and future home of the Forsaken Art Museum ca. 2014



A Puzzling Stereo


This artfully arranged group is drinking something to violin music.  All the posing is wonderfully worked out varied.  The subjects circle three in masks, and behind them  near the back is another masked character, at the table.   A few of them are holding or smoking something.  Some are pensive – those in the foreground – others seem to raise their glasses in unison and in a toast to something.  What are the couple on the left up to – I wonder.   Again – or typically – I know nothing about this odd stereo.  Perhaps it is not so rare – a kind of oft printed oddity.   Don’t know.  Hope you do.  Mummers comes to mind but that be only because the big cheeks of the masked trio are mumps-like.

Oak Harbor – Working 7 Days A Week & Having A Wonderful Time

(Click to Enlarge the Photos)

I have recently taken a liking to reading the messages on the flip sides of postcards.  Here’s a revealing example.

OAK HARBOR on Whidbey Island was named, of course, for trees like the one above, which the settlers discovered surrounding the town site.  The trading center was known for its Dutch influences and at least when the W.P.A. Guide to Washington State was first published in 1941, the Dutch language was still commonly heard on Barrington Avenue.   The message written on the back of the Ellis real photo card #3454 trumpets that Ralph, the card sender, is “having a wonderful time, working seven days a week.”   Not certainly, but most likely, Ralph is helping build the naval air bases – both on water and on land – that were first picked for Oak Harbor in January 1941.  Construction work began on the land-based Ault Field, about three miles north of the town, in March 1942.   Ralph’s postcard to his sister and Homer is postmarked from Oak Harbor on April 29, 1942.    He does not describe his work, and it may have been hush hush.  Below the flip side message are three military records copied at the National Archives branch here in Seattle when Greg Lange and I were scrounging for illustrations for the book Building Washington (It is included on this blog as a pdf file.).  The first one shows a rudimentary map of the seaplane base in relationship to the town, as proposed most likely in 1941.   It is followed by two aerials, both from Nov. 15, 1944 and so during the war.

Reflecting on the size of both the Seaplane Base, above, and the land-based Ault Field, below, there was plenty of work for Ralph to keep busy seven days a week.  Still we hope that he managed to get away to visit his sis and her Homer in Puyallup.

The depression-time WPA writer's guide to Washington State a shipyard was the harbor's first industry.  "The schooner Growler, named for its complaining builders, was launched here in 1859  and became one of the best-known boats on Puget Sound in pioneer days.

The 1941 W.P.A. Writer’s Guild to the Evergreen State notes that Oak Harbor got a shipyard in 1854, its first industry.  “The schooner Growler, named for its complaining builders, was launched here in 1859 and became one of the best-known boats on Puget Sound in pioneer days.”  The guide continues, “Hollanders began to arrive towards the close of the century, and the extremely fertile countryside was developed with characteristic thoroughness by the Dutch farmers who were attracted here.  Today [in 1941] the outstanding annual event is the Holland Days Festival; Dutch costumes are worn, old-country games are played; there are prize contests and a livestock show.”

Barrington Avenue is Oak Harbor’s “Main Street.”  Follows three looks into Barrington including the “now” that Jean recorded for our book, Washington Then and Now.

We conclude this visit to Whidbey Island with another real photo postcard from Ellis, the Arlington photographer who drove the state for four decades supplying its gift shops and drug stores with real photographs of state landmarks.   Judging from the numbers Ellis used, this card was photograph on the same visit to Oak Harbor as the one at the top.  Both Ellis cards are used courtesy of John Cooper.



Jean-&-Paul's Independence Day Album

Independent of our wives, Jean and I were busy Americans yesterday – Independence Day – between Noon and 6pm.  First we visited the “This Place Matter’s” demonstration in front of Alki’s closed and ribboned Homestead Restaurant.  (Ribbons and not bunting.  They were yellow and not red-white-&-blue.) The sun came out for the moment of Jean’s recording and then retreated as we scampered off to Gasworks Park and the Celebrity Chef Fourth of July Salvation there.  We arrived in the rain.

Below are an unattributed mix of snapshots (without fireworks) we took when we were not eating from the potluck at the Alki Lob Cabin Museum or the buffet table in the sponsors and noble seniors gated corral, which was fenced at the extreme most pointed and southern part of the Walllingford Peninsula, the best place to sit in the rain for five hours waiting for the show.    We didn’t so sit, but the trio in the top-most photograph did – or told us they would.  We left much too early to catch the show but none too early to get dry.  (I, at least, am getting old and easily dampened in my enthusiasm.)

Seeing Seattle at about 4:45 pm Independence Day from Gas Works Park. And seeing the war-sized barge from which the evening's pyrotechnics would be ignited and launched.
Gene conferring with Clay Eals about what to do with the video shot of the "This Place Matters" demo. They decided that Jean should edit it for youtube consumption. And he is at it even now.
Geese Shall Safely Graze . . .
. . . While celebrity chefs prepare the food line for the guests with red wrist bands. The time is 4:50 here. The line will open in ten minutes.
Meanwhile outside there is brave Good Humor in the rain
A child grasps her dolls and stays dry and under cover in a produce box.
Hotter foods including Frankfurter and Nood' are consumed.
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door. And build strong fences along our southern borders, and get payment in advance from undocumented boarders.
Brave Exposures with Heavy Industry
Subscribing to the Wallingford Senior Center's raffle while a young and ambitious Michael Mansfield reflects on independence.
Rain Gear
Still early that evening
Around noon at Alki. Potluck in the West Seattle Log Cabin Museum courtyard and spirited preps for the "This Place Matters" demonstration
Either getting ready to demonstrate or lingering after it.