|Vol. 6, No. 6, Archive Edition||2000 Christmas Holiday/2001 Odyssey||© Media Synergy, Inc.
Who woulda' thunk that the Y2K bug would get into Santa's pants? It did, but we're not going to dwell on that at The Sheehan World.
Instead, we'd like to briefly review a year of ups and downs:
We started the year off with a visit to MacWorld in San Francisco and got to visit friends Robin Palley, working for WebMD in San Jose, and Dan "Mig" McLaughlin, a wonderful drummer and former Bellinghamster now living in Santa Cruz with his love, Stella D'Oro. We had the cottonwood trees behind our house cut down because their huge limbs were landing all over the neighbors' yards after every little storm. Ouch! We didn't realize we were tree huggers until after the trees were gone.
February brought our first visitors from the East. Will Sheehan, aka "Dad," made his first cross-country trip at 83, and indulged in sushi for the first time. Brother Robert "Internet Samurai" Sheehan traveled with him and convinced Dad it was "fish and rice, just like you have at home."
After four years of laboring at Western Washington University as a part-time editor and a part-time teacher, the university's Public Information Office finally made Kathy's editing job permanent. She joined the union. Ironically, the Journalism Department offered Kathy a one-year, full-time teaching gig to replace faculty on leave the same day. After much gnashing of teeth, she decided to go with the permanent job rather than the more prestigious teaching post. Oh, well, .... She'll still teach part-time, too. We traveled to Eugene, Ore., for a World Game workshop at the University of Oregon. While there, we hiked along the breathtaking McKenzie River trail and visited with former Bellingham Herald city editor Margaret Haberman. On the way home, we stopped in Astoria to see Carol and Jim Servino (ex-patriots from The Atlantic City Press). We spent Easter Sunday with ex-Atlantic City Press staffer Cindy Burton and her family when they came West for some R&R.
Bellingham's big community festival is "Ski to Sea," a relay-race from the top of Mount Baker to the waters of Bellingham Bay, ending with a huge street festival in Fairhaven. The Walrus was the headline act. Chuck and the rest pulled off "Bohemian Rhapsody" without a hitch -- even though singer Jamie Shea had gall bladder surgery four days earlier. We also began paying moorage on the sailing vessel Synergy, a 24-foot San Juan. Our first planned weekend getaway turned into a "three-hour tour" when Chuck yanked on the outboard engine throttle to pull it out of the water and the whole throttle assembly went splashing off into the $%*#! deep. Kathy didn't know Chuck knew so much sailor terminology! That same weekend, our great-niece, Whitney Best, was born.
It was off to Sinclair Island again, with Hannah, Patricia and Michael. Also visiting us on the remote San Juan Island were John Barnard and Carol Donnelly. We couldn't dig clams because of red tide, but we caught crabs, drank Margaritas, watched a passing lightning storm at night and played SCRABBLE. The cabin owned by Western's Associated Students is a jewel of a place and only $30 a night.
The Walrus got its highest profile gig yet when it played for the Democratic state party in Seattle. Chuck and the rest of the faux-Beatles shared the stage with Gov. Gary Locke and Hillary Clinton (who flashed Chuck in front of hundreds! Or so he says.). Maria Cantwell liked the Walrus so much that she hired the band to play at her U.S. Senate campaign headquarters on the night of her primary election victory. That's two U.S. senators, now, who like the Walrus. Chuck got Kathy her very own Palm Pilot for her birthday, and when Robin and Gilbert Palley came to visit from Philadelphia, we had three Virgos and four Palm Pilots under one roof!!
The Walrus played at Western's homecoming, just a few days after we saw the Northern Lights. It was Kathy's first time seeing the spectacular sky show; Chuck has seen the aurora borealis several times. It looked like a rainbow glowing in the darkened sky. Much of the show was white lights, though, giving the appearance that space aliens were shining flashlights on the stars. The ever quotable Dave Cowan, the Walrus bass player and our neighbor, commented that it was "the fiber optics of the gods." It was also a great month for mushrooms!
Kathy has become a druggie, finally getting some potent arthritis medicine for her aching body. She can now hop, skip and jump, but she swears she will never go windsurfing again. She does, however, plan to twist and shout when The Walrus rings in the new year at Anna's Kaddy Shack. We wish all of you could be there, too!