Books, music, food highlight a busy July on KP

June 25, 2014 

Some June showers have come through, but we can’t really call them “June rains” so far. Hasn’t it been a beautiful start for summer?

With the rain likely behind us come the turn of the calendar, July is packed with great local events on the Key Peninsula.

Local authors will be at KeyFest July 11-13 at Gateway Park in Wauna.

More than a dozen local authors will be on hand to show, sell, sign and talk about their books: Kathryn Arnold, “We’ll Meet Again”; Leslie Bratspis, “Good Fortune”; Richard Dixon, “Angels in my Foxhole,” “Dillon’s War, The Weretiger” and “Dillon’s War, Revenge of the Weretiger”; Larry Fowler, “Lincoln Raw”; Karen Hale, “Rory McBreen Video Wars:Vietnam”; Richard Heller, “Blueprints”; Karen Lovett, “Beneath the Surface” and “Rise with the Eagle”; Elizabeth Murray, “Life Kind of Sucks”; Ted Olinger, “The Woodpecker Menace”; Claudia Patchen, “November Rising”; Maureen Sikora, “Gertie and Quest: A True Story”; Jan Walker, “The Whiskey Creek Bottling Company,” “A Farm in the South Pacific Sea,” and “Romar Jones” and Lucinda Wingard, “The Turn-around Bird.”

I’ll be there Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening with “Blue Deer,” “The Key Peninsula” and maybe a new one!

“Celebrate the Key Peninsula” and “Early Days of the Key Peninsula” will be offered by the Key Peninsula historical society. An individual author reading/signing schedule will be posted at the booth, but our books will be for sale all three days.

Take a historical cruise around McNeil Island aboard “My Girl ”on Saturday, July 26, from 2-5 p.m., and Sunday, July 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Longbranch Marina. There will be snacks and a no-host bar on board. Ticket donation is $50 per person. Contacts: 884-1400, cahildahl@gmail.com. Proceeds benefit the KP Historical Society.

Come to the third annual Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival from 2 – 6 p.m. July 26 at Longbranch Improvement Club, 4312 KP Highway. The event features the Coyote Hill Bluegrass band from Oklahoma, the Day Brothers, and Key Peninsula’s own Bluegrass Minstrels.

Chef Oliver Coldeen will offer his world-class sandwiches: BBQ sandwich, cole slaw and chips for $6. Strawberry shortcake is $3 while soda and popcorn is $1.

There will also be a silent auction, face painting and activities for children. Proceeds support Longbranch Community Church ministries. Free admission.

Two events are coming up in August. Aug. 9 is the Red Barn Splash just past Key Center. Fun, free music and food. Aug. 16 is the well-known Olalla Bluegrass Festival. Included is another Empty Bowl event with good food in a hand crafted bowl. Proceeds benefit for our local food banks. More details next month!

Among the joyful times of life, we experience some sad ones, too. The recent death of a good friend, a special man, Bill Ketts, has been one of those times for all of us who knew him.

My introduction to Bill and his wife Tracy was with an interview. I misheard their name and spelled it wrong! Much embarrassed, I apologized. He laughed, told me the spelling wasn’t important; it was great to get the story of their lavender farm out!

Since then, we’ve connected in many ways. He was one of the visiting pastors at our church before his own church on the farm grew larger. We attended some early Bible studies there. My hubby Frank provided bean stakes for Tracy and we shared gardening tips and produce.

Our KP historical society had a summer picnic in their barn!

I loved attending the lavender festivals, especially the ones with them in costume, and hearing Bill sing “Lavender Blue,” especially for Tracy.

The services for Bill, as so many are these days, were a true celebration of life. He touched many; his loss to family and friends is deeply felt, but who he was will remain with us and continue to encourage us. Especially when we pass the farm, see or smell lavender.

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