More Stories

Following Isaac Ebey to Whidbey Island

by Shawn Berit in History, More Stories

From the boat, he could see the trees rising from Admiralty Inlet. The tall pines, the lowland salt marshes, the sandy beaches all beckoned him to come ashore. Then, as if by divine intervention, the trees parted to reveal a prairie on an island. Isaac Ebey would later write to his brother Winfield about Whidbey Island, calling it “…almost a paradise of nature.”

Historians can only speculate, but that first view of Whidbey Island by its first European American resident must have been breathtaking. So many who now call this beautiful island home experienced their first view in a similar way as Ebey, seeing it from the observation deck of one of a Washington State ferry. His journey is mirrored in the lives of many of today’s Whidbey Islanders.

Discovering Whidbey Island’s Tsunami Funnel

by Tom Trimbath in Feature, History, More Stories

About a thousand years ago, the Seattle Fault snapped in an earthquake. Within a few seconds, portions of Bainbridge Island and West Seattle rose more than 20 feet. Land that had been wet was suddenly dry. The residents of Whidbey Island undoubtedly felt it, too. So did the water. A tsunami surged north and south, up and down Puget Sound. Fortunately for Whidbey, the island is skinny from that angle and much of the water passed on either side. Unfortunately for Cultus Bay, it and the two headlands that bracket it, Scatchet Head and Possession Point, were pointed straight at the wave. The tsunami swept into the bay, channeled by the ridges, ran past the high tide line and began to climb the hill.

The Envelope Please? Meeting Lewis Carlino

by Deb Crager in Feature, Film, History, More Stories

To cast his votes as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Lewis Carlino has watched more than 90 films this year. When asked about the quality of the movies, he says most of the concentration today is on action and special effects, but his preferences are films that rely on character and deep, complex storytelling.

”Once we lose our stories, our myths, the human experience becomes trivialized, and we become a superficial culture of computer-generated reality,” he says.

As he gets older, Carlino says he has a richer reservoir to draw from, and he finds satisfaction as his frame of reference changes and continues to grow. “Creation is what I call self-generated delight,” he says and he never tires of finding different ways to tell of the human condition.

The PBY: A Flying Boat That Made Its Home on Whidbey Island

by Patrick Craig in History, More Stories, Travel

The 1940 census indicated an Oak Harbor population of 376, or many fewer than the island town’s cows, sheep, and chickens. But, change was a-coming, as they used to say around the barbershop and the grammar school. In a matter of weeks, work crews would be on the job starting on two planned navy bases valued at $25 million.

For any generation growing up during or after the war years, the pace of life in Puget Sound islands was noisier due to planes and increased ground traffic. Eagles and herons were competing for space in the air, and there was a swimming, flying “bird” vying for the attention of island residents that was to become the star attraction of a local air museum.

Building Bridges of Understanding

by Kate Poss in Community, Feature, Food, More Stories

During the past two years, the Northwest Language and Cultural Center has opened its doors via the Global Culture Experience program to Langley Middle School students and, as of last September, to kindergartners from South Whidbey Elementary School.

“The concept, at its core idea, is to present, in face-to-face settings, a way that allows students to have a primary experience with a native culture,” founder and director Josette Hendrix said on a bustling day when nearly 80 kindergartners, along with parent volunteers and teachers, rotated between Chinese culture games, crafts, movement, music, storytelling, and cooking. “The students can form a relationship to others and understand each other as human beings.”