Years ago my mother wanted to put together a family reunion with me and my cousin Lindy as the emcees. Entertainment and good food was the target. At the family reunion some of us danced well into the evening. That didn't happen for our 50th. Lindy is Lavinia Moyer-Hart. Our mothers are identical twins, Lavinia and Virginia. My parents drove from Missouri to Tacoma to see my new cousin Lavinia Lou Whitworth. We were on our way to Long Beach, California, where my dad had been stationed as a merchant marine during World War II. Once we arrived in Tacoma, we stayed.
Peggy: My parents, Ike and Rita Harrington, married in Waco, Texas, on October 24, 1944. We lived most of our time in Tacoma when the Korean War Started. My parents bought a house in South Tacoma because we were living in McChord’s family housing and, if your husband was sent overseas, the family had to leave housing. The Harringtons spent time overseas. Ike was ordered to Chateroux AFB in northeastern France when Pat was 6, Peg was 5 and Michelle was 2. We moved to Hailey, Idaho when my mother found out she was pregnant with Joe. Her just older sister lived there with her family and mom had gone there to have Pat when she was born. Joe was born there before we went to France. There were four kids in the family when we moved to France. Joe was 6 months old when the "dependents" arrived. Dad had gone six months before we did. He, like all the other men there, had to install the plumbing, build the kitchen cabinet (only one cabinet!), get the Army cots set up, find a table and chairs. There wasn’t a school in the housing area. So, my mother put Pat (my one- year-older sister) and me in a day school (also a boarding school, although we didn’t stay overnight). When I kept going to sleep after lunch, mom enrolled me in a French kindergarten where I had lots of fun embroidering a needle case for her, beading around a paper cross and performing in a year end program. I also learned some French and made a friend, Jacqueline, the daughter of the village (Chateauneuf sur Cher).
Peggy: Then we returned to Tacoma and were all enrolled in school. We stayed here for eight years because there were very few schools for retarded children and Tacoma was one of the very few school districts in the US that had that service. Michelle needed to go to school, too. We went to Bitburg AFB when I was a Junior in High School. I graduated from Kaiserslautern HS when we had moved to Ramstein AFB. I loved Germany and I loved France. I loved the idea that there were people living in those buildings for over more than 500 years. To Americans, this was practically pre-historic.
Don: I put in a year at Olympic College and then transferred to the University of Puget Sound. Also attending that year at UPS were my cousin Lindy and Peggy Harrington. Peg and I met at the last dance of the year. The next year Lindy moved on to Central Washington and Peg and I got married. She was in the wedding party as was my best friend from high school, Rich Christiansen. Years later, Rich's younger sister, Eileen worked for me and Peg, and Rich later worked with my cousin Chuck. They worked for Chuck’s dad, Randy, husband of my mother’s twin sister Virginia.
Don: For our celebration we wanted a combination of friends and family and live entertainment. Some of the photos that follow were taken by me, some we're taken by friends and some were taken by granddaughters Isabella and Sophia, son Del's daughters. A few photos were blurry and couldn't be used, but there were a ton that did turn out. Not all our friends or relatives could make the one day event, but we had a wonderful representation. Thanks to all who helped and joined us!
Like the drummer in a band, the audio guy at an event is the first to show and the last to leave. Rick had three microphones at the ready even as he pulled and plugged IPods and other devices into smooth transformations. Thank you, Rick . . . thank you, Rick . . . thank you, Rick. You did a phenomenal job with different presenter and musicians.
TJ and Vickie were one of the first to arrive. Noting the heat, TJ drove back home and brought additional fans to help cool down what turned out to be a sweltering ninety-six degree day.
Wild brought his tropical hat and tropical shirt for a relaxed afternoon. Brien was also relaxed but had a big dinner to attend after our celebration.
Darren and Marsha are always smiling. We like people like that.
Larry Hill with Pair Extraordinaire opened our performance portion of our celebration. Larry has played keyboard with his buddy David on guitar for several of our Client Appreciation Nights over the years. From blues to classic rock he knows them all. In a former life he was a salesman for Superior Linen.
David and Vijaya sat in the bar and enjoyed the entertainment.
I don't know if our nephew Nate was channeling Prince or Godel, but regardless he seemed happy. No channeling with Daniel and Zeke - just happy people.
Here are two of my favorite people. I worked with Judith Guthrie on Christmas House in the '80s. Steve Smith, like I am, is a past president of the Rotary Club of Tacoma #8.
Here's Peg with Kathryn Whitacre. Kathryn was a founder of the Tacoma Calligraphy Guild and brow beat Peg into joining when her parents both died; Kathryn is also a member of P.E.O. Chapter AY and invited Peg to join that as well.
My Cousin Lavinia Moyer-Hart and I remain close. Her mother and mine were identical twins. We grew up together. As children we tormented her younger brother, Chuck. Both Lindy and I loved drama. I was the star of my senior class play, "My Three Angels" at Clover Park High School. I had the Humphrey Bogart part. When Lindy graduated, she went to Central Washington U in Ellensburg. In her freshman year, she was the much acclaimed star in “St. Joan". She had the Jean Seberg part. Lindy lives in Detroit where she originated and ran the Attic Theatre for years and won the Michiganian of the Year award from the Detroit News. She is currently an associate professor at Wayne State, where she teaches, directs, and sometimes even appears on stage. For our party she and her daughter Jaime Moyer performed a short play, "Insomnia." For wearing flannel pajamas in ninety degree weather and not dropping over dead she got our thanks and appreciation.
I think Lindy’s daughter Jaime Moyer, who is a member of Second City Hollywood is going to reprise the short play "Insomnia" for Los Angeles, so Lindy will need to keep her footed pink jammies close at hand. How many anniversary parties have stage productions? The audience didn't know what to expect, but laughed in the right places!
Last spring Peg and I stayed a few days on Capitol Hill. We invited Dennis and Jayasri to join us for lunch. We treated. Afterward I got a thank you note via email from Dennis saying, "Next time, you pay." I loved it. He always makes me laugh.
It was good to see Cindy Darland. What a nice person and such a hard worker for our community . . . a Rotarian, of course.
Here's a shot of Peg's sister Marie Harrington-Pinter telling something important to Zeke Melquist . . . excuse me, Dr. Zeke Melquist . . . or Doctor Zeke on Facebook. We could have told her, to get his attention first you need to mention breakfast. We always do breakfast when he returns home from New York City. We've known Zeke for most of his life. Zeke says he doesn't remember a time where we weren't in his life. Our kids grew up with the Melquist kids. Del married Zeke's sister, Johanna.
I love this shot of our son Patrick. He straw bossed the collection of photos from all the family to make a photo album-guest book. He took off most of the previous week to coordinate the performance schedule and audio factors among other things for the party. I just know what he's thinking: "Who scheduled Randy to read telegrams."
Here is Linda of the Broadway Broads. She was singing "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," which I heard for the first time in a school assembly at Clover Park High School. Peg and I of course have seen the film, and several live productions of the musical "My Fair Lady" from which the song comes. Linda did a great job with the song, which reminds me of the "St. Louis Blues." London is a long way from St. Louis, but both songs carry the hopes of a better day . . . a hope for a better life.
Linda's sister Sue put such emotion into her songs, it was a pleasure listening and watching her perform.
I was a fine arts major (drawing and painting) at UPS. A fellow fine arts major was David Sarver. Our little enclave of artists were a little snobbish knowing we did "good work," but encouraging to those of lesser talent. I thought that was nice of us. Dave remains a friend. He walks all over the place. I need to visit his North End home; he has a glass sculpture I need to see.
While Zeke came in from New York City, granddaughter Caitlin flew there with her boyfriend, Atuanya Priester. He was there to videotape, while she was there to enjoy the city. Although Atuanya couldn't make our party either, his parents did – Nashira and Julian Priester. We had only met them once, but we enjoyed talking with them so much we invited them to our party. She was a Bernie delegate at the state Democratic convention. Julian played trombone with Duke Ellington and taught at Cornish for years. They just recently moved to Tacoma and back to Seattle.
I think we caught Betsy and Jeff in-between white water rafting excursions. They are always so happy, it almost makes me want to paddle the wild rivers . . . well, almost. Peg and I have floated down the Cowlitz and the Sammamish Slew in our younger days. I think we had a built-in outhouse on the hand-built raft. (Peg: No we didn’t.)
Many people who joined us at the celebration had no idea who else was attending, so they ended up being doubly pleased.
Here are two of my favorite pretty funny ladies . . . or is it pretty, funny ladies?
I always enjoy seeing the Mineos. Toni was the choir and musical director for years at Sacred Heart. Toni's husband was Art Mineo, who performed at the New Yorker nightclub in the fifties, sixties, and seventies. He created the Bubble-ator music for the Seattle World's Fair. Art would sometimes stop off at our house around noon and play my baby grand, while Peg and I had lunch. He was a true Italian, drinking only espresso.
Lindy got out of her jammies to enjoy herself at the party. The following day we had a deck party for relatives. I was sad that things didn't work out for our Alaska and Missouri relatives to join us, but perhaps they'll make our 100th Anniversary. Peg’s brother came up from San Diego and her youngest sister came in from Central Square, NY. Kate and daughter Marie helped out with tons of things. Marie even did Peg’s make-up.
For our party, my cousin Chuck (Lindy's brother) drove up from Cornville, AZ with his girl friend Peggy (another Peggy!)in her Mustang convertible. In reality, I think she drove for the first day and a half while Chuck slept. When Carol Lynn Thomas read a Facebook post that I had someone visiting from Cornville, she wrote asking for us to let her and Dave know when we visit Cornville, so we can connect. They live nearby in Sedona. Dave was in Rotary and he and Don worked together on the TACID board and fund-raising breakfasts.
Chuck Whitworth, Lavinia's younger brother hasn't seen his nephew Jake very often so this scene is almost a reunion. Tyler Whitworth is Chuck's younger brother Bobby's second son. Tyler's mother and fan is Stephanie Sorenson. I think Tyler gave up heavy metal guitar for investment management. He's an avid Seahawks supporter, but I bet he still loves rock.
Looking comfortable even at 90+ degrees was lovely Dyann Jones.
I don't know what they were laughing at, but two Rotary past presidents seemed to be enjoying themselves. I'm not sure what they were drinking.
Bob Hammar has a hard time dealing with Jim Whitacre. Bob and Mary just sold their home in Tahiti and I think he was advising Jim, "I know the weather feels like the South Seas, but I would skip the grass skirt if I was you."
Not drinking was Jacob Hawk, the son of my niece Erin and grandson of my little sister DeeDee. It was interesting seeing Jacob wearing a Beatles shirt, because he can usually be heard singing Elvis songs with his grandmother as they drive around in her Soul.
Grandson Riley Doman, was taking a break. Riley was everywhere helping his dad, our younger son, with the anniversary celebration. I think they set up and didn't quit until they had helped Rick Olson pick up all his audio gear and put it away in his van.
One of the first couples to confirm their Facebook evite was Liz and Harry Pritchard. They are definitely happy and fun people.
We've known Ed and Janie Richards since our Jaycee Days in the 1970s. The Richards left us a present. In the gift bag was a bottle of wine and a rubber chicken. I had to laugh at the chicken. It brought back memories. We used to have a traveling rubber piglet. I think I bought it at Archie McPhee. Sometimes it would magically appear in our freezer . . . and sometimes it would magically appear in their freezer. I joined Jaycees because they had an auxiliary. Peg was stuck home with three little kids all day and night while I worked. Jaycees brought us friends Randy and Andi Melquist, Ed and Janie Richards, John and Karen Trueman, Al Burrage, Jim and Kathy Whitacre and many more. We made a better community and a better world for all our silliness. No regrets . . . well, some.
I think the surprise hit of the afternoon was our granddaughter and Patrick and Wendy’s daughter, Bailee Doman's solo performance. She opened by accompanying herself on the ukulele to "Dream a Little Dream of Me." Next she sang a song which she wrote for our anniversary and then finished with songs by Neil Diamond, The Beatles and Elvis. We had tears in our eyes, lumps in our throats, and chests filled with pride. Carol Webster said it all, "Those of us at our table were so touched - we couldn't imagine the joy of having a grandchild serenade us on our anniversaries." In September Bailee will be a senior at Puyallup High School, where she has been involved in journalism and drama. She brags to her friends that she has seen over a hundred plays. Who would have thought?
I think there was enough pride to go around. Bailee kept asking her dad, what songs we liked when we got married. Patrick kept replying, "I don't know. I wasn't there." Enjoying her performance were her mother, her other grandfather Brent (and his wife Nancy), and her aunt, Christy. The Kirkpatrick family sent Christy north to Pacific Lutheran University, where she fell in love and got married. Then Wendy came north to Pacific Lutheran University . . . fell in love . . . and got married. When the grandkids started coming the rest of family moved from Van Nuys to Edgewood. The Doman/Kirkpatrick mix makes for a wonderful family.
Sitting with Mike Mowat is our friend Rita and her friend Bert. Rita now lives near TG in a condo. She used to live on Day Island, just a few doors down from Bert. She would walk from Day Island to University Place daily, often with our daughter, Andi. Now, Rita walks all over Sixth Avenue and the Wright Park area.
Brien provided the entertainment for his wife, Cathy, and friend Kathy Martin. Kathy with the brightly colored tartan like Brien is also a past president of our Rotary club.
Wolfgang and Jan are usually the first ones to sign up for our Rotary Culture Vulture events. From Portland to Seattle and points between, they like live entertainment.
My buddy, Smooth Jazz artist Ed Taylor asked Sue Cabigting to join him in the song, "You Can Tell Me Goodbye." The song by John D. Loudermilk is a great bluesy country-western tune . . . "Kiss me each morning for a million years, Hold me each evening by your side, Tell me you'll love me for a million years, Then if it don't work out, Then if it don't work out, Then you can tell me goodbye."
The main dish of the celebration was everything thing we had hoped for. We've been to a number of parties featuring a roast pig. Our's was seventy pounds.
One of the joys of roast pig is the crispy skin. There were left-overs, which we had a family party the next afternoon. It featured pulled pork sliders. Joining the roasted pig for dinner was huli huli chicken bacon-wrapped mini-brats, two different kinds of potato salad, and five-bean baked beans. Picasso Catering did an excellent job for us, which was almost a year in the making.
Ed Taylor got worked up listening to Barb Trapp and Jan Runbeck, because they didn't perform with amplification. He said it was like playing music on your front porch. That's how Jan wanted it, informal. So no mics were used. It was a shame however, most people missed the opportunity to enjoy the music. We, however were only a few feet away, and so it was aimed direclty at us. Like most of the entertainers, Barb and Jan received gifts from our memorabilia collection (mostly from the Las Vegas Hard Rock Café).
Watching Barb and Jan while the wonderful cake melted in the heat was cousin Lavinia Moyer-Hart's husband, James Hart, also a jazz drummer in Detroit. In-between the layers were lemon and raspberry filling. The cake was worth the nearly fifty year wait. Marc Coubra who was trained in pastry-delights in Austria is the king of cakes. People were amazed that even the visual elements were delicious. Marc is a family friend and doesn't bake commercially. Knowing that people would be coming and going all day long, we provided mini-cupcakes from Wanna Cupcake? most of the day. We didn't want people left out of dessert and by providing cupcakes, people could actually have dessert first if they wanted.
It was nice seeing Del’s sister-in-law and Randy Melquist’s younger daughter, Rachel and Seth. Perhaps for parties next year they'll bring honey. This summer they bought hives.
Our eldest granddaughter brought along her boyfriend David. They stayed all through the afternoon and then drove back up to Bellingham for his aunt's anniversary. It was nice to see the two of them with her parents Andi (our eldest) and her husband Rich. Rich had been helping her out with everything. Rich even picked up and set up a life size cut-out (life size and made on 1/2 inch plywood) of Don at their wedding in Corvallis. It was a hot day and when the ceremony was over, Don went to the restroom and put on his cotton shirt, shorts and tennis shoes. Rich said he had to put the tux attire back on for the first dance. Don put on the top half, the shirt, tie, starched shirt and tuxedo jacket. No cummerbund. Fortunately, someone got a photo of him in his half formal, half casual attire. Andrea made and painted the cut out.
Jenny and Jacob Whitworth (cousin and his wife) and Erin Webber-Hawk (my niece).
These are the beautiful children of cousins Jake and Jenny, Cobbie and Gianna.
Here's a multi-generational photo of the Harrington family. Holding his son Blake, is John Harrington, while grandmother Carol Harrington looks on. Behind Carol and Peggy is Peg's sister Marie and brother Joe (husband of Carol, father of John and grandfather of Blake).
Here are our daughter-in-law, Wendy Doman and her son, Riley. Who says families don't communicate anymore?
This is John Harrington and Ian Harrington-Pinter. As a young man John took his pick-up out for mischief and got stuck in a pasture directly across the street from the home of Randy Whitworth, who good naturedly towed him out. Ian is the son of Marie Harrington and Bob Pinter. Ian worked for me as a digital editor and now lives in West Seattle where he just bought his first house and works in the digital gaming industry.
Doing one of her favorite bits from Second City Hollywood, Jaime Moyer closed the entertainment portion of our party with "A Chat with Aunty."
I like this photo. It's a typical Doman/Harrington blend of joking, laughing, and admiration.
Stephen Harrington is the eldest son of Peg's brother Joe and Carol. Since Del's family moved way out near Canyon Road, we've seen more of the Harrington clan . . . and Stephen is always happy. I like that.
The party's almost over and Del and Andi have been working, working, working . . . along with their families and friends. Marc, the family pastry chef is with them. They all did a great job . . . and deserved a final piece of cake . . . but I don't think there was any left.
Late in the party William showed up. His girlfriend, Del and Johanna’s daughter, Vanessa made him come by himself from Seattle. Vanessa was in Maine with her grandfather Carey. While Vanessa was attending Seattle Pacific we started taking her out to plays when we visited Seattle. We even took William out to his first play. He loved it. With William in the photo is Vanessa's younger sister Sophia (the youngest of the Del Doman family). Sophia is the youngest of the Doman breed and may end up the tallest.
Did we mention that the day was hot? Zeke (The Doctor) Melquist's hair got curlier.
When son Del was asked how the party went, his one word reply was simply "Hot!"
Earlier I got Jake to loosen his tie and then finally roll up his sleeves. Jake is the eldest son of Bobby Whitworth (the youngest son of Randall and Virginia Whitworth and brother of Lavinia Moyer-Hart). In the photo I see elements of his soft-spoken grandfather, whom he adored. His mother is Veronica Kidder-Bonar. I saw Veronica chatting with Debra Pittman at the party. They've been good friends for decades. I didn't even know they knew each other. Deb has framed some of Peg's favorite art pieces.
Some people stepped outside to cool off. Someone mentioned that temperatures climbed to one hundred in Olympia that day. Kate started off wearing a nice white blouse over her black dress. I think the blouse was removed fairly quickly. Kate is a hard worker and was everywhere.
The building provided late afternoon shade for Rachel and Rich . . . and a few others.
Del, ever playful, told his aunt DeeDee (Don's younger sister) with a closing line from Shrek . . . "And in the morning, we'll have WAFFLES!"
Mike and Jan appreciated all of the acts . . . and the food . . . and the fellowship.
One of the songs Barbara and Jan played seemingly only for themselves with no amplification was also played by them at our 40th Anniversary. It was aimed directly at Peg and me . . .