Today is Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015

Off the Wall
Do I have an obsession? You can count on it

Do I have an obsession? You can count on it

By Bob Spiwak It is not unusual for people from all walks of life, and rides of life as well, to ask me if I am doing a car count on Highway 20 during busy traffic weekends in the valley. The query seems to be coming up more often as the years go by. The...
Island hopping with my golf bag

Island hopping with my golf bag

By Bob Spiwak One of the perks of being a golf writer is travel, especially when it is on someone else’s dime. In that case, there is usually a quid pro quo (something for something) involved, so it is expected that nice things will be written about whoever is picking up the tab. In this...
Just a couple of fishing fools

Just a couple of fishing fools

By Bob Spiwak When Ms. Gloria and I moved here in 1981 our primary activity was going to yard sales and auctions. There we met lots of people, and after a few weekends encountered some of the same people we had met and gotten to know. However, after several months of buying or bidding on...
How the old Weeman Bridge ended its span life

How the old Weeman Bridge ended its span life

By Bob Spiwak It was John Hayes’ idea that we should have a gathering to commemorate the demise of the old Weeman Bridge one evening back in 1984. What you read here is a combination of my memories, my wife’s recollections and the Methow Valley News of Aug. 23 that year. Quoted sections and photo...
Lessons from one’s dotage: ‘it’ happens

Lessons from one’s dotage: ‘it’ happens

By Bob Spiwak This morning (Jan. 16), I got a letter in the mail from The Neptune Society.  I get very little mail other than email, so I was excited to open it. I guessed it had to do with assisted suicide. Ms. Gloria suggested it was to have my remains frozen. I scoffed at...
Memories of Nitchka: gentle, friendly and stubborn

Memories of Nitchka: gentle, friendly and stubborn

By Bob Spiwak For many years, through five owners of the Mazama Store, I have annually made a calendar for the employees. Almost all the calendars have had some relationship to the area, at times with a theme such as cows, horses, scenics and so forth. This year’s is entitled “Dogs of the Mazama Store,”...
Choruses of Christmas past

Choruses of Christmas past

By Bob Spiwak Here we are in the second week of December. We have finally been treated to temperatures in the 30s, moderate for the valley. The Christmas at the End of the Road festivities are past, and the horse-drawn wagon shuttling people from the Winthrop Barn parking lot to downtown and back put me...
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...