Hoquiam Farmer’s Market News – Spring Madness Edition

Our seed rack is filled with tempting options, and Judy Hanson has her Tomato Plant order book ready. Judy is our resident Tomato specialist. She’s grown every variety possible and winnowed her favorites to ensure that you can savor the finest, plumpest, most flavorful tomatoes in Western Washington . She grows hers from special seeds, tends them with TLC, and finally entrusts them to you later in May. But you need to order them now, as her supply is limited.
The second annual Deanna April Johnson Blood Drive is taking place this Saturday at the market. Giving blood is so easy- you can sign up here;
or you can be spontaneous and stop by on Saturday. Either way, it’s a lifegiving gift, and will be deeply appreciated. Almost everyone is in need of a blood transfusion at some point in their life. It’s good Karma to give now!
Spring Madness is soon due to reach epidemic proportions. It’s a clear case of cause and effect- too many days of wintery weather and 55 degrees feels toasty. People can be seen with gleaming white legs sporting shorts, even if it means wearing a down vest on top. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. People do and wear crazy things during April. An image from 2 years ago is seared into my memory- it was an early morning clam dig, and I was bundled in full gear to withstand the gale that was pushing the waves and us up the beach. But one brave soul disdained the weather and hopped out of his truck wearing a Utilikilt. In a fierce wind. It was information overload at that point, we scurried further up the beach, leaving only a little bit left to the imagination. After all, it was very cold out.
Another crazy April outfit dates back to the 1970’s and the Lake Quinault Lodge. Picture entering the lobby and encountering one of the owners of the lodge dressed in full scuba gear including goggles, carrying a fishing net and big sack. Now, some less curious person may have turned and exited the building at that point, but not I. Sensing a very good story, I followed cautiously as he made his flippered way up the stairs. It turned out that the attic had become a haven for bats over the winter and the warm spring weather was making them frisky. He didn’t mind capturing one or two bats in standard clothing, but a rambunctious attic of them brought on a full blown case of the Willies, hence the protective scuba outfit. If only I’d had a camera with me!
But to see some of the most creative crazy Spring outfits, head for Olympia next Saturday. Make no mistake, there are some eye-popping outfits roaming the streets in Olympia on almost any day, but at 4:30 next Saturday be prepared for The Procession of the Species. Unbelievable. People spend all year creating outfits of both real and imaginary creatures, then parading through the streets in them. It’s the Pacific Northwest version of Mardi Gras, and it began as a way of celebrating Earth Day and supporting the Endangered Species Act.
There are only 3 rules;
No written words
No live pets
No motorized vehicles
This is our State Capitol at it’s wildest- arrive early with a chair, unless you’re really tall. Spring Madness just doesn’t get any more elaborate and exuberant than this.
Yet another startling Spring outfit story comes from memories of Alma Thomas. Alma passed away recently, but I think of her often and smile. Many ladies of Alma’s generation had their hair ‘done’ once a week. The Beauty Parlor visit was usually timed according to a bridge club meeting or a night out on the town. But Alma and her husband Bear were also skilled clam diggers. It’s not easy keeping a hairdo looking pretty while clam digging, even harder is protecting the ‘do’ when cooking clams. Alma devised a way to keep her look intact and safe while frying up clams- she took a large grocery store sack, cut in small eye hole slits, slid it over her head and started cooking. Her family grew accustomed to this ritual, but visitors were known to beat a hasty retreat upon encountering Alma in a brown paper bag.
Now, I wore some outrageous clothing back in High School. It was the perfect rebellious outlet for a quiet person, but I know for sure that if I’d had an older brother, I would have dressed differently. I still have a few of those skirts packed away in my grandmother’s hope chest, and they were short, really, really short. Maybe I should will them to the Polson Museum for part of a time-line of clothing exhibit? They’ll need to have some of the recent boys shorts also. How can they be shorts when they stop just above the ankle? Maybe it’s because the waist drops down so far, that’s where the ‘shorts’ part of the name applies. My short skirts versus their board shorts- mine would win the prize for least fabric used. I’d like to see a Utilikilt in the exhibit too!
Barbara Bennett Parsons, manager of the Grays Harbor Farmers Market in Hoquiam. Conservative dresser now. Most of the time. Ph. 538-9747
Open Tuesday thru Sunday
Deidra’s Deli is open 7 days a week!