You can tell everything about a vacation spot from its postcards. Can't you? In this case, Washington State is all about Really Big Fish.
"Are you sure this isn't Vancouver?" I asked my husband as the rain bucketed down. One grows an amphibious skin after awhile in these climes, but it's still depressing on vacation.
When it's not about Really Big Fish, Washington is about Really Big Logs, or else the men are the size of ants. Actually, this COULD be a real log. I've heard they have Really Big Trees.
I haven't written about Bigfoot yet, but I'm going to. For a while, two of the grandgirls were obsessed with him, and the whole family would watch Finding Bigfoot to gales of laughter. There are actually people who are Squatchers or Sasquologists, or whatever they call them. Bigfooters? Privately funded, I assume.
Slugs are another feature of Washington, though they're no bigger than the footlong banana-boat suckers we have around here. The first time I saw one, I wondered who had run over an anaconda. There were guts everywhere. This card reminds me a bit of the creepy artwork of Robert Crumb. It's something to do with a Gold Slug Card.
Why did I keep these?
At any rate, here we are in Washington State, in the town of LaConner, home of Tom Robbins. Did I ever look like this? I'm practically a kid, and my kids (now in their 40s) are zygotes.
The atmosphere was fishy, froggy, amphibious. Wet. Wet, wet, wet.
Since Humptulips was mentioned in Tom Robbins' Another Roadside Attraction, I wanted to see if it really existed. It wasn't much, but I just had to be there. The nicest photo, in which I'm kneeling before the Humptulips sign, is gone. I gave it away. I got hooked into a Chain Art thing, a piece of nonsense that operated kind of like a chain letter. I dutifully sent off my poem about Humptulips, with photo, and never heard from anybody. Ever. It was eating lunch alone in the school cafeteria, all over again.
I do wonder, sometimes (no I don't - I've forgotten all about it) whatever happened to the plans for Humptulips Valley Church. Maybe I should look it up. A lot has happened since 1989. For one thing, I've gained - umm - I don't want to think how many pounds. But I think I was on the too-thin side here and probably boomeranged, or bounced.
The second-nicest photo of me standing by the Humptulips sign. The other one was discarded like a piece of trash. If you wanted a second print of something in those days, you had to rifle through a whole pile of slippery brown negatives and hold them up to the light, going, "No. . . no. . . no. . . ", until you got sick of the whole thing and gave up.
And I apologize for any log-disparaging remarks I made: just look at this one! Jesus Christ, how do they MAKE logs this big? It looks as if it could swallow me up.
Romance in LaConner. Both of us looking ridiculously young.
I always try to find the community papers in any new place, because they tell you what's really going on. I kept a few memorable clippings, orange with age, but God these were hard to get into any sort of shape to post. I had to scan them, then sort of cut them apart, and the typeface ended up every different size. I especially like the Police Blotter - sounds like something out of Mayberry - and the lovely birthday tribute to Granmummu. I also like the fact that the Aberdeen News is called. . .
POST-BLOG BLISS! I found that photo of the Humptulips sign! I must have made an extra copy of it, after all. I wish I had kept the accompanying poem that was meant to fulfill my obligation for "chain art". I got absolutely nothing back, and lost the poem. BUT I STILL HAVE THIS.