Mercer Island Reporter


Greatness surrounds us | On Religion

Mercer Island Reporter Columnist
August 13, 2013 · 9:50 AM

I recently visited the newly relocated and reinvented Museum of History and Industry at South Lake Union, aka MOHAI.

If you haven’t yet treated yourself to a visit, two words of caution. Allow for more than the two hours I budgeted. It really requires twice that long. Also, the first Thursday of each month admission is free.

I came away with a renewed sense of pride. Where we live not only has a remarkable past, it currently contributes to the pulse of our planet in a big way. But Boeing, Starbucks, Costco, Microsoft, Amazon, Nordstrom and Expedia aren’t the only notables.

What about the Shorewood Apartments on Mercer Island? These rental units have provided a first home for many on the Island for more than half a century.

Did you realize the original residential complex had two sections? There was Upper Shorewood and Lower Shorewood.

In the mid-seventies the lower section on North Mercer Way was purchased by the Evangelical Covenant Church of America. These remodeled and re-purposed apartments became Covenant Shores Retirement Community and home to some truly fascinating people.

Ralph Hanson was a missionary who developed the first snow mobile while living in rural Alaska in the 1930s. Guy Townsend was part of the team that developed and tested the swept-wing aircraft design in the late forties. John Davis, who will celebrate his 100th birthday next February, is the founder of Davis, Wright, Tremaine Law Group. Sue Hubach and Jean McTavish are the only children of Seattle broadcasting pioneer Wally Fisher. Lois Dusenberry is one of the few living eyewitnesses to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. She and her military husband were stationed at Hickam Field in Honolulu.

Upper Shorewood has had at least one noteworthy resident. Stanley Ann Dunham lived in apartment #129 with her parents while completing her senior year at Mercer Island High School in 1960. Ironically, the unit where President Barack Obama’s mother lived as a teenager is adjacent to the two huge American flags that identify Upper Shorewood from I-90. As I walked around the building, it occurred to me that young Ms. Dunham had no idea how her life would contribute to the history of Seattle and our nation while living in our community.

My visit to MOHAI and my new position at Covenant Shores have reminded me that greatness surrounds us if we are only alert and inquisitive. Each day is an invitation to engage those around us and listen to their stories. After all, everyone has one.


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