Mazama Bob SpiwakBy Bob Spiwak

This newspaper will get to local mailboxes on a momentous date, Sept. 11. The repercussions of that day are still with us as once more there is talk and more talk about military action involving Middle East activities, even on their own soil. Without getting preachy in this space, it would behoove all of us to take just a few moments and reflect on what happened at the World Trade Center and be thankful we live in such a place as we do.

Things like slides on Washington Pass affect us all, particularly businesses, but in the broad scale of life in the United States, it is but a temporary hiccup.

Still, last Saturday morning at the Mazama Store was more like a dead Tuesday morning in March. The parking lot was all but vacant and customers were sparse, at times being outnumbered by the SLIME denizens who, in the course of morning conversation, delved into the usual potpourri of important issues like leather couches, yellow jackets, and whether Smart Wool was using less material in their socks these days than previously.

Things picked up despite rain showers as volunteers set up the seating and adjusted the two big tents for the second annual Festival of Books behind the Mazama Community Club. The population in the area was later augmented by attendees at a large wedding across the corral at the Ranch House.

The summer population of “tin teepees” (motor homes and trailers) that inhabit the Edelweiss campground all summer long has shrunk to only four remaining, compared to the 20 or so that were parked there before Labor Day.

Saturday evening we went to the big city of Winthrop to attend the opening of a show at the Winthrop Gallery, where along with artists Patty Yates and Laurie Fry, Ms. Gloria was a featured artist. It was a fine show with creations, along with those of the trio above, in art, photography, crafts, jewelry and lots of munchies to satisfy the eye, the mouth and the soul.

There are still three ducks that come and go from our pond. Before long they’ll be dodging birdshot from here, across the Bridgeport Bar and southward to warmer climates. This will in turn bring on a cavalcade of Steller’s jays that winter and quarrel with the squirrels over morsels of food we distribute for the smaller winter birds.

Walt Foster presented us with an invention designed to feed squirrels and frustrate the jays. We’ll delve into that at a later time. From the way the squirrels were dropping pine cones and entire branch ends this year, it conjures up the annual Methow forecast – “It’s gonna be a cold, hard winter this year.” Aren’t they all?  It’s just a matter of degree compared to the last one.