Joan Palmer Knows How To “Bee” Kind

Joan Palmer Knows How To "Bee" Kind

... submitted by Tom Deach

 

Early this spring I received a call from Joan Palmer on South Shore Road. She was looking for someone who might till up a small wild flower bed for her. As a result, after meeting with Joan and her friend, Heather Miller, I agreed to do what I could to help her out. About a week later, in between the cold rains which dominate our spring days, I was able to fit the job in. When I arrived I was a little apprehensive to begin working because neither Joan, nor Heather, was there to supervise the extent of the tilling, but I also knew Joan was also apprehensive about being too “late for wildflowers.” I went to work finishing the job just as the next rain squall moved in. I was disappointed with the final product, which was an area about 25' X 40', and quite dismal looking; a patch of dirt, chopped up grass and of course an abundance of Guemes rocks overshadowed by the gray sky above, which darkened a gloomy Guemes channel. As I pushed the tiller back towards my truck, I noticed how beautiful her manicured gardens would become as the weather warmed, renewing life. Joan called me when she arrived home very pleased with the new garden area, stating it was just as she had imagined. “What do I owe you?” Remembering what it looked like when I left it, I couldn't put a value on it. We agreed a donation to the Guemes Island Historical Society would satisfy both parties.

 

Fast forward to mid-June. Another call from Joan: “You need to see what we created, I'm so grateful for your help.” Chuck Farrell helped too, she added. He had smoothed out and tamped down the tilled area in preparation for the seed. I promised to stop by and take a look. While walking from the truck I couldn't help but notice the garden's transformation since my last visit, trees and flowers blooming with birds and bees everywhere. Along the pathway I was greeted by California poppies, a bright orange glow, a seeming reflection of the sun.

 

Volunteer California Poppies

Continuing along, flowers to my left; to the right a garden area with veggies, trees and of course, more flowers snuggled by the inevitable deer fencing. And then, a few steps further on, there they were: wildflowers galore. No more chewed up grass and dirt mixed with rock; in it's place white and pink and blue and yellow and....you get the picture: spectacular!

 

The Garden

Joan and Heather enjoying the view

Walking with Joan, she names the flowers in her gardens, introducing each of them to me. She smiles at both the flowers and me. She understands that I know nothing about flowers, but we share a common attraction to the scene surrounding us, the fragrances, bright colors and beauty that the flowers bring. We are not alone. Birds and bees of all manner abound, with butterflies beginning to arrive as summer approaches. Joan's dream is for wildflower gardens to cover our island. Joan's wish is to share her garden with these pollinators and two legged islanders as well. She would love for visitors to see it and perhaps become inspired to create their own joyful habitat for our all important friends, the birds, butterflies and of course, the Bees!

 

Joan pointing at the bees

Covid 19 has upset the way we visit, however with careful social distancing and wearing masks the gardens could be viewed in a responsible, safe, way. If you would like to see this spectacular garden, please contact Joan. Email: moonrisebay@gmail.com or by phone: 360-202-2540 to make an appointment for viewing.

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2020 Betty Crookes Guemes Gold Scholarship Winners

2020 Betty Crookes Guemes Gold Scholarship Winners

Photo L to R: Anna Prewitt, Jefferson Butler, Rivers Olson

 

Three outstanding Guemes Island high school students were recently awarded this year’s Betty Crookes Guemes Gold Scholarships. Anna Prewitt received the Gold Award of $1500, Jefferson Butler received the Silver Award of $1000, and Rivers Olson received the Bronze Award of $500. Instead of the normal awards reception at the Church honoring the students, this year COVID-19 restrictions forced members of the Scholarship Committee, wearing masks, to visit the homes of each winner to present their certificate and monetary award. Congratulations to all three!

 

Anna:

I am happy to be the recipient of a Guemes Gold Scholarship. I'm a senior at Anacortes High School for a few more weeks. I enjoy debate, playing the clarinet and piano, tennis, and journalism, as well as volunteering in the community. I am thrilled at the opportunity to continue my education, which this scholarship helps make possible. I will pursue my passions in chemistry and English next year at Pomona College in Claremont, California. After college, I hope to go on to earn a graduate degree and continue learning as a teacher.

 

Jefferson:

I am a senior at Anacortes High, set to graduate on June 17. Throughout my high school years, I have tried on many hats, and some have fit better than others. During my freshman and sophomore years, I was a dedicated member of the robotics team at the high school – learning basic software development and machine shop skills. I also played the French Horn and Trumpet under three different band directors. In my later high school years, I dedicated myself more to my future plans – looking at post-secondary education paths and careers. Currently, I plan to join the crew of a yacht as soon as I'm done with classes. Next fall I hope to attend Claremont McKenna College or Harvey Mudd College. I am so incredibly lucky to have a community that supports my dreams so passionately. Thank you Guemes, and thank you Betty Crookes!

 

Rivers:

Hello, I am Rivers Olson. I have lived on Guemes Island all my life and have grown up in the community. I really enjoy being outside and engaging with friends and family. I was homeschooled up until my sophomore year and excelled when I went to high school. I am attending Western Washington University this coming fall and plan on majoring in a health profession to help people. I will use the Guemes Gold scholarship to help pay for tuition, books, and school supplies. I would like to thank the Guemes Gold Committee and Betty Crookes for this opportunity.

 

 

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Betty Crookes co-founded the Guemes Gold Scholarship Program in 1991 along with members of the Women’s Club. When the Club dissolved, other island organizations and individuals made sure the program continued. The Guemes Island Property Owners Association (GIPOA) hosted the program for eleven years and now passes the program to the Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA). A hardworking and dedicated Scholarship Committee continues the logistical work and fundraising. The committee members include co-chairs Janice Veal and Jan Ebersole, Julie Hopkins, Betsy Ockwell, Carol Pellett, and Susan Rombeek.

 

Applicants for the scholarships must be Guemes residents and are evaluated on successful progress toward completion of their secondary education, concern for the environment and community, and their involvement in extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, hobbies, artistic interests, and jobs. They are asked to provide a school transcript or grade level examination if homeschooled as well as two letters of recommendation.

 

You can help to keep this worthwhile program going by making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Committee through the Guemes Island Community Center Association. Checks should be made out to GICCA with “Guemes Gold Scholarship” in the memo field and mailed to GICCA at 7549 Guemes Island Road, Anacortes, WA 98221. Checks can also be given to members of the Scholarship Committee.

Read bios from the students

GIHS News, Notes, and Hopes

Luminary by Chris Skinner, photo by Tom Deach
Soleil says …
‘and the sun will come out tomorrow’

 

Now that we are all cozied up awaiting new news concerning the COVID-19 virus, I thought I would take the opportunity to update you on the Guemes Island Historical Society’s status. As you have surmised, the GIHS is on what is, hopefully, a brief hiatus of our activities. Meetings, presentations, and activities have been postponed.

We will be resuming these programs when it becomes safe to do so. We encourage our community to be safe by utilizing social distancing and following protocols as directed by our health care professionals.

That being said, there is a way to support the GIHS in general, along with future generations of historians to come. No, we’re not asking for money. Instead, I’d like to ask you to document how the COVID-19 Virus is affecting you. Please write down how the corona outbreak has affected your life. What things are you finding difficult? What do you miss the most? Are your pets acting differently? Anything you find pertinent is acceptable.

Though often we tend to dwell on the negatives in times like these, I’d also like to hear about any positive aspects as well: perhaps the kindness of neighbors, friends, or those you don’t know; new interests to pass the time, etc. What advice can you give those that follow us?

You can record your thoughts, actions, and feelings by emailing them to  guemeshistory@gmail.com. The email entries collected will become part of a journal of “living” history which will eventually be made public. By choosing to accept this invitation, you will be authorizing future use of the information in any form the GIHS chooses to present it. I hope that, with your help, we can document Guemes Island life during this stressful time. If you have any questions or concerns please call Tom at 360-708-2582 or email deachtom@gmail.com. This is an ongoing project, so feel free
to email as many times as you want.

Guemes is a special place where care for others has always been a priority. Let’s continue that legacy. Please be safe. Wishing you the best in the days ahead. Tom Deach