Category Archives: The Island

A Little (One) Shopping


Who’s that taking a peek in the Shoppe?  Must smell some treats.

This week’s entry in Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY’S photo contest called Monochrome Madness.  You may have seen this photo before in Full Color… not this time.  The theme… ‘Christmas where you are.’

I was recently onboard our InterIsland Ferryboat the ‘Evergreen State’, when she encountered some ‘difficulties’ and became adrift. In 16 years of riding the ferries, this was the most excitement I’ve had. We were getting close to land, and they were getting a towrope ready to attach to an oncoming ferry. The had everyone stand at the rear of the ferry on the top deck… in case we crashed??? They got whatever was wrong fixed enough to make it into Friday Harbor and dock. I was hoping we would have to be saved… that would have been great to photograph.

TedBook's DAILY PICS...


WSF ‘Evergreen State’ being towed out of Friday Harbor to dry dock…

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                                                      JUST AN EMPTY SPACE

Well… She’s Gone For Good!   After my last lament regarding the missing truck, so many readers wondered, like I, what the hell had happened to her. One, was my son-in-law Steve. He didn’t just wonder… he called his friend Kevin.

Now, there is a show on the History Channel called ‘American Pickers’… kind of the poor man’s ‘Antique Roadshow’… where two guys go around the country combing  junkyards, garages and people’s ‘collections’ finding hidden treasures, just as worthy. They would have a ‘field day’ at Kevin’s. He is San Juan Island’s Premier Collector. Island Stage Left needed a rusty old-fashioned radiator for their latest play… Steve called Kevin… they have a rusty old-fashioned radiator for their latest play. At our County Fair each year, one of the highlights is ‘Trash to Treasures’ hosted by Kevin. So, who better to ask about a missing roadside attraction.  Kevin knew all about my truck.

She is a 1946 Ford Flatbed, with a flathead V8 engine. In fact, he had offered to buy her at one time and was told the owners of the property just liked having it sit there… they enjoyed looking at her while passing by on the way to their ranch. It seems a neighbor did not share the same affection and deemed her an eyesore. Word has it, that a scrapper had permission from the non property owner, and took her in the middle of the night. As Kevin says… “These guys scrap first and ask questions later”. The goods are carted off the island to be sold for scrap metal to one of the mainland salvage yards.

They call these guys Tweekers… as most are methheads, trying to score their next ‘eight ball’, so they can make it a few more days. So, that’s what my truck became… 1/8 ounce of Methamphetamine. Steve, Kevin, their friends in the collecting community and the Sheriff knows who they are… but, you can’t do much if you can’t catch them in the act. And you can’t station someone to watch the ferry lines night and day. Unfortunately, the problem has spread to outright theft of property, not just abandoned vehicles.

I have never shed a tear upon hearing of some mainland fool being electrocuted while attempting to steal the power company’s transmission wires to sell. I hope that does not start happening here… or maybe…

Island Stage Left’s latest Production ‘Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me’ plays at the County Fairgrounds Theater from April 5 – 29…

This post was not prompted by Madison Wood’s Flash Fiction Friday, but certainly qualifies… to see talented writers prompted to create by this week’s photo…

Flash FridayFictioneers… Lost Opportunity!

My Truck

She’s gone!!!

I came across her… sentinel on a country lane… green mottled skin slowly rusting to a different hue.  I was conflicted in my feelings toward her.  First surprise, then awe at her beauty.  But so many questions.  Whose? Was she afraid, tucked away in the woods beneath a blanket of leaves?  She looked so forlorn in her abandoned state… yet, somehow majestic in her loneliness.  I was in love.  I wanted to paint her.

I would always take a moment to visit.

Then today… GoneWhisked away by an alien starship, the ground dusted for prints and wiped clean.


It’s Friday, and time for 100-word Flash #FridayFictioneers… 

Flash Fiction over at Madison Woods
When I saw Madison’s photo, I knew exactly what I was going to write about, except I didn’t know how I was going to do it.  After all, this is supposed to be fiction, and I had been kind of cheating lately with the memoir thing.  I think this may be a combo.

I was on Kanaka Bay Road one day (and no… this Island isn’t Hawaiian) and came across this old truck, parked next to the road.  It was beautiful, sitting in the shade, and I thought it would be a great subject to paint.  I love paintings of old abandoned things.  My friend Matt, had painted one recently and I thought he would be the perfect guy to do the job.  He may have been in his Hay Bale Period by then, because I begged him to do it and he wouldn’t budge.  But in his defense, he really would rather do boats, and he is very good.  Next, I begged my friend Jill, but she was more into crows and nature.  I tried to explain that there were trees and things, but to no avail.  Lately she is doing landscapes and has just done a rooster that I think is wonderful.

This begging went on for years with those two.

San Juan Island is blessed with many fine artists, and one of my favorites is famous for her dog paintings.  I should have asked her, but Jaime has moved on to bigger animals now and would most likely not be too interested in my truck.  I might have been able to con her daughter, Jennifer, into doing it… she did a tractor design on one of her County Fair T-Shirts one year… wearable works of art.

I, of course, am far too insecure to try to actually draw or paint the truck myself, although I fully intend to hand tint a black and white photo I made.  I once took a course in hand tinting B&W’s, from Dianne Poinski in Sacramento.

I was walking through the Sacramento Airport a few years ago, and was stopped in my tracks, just like with the truck, by a photo of The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.  That building is another obsession of mine.   It was part of a display of Dianne’s works.  I copied the info, and ended up purchasing a hand tinted photo… it is one of my proudest possessions, right up there with the sketch Christopher Young did for me, of Madame X (another passion), at the Met in NYC.  And a favorite photo of the State Street Subway Entrance, that I had used so many times in Chicago, taken and printed by Jamie Powell Sheppard.  So, I guess I could have done the truck, and still will someday.  When I took the course, Dianne gave us prints of her photos, on special paper, to learn on.  She is a pretty good teacher, because I thought one of my efforts came out pretty well, and I love the photo.

Two days ago, I went back out to Kanaka Bay.  I had not been on that road for about six months, and was looking forward to seeing the truck again.  But, it was gone.  I wasn’t sure I had the right place, but it had to be, since the old fence with the weathered ‘No Trespassing’ sign was there.  There was not a trace of the truck to be found.  I was amazed and a bit disjointed to have lost an old friend.  Perhaps someone is restoring her beauty somewhere… and I will get to visit again.



Thought I’d share this with the Moonshiners this week.  One of my first tries to combine a 100 word flash fiction story with a photo essay.  I had been in Friday Fictioneers less than a month, and had only written one fiction piece for Quill Shiv.  Actually, this is more of a vignette or memoir piece, what would you call it.  But, this was the first time I expanded to write some kind of essay afterwards.  Tune in next week to see what happens to the truck.


Thanks Natalie for keeping the lights on at the Still.


Doctor Seuss would have liked Roche Harbor Road.
Anyone living on San Juan Island knows what I mean. RHR is home to some strange sights. Probably the most famous, and the only one alive, is Mona the Camel… just past San Juan Vinyards on the way out of town. Or maybe ‘Mona the Mooch’… she does like a treat, but don’t tease her. I don’t know how long Mona has been standing sentry on RHR, looking for a handout or maybe just some company. If you pull off the road and go over to the fence, Mona will come over to say hello… if she’s feeling like it. She usually is. She has to be more photographed than the Lighthouse at Lime Kiln State Park. My friend Catherine of Sacramento visited, and of course I gave them the Grand Tour. Her husband Anthony is an artist and is photographing Mona… he has just given her some grass, and she is posing. We had just been to the Lighthouse… instead of taking a pic, he painted a watercolor.mona and anthony.jpg                                                                               Mona & Anthony

Roche Harbor Road runs from Friday Harbor to Roche Harbor, after 10 miles it ends up at the Resort, once the home to Roche Harbor Lime and Cement Company… the largest lime works west of the Mississippi… a major force on the island, a century ago.
In Second Place, has to be The Cow & The Pig. The Cow & The Pig celebrate all major holidays and have been known to make political and social comments, as Laurie sees fit to let them. I have taken a lot of photos of The Cow & The Pig.
     The Cow & Pig in Autumn…  The Cow & Pig at Halloween…  The Cow & Pig at Christmas
RHR starts at the High School, and barely 100 feet along RHR, a guy had parked his riding lawn mower collection on his lawn for awhile… alas, I missed that photo op, I think there were six of them. I wish he would do it again sometime… there’s only one there now.
A little past The Cow & The Pig is an interesting garden, and in good weather a mannequin stands watch. She would have her outfit changed every other day or so, but I don’t think they did that as much last year. Maybe this year. I’ve taken a few pics of her.

Gardens, waiting for Spring

At about the 9 mile mark, a local artist has started to mount his sculptures, a display of his talents… kind of a visual business card.
Nicholson Studio
Just before Roche Harbor Resort is the Sculpture park, but that’s a whole different story. It’s much more mainstream… and this isn’t about mainstream.

So, I guess what started this, was while driving back to town yesterday, I spotted a new display along the side of the road. As I zipped past (45mph of course), I was struck with how amazing the minds of our RHR islanders are. I had to wait a bit for a drive to turn around in to go back to see what kind of statement was being made there. Maybe none, at least I can’t think of one, but fun to see, and quite colorful to say the least. My friend Ken Serratt warned me to “beware a gang of three year olds”.

Saw this bumper sticker today in Friday Harbor… thought I would add it to the story…


This is a piece I wrote on Blogger to introduce my writing… and explain the sudden surge of blogs suddenly appearing.  I will continue to write on both.  Stay posted and please subscribe to receive fresh pressings in an inbox near you…

I have been writing a blog on WordPress called TedBook.  I shamelessly ripped off Mark Z. and hope they don’t find out, because they will probably sue my ass.  Actually, he probably wouldn’t care, but you know how those corporate things go… if it was Nike they sure would!  There is a dive bar in my town called Herb’s Tavern… they’ve been there for decades, and make t-shirts to sell to the tourists.  One year they made a tee with the words “Just Drink It”… Nike sued them to ‘cease & desist’… they had made the mistake of putting a kind of ‘swoosh’ under the words.  They ceased & desisted.  Really… a small tavern in a little town?   But, that’s the way it goes I guess… you can’t make exceptions.   I logged a lot of hours on Herb’s stools back in the day.  I never met Herb and don’t know if there ever was one… there must have been, but that old bar’s had a lot of owners over the years.  I was told the name would change, but would always go back to Herb’s Tavern.But, that’s not what I was going to write about… how did I get on Herb’s?  Oh yes, TedBook.  Like everyone else, I have a list of things I would like to try.  Who hasn’t thought of writing a book or creating a great work of art?  Or maybe climbing Everest or going deep sea fishing.  Or maybe being a great cook or trying out in a play.  Those are all things someone can do if they try… maybe not reach the top or be great, but at least have the experience of doing.  That is so easy to say… says the master of procrastination.  But, I have a little more time on my hands these days, and finally got tired of thinking about trying to write something.  I started to check into people’s blogs I would see.  I was getting ready.  Somewhere I saw a site called Plinky, they do an ‘idea a day’ to get bloggers motivated … that got me going on my first piece… My Favorite Summer Memory.  That was June 28, 2010… at 10:22a.m. I was a Published Author.  I thought that was pretty cool.. my name in print… the name of my blog in print… my thoughts in print!  Well, I don’t want to get to full here, but I was pretty proud of myself.   Especially when the 2 or 3 people who read it thought it was great.  Okay, they were my daughters!  But, I think I am getting better… at any rate, it is fun and very satisfying.  A few days later, I went out to a farm and took photos of bales of hay and a guy on a tractor, and added graphics to my blog.
Now I was Big Time.I wrote 8 Blogs in 6 months in 2010… in 2011 I wrote 1 Blog.  This is it…
2010 in review
I THOUGHT THIS WAS AN INTERESTING SUMMARY TO RECEIVE, AS I NEVER KNEW IF ANYONE EVER REALLY SAW MY EFFORTS… other than my family and friends I coerced into viewing.  My New Years Resolution is to make the time to do this more often.  For those of you who do read TedBook.. Thank You.  Thanks to WordPress for a great blogging experience.  ~  Ted
WordPress had sent a review of my blogging experience, and that was my lead in at the top.   I was full of hope for 2011.  They didn’t send me a review for 2011.
 A number of factors contributed to my lack of writing.  Some beyond my control, and some completely within my power… of those, two stand out; facebook satisfied a lot of my creative urge, posting photos and writing little things, and the other was some kind of writer’s block… and it wasn’t the kind where you can’t think of anything to write about.  I had been wanting to do it for so long, and not doing it.  I had friends writing blogs… and the only writing I was doing, was on their blogs… in the comment box.
So, on New Year’s Eve I got a prompt, not from Plinky, but from Amy Winehouse.

On January 2, 2012, one year to the day, I published my next blog.  I’ve published 3, not counting this one, so far this year.   I have now moved over all my old blogs from WordPress to Blogger and will post on both.  Here’s the one that brought me back…

   Check Plinky out…


I think this was right before we got married in 1965… I was taking a drawing class from Robert Else at Sacramento State College.  We were living at 23rd and J sts.  Ann was wearing a green shift and sitting in a high back chair in the kitchen while I sketched her.  I painted it the following week.  She never liked it.   In fact, my second wife, Annie, didn’t like it either, but that was because I insisted on having it on the wall… I figured it was on the wall when she met me, etc.  I always liked it and thought it was a great work of art.  My first and last painting.

Ann did not know I still had it.  Ann did not know I was entering it in the San Juan County Fair Art Show.  I was not expecting it to win a prize, much less First Place!  My daughters Krista and Ashley knew I still had the painting and was planning to put it in the fair… they thought that was pretty funny.

I just happened, by chance, to run into them as they arrived at the exhibit hall… to view the photo and art shows.  I realized they both came with her to see her reaction to the painting, so I tagged along with my camera… Surprise!!!


I'm not sure my granddaughter shares my enthusiasm for fine art...


You know how sometimes you see something so unusual you just don’t know what to say?
Yesterday, I stopped by my granddaughter’s to meet her new puppy Yoshi.  She had just arrived from Oregon, and is the cutest little white ball of wooly fur… she should be following Mary to school.   I thought she might have some Panda in her too, but Isabel assured me she was a dog of the Akita/Huskie variety.
While I was getting to know Yoshi I noticed a bag of water hanging over the doorway into the house… “What the Hell is that!” Ashley was quick to explain that it was a Fly Chaser… the latest scientific innovation to a fly less house.  (A side note here:  Ashley hates flies more than most… especially the ones that keep circling around and are impossible to kill.  I can remember replacing a few window panes due to over-zealous fly killing)  It seems she had seen this technique employed with much success in a dive bar in Snohomish.  You know, the kind that always has flies circling around inside, but had forgotten about it… until the trip to retrieve Isabel’s new BFF.  Laurie, her best friend in Portland, had a Fly Chaser over her front door, with no flies inside.
Here’s how it works:
1 ~ Zip Loc Baggie
2 ~ Some Water
3 ~ One Penny
4 ~ Some Push Pins
Instructions: Partially fill baggie with water… insert penny… tack over outside doorway

So, I would say, a very successful road trip to The Beaver State for all… Isabel gets her puppy, and Ashley’s nemesis may have met it’s match.   But sometimes you just have to shake your head and say, “What the Hell…???”


My sister Marja in Sacramento says "What The Hell... hope it works!"

My sister Mariya in Friday Harbor tried it and says "No flies in my house!".

Krista... "ta da..."

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