Today is Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

Off the Wall
How a couple of longhorns gave us short shrift

How a couple of longhorns gave us short shrift

By Bob Spiwak Across from Kelly’s at Wesola Polana restaurant on Highway 20 is Kumm Road. It was named for Roy Kumm, now long departed to that big cattle drive in the sky. Roy was a fine older gent who among other talents was an artificial inseminator of cattle.  How we came to require his...
The one-day diary of a potential juror

The one-day diary of a potential juror

By Bob Spiwak Up at 6 a.m., on the Loup highway an hour later, early in September. Sun blazing through the windshield; even vertical and horizontal shades could not keep the brilliance from obstructing views on the road to Okanogan most of the time. My instructions for jury duty were to be at the courthouse...
Evel, Efren and me — an unexpected connection

Evel, Efren and me — an unexpected connection

By Bob Spiwak All this took place in, I believe, 1978 — two years after the Seattle Seahawks had become an expansion team in the National Football League. Among the big names such as Hall of Fame receiver Steve Largent and coach Jack Patera was a Mexican-born, 5-foot, 8-inch, 185-pound placekicker, Efren Herrera. The Seahawks were a...
The diary of a fiery weekend

The diary of a fiery weekend

By Bob Spiwak Aug. 1 and 2 will be memorable days for many people, many reasons. A group of local pilots flying back from the annual fly-in at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in Dr. O’Keefe’s big Lockheed could not get any response on the open frequency and with no radio instructions had to land at the state...
‘Methow Magic’ is Lake Bonaparte’s Waterloo this year

‘Methow Magic’ is Lake Bonaparte’s Waterloo this year

By Bob Spiwak I go several times each summer to Lake Bonaparte, off Highway 20 short of Republic. There is a large campground, with most camping spaces well separated. Bonaparte is a large lake where one can hear the loons and grebes from shore or, even better, parked in a canoe surrounded by reeds and...
Taking stock of the rolling stock

Taking stock of the rolling stock

By Bob Spiwak I went out the back door the other day and was astonished to see the number of wheeled vehicles before me. This led to a stroll around the property, where I discovered even more, even eliminating from the count the 16 wheels on a truck and three cars. The first item to...
Common cents may pay off with penny stocks

Common cents may pay off with penny stocks

By Bob Spiwak The latest contentious happening in the Methow Valley environs has to do with a company planning to drill for copper on claims it has rights to, having been purchased from another company — and there is a history of previous companies. There are those in the valley who have been following this development because...
On the water: Recollecting my days on the Green River

On the water: Recollecting my days on the Green River

By Bob Spiwak “It’s instant death to run Cataract Canyon in an open boat,” said our van driver as he zoomed past a semi in a whiteout on Interstate 70. He was speaking to Jeff Sandine, Craig Nelson and me, and referring to our three canoes on a trailer behind the van. There were also...
When ‘in the pits’ meant excitement and adventure

When ‘in the pits’ meant excitement and adventure

By Bob Spiwak A few weeks ago in her lower Methow Valley column, Joanna Bastian wrote about Dale Burnison, an exceptional woodworker. What caught my eye and memory was that he was once a hydroplane racer. This was in the old days, which came after my own old days. Harking back to the late 1940s...
Product placement strategy could benefit the Methow

Product placement strategy could benefit the Methow

By Bob Spiwak About 50 years ago Vance Packard published a book titled The Hidden Persuaders. It had to do with messages being sent via visual media like TV and movie theaters, or audible messages by radio. While any kind of message could be delivered, the thrust was on commercials. These messages came and went...