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Celebrating People, Places & the Good Life in SW Washington State
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Posts from — October 2010

I’m Voting in Honor of Emma and May, Frances and Nena

This November, I’m voting in honor of Emma and May, Frances and Nena, and all the other women who fought for women’s suffrage in Washington State. Emma Smith DeVoe and May Arkwright Hutton were leaders of the state suffrage movement. Frances Axtell and Nena Croake were Washington State’s first women legislators. One hundred years ago, Washington State male voters ratified the vote for women. Washington was the fifth state to do so, after Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Idaho. The Western U.S. definitely led the way!

Emma and May, Frances and Nena would be proud of the current Clark County Historical Museum exhibit – Road to Equality, the Struggle for Women’s Rights in the Northwest.

Starting with pioneer women and Southwest Washington leaders like Mother Joseph and Dr. Ella Whipple, the exhibit follows the decades of struggle by women to gain the vote and equal rights. From 1854, when women’s right to vote was proposed in the First Washington Territorial Legislature (and lost by one vote) until the successful ratification of the vote in 1910, what we take for granted every election, was hard fought. Washington women actually had the vote from 1883-1887 until the Washington Territorial Supreme Court ruled against it. It’s hard to imagine the anger and frustration caused by that action.

Ultimately, Washington State women permanently re-gained the vote in 1910 (followed by California in 1911 and Oregon in 1912). Following years of organizing, protesting and arrests of suffrage advocates, the federal 19th Amendment became effective in August 1920.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 32.7 per cent of Washington State legislative seats are held by women. (The national average is 24.5 per cent.) In a state with women in the two U.S. Senate seats and the Governor’s office, it’s easy to forget that for decades women had no voting rights.

The Road to Equality exhibit continues through the decades of struggle for women’s rights including the role of women in World War II and the fight for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. It also celebrates Clark County trailblazers like Val Ogden, Val Joshua and my “fellow” Rotarians Bev Fogle and Betty Sue Morris.

Modern trailblazers for women's rights. Photo courtesy of the Clark County Historical Museum.

November 8, 2010 will mark the 100th Anniversary of Washington Women’s Suffrage. A Day of Jubilation will be held in Olympia with a parade and events at the Capitol and Legislative Building.

Regardless of the results of the November 2010 election, it’s time to honor those suffragists who fought so hard for the right to vote and celebrate our 100th anniversary of Washington State women’s suffrage.

October 30, 2010   1 Comment

Consider the Cranberry.

{Full disclosure from the writer: I love cranberries. This will not be an expose or even objectively reported. However, no free cranberry products were accepted during or after the researching of this blog post. We bloggers have our ethics, right?!}

Consider the cranberry. One of a very few fruits native to North America. Used by Native Americans for food, medicine and dyes. Named “crane berry” by Dutch and German settlers.

Ocean Spray, the cranberry grower co-op, which reports selling seven out of every 10 cranberries in the world, is out to educate us about the cranberry. Me, too.

Did you know these cranberry facts?
• U.S. cranberries are grown primarily in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon and, of course, our beloved Washington. Of those states, Washington ranks fifth in harvest size. I asked. Enquiring minds want to know.

• 20 percent of cranberries are consumed during Thanksgiving. I thought it would be a higher percentage. Then again, you can only eat so many cranberries during one dinner.

• Sailors used cranberries to prevent scurvy. I am married to a sailor. He has never had scurvy to my knowledge. It must be the cranberries I feed him. Case closed.

• Cranberries bounce. It’s true! I tested this statement at home. This, by the way, was discovered by a New Jersey grower named John “Peg Leg” Webb, who dumped his crop down steps because he couldn’t carry the berries. The fresher berries bounced. The rotten berries didn’t. This led to the creation of “bounceboards” which help growers separate their berries. Who knew?!

I will admit that I have had misconceptions about cranberries over the years. As a child, I assumed that cranberries came only in cans. On Thanksgiving and Christmas, a can was opened and a jiggly, red, cylindrical mass with grooves appeared on the table.

Years later, when I moved to the Northwest, I thought, like many, that cranberries grew in large ponds. Wrong again! Cranberries grow on vines in marshy bogs and, in the fall, are “wet harvested” when the bogs are flooded with water and the berries float to the surface or “dry harvested” with lawnmower-like machines. Something else I didn’t know – cranberries are perennials.

So how do WE celebrate the cranberry?
In Southwest Washington, we have apple tree and cherry blossom festivals, crab and salmon celebrations. The bog-rich, Long Beach Peninsula knows how to honor the cranberry. The Cranberrian Fair was first celebrated more than 100 years ago.

This year, the October festivities started at Ilwaco’s Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, which is well worth a visit with or without cranberries. There, 101 cranberry-peach pies were sliced by the ladies of the Willapacific Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), who were raising money for college scholarships. A craft fair offered art plus cranberry products and baked goods. Cranberry bread, cookies, jam, sauces were featured. We immediately consumed pie and cookies, tasted cranberry chutney and purchased a five-pound bag of cranberries from a grower who was selling on the street.

Cranberries for Sale on the Streets of Ilwaco

The Cranberry Trolley

The Cranberry Trolley transported festival goers to the Pacific Coast Cranberry Research Foundation Museum and Gift Shop on Pioneer Road, where the bogs were flooded. Finally, I could witness a Northwest cranberry harvest – floating red berries, men in waders, machines that could remove and corral the berries. Of course it was pouring rain – a quintessential Northwest experience.

Harvesting the Berries

We learned about the history of the cranberry and industry in the museum. From cranberry wine to dental floss, the museum gift shop showed the diversity of these little berries. A salmon lunch was seasoned beautifully with cranberry barbeque sauce. Is there anything that you cannot create with cranberries?

One of the Cranberry Museum Exhibits

Cranberry Wine from K-W Cellars

Salmon with Cranberry Barbeque Sauce

The harvest may be over but the museum and gift shop are open daily (Apr 1 – Dec 15 and by appointment). And you can do a self-guided tour along the bogs. Don’t forget to buy some cranberries and start cooking. You’ll find recipes and a lot more on the Ocean Spray Web site. Why wait for Thanksgiving? I’m starting now with the Roasted Cranberry Quesadillas.

Floating Cranberries in a Bog

October 26, 2010   6 Comments

A Mural with Creativity, Passion and Hope

From caves to churches, public building interiors to downtown walls, murals have made social and political statements throughout the ages. Michaelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, Diego Rivera and José Orozco, Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton, all shared their art through public murals. The list of muralists is long. So how do these esteemed artists connect to Southwest Washington?

In the tradition of these painters, Daybreak Youth Services volunteers created a massive outdoor mural in downtown Vancouver in 2008. “A group of us sat in the shade of the wall one Saturday morning in 2008 and talked about addiction and recovery,” says Donna Wiench, Daybreak Youth Services Development Director. “We discussed the darkness, the constant dissatisfaction and restlessness of addiction and how recovery is like coming into the light and peace.” The teens started drawing and art teacher Heather Fukuchi “put the images together to illustrate the story of going from darkness to light, with the help of community, responsibility, family and love.”

The theme, From Addition to Freedom, depicted the struggles of addiction, along with words like “pain,” “crime” and “hate” and then colorfully morphed into a rainbow and sun, along with words like “responsibility,” “recovery” and “love.” It was a massive act of creativity, which involved more than 30 staff, volunteers, youth ranging from grade school through high school, and teens in recovery.

Imagine how they felt when, even after “offending words” were removed, a building owner completely painted over the mural in the middle of a summer night in 2009. Personally, I was extremely offended by that act, as were many, many other community members.

The good news? The mural lives!

Bookmark © Daybreak Youth Services. Reproduced with permission.

The message of the mural has made the transition from a half-block wide downtown wall to a 3” x 8” bookmark. “Where are you in the mural?” it asks. It’s a fine reminder about the road from addiction to recovery, the drug and alcohol treatment provided to more than 1,100 teens annually by Daybreak Youth Services in Vancouver and Spokane, and power of words, art and paint on the side of a downtown wall. Welcome back, Daybreak mural and thank you, artists!

For more information:
Where to find the bookmark:
Fort Vancouver Regional Library branches, Vintage Books, the law firms of Scott Horenstein (900 Washington #1020) and Miller Nash (500 E. Broadway, #400), among other locations.

Mural Information: Daybreak Mural

Clark County Mural Information: Clark County Mural Society

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October 17, 2010   No Comments