On April 3, I decided to walk around Enumclaw on my lunch break to look for a large feather to use as a prop in Stage Door Production’s “Man of La Mancha.” Ballpoint pens had not yet been invented during the period of the Spanish Inquisition. I searched under the trees between Mutual of Enumclaw and the Qwest building on Wells Street. There seem to be crows in these trees laughing at me whenever I walk around the corner to get into my car at the end of my work day.
I was sure I’d find a feather or two on the ground. I’ll wager the crows are still laughing because I found no feather. Standing under those trees, looking up, I could see and hear an aerial battle between four crows and one large raven. The crows weren’t happy with the raven and the raven wasn’t having the best day. What would be the odds one of them might lose a feather? Not a chance!
However, Mother Nature had given me an incredible show of might vs. right.
Crossing over Griffin Avenue, onto the manicured grounds of Enumclaw’s beautiful city hall, I hoped I might find a large feather under the huge, bare maple trees. The lawn looked as though it had just been vacuumed. Not so much as a twig, leaf or feather was in sight.
I continued on, walking a large loop through town, and visited some of the charming stores on my way. Have you noticed how artistic our merchants are? A well-dressed window will draw you near and hopefully inside. I love walking into City Perk, Almost Necessities, Young’s Floral, This N’ That and Lindon Books. The inventory of these stores is displayed like works of art and inspires new methods of interior decorating.
Window displays will draw me inside an establishment, just like the superb cuisine of Enumclaw’s restaurants do. Enumclaw merchants are special people. They actively support the arts in town. They kindly and generously allow artists and organizations to display posters for events and gallery displays. Not all towns are like this. I have personally found that when you support your merchants, your merchants will support you. It’s a beautiful partnership of mutual appreciation.
As I was leaving This N’ That, employee Kathy Wambach made a point of telling me she was coming to see “Man of La Mancha” and asked where she could get tickets. I was pleased to tell her she could find tickets across the street at Radio Shack. Again, more support for the arts by our merchants.
Walking down the sidewalk I realized I hadn’t been in the Arts Alive gallery for a few weeks, so I thought I’d stop in, hoping I might find some information about the newest, upcoming, city-sponsored concert. It was there I met a talented artist by the name of Sallie A. Zydek. It was Sallie’s second day working at the Arts Alive gallery and to my good fortune she was by herself.
When Sallie showed me her framed artwork done in four different styles of stipple (or pointillism), scratch, acrylic and No. 2 pencil, I knew I was standing in the presence of a prize-winning, master artist. Her work draws you in like a moth to a flame. Her subjects of zebra, Cougar, raccoon, tiger, buffalo and many more look as though they could easily start moving within their frames.
Sallie patiently showed me her technique of scratch and “point” on a breathtaking portrait she is currently working on. She told me it takes about 500 hours to complete one of her works. As we spoke, Sallie shared with me that she is originally from Buckley and as a youngster in the1950s her parents had her taking private art lessons in Enumclaw for four years from a master artist by the name of Mr. Reetz. You could see by the look in Sallie’s eyes the reverence she had for her mentor. She explained how she moved to Nebraska as an adult and lived there for 20 years. She worked for the Corps of Engineers and retired after 25 years of service.
I’m so pleased Sallie Zydek found her way back to the Pacific Northwest. We are blessed to have her back home where we can behold her gift of artistry and her special artistic technique.
I left the gallery with a light heart and headed back to work. Craig Gammon of Radio Shack shouted out a hello from across the street as I walked by holding a vanilla latte’ in my hand. It was a lunch break without rain, a wee amount of sunshine and great conversation.
If you heard something sizzling coming from the Enumclaw High School Library in the evening of April 9 and 10, that would have been the Enumclaw High School Jazz Band directed by Eric Stevens. Stevens lives in Tacoma and told me it is such a pleasure teaching students in the Enumclaw School District. This High School Jazz Band is HOT and a pleasure to listen to. Directly after the Jazz Band set, Stage Door Productions put on a delightfully funny and entertaining radio show of the 1934 “The Thin Man,” a mystery comedy directed by Steffanie Foster of Enumclaw, complete with sound effects by Perry D’Armond of Buckley.
The following night on April 11th you could hear the smooth tones and incredible talent of Kevin Jones and his band of guitar, mandolin, bass, harmonica and drums coming from the Enumclaw Expo Center Fieldhouse. Jones is a master guitarist. I counted seven styles of guitars lined up on the stage and he made each one sound like he was playing two guitars at a time. My husband Perry and I shared a table with Mayor John Wise and his lovely wife Linda. They were also at the Jazz Band and SDP radio show the night before. It is gratifying to know city officials who support the arts with their presence as well as their verbal endorsements.
Recalling my mission to find a feather for a play prop, I know the birds weren’t in any sort of mood to loan out their wardrobe. I had mentioned my plight to my friend and co-worker, Joan Stephens. On April 13, I came to work to find a beautiful, 10-inch, brown and white feather on my keyboard. I called Joan and asked her if she had put it there and she concurred. A very thoughtful bird had dropped a tail feather in the middle of Joan’s yard and she had brought it to me. Good things do come to those who wait. The perfect feather found me.