Opinion

WALLY'S WORLD: City’s new mayor has quite a background

By Wally DuChateau

Early last November, we voted. Results indicated we apparently had enough of the John Wise administration because we soundly elected a new may, Liz Reynolds. Remember? Or don’t you give a damn?

Anyway, Liz took office a few days ago and I sat down with her over coffee in the City Perk. She’s an easy interview; an alert, up-front and open conversationalist, which is a bit unusual for a politician. I asked her what Liz Reynolds was all about.

She sighed nostalgically and said she was raised on an Angus farm in a small, rather isolated community in West Virginia, surround by down-home, plain and friendly folks who were always ready to help one another during hard times – and there were plenty of them. (Hard times, that is.)

After high school, she attended the Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I. (Yeah, I’ve never heard of it either.) She graduated with a degree in culinary arts and business management.

Thereafter, Liz spent a couple years helping another couple establish a restaurant on Cape Cod. She grew quite fond of the area, which is easy to do – I did the same thing – despite the severe winter storms. It’s also an easy place to connect with some high-powered families and money, of which Hyannis Port is only one example. Through such connections, she landed a job as chef on a 130-foot yacht tied up at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.

So, Liz was off to the sun and beach culture. And what an experience that proved to be. The yacht’s crew came from all over the world and so did the passengers. The owner would rent his boat to island visitors and dignitaries, who would take it on one- or two-week excursions around the Caribbean. Liz cooked for all of them.

This adventure lasted a few years, after which Liz found herself back in New England. While enjoying the spectacle of seasons again – especially the fall display of color – she met a fellow who was looking for a chef in a new hotel/resort complex being built on the Dutch island of Bonaire. Lo and behold, she was off to the Caribbean once more.

That’s where Liz met her future husband. He’s a Boeing software engineer from Renton, who was vacationing on Bonaire. At his prodding, she came out here to visit our region and fell in live with both him and Mount Rainier. She married him in 1991 and they moved to Enumclaw 10 years ago.

Liz gave up her culinary pursuits because it put too great a strain on her marriage. (She worked nights and he worked days.) While attending the Bellevue Art Show, she decided to try her hand at fine art. She took some classes in ceramics and watercolors at Green River in Auburn and a short while later built a kiln in the garage beside her house.

Her artistic endeavors are well known in Enumclaw art circles. Indeed, the beautiful grounds surrounding her home were host to the original “Art In the Garden” shows, involving artists of various persuasions from all over the Plateau. It’s the most lovely artistic setting I’ve ever experienced – and hey, I’ve been to some of the finest art openings on the East Coast. SoHo galleries might have better talent, but I’ll take the setting of Liz’s backyard any day.

Well, this just goes to prove, you never know what’ll happen next. Now she’s our new mayor. Huh.

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