Funeral Mass at Holy Family this Wednesday for Deacon Ted Wiese

September 22nd, 2013 Tracy Posted in Holy Family, Obituaries, People, White Center news Comments Off

A funeral Mass is planned at Holy Family this Wednesday morning for 84-year-old Theodore (Ted) John Wiese:

Ted went home to the Lord 9-19-13 at the age of 84. Born in Woodburn, Oregon, in 1929, he married Doris Marie Prinslow on October 2, 1954, after being honorably discharged as a corporal from the Marine Corps and attending OSU. He retired from The Boeing Company after 26 years and was ordained to the Diaconate, serving the Archdiocese of Seattle for the past 24 years at Holy Family Parish in White Center.

He is survived by his wife Doris, sister Jeanette Moore, his children Connie (Richard) Sanders, Larry Wiese, Greg Wiese, Julie (Bruce) Hanson, Lisa (Karl) Hansen, Tom (Wendy) Wiese, Margaret (Jeff Haack) Wiese, and Paul Wiese, 10 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. Mass of the Christian Burial will be at Holy Family Church at 11:00 am September 25. To leave an online condolence, please visit Yaringtons.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ted’s memory to Catholic Community Services or Holy Family Parish.

(WCN publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to whitecenternow@gmail.com)

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Remembering longtime florist Laurie Rosenthal, 1946-2013

May 4th, 2013 Tracy Posted in Obituaries, People, White Center news 1 Comment »

Family and friends are remembering longtime florist Laurie Rosenthal, 66, this weekend. (You might remember her from the now-closed White Center shop South End Florist.) Here’s the remembrance her family shared:

Laurie Jean Rosenthal, was born to Louis and Leona Hostak on December 31, 1946 and passed away after a short battle with cancer on May 1, 2013.

Laurie was a faithful, loving and passionate daughter, mother, aunt, grandmother and friend. She stayed in the Seattle area all of her life, and was a popular florist at Fran’s Flowers and South End Florist for many years. She will be remembered for her great sense of humor, practical jokes, love of animals, and most of all, her love of family. She adored the love of her life Lonnie, her son Joe and daughter-in-law Debbie, and her son Tony and daughter-in-law Tina. She also loved teasing her brothers and their wives Jim and Mary and Don and Myrna. She was preceded in death by her brother Bob.

She especially loved her grandchildren Anthony, Joshua and Katie. Anytime Josh and Anthony had a baseball game, you would find her in the stands cheering as loud as she could. She never missed a game! She also enjoyed camping and ice cream with Katie. Her numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins were near and dear to her heart. Lana and Bev were her dearest friends and she loved them and their families with all of her heart. She loved all of her many friends and cherished each friendship. All who knew her, loved her and will greatly miss her.

An open house to celebrate Laurie’s life will be held on Saturday, May 4 at 1pm in Enumclaw. Contact Tony at tlrosenthal@comcast.net for details.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to your favorite animal charity.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Remembering Ryan Lien-Shepard: Celebration of life on April 6

March 29th, 2013 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news, White Center obituaries Comments Off

One week from tomorrow, family and friends will celebrate the life of Ryan Lien-Shepard. Today, they share this remembrance:

On Monday, March 25th, we lost Ryan Lien-Shepard at the young age of 35. He was taken from this world far too early. He was a son, a brother, a uncle, a grandson, a nephew, and a friend that was loved by many. He leaves behind Marla, his mom, his siblings Ciaira, Shanna, Aaron, Jocelyn, his niece, and his son Luke. ;-) Ryan’s unexpected passing has left his loving family and friends mourning and heartbroken.

Ryan was born and raised in White Center. He went to Evergreen High School where he graduated in 1995. Ryan not only was a family friend of Burien Bark but also an employee for the past 4 years.

At this time we are asking for help in any way possible. Please consider making a donation in any amount, great or small. Donations can be anonymous or not (your choice) and 100% will go directly to Marla’s bank account. For those of you that wish to donate directly to the family and help during this tragic time, we have set up a memorial fund in Ryan’s name.

youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/ryan-lien-shepard-8-29-1977-3-25-2013/49791

You can also go into Sterling Bank in Burien or Burien Bark to make a donation in person.

Ryan’s celebration of life will be held on Saturday April 6th from 2 pm-6 pm at the White Center Eagles, 10452 15th Ave SW

Please keep this precious family in your thoughts and prayers as they process such a tremendous loss. Thank you so much for your love and support.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

White Center newlyweds: Congratulations, Gill and Alex!

December 10th, 2012 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news 1 Comment »

We know at least one White Center couple has been part of the history-making events in our state these past few days since same-sex marriage became legal: Gill and Alex. If it’s happening in White Center, they’re usually part of it – community meetings, neighborhood cleanups, graffiti patrols, block watch, you name it. They’ve been together going on two decades, and now they are married. Here’s how Gill tells it:

We met in 1995, purchased our house in White Center in 1998 and have lived here ever since. We “discovered” White Center and many of our neighbors while walking Mac (mixed beagle/basset) over the early years.

Of course, we wanted to get married as soon as Washington would permit it. Therefore, we braved the very friendly and enthusiastic crowds Thursday morning to get our marriage license. Yesterday we married in a civil ceremony presided over by King County Judge Judith Ramseyer. She and her friends helping her couldn’t have been happier to see us married. It was a truly remarkable event to be remembered and cherished for the rest of our lives.

Since 12:01 am Thursday, King County has issued 710 marriage licenses.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tribute to murder victim Margaret Ryan dedicated in downtown White Center

December 1st, 2012 Tracy Posted in Crime, People, White Center news Comments Off

” />

Margaret Ryan was remembered tonight in downtown White Center as a community champion and good friend. Two and a half weeks after Ms. Ryan was murdered, a plaque in her honor was dedicated in the planting area on the southeast corner of 16th and Roxbury, during a candlelight ceremony.

Aileen Sison and Vera Johnson had organized the tribute. They both shared memories, as did others including White Center Chamber of Commerce president Mark Ufkes, and Ms. Ryan’s youngest son Patrick Lamb, who said his mom was working to help make connections in the community, and everyone coming together in this way was a sign that she had make connections happen.

Ms. Ryan’s 42-year-old son Brodie Lamb is charged with first-degree murder in her death; he pleaded not guilty at his arraignment this past Thursday.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Margaret Ryan murder: Son pleads not guilty; memorial event Saturday

November 30th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Crime, People, White Center news Comments Off

Thursday morning, murder victim Margaret Ryan‘s 42-year-old son Brodie Lamb appeared in King County Superior Court, pleading not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder. He remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says a case-setting hearing is set for December 13th. Before then, friends, family, and community members will gather this Saturday at 4:30 pm for a tribute to Ms. Ryan, right before the 5 pm lighting of the White Center Christmas Tree at Veterans’ Triangle Park. Investigators say Lamb confessed to stabbing his 69-year-old mother to death two weeks ago after breaking through the door of her home when she tried to keep him out.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Remembering Margaret Ryan: 16th/Roxbury work party

November 24th, 2012 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news Comments Off

The two county-side corners of 16th/Roxbury are getting TLC today to prepare for a tribute to community advocate Margaret Ryan, murdered a week and a half ago. Above, Vera Johnson and Aileen Sison, who convened a planning meeting last Monday night, are among those fixing up the planting areas; we photographed them on the southeast corner – here’s the work site on the southwest corner:

The tribute is expected to be dedicated next Saturday night (December 1st) before the White Center tree lighting, around 4:30 pm (the lighting’s at 5 at Triangle Park across Roxbury). Meantime, Ms. Ryan’s son, 42-year-old Brodie Lamb, is charged in her death, and awaiting arraignment next week.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

White Center ties for South Park crash victims; fundraiser set to help 2 families

November 17th, 2012 Tracy Posted in People, south park, White Center news Comments Off

(Also posted on our partner sites West Seattle Blog and White Center Now, as this tragedy touches all three communities)

Last weekend, a one-car crash in South Park took two young lives and changed three others. We are gradually learning more about those involved – including some with White Center ties.

One of the teenagers killed in the crash has been laid to rest: After her viewing in White Center and funeral Mass at Holy Family, 13-year-old Lucie Hernandez, a Denny International Middle School student, was to be buried at a cemetery in Tukwila Friday afternoon.

Viewing is Sunday and a funeral Mass on Monday at St. Mary’s in the Central District for 16-year-old Luis Martinez, who was a student at TEC High School on the Evergreen campus in White Center.

The two boys who survived the crash are also Evergreen campus students, according to Highline Public Schools, at TEC and at the Arts and Academics Academy, while the third survivor has been identified as Lucie’s sister Karla, a ninth-grader at Chief Sealth International High School.

We had previously reported an account to help Luis’s family with expenses, accessible via any BECU branch, in the name of Victor Herrera, account number 3579847581. Donations were accepted at this past Wednesday’s Denny/Sealth concert in West Seattle (coverage here from WSB). And now, there’s a benefit planned Monday night (November 19th) to help both Luis and Lucie’s families:

The event will be at Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant in Renton from 5 pm-9 pm. There will be a $10 buffet fee and a chance to drop off additional donations. Radio Variedades radio host Mercedes Garcia will be hosting the event live on the radio and encouraging the community to come and support. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to spread the word.

The restaurant is at 540 Rainier Avenue South (here’s a map).

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

You’re invited to help plan a memorial for murder victim Margaret Ryan

November 16th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Crime, People, White Center news Comments Off

Monday night, you’re invited to a meeting to help plan a tribute and memorial for Margaret Ryan, the local writer and community advocate murdered at her apartment earlier this week.

On Monday, November 19th at 6:30 pm we are meeting at Mago Signs on 16th SW to begin planning a dedication and memorial planting in honor of Margaret Ryan, who was murdered this week.

This week we lost a very passionate active member of our community. Please join us. Share with us any ideas, suggestions or contributions to honor one of our active members of this community. Potluck dinner. Please bring an item to share. …

This kind of violence happens randomly, in no particular demographic, and to no particular single type of person. This is the result of a disease/illness of the mind and spirit, not a reflection of the community.

Please help us to build strong community by coming together again to honor one of our local fallen heroes who was a victim of violence and say no-we will not let this go by unnoticed and we will unite, standing up against judgement and criticism.

The meeting is at 10032 16th SW. You can RSVP via the Facebook event page, here. Meantime, Ms. Ryan’s 42-year-old son remains jailed in connection with the killing; prosecutors are expected to decide today whether to charge him.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Happy anniversary, Spencer’s Automotive – party till 3 pm

September 22nd, 2012 Tracy Posted in Businesses, People, White Center news Comments Off

Congratulations to the Spencer family – Rich, Joan, and daughter Rachel – as the family business reaches a milestone today: Half a century! Spencer’s Automotive is the Shell station/auto-repair shop at the corner of 15th and 107th:

Till 3 pm, it’s party central:

Bouncy house, climbing wall, Full Tilt Ice Cream treats, and on the east side, hot dogs:

Rich Spencer bought the business from his dad – who died just last February – back in 1989, according to posters that are up at the station, explaining its history.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

White Center Salvation Army welcomes Captains Jennifer and Raymond Erickson-King

August 20th, 2012 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news Comments Off

Just announced by the Salvation Army – new White Center leadership:

The Salvation Army Northwest Division announces the appointment
of Captains Raymond and Jennifer Erickson-King, to the Seattle White Center Corps. Prior to this
appointment, the Captains managed the Youth & Young Adult Programs at The Salvation Army
Intermountain Division (Denver, CO). In White Center, they replace Majors Maynard and Kathy Sargent,
who retired.

The news of their appointment didn’t surprise the Captains Erickson-King. As Salvation Army Officers,
they expect to be reassigned throughout their careers. The commitment of being an Officer includes
moving your family frequently, and accepting reassignments based on career development and filling
the needs of The Salvation Army locations. The assignment at White Center is an acknowledgement of
their ability to manage a large community center and congregation.

The Seattle White Center location is among the largest and most active Corps in The Salvation Army
Northwest Division. It serves more than 6,000 individuals per month. Among the variety of programs
and services offered to the community are community lunch for seniors; food pantry; rent/utility
assistance; after-school tutoring, athletic leagues, and music lessons for kids and teens; summer
overnight camp; summer day camp for kids, and holiday assistance.

Originally from Dallas, Oregon, Captain Raymond received an Associate of Arts degree in Ministry from
The Salvation Army College for Officer Training in Crestmont, CA, in 1998. Throughout his career, he has
managed many Salvation Army locations, including Waimea and Honokaa, HI; San Pedro, Long Beach,
and Merced, CA; and Tri-Cities, WA. He is an alumnus of Corban University (Salem, OR), and holds a
Master of Business Administration and has earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology:
Family Studies and Business Administration: Management and Communication.

Captain Jennifer was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in Los Angeles. She received an Associate
of Arts degree in Ministry from The Salvation Army College for Officer Training in Crestmont, CA, in
2005. She served with Captain Raymond at the appointments in Tri-Cities, WA; Merced, CA; and Denver,
CO.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Trusted Advocates’ storytelling, this Friday: ‘Our Stories, Our Voices’

June 14th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Cultural Center, People, White Center news 1 Comment »

Just might be the most interesting thing you do all weekend – check it out:

You are invited to the monthly TRUSTED ADVOCATES Storytelling Program

OUR STORIES, OUR VOICES

Date:
Friday, June 15th

AT:
The White Center Community Cultural Center
9421 – 18th Ave SW
(& SW Cambridge) – Hillborn Room

Time:
5:30 Light meal from presenters culture/heritage
6:00 Storytelling Program
- followed by Q/A segment

Our Special Guest this month:
ABUZAR KACHIYEV (an Ahiska or Meshketian Turk)
and translated by YASEMIN SAN

Abuzar Kachiyev arrived in the city of Kent as a refugee from Russia seven years ago.

He and other Ahiska (or Meskhetian) Turks living in the Krasnodar region of Russia suffered significant human rights violations until the US government reached out to this community. A limited number of Ahiska Turks, like Abuzar’s, were granted the right to resettle in the US. Abuzar, has worked as a civil engineer and has a large family that is very attached to their cultural norms.

Abuzar will talk about the unheard story of a community, the Ahiska Turks of Russia; people without a land, people with no documents, families hiding from ruthless authority … AND their journey to an unknown land, the USA.

Yasemin San moved to Seattle from Turkey in 1979. Upon her arrival, she was immersed in the Turkish community and created a folk dance group, which still performs in festivals and other special events. She was also one of the pioneers of the Ethnic Heritage Council, an umbrella organization for ethnic communities and arts organizations. Yasemin works as a legal interpreter and is an active volunteer in the Turkish immigrant and Turkic refugee communities. She has organized cultural events for the last 32 years.

Yasemin will briefly talk about the Turkish and Turkic peoples (who they are; where they live) and their immigration stories going back to the very early times. She will refer to the cultural aspects of Turks, including some folk customs and rituals.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW!

EAT SOMETHING NEW!

Get out of your house and venture into the neighborhood and meet new people.

They really are quite interesting.

WE’LL SEE YOU ON JUNE 15TH!!!

Any questions call: Nancy Calos-Nakano 206.795.0833 or trustedadvocates@gmail.com

Stay tuned, next Month: Sam Mitsui on Japanese Internment – Friday, July 20th

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

White Center man to serve as business rep for Machinists Union

May 9th, 2012 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news Comments Off

From the Machinists Union comes this announcement of a new role for a White Center resident:

Rich McCabe of White Center has been appointed as a Business Representative for Machinists Union District Lodge 751, based in Everett.

In his new role, he represents the interests of roughly 2,500 Machinists Union members working for the Boeing Co., particularly those working in the Everett wire shop and Interiors Responsibility Center.

Before becoming a business rep, McCabe was an IAM Work Transfer Representative in Renton, charged with proposing alternatives to convince Boeing to keep work in-house instead of outsourcing it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Former Evergreen player Senio Kelemete drafted by NFL’s Cardinals

May 3rd, 2012 Tracy Posted in People, Sports, White Center news Comments Off

Highline Public Schools sends the news that former Evergreen football star Senio Kelemete has been drafted by the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals:

Former Evergreen High School football standout Senio Kelemete was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL draft this week, going to the Arizona Cardinals as the 151st pick overall.

Kelemete led Evergreen to a 9-2 record during his senior season in 2007, helping the Wolverines make the state playoffs for the first time since 2001. He was also honored as the Seamount League’s Lineman of the Year on both offense and defense.

As a University of Washington Husky, Kelemete started all 13 games at left tackle this past season and was named a team captain for the second straight year. He earned All-Pac-12 honors for the second time in his career and was awarded the Fred Jacoby Sportsmanship Award at the Valero Alamo Bowl in December.

Here’s his page on the Huskies’ website; his UW career concluded in the 2011-2012 season (here’s a December 2011 profile from our partners at the Seattle Times).

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

White Center community leaders participating in Gathering of Neighbors

April 19th, 2012 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news 1 Comment »

This Saturday, West Seattle community advocates, volunteers, students, and more are coming together for the Gathering of Neighbors, but it’s not just about WS – White Center leaders are participating in a special pre-event. Before the GoN officially opens to the public at 11 am Saturday in the Galleria at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle, not far from White Center at all!), a 10 am leadership panel will include four speakers – two from White Center. They are Sili Savusa, new executive director of the White Center Community Development Association, and Aileen Sison, who has brought business owners together with White Center B.O.S.S. (business owners of sustainable support). During the open Community Resource Fair 11 am-3 pm, participants will include the White Center Chamber of Commerce, and we’ll be there on behalf of WCN and partner site West Seattle Blog. See you there!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Memorial service April 19th for longtime White Center advocate Mickey Kraut

April 9th, 2012 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news 1 Comment »

“She did a lot for Rat City.” That’s what one of the new-generation White Center advocates, Full Tilt Ice Cream‘s Justin Cline, told WCN, as he relayed the news that longtime community advocate/volunteer Mickey Kraut had died. And according to what we’ve found in research, that’s an understatement; Ms. Kraut worked for decades to help make White Center a better place, including involvement in White Center Jubilee Days and the WC Chamber of Commerce, among other things. According to her memorial page on the website for Yarington’s Funeral Home in White Center, Ms. Kraut died last Friday, at 80 years old. Her visitation and funeral are both planned for next week – the former, 2-5 pm on Wednesday, April 18th, the latter, 11 am on Thursday, April 19th, both at Yarington’s (10708 16th SW).

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

White Center Community Development Association: Warm welcome for Sili, fond farewell for Aileen

March 24th, 2012 Tracy Posted in People, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news Comments Off

If you don’t know them already, that’s outgoing White Center Community Development Association executive director Aileen Balahadia at left, with her successor Sili Savusa at right, photographed during the Friday reception/celebration at Greenbridge. Savusa started work at WCCDA a few days after her new role was announced March 15th; she had previously worked at West Seattle-based Southwest Youth and Family Services, whose executive director Steve Daschle was among the reception’s attendees (at right in the next photo with White Center Storefront Deputy BJ Myers):

Balahadia announced her departure back in December, and leaves after eight years of WCCDA growth described in the announcement we published then.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

One-Night Count finds 55 homeless people without shelter in White Center

January 27th, 2012 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news 2 Comments »

Organizers say they know it’s not the full number, but they do the best they can to muster a huge volunteer force to roam the county one night a year for the One-Night Count. It happened this morning, and White Center is among the areas that were visited. You can see the results here – including 55 people counted in White Center.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

‘Help protect my neighborhood’: A public plea in White Center

December 28th, 2011 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news Comments Off

Outside Jimenez Signs in White Center, a new sign this afternoon – asking for help in protecting WC, following this morning’s deadly shooting across the street at Seattle Roll Bakery. Carlos Jimenez, a longtime community leader and entrepreneur, has campaigned against violence before, and says it is time to make a stand again.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

‘Chicken Friday Christmas’: The party that gave a priceless gift

December 27th, 2011 Tracy Posted in People, White Center news 10 Comments »

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Earlier this month, a special event at The Barrel in Top Hat brought a holiday-season boost to the White Center Food Bank. We didn’t know about it ahead of time, or would have covered it – but out of nowhere, we received this story telling the heartwarming tale. Thanks, Joe – and everybody who made the event happen.)

Story and visuals by Joe Heisler
Special to White Center Now

There was no mention of the White Center Food Bank in The Seattle Times‘ recent report on hardships and headwinds facing small nonprofits though they lost $50K in government funding this year, a perfect case-in-point for the newly released Nonprofit Research Collaborative findings.

The cuts come as community needs increase, but the volunteer-driven organization is responding to challenges with extended hours and expanded services. The Baby Pantry is just one example and one recent day, a dozen children were among those lined up outside, braving the cold and waiting for doors to open at 1 p.m. Volunteers readied provisions and took stations inside. With only two paid staffers, the WCFB coordinates 20,000 volunteer-hours to serve more than 60,000 people a year.

“You have to understand,” said Executive Director Rick Jump, “Our average donation is $25, maybe $50, and we do have generous donors who give $50 every month. So when Irish came in (one recent) morning with $4,100, we were just blown away.”

That’s Irish McKinney, a charismatic barrel-chested mountain of a man, full white beard prominent, with a commanding voice and easy smile –– his better-half’s patch says “my old man is one bad apple.”

Marjorie and Irish keep four motorcycles, including the vintage ‘59 Panhead Harley he bought fresh out of the Army in Minneapolis (1974), and “rode back to Seattle by way of Dallas.” He knew the biker clubs of the time, but took a detour for school and a year as a VISTA volunteer. Irish earned his degree from the University of Puget Sound in 1980 as a business major.

As a pro sound tech, Irish found a path that led to work with Arlo Guthrie, Leo Kottke, David Crosby, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Jerry Miller of Moby Grape, Mudhoney, Alice in Chains, and The Presidents of the United States of America, among others.

Of his time at the bygone Backstage in Ballard, Irish recalled, “It was a third-line venue that booked a lot of acts either on their way up or on their way down.”

There were many great encounters, but after ten years the crowd seemed to be getting younger, so Irish shifted gears again, and as a top-producing Enrolled Agent for a regional H&R Block office, stayed for thirteen years before opening his own successful practice, Top Hat Taxes. “They took a chance on me,” he said, reflecting with a smile, “I’ve looked like this for a long time.”

Along the way, the Apple Dumpling Gang (ADG), a regional motorcycle club, proved to be a great fit for Irish. Predominantly veterans with a strong sense of community and belonging like a lot of other clubs, but “they put work and family first,” he said. “And that made the difference.”

Meeting friends at The Barrel Tavern on Friday evenings (fried chicken special) became a tradition for Irish and Marjorie through the years, and one that continues today –– pulling tables together to accommodate all, and making a night of it. In 2008 they made a wonderful Christmas party of it for legions of friends.

Sensing an opportunity to leverage the good feeling, they decided to underwrite a holiday party to help feed people in need. So with Top Hat Taxes as sponsor, and partners in The Barrel Tavern and Rat City ABATE (national motorcycle legislative awareness/activist organization A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments) to host and post the event respectively, Chicken Friday Christmas was born.

Marjorie reports that the first ‘official’ Chicken Friday Christmas in 2009 brought in $1,300 for charity. The net reached $2,000 in 2010. But this year was extraordinary.

On party night The Barrel sparkled. Vincente’s team tended the gorgeous buffet throughout the night and the food was incredible. Diners filled long, elegant banquet tables and volunteers sold raffle tickets in the aisles. It was standing-room-only before long. From a festooned head table facing the room, Irish gestured or said something that hushed the boisterous crowd at once.

He introduced a ‘brother,’ as bikers tend to regard and call each other, who delivered a heartfelt benediction to bowed heads nodding in agreement, followed by polite applause.

Taking the microphone, Irish continued with recognition for troops returning from Iraq and gratitude for their service punctuated by long moments of silence and reflection for the fallen. This was the weekend troops were coming home en masse –– and the gravity of sentiment of Vietnam-era veterans who faced a much different homecoming was lost on no one.

“Let’s feed some people!,” Irish’s booming baritone filled the room, without the mic this time, and to greater effect. “What are we doing?,” he bellowed, and the crowd responded in unison, “Feeding People!”

Next up was the amazing Orville Johnson to play a few sets of acoustic blues freeing Irish to work the room –– he was on all night and the crowd was with him all the way, even when he doubled-down and took to reciting holiday poems. It was an amazing production, lots going on and no lulls in the action.

And as the Third Annual Chicken Friday Christmas gave way to Saturday morning, all left happy and entertained, feeling good for doing good.

“Please just say how grateful we are, how truly grateful.” The food bank director’s refrain hung in the air as he searched for words –– he was speaking for a lot of great volunteers who work very hard every day. And for those in need, on their urgent behalf, he was speaking for them.

But Irish never was in it for recognition. He agreed to talk, but largely to thank a lot of people for the hard work and support that made it successful. “Dana and Deanna (sisters, proprietors of The Barrel) are incredible. They sold ribbons all month and exceeded all expectations. They were not passive, they made it happen.”

When he stopped by The Barrel early Saturday morning it wasn’t for congratulations, just some help to deliver two truck loads of brand-new toys to Childhaven in Burien. “And it took everything I had to get there.” But that’s another story.

He’s not a proud man, but a lot of people are very proud of him. And so it goes –– sometimes the good guys wear black…

Joe first sent this to us in a creatively laid-out PDF. We couldn’t reproduce that on a web page, but you can click here to download and see his original creation.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button