West Seattle, Washington
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Honoring our area’s history is “the stuff of identity, legacy, and hope,” Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals told the 230 guests gathered for the organization’s annual Champagne Gala Brunch today.
Though Eals emceed most of the 3 1/2-hour event, he presented that message via a video preceding the gala’s major fundraising round – and it clearly resonated, in this time of seemingly light-speed change; that round and other components of the brunch brought SWSHS $107,759, 36 percent more than last year.
This is a rock-n-roll Historical Society, with those in attendance at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) spanning a wide range of ages and affiliations. Though “Loving Our Landmarks” was the official theme, the history celebrated was from the relatively recent past, too. Among the live-auction items was a Pearl Jam poster with band autographs (including those of West Seattleites Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament).
It went for $1,200. And during the bidding – ring-led by auctioneer Ron Hippe – Vedder’s wearing of an Easy Street Records cap during World Series Game 7 was mentioned – ESR’s Rod Moody, given the microphone for a moment, told brunchers that ever since, “we’ve sold SO MANY hats.” The Chicago Cubs’ historic win also got a nod from Eals, briefly donning a Cubs hat toward the start of the brunch – he was interviewed on NPR last weekend as biographer of music legend and mega-Cubs fan Steve Goodman.
Easy Street also ties to this year’s theme because it is the anchor of the Hamm Building, one of the two buildings in the heart of The Junction for which SWSHS is seeking city-landmark designation, along with the Campbell Building across the street. The West Seattle Junction Historical Survey that paved the way for the landmarking proposal was lauded as one of this year’s SWSHS highlights.
Some of the local buildings that already are landmarked played a prominent role in the gala, too, particularly the Admiral Theater, now in the midst of a long-awaited renovation that will transform it into a four-auditorium venue. SWSHS led the fight to save it more than a quarter-century ago. Photos from the ongoing work were displayed – the first signs of the upcoming stadium seating:
And glimpses of long-hidden murals that will likely be the subject of another restoration campaign, potentially with crowdfunding:
The Admiral also figured into the auction items, including the chance to “christen” it when the work is done sometime next year. (As we have reported, the moviehouse is staying open during the work, showing one movie at a time right now, but the completion will merit a “grand reopening” anyway.) It also inspired the choice of Hollywood as a sub-theme of the gala; other auction items were donated by actors with area ties, Dyan Cannon (who grew up in West Seattle) and Karolyn Grimes (who lives right across the Sound in Manchester and is known best for playing Zuzu in “It’s a Wonderful Life“). Yet another item offered a tour of local stars’ former homes, guided by Eals and SWSHS vice president Peder Nelson.
The most charming view into West Seattle’s movie-related history, though, came during West Seattleite and longtime KOMO-TV reporter Connie Thompson‘s interview with Jim Bonholzer, who was a teenager working at The Admiral on its opening night in 1942. Here’s our video:
Bonholzer’s family surprised him earlier this year by throwing him a 90th-birthday bash at the Admiral. Asked about his hopes for the landmarked moviehouse’s future, Bonholzer said he hopes that in 75 years, his descendants would stand on the corner of California and Admiral and point out that their great-great-great-great (etc.) grandfather worked there 150 years ago.
Another milestone birthday prominently mentioned at the gala – that of Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller, who got a “Happy Birthday” serenade when the crowd was told he recently turned 60.
Miller also was part of the panel that played what has become a SWSHS Champagne Gala Brunch tradition, a version of the popular radio trivia game “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.” You probably won’t be surprised to hear he won, racking up more correct answers than the other panelists, former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, West Seattle Junction Association director Lora Swift, local radio star John Maynard, and your editor here. Brian Calvert from KOMO was the lively host:
No prize, but Miller has bragging rights! (He also donated auction items including a 4-hour sunset tour on his boat and the rights to have a Husky Deli ice-cream flavor created by and named in honor of the winning bidder.)
Yet another gala tradition: The Golden Ticket drawing. Up to 100 tickets are sold at $100 each, and the winner gets a Holland-America cruise. This year’s winner, Jennifer Farria – a Fauntleroy resident who moved to West Seattle less than a year ago – had just left the event minutes before the drawing but rushed back on hearing the news:
The gala also looked toward SWSHS’s future. Toward the start of the gala, SWSHS supporters learned that board president Marcy Johnsen is stepping down. She has had a unique tie to the organization – having grown up in the building that is its headquarters, the Log House Museum (open noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays at 61st/Stevens on Alki), originally the carriage house to the nearby Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge, whose restoration, Eals said, is “on track.”
Also looking ahead, Eals mentioned a plan to create a bicycle ride between the Log House Museum and the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse, further solidifying ties with our area’s First People. Duwamish Tribe member Ken Workman is on the SWSHS Advisory Council and greeted the brunchgoers in Lushootseed. He also has been a speaker in SouthWest Stories, one of the two monthly speaker series that SWSHS presents (the other is Words, Writers, West Seattle).
Along with those in attendance, the gala was made possible by an army of volunteers and a long list of sponsors (featured in the official program); WSB was a media sponsor. After some hours to reflect, Eals offered these final words on the gala’s success: “We are deeply gratified by the generosity of those who ‘love our landmarks’ and appreciate the important role history plays in connecting, engaging, and inspiring all of us, including the succeeding generations we will never know.”
P.S. Want to know where all of West Seattle’s official landmarks are? Here’s the city map.
Want to get involved with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society? Its annual membership meeting is at 10:30 am next Saturday (November 12th) at Providence Mount St. Vincent (4831 35th SW).
One reader report to share tonight in West Seattle Crime Watch, from Susan in Admiral:
Just wanted to email in that a package was stolen off my porch this morning between 9:36 am (when FedEx driver says he dropped it off) and 9:45 am when I looked for the package at my front door.
I live (in the 2300 block of) 47th Ave SW. I called FedEx and the driver says he did drop it off so I guess someone must have been following the truck. The package contained rather expensive refrigerated medicine that had to be mail-ordered from AZ.
Still hoping someone finds it and brings it back!
The latest SPD package/mail-theft info is in this newsletter.
Six days after the annual Fauntleroy Creek gathering to call the salmon home, another has shown up. And you’re invited to the creek Sunday afternoon. From Judy Pickens:
Patience rewarded long-time Fauntleroy Creek volunteer Dennis Hinton with another coho spawner more than two weeks after he spotted the first five. No. 6 entered the creek Saturday afternoon and moved upstream toward 45th Ave. SW.
On the chance that rain, ideal creek conditions, and high tides will bring more in, volunteers will be at the creek between noon and 4:00 Sunday afternoon if area residents want to try their luck. Come to the fish-ladder viewpoint (SW Director & upper Fauntleroy Way SW) and a volunteer will invite you down.
Find out more about Fauntleroy Creek here.
After making it from Fairmount to Beach Drive on Friday, Westley the West Seattle Deer headed north today. The video above, courtesy of Owen, is from 46th/Massachusetts in North Admiral; that came in after the photo below from 53rd and Andover:
Recapping our previous coverage – the deer first turned up on Pigeon Point last Sunday night, then headed west into North Delridge on Monday, where it was seen on Nucor property and to the south by Dragonfly Pavilion, near Longfellow Creek. Then on Friday we got word of numerous sightings, some with photos, as reported here.
Unless it is injured or in some other kind of distress, Seattle Animal Shelter says, it is best left alone; a Nucor manager told us he had tried to talk the state Fish and Wildlife Department into coming for it, but they said basically the same thing. Deer are seldom seen in Seattle, and some think this might be the same one seen earlier this fall in Union Bay and then in the Beacon Hill area.
Phyllis Feiring Pulfer passed away on Sept. 29, 2016, at Washington Odd Fellows Home, surrounded by family. She was born on Dec. 7, 1926, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Howard Farbach and Helen McGrath Farbach. After her mother’s passing when she was still quite young, she was raised by her grandparents in Seattle and later adopted by her maternal aunt and uncle, Odene and Arthur Feiring. She graduated from West Seattle High School and attended the University of Washington. She took time away from her studies at the University, worked for a time, and later transferred to the University of Oregon. It was there that she met a rather dashing fellow who was going to college on the GI bill. Robert B. Pulfer and Phyllis were married on June 17, 1948.
Phyllis and “Bob” started a family, and after his graduation, he went to work for the Corps of Engineers, which took them to several locations along the Columbia River. They had 6 children in 8 years and she enjoyed being a mother. She was awarded “mother of the year” in 1962 and was active in Camp Fire, PTA, and her church. She returned to complete her degree in her 40s at Whitman College while raising her children, and with very limited vision. She graduated from Whitman College in 1969 with a degree in Economics. She took a job at Blue Mountain Action Council and advanced to Executive Director within a few short years. She retired from BMAC in 1992 and continued in her role as chairman of the Human Rights Commission for the state of Washington.
Phyllis will be remembered for her tireless advocacy for social justice. She fought for the rights of the educationally and economically disadvantaged, the differently abled and the victims of bigotry and injustice. She served on many boards of directors in the community helping to steer organizations to financial solvency. While at BMAC she instituted programs to help winterize homes, developed training and employment for disadvantaged youth, created the Day Care Center at the Migrant Labor Camp, and many more services to the benefit of those in need in the community. She was particularly interested in adult literacy and helped to start Project Read. She was interested in women’s rights and served on the board of Planned Parenthood and started the local NOW chapter. Her ability to work with parties across the spectrum of political and economic entities to create a lasting legacy of care for all the members of the community is legendary.
Those who worked for her have praised her ability to bring out the best in themselves as she encouraged them to fulfill their potential. She listened to the concerns of those around her and had a keen eye for simple solutions. She had a soft heart and a ready tear, but she did not get mired in the emotional aspects of the job at hand. There are few social service organizations in the valley that did not benefit from her time and energy.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her mother, father, Sister Patricia Bristow, and son Bruce James Pulfer. Her husband Robert Pulfer died two days following her passing. She is survived by daughters Janet Velez (Ray), Marianne Pulfer (Richard Thurston), Kathleen Burgess (Aaron) ,and Nadean Pulfer (Irving Rosenberg), and a son, Ross Pulfer. She dearly loved her 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren who will remember her fondly.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
The organizers of this morning’s Harbor/Avalon/Manning work party said “rain or shine,” and they meant it! In the final hour, we found hardy volunteers under and around the bridge, cleaning up the area as well as planting trees and ferns.
Don Brubeck from West Seattle Bike Connections sent the next photo – reporting that WSBC had three volunteers joining in, as the group planted five 5 Hogan’s Cedars:
As mentioned in the announcements of this work party and one earlier in the year, this work is part of the preparation for a beautification project next year funded by a city matching-fund grant (volunteer work counts toward the “match”).
(WSB photo from 2015)
One of West Seattle’s most beloved Thanksgiving traditions continues again this year. And this year there’s also word of multiple ways to help, if you want to. Judy Pickens shares the announcement:
The Hall @ Fauntleroy will be a lively place on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) when Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes hosts its 18th annual free community meal. The sit-down dinner of turkey and all the trimmings will run noon until 3 PM and is open to anyone who needs a hot meal or just a warm and festive place to be on the holiday.
Volunteers can give a hand in one of three ways:
– Offer to help for an hour to welcome guests, pour coffee, or simply mingle with folks. Call 206-932-1059 or find the sign-up form here.
– Donate socks, blankets, or warm coats (child and adult sizes).
– Donate a dessert.
The hosts will welcome donated items 9 AM – 2 PM on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at their office in Sodo (4101 Airport Way S.) or 10 AM – noon on Thanksgiving morning at the Hall @ Fauntleroy (9131 California Ave. SW, south end of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse Community Center).
Many options for your Saturday, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
HOLIDAY BAZAAR @ THE MOUNT: Second and final day of the holiday bazaar and bake sale at Providence Mount St. Vincent, 9 am-4 pm. (4831 35th SW)
DROP OFF DONATIONS FOR STANDING ROCK: As reported here last weekend, two West Seattleites are collecting donations to take to Standing Rock for the ongoing Native/Indigenous demonstrations aimed at changing an oil-pipeline route. If you are donating, today there are two places you can drop off items – the Westside Unitarian Universalist church (7141 California SW), 8 am-noon, and the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse (4705 W. Marginal Way SW), 10 am-5 pm.
SOUTHWEST SEATTLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY GALA: 11 am-2 pm at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor), the SW Seattle Historical Society‘s annual Champagne Gala Brunch, this year themed “Loving Our Landmarks.” Sold out, so this is just a reminder for those who have tickets – see the official program online for a preview of auction items and more. WSB is a media sponsor of the event. (1936 Harbor Ave. SW)
LONGFELLOW CREEK SALMON WATCH: Meet Puget Soundkeeper volunteers at 11:30 am at Dragonfly Pavilion to walk along the creek and look for salmon. (4107 28th SW)
BOOK LAUNCH: 2-4 pm at Click! Design That Fits (WSB sponsor), it’s the launch party for Michele Babb‘s new book “Anti-Inflammatory Eating for a Happy, Healthy Brain: 75 Recipes for Alleviating Depression, Anxiety, and Memory Loss.” She’s bringing recipe samples to taste, too! (4540 California SW)
HOLIDAY PREVIEW: 2-6 pm at Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) at Westwood Village, it’s “Bubbles and Bling,” with previews of holiday trends, including a rep from Gorjana – details in our calendar listing. (2600 SW Barton)
OPEN HOUSE #2: Community Acupuncture Project of West Seattle and other businesses invite you to stop in, 3-5 pm. Treats and freebies. (4545 44th SW)
DEATH CAFE: 5-7 pm, join neighbors and friends at Resting Waters to talk about the inevitable. As explained in our calendar listing, it’s not a support group, but truly meant to be a discussion. (9205 35th SW)
WEST SEATTLE MEANINGFUL MOVIES: This month’s featured film is “Documented,” the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas.
Doors at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center open at 6:30, film at 7 pm, discussion afterward with Miriam Cervantes Gomez of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. (6400 Sylvan Way)
THE SLAGS: Live at Poggie Tavern in The Junction, starting at 9 pm. 21+. (4717 California SW)
DAYLIGHT-SAVING TIME ENDS: Tonight brings the end of Daylight-Saving Time- at 2 am Sunday, clocks “fall back” to 1 am.
It’s opening weekend for Ounces, the tap room and beer garden at 3809 Delridge Way SW. We stopped by on Friday night for photos to see how it all turned out, after our in-progress reports back in August and October. What you see above is the covered outdoor area; below, the cozy indoor space:
That’s where you’ll find the 30 taps. And where we found co-proprietors Laurel Trujillo and Andrew Trujillo:
Opening weekend continues noon-10 pm today (Saturday) and noon-8 pm Sunday. All ages; dogs welcome.