Newbie in Graham – Nuggets of Inspiration

For the past ten months I have been able to claim “Newbie” status here in Graham, Washington, three months of which I have had the privilege of writing for the Mountain News under its hard working, able-bodied editor, Bruce Smith.

In this short time frame I have had experiences both new and inspirational.

During my assignment covering the Dennis Kucinich fundraiser several weeks ago, I met a woman named Sharon.  We shared not only an interest in Kucinich but also, as we conversed, discovered many parallel life events and similar interests.  We have been corresponding via email ever since.

Sharon, who lives in Tacoma, is a woman with five grown children who, like me, changed the course of her life by thinking more about self-sufficiency and protecting the environment.  She grows many of her own vegetables, makes a lot of her own clothing, and works from home writing for a school over-seas.  She is also writing an international cookbook containing recipes she created while working with her husband in other countries.  The emphasis is on simple, inexpensive and nutritious meals utilizing homegrown vegetables and beans.

During our conversations we both discovered that we have very meager financial resources, and have found it difficult to meet again in person due to the cost of gasoline and the lengthy distance between Graham and Tacoma.  Interestingly, Sharon was raised in Eatonville and is familiar with the town.  Nevertheless, I hope to do an interview of this very interesting woman in the future, and in the meantime we’ll continue to grow our friendship via telephone and email.

Sharon is an inspiration.

One of the Mountain News writers, Judy Spiers, is one of those women who has so much going on in her life and so much energy that she makes me dizzy.  Not only does she cover stories for the Mountain News, she also sketches (beautifully), takes a photography class, gardens, enjoys an exercise class with her husband, and is writing a book besides!

Judy is an inspiration.

Last week, through a referral from Bruce, I had the opportunity to become acquainted with the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) by attending one of their monthly meetings, which was held at the University of Washington bookstore in Seattle.

One of the featured speakers, Laura Munson, author of the book, This is Not the Story You Think It Is, gave a talk about how to make money by using life experiences to write a memoir.  It so happens, this is exactly what I have been working on for several years myself.

Ms. Munson spoke about writing as work, in the grandest sense of that word.  She stated:  “Don’t obsess about publication, just do your work.  That’s where your power lies.  Everything you need is within you and always has been.  Just do the best work you can.”

Laura is an inspiration.

As a result of meeting these three wonderful women and experiencing some uniquely synchronous events, like first meeting Bruce by running into him in the Le Cupcake coffee shop, I’ve fallen in love with this wet and wild, rough and rocky land, and I’m not sure how much longer I can claim Newbie status.

Of one thing I am increasingly certain; I was destined to live in Washington State.  I have been presented, by fate (?), with three women reflecting, as though in a mirror, images of possibilities, and I now walk my path with a heightened awareness and wakefulness.

I aspire to be an inspiration.

©  2011  Paula Morris

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This entry was posted in Culture, Graham News, Newbie in Graham, People Profiles. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Newbie in Graham – Nuggets of Inspiration

  1. bulldogzeke says:

    Hey old buddy. Hows my very friends. Bruce you made so many mistakes. To begin with I was only investigated once by two very lovely ladies. It was so wonderful. As for Dan I was called a lot of things, but never Dan. From as far back as I can remember my parents called me Good for Nothing. At St Vincent’s School for Boys, everyone called me Hick until I whipped the biggest bully, then I was called Champ. It was a bloody bare fisted brawl. The priest and teachers loved it.. At Marine Boot Camp the D.I. called me shitbird, maggot. For a very long time I was called Pete, but never Dan. At Windsor elementary school I was called Petergun.
    I was not a tech writer at Boeing. I was a tech editor. There were about 20 of us mostly English Teachers and reporters. Our boss would not hire anyone with technical expertise. The reason is so obvious.
    I did not parachute wearing a suit and tie. Look very carefully at the photo. Can you see a reserve or harness. I was standing in front of Boeing’s plant 2. The guy who was interviewing me asked me to pose as though I were making a turn.
    I did jump straddling a 100 lbs of flour and ripped it open with a pocket knife.
    I do not have the physical characteristics of D. B. He was Latino and had brown eyes. I have blue.
    As for Pokhara, Nepal. I have ample proof – pass ports (4), birth certificates, trekking permits, etc. The nitwits sent someone from the Embassy to speak with the doctor who supervised the delivery. She was one tough British Missionary women libber. She made me deliver Ginger. I was scared to death.
    Mary Jane Fryar was a sweetheart. The took my DNA. My finger prints were on file because teachers have to submit their finger prints.
    The picture was taken when I was 39. It is in the Lake Washington High School year book.
    I wrote lots of stuff about skydiving for Kirkland’s lake Side Journal in the evenings and for the Auburn News during the summers.
    Give my love to my very dear friend Bob Sailshaw.
    Loads of love,
    Sheridan

    • brucesmith49 says:

      Good to hear from you, Sheridan. I hope your email address proves to be legit because I would love to correspond with you about these issues you raise. If you give me an address, I’ll send you a copy of my book, DB Cooper and the FBI. I think you’ll love it, as I talk about how law enforcement truly functions in the United States these days.

      Hope all is well with you, Ginger and Sheridan III.

  2. shutter45 says:

    This shows how simple things could be if a lot of the known suspects were still alive, most of there stories would do a Jo Weber, and go POOF 🙂

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