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May 2000

We hope to see you at our next celebration

Sunday May 7
4-9 PM
Bruce Taylor’s remodeled condo

Art Sharing: Sunday April 2, 2000

Before we had our formal sharing session Ben Miller opened up his website (http://www.pantarbe.com) on Bob’s computer so that we could all view what he has to offer. Contributions to his website include:short-stories, poems, essays, music and artwork. We asked him to also share his computer artwork during our formal meeting. Mike Pryor read his short story “Mrs. Hammersmith’s Piano” and performed his musical ditty “The Yellow Crayon”. Lezlie Kinyon (visiting from Richmond, CA) read some of her poetry, and Carl Sloan took some photos to “victimize” FOKUS volunteers who may become magically distorted later in one of his photocompositions. Bruce Taylor read from his novel Mountains of the Night. Pippin Sardo told jokes from a Prairie Home Companion joke episode. Mike Monroe read a short episode from his novel-in-progress, Hexodus. Seiko Olson played Silvery Waves on the piano. Bob Olson read a short essay titled “Times Change People”. Peter Wagener read his new travel story “Queen of the Carnival” and gave a copy to Bob to share with our honorary FOKUS members who write to us from Monroe Penitentiary. Patience Allen, Lida Sloan and Pam Pincha Wagener enjoyed providing a creative audience.

Other Stuff:

Carl & Lida Sloan now have 26 of their unusual sandwiched photos on display at the Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 South Main St, Seattle, WA 98104 - open Mon. through Thur. 10:00 am until 10:00 pm, Fri. & Sat. 10:00 am until 11:00 pm and Sun. noon until 6:00 pm.

For folks interested in learning about novel writing, Bruce is teaching a class starting April 18 at North Seattle Community College. (He got word that it is regarded as the second best writing class of the extension program.)

Bruce mailed off his novel, Edward:..Dancing on the Edge of Infinity to an editor and he is readying his other book, The Mountains of the Night, for a contest deadline (May 1) sponsored by the Mountaineers.

Todd Christoffel and his band Don’t Ask will be performing: 9pm - Saturday, May 13 - Fiddler’s Inn, 9219 35th NE, Seattle - 206-525-0752 (21+); 8:30 pm - Friday, June 9 - Victor’s Coffee Company , 7993 Gilman, Redmond - 425-881-6451 (no cover, all ages).

Northwest Science Fiction Society presents Norwescon, April 21 to 23 at the airport Doubletree Inn.

Ray Bradbury will be in town May 17, First Baptist Church in downtown Tacoma, 8:00 PM. (Valid Tacoma Public Library Card required.) For more information call 253-591-5666.

May 28, Sunday, is Bruce Taylor’s 53rd birthday! Bruce will again celebrate in his favorite way by camping overnight that weekend at Monte Cristo. If you are interested in joining him, please let him know. On Sunday, the 28th at 11:00 am, he would like you to join him for a potluck picnic lunch at the Big Four picnic area. Later, folks who wish to can join Bruce in a walk toward (but not necessarily to) the old town site of Monte Cristo - - a fabulously beautiful area of the Cascades. The first mile is good, gravel/packed road, after that, it's’not so hot (going only a mile to the first bridge is sufficient to see some stunning scenery.) Sturdy shoes are a must. Further details and a map will be in the next newsletter.

Thanks to Rev. Cynthia Jefferies and Todd Christoffel for their contributions to our newsletter cost.

From a letter to Bruce:
I believe the E-mail option makes good sense, at least from the financial and workload viewpoint, and possibly it is a good option for some of your discontinued people who may still be interested in staying in touch and may have concerns of paperwork and costs associated with the newsletter. I suspect that all of your newsletter recipients would prefer the current format as opposed to E-mail, I certainly do. However in considering the potential of the net, when you could send one hundred notices as easily and cheaply as one, early editions and later versions and as well as last minute changes. You can add color photos, animation’s, or artwork, although they are not imbedded and must be downloaded separately. We could type “I,m coming” and with a click send notification if we would be able to attend a meeting.
Sid Knight

Bruce Taylor’s Editorial:

CRASHBOOMrumble-rumble-rumbleCRACK! and suddenly tons of ice and snow shoot out into space and fall as a slow moving waterfall, down 400 to 500 feet to crash and spray on the lower part of Big Four Mountain. Michael Pryor and I stand awe struck at the spectacle of the massive ice fall off the 6132 foot peak - - we are watching this from a picnic shelter ½ mile away just off the paved, Mountain Loop Highway east of Everett (albeit this time of year, the last mile was covered by a foot or more of snow). We have been watching the ice falls for an hour and the one we see, just as we were readying to leave, is by far the biggest and most spectacular, and this place is only 70 miles from Seattle via paved road. I’m always amazed that this area just doesn’t seem good enough for some sort of protective status. Clearly, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen anywhere - - a long glacial/river valley ringed by peaks that soar dramatically (and vertically) 5000 to 6000 feet above the road. I always come here, starting in spring, to watch the ice and snow avalanches thunder off Big Four and, later in the spring, to hike into the old mining town of Monte Cristo. But today, this beautiful sunny and warm day, we’re watching this amazing spectacle of avalanches coming down the almost vertical 5000-foot face of Big Four.

My father, in spite of his problems and the script he carried in his heart about being disappointed and betrayed in life and love - - at least out in nature he looked more hopeful. He was fond of quoting from the Bible about “lifting mine eyes up to the hills…“ and, given how much he said that, I guess he was really hoping for something pretty spectacular to come blasting down from the Cascade Crest. But anyway, that’s where I did see him sort of come alive. Certainly the awe and wonder was there as he gazed about these (vastly underrated) mountains. Julia Cameron would probably have said that he was “filling the well”. Art is not apart from life: art is life. Or as Julia says in Vein of Gold, “Art equals All Real Things”. So, yes, I could have spent this day working on my book The Mountains of the Night - - but I knew I needed to fill my well, needed to come out here to this amazing place with a good friend to watch avalanches tumble off Big Four’s face, and I couldn’t have planned a better thing to do than to stop and take in (as the title of my next book suggests), The Magic of Wild Places.


(This being a purloined joke from Garrison Keilor’s A Prairie Home Companion annual joke episode.)

Two men met at the coffee machine at work and were chatting.
Jack says to Mike, “You know I had an accident on the way home from work yesterday.”
Mike asks, “My goodness, were you hurt?”
Jack replies, “No, but I hit a pig. He didn’t seem to be hurt, though. He just got up and walked away. Later, however, the cops came to my home and were about to arrest me for hit and run.”
Mike says, “Wow, how did they know it was you?”
Jack answers, “I don’t know. Maybe the pig squealed.”

Last updated:  April 29, 2000