Bob Spiwak Monkey MazamaBy Bob Spiwak
Busy weekends coming up. On Saturday (May 17), Brian Gregg will talk about his Olympic experience at the Mazama Community Club at 7 pm. He’ll discuss “the road to Sochi,” which had its beginnings here in the Methow Valley. It promises to be enlightening and will probably include a lot of un-televised humor and information, all first-hand.

A week later, on May 24, Gay Northrup will again be in charge of the World Famous Mazama Pancake Breakfast, at the community club from 8 a.m. – noon. Gay is looking for volunteers for the second shift. Her email is There have been rumors that the rummage sale might be reinstated, but we’ve heard nothing but rumors at this time.

That same day will mark 2014’s first semi-famous Mazama/Highway 20 car count, so if you don’t subscribe to this paper you should.

The river so far has not risen appreciably. The ground must be soaking up the runoff because our ponds have risen considerably. Up on Harts Pass the snow depth is now 90 inches, down 14 inches from two weeks ago, and the snow/water content has shrunk by 3 percent to 117 percent in the same period.

Barring heavy rains, it appears a normal flow for late May will ensue.

The temperature this Monday morning was just above the freezing mark, and the highs ought be in the 70s by the time this is printed. Our daily winds will hopefully become warmer than “brrr” as the mountaintops lose their snow. This will bring us spring-like phenomena such as mosquitoes, yellowjackets, rattlesnakes and flies, and thereafter pleasant thoughts of winter.

Last Saturday, the Mazama Store was awash with hordes of people participating in the Sunflower Marathon and Relay, a Methow Valley Sport Trails Association event. The store’s patio this year was headquarters for the pre-race necessities such as instructions, goodie-bags, and other stuff along with keeping the store personnel hopping. At times it seemed hopping was the only way to get around in there, because so many people were occupying the place.

We were immensely saddened last week to learn that Harold Heath had passed away. He was, in non-sentimental terms, a loveable person. My wife summed it up nicely, stating that Harold and Ann Buell (also recently deceased) were probably the most kind, friendly and polite people she had ever met. I agree.

Growing up in the South, I was raised on gentility, politeness and kindness and Harold embodied all these characteristics. Even putting aside his scholarships and generous donations throughout the valley, as a person and neighbor there was none finer.

It startled me in my early days here, in the 1970s, to find myself cleaning an irrigation ditch on hands and knees with a captain of industry — my connection being, before I met Harold, a shareholder in Heath Techna Corporation of Bellingham. We shared the Rockview ditch, which began at the Weeman Bridge and irrigated the entire Big Valley Ranch.

Harold will be missed by those who knew him, and by those who did not but were personally affected in one way or another. Our condolences and sorrow to Tina and the children. He was a courtly gentleman, of a kind rarely seen anymore.