Photo by Sarah Schrock
Jerry Merz, owner of Methow Metalworks at TwispWorks, took a spin on the new asphalt parking lot that was completed last week.

By Sarah Schrock

First things first, I need to set the record straight on an error I wrote two weeks ago regarding the Peters family. While the Peters family were the successful proprietors of The Merc and Idle-a-While, they did not, however, build the Sportsman Motel. They lived in a house across the road from the Sportsman and somehow, I got my details askew. So, sorry about that mishap.

Now, onto more current news. There was a lot going on this past week, beginning with the performance by George Winston. Winston’s music is often known for its meditative qualities, creating a transitive state through blending new age sounds. However, this concert showcased a variety of genres ranging from jazz to classical. In addition to the piano — which he played like a string instrument, literally picking the cords from the inside — he played Hawaiian folk on a guitar and surprised the audience with a harmonica ballad that sounded akin to a bagpipe, underscoring his mastery of music.

Winston’s music elicits a sense of nostalgia for many; almost everyone I spoke to at the concert had an early memory of listening to Winston. I guess parents of the 1970s and ’80s turned to him to calm their nerves while they raised us, or there are other reasons the music resonates with people. Sarah Ferguson had a George Winston tape stuck in her tape player in an old Subaru she used to drive for almost a year — so, she felt compelled to see him in person, having dedicated almost an entire year to his “Winter” album.

If you missed Twisp on Saturday, you missed a lot. After a week of nothing but talking heads discussing the Kavanaugh hearing, it’s events like Art Walk and living in Twisp that give me hope in humanity. Art Walk filled the streets with paintings, photographs, music and food. Food makes everyone happy. Thank you, street food vendors! A giant Scrabble board was new to the street this year and sure to be a favorite at future events. It seems like everyone in the Methow is a secret artist and Art Walk is one of those times when their secret is revealed. Art takes discipline. I am forever humbled by all the creative spirits who make the space in their lives to dedicate their energies in such a worthy effort.

Last but not least, the biggest and most obvious news is the grand layer of blacktop blanketing the old and tired parking lots of town. New blacktop at the Do-it Center, new blacktop at the Methow Valley Community Center, and new blacktop at TwispWorks! If you weren’t paying attention, you might have missed the rollers rolling in and out. It all happened almost overnight, a coordinated effort that culminated in a civic facelift. While the wafting aroma of tar permeates our senses over the next week, we should all relish in the clean, flat, blackness; before too long — like all surfaces in the Methow — it will be covered with a layer of grit. As part of Art Walk, kids (and adults) of all ages were having a blast on scooters, roller skates, bikes and skateboards, enjoying the new layer of asphalt.

While this layering is exciting — signifying a step towards progress — part of me finds it a bit contrite. Even though I am all for seeing our town prosper, the new blacktop marks a turning point from organized chaos to order — and it’s a little remorseful. The blacktop is a metaphor for the necessary boundaries that must be created to straddle growth, manage change and keep the peace. The days when we squeezed into a space at weird angles — sometimes double-parking our friends and neighbors, knowing we would leave an event at the same time — unbridled by lines, have come to an end. We are now held in by the white lines. Twisp has always been a place where people have come to feel free from the lines of civilization that bind you in; let’s hope these new ones won’t break that spirit (double park if you need to!).


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