Bob-MazamaBy Bob Spiwak

Sunday afternoon I became more unhinged than usual. It all began when I was road testing my ancient ’78 Chevy pickup for a Monday morning trip to Twisp. This was the end of a three-day “get rid of everything” sale at Mary Thompson’s place on Beaver Creek.

Everything had to go because she has the property for sale, having moved to Bend, Ore., months ago. In her yard was a Dumpster, twice the size of the one comedian Red Green used as a fishing cottage.

All that was left of the everythings in the house was a desk that I had gotten, and a lot of nice stuff for The Cove and the Methow Valley Senior Center in Twisp.

For this I volunteered the pickup, which at times can get cantankerous. I took it on a test run to the bridge and back and as I was exiting, there was movement atop the door hinge. It was a yellowjacket, and on closer inspection, it was a nest of them. Luckily, my neighbor 200 yards east had some wasp spray. I drove there and she sprayed ever so generously, and I motored home, with steam coming from the radiator and a very loud angry humming coming from within the hood.

When the steam and the hum had subsided, I opened the hood and with a pressure hose doused the inside as the engine idled. The bottom line is that there was now a leak in the lower radiator hose. I have theorized that the angry yellowjackets tried to escape through the radiator and clogged it, putting pressure on the hose, which is probably 33 years old.

Just for the heck of it, I checked the other door and by golly there is a nest being built in the same location in the passenger door. Time to buy my own wasp spray. The same neighbor mentioned above got stung a couple of times this week just trying to evade a ground nest of the creatures. Be careful out there. To paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, “walk softly and carry a big spray.”

Next week, folks, it’s Labor Day weekend and that means the annual fall car count, an enterprise so monumental that the results get to the decision-makers in Olympia who decide stuff.

The Mazama Community Church hosted over 150 guests last Sunday. They were friends and friends of friends who attended an outdoor service at the ball field and followed up with a very large potluck, according to Pastor Randy Picklesimer. About 90 attendees were volunteer workers who did various projects for five local seniors, and some worked at the Bible camp at the church and the community center in Mazama. The group stayed, en masse, at the KOA Campground in Winthrop Saturday night.