Thanksgiving Day extra: West Seattle reasons for thankfulness

(EDITOR’S NOTE: As we wrap up this day devoted to thankfulness, we bring you this story by West Seattle writer Lori Hinton – author of West Seattle 101, with highlights featured here on WSB – looking at some of your neighbors and their reasons for thanks. This was first published on the West Seattle Junction Association website.)

(Will Valentine with Squish the cat)

By Lori Hinton
Special to West Seattle Blog

On a bright, crisp fall day, stroll the streets of The Junction and you’ll find West Seattlelites are eager to share their sunny dispositions. Ask them what they’re thankful for, and many will smile and tell you they are just happy to be here.

“I am thankful for the smell of the salt water in the air on the way in to work,“ beams Katie Barnhardt of Northwest Art & Frame.

Local bike rider Ed Lebel says, “I’m thankful that my dad was raised here so I was too.” Lebel loves to ride what he calls the “tour de West Seattle” around the beach.

“I am thankful for Lincoln Park and all the natural spaces in West Seattle,” smiles resident Maija Wade. “We have two kids and we love it here!”

But on top of being thankful for our amazing nature with beaches, parks, and recreational opportunities galore, West Seattle has something more: Heart.

“I was born and raised in West Seattle, and I’m thankful that I can spend time with my family here,” says Kori Ball. “It’s like a small town within a big city. Everyone knows each other.”

And while West Seattle is full of proud multigenerational families, you don’t have to be a Westside native to feel the love.

“We moved here from the East Coast to be closer to my beautiful grandson,” says CapersKassie Hennessey. “I live and work in The Junction and coming to work here feels like family. Customers come in and reminisce, and they’re like family too. I am thankful to feel a part of something like I do here, it makes me giddy.”

Fellow employee Joey Shearer-Harvey agrees. “We moved here from L.A. and my kids and I call it Mayberry. I am also thankful that everything is right here in The Junction. In L.A., I could never walk to the post office, then the grocery store, and go shopping on my way home.”

Working where you live and living where you work is huge. A two-block commute is definitely something to be thankful for.

“I’m thankful that I live AND work here in The Junction,” says Wolfgang Ratzlaff of Easy Street Records. “That, and I work at THE coolest place in West Seattle, maybe in the whole city!”

It’s a community that supports its neighbors. Sure it’s got your neighborhood pub. But it also has your best friend’s coffee shop, your uncle’s 90-year-old delicatessen, and your dog’s favorite treat stop — where the entire staff knows him by name.

“I am thankful for West Seattle and The Junction specifically,” smiles Will Valentine as he pets Squish the cat at Next to Nature. “I love to work here with these cats knowing we are taking care of them while introducing them to families who can adopt them.”

It’s people and places like this that make the popular “I (Heart) West Seattle” bumper sticker ring true for so many.

So this year, when you reflect on what you’re grateful for, join your neighbors to give thanks for living (and, for some, living and working) in a community with heart.

6 Replies to "Thanksgiving Day extra: West Seattle reasons for thankfulness"

  • Vincent Dakotah Langley November 28, 2014 (5:22 am)

    I am thankful for the fact that I used to be able to ride my really cool motorcycle-looking mobility scooter “around the horn”, as I would always call it — meaning that, I would start from my apartment on Fauntleroy Way, S.W., go east on S.W. Alaska Street to 35th Avenue, S.W., down Avalon Way and then up Harbor Avenue, “around the horn”, to Alki Avenue, and then all the way down Alki Avenue to 63rd Street, S.W. — and then south a couple of blocks to S.W. Admiral Way, and then up Admiral Way to California Avenue, S.W. — and, finally, home from there, back down here on Fauntleroy Way, S.W. Sometimes, too, I would do this trip on my ol’ mobility scooter, in reverse of the way stated above! Our cute and loving little Fawn Chihuahua dog, Tia, would absolutely love to ride with me on those trips “around the horn”, as well!!! …Little Tia, she’s a biker sort of a spirit at heart!!! [Smile!] I still have the motorcycle-looking mobility scooter, of course, however, I am nearly 100% housebound now because the scooter has been sitting right here in my living-room since March of 2013, because it needs new batteries to ever run again. That, and I have had rather serious, long-ongoing health issues that pretty much keep me housebound. …One of these days, ol’ Vincent Dakotah Langley (me) is gonna ride again — with our little Fawn Chihuahua dog, Tia!!! …Yeah!!! [Smile, again!]

  • miws November 28, 2014 (7:17 am)

    Great Article! Thank You, Lori and WSB!


    I am Thankful for my chronic health issues being pretty well stabilized; I’ve been maintaining “my normal” for awhile now.


    I am Thankful for being re-Homed for nearly two years now, at a great location that is perfect for my current abilities and needs (and a fair amount of wants!) ;-)


    I am Thankful for my Friends, most of the closest of which I met through WSB.


    And, finally, I am Thankful for another year of hard work from Tracy & Patrick, and Crew, (including Photographic contributions from (not so)J(anymore)MoT) doing what they do best; keeping us unbelievably well-informed of all things West Seattle, for some even more extraordinary coverage, such as that of the Chambers’ Trial, and for putting up with us “Kids”, who sometimes get a little rambunctious in Comments.



  • miws November 28, 2014 (7:22 am)

    Need to add this; I am Thankful for Vincent’s wonderfully positive attitude, considering his health challenges. ;-)



  • Marianne November 28, 2014 (11:21 am)

    Friends of the Animals Foundation is so very thankful for the love and care Will and the Next to Nature staff provide our rescued cats as they wait for homes.

  • melanie November 28, 2014 (7:51 pm)

    I am thankful for the bike path on Alki, and that I rarely have to leave West Seattle.

  • svm November 28, 2014 (8:22 pm)

    i am thankful to be so lucky to live in the great city of West Seattle, in the awesome US of A, with my beautiful wife and 18 month old daughter, a great dog, and family and friends. Every day is a present and I hope you all had a great thanksgiving!

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