That photo is the inspiration for the newest signal-box portrait painted by West Seattle artist Desmond Hansen – this time, commissioned as a surprise for the couple in the photo.
That’s Sue Turner, retired Sanislo Elementary School PE teacher, who worked at the school for more than 30 years. She “touched a lot of lives,” according to the group of Sanislo alumni who gathered Saturday morning to surprise her with the box, which is on 16th SW just north of SW Holden, just half a mile from Sanislo:
The portrait depicts Sue with her husband Bud Turner (who was not well enough to be there Saturday). He is a retired educator too and led the Seattle Public Schools PE department until the early 2000s. Together the Turners founded SCATS, a legendary program described this way by The Seattle Times in 2002:
… a child acrobatic team featuring the most skilled tumblers, jump-ropers, unicyclists, jugglers, and handwalkers at Seattle’s Sanislo and Dearborn Park elementary schools. You may have seen them at Sonics and Husky halftimes. Little kids juggling toilet plungers, zooming on unicycles tall as basketball backboards, leapfrogging through each other’s legs (upside-down) while jumping double-Dutch rope.
The Turners’ influence spread beyond Seattle, too – they wrote six well-regarded books for PE teachers.