Find a way to 'let go' this July 4 | Nancy Hilliard

When do the lazy days of summer come? We’ve had three end-of-school performances, three graduations, one wedding, visits to friends with new bionic parts, baseball games, swim meets, one Golden Grad reunion in Boise and my Queen Anne High golden gala yet to come. Gadzooks.

July is choked with Independence Day, Summer Celebration, Nana Camp visitors, cat-sitting for neighbors and yard care for the home next door that goes on the foreclosure auction block July 11. Our sweet peas trail off, begging to be trained up the clever frame we built for them that day long ago when we had time to putter.

I cringe as our organizations’ new officers, now recharged by summer conventions, solicit our involvement with gusto, and candidates for public office hustle our votes. My “to-do” list is looking nothing like Morgan Freeman’s and Jack Nicholson’s “Bucket List” of fulfilling things to do before I die!

So, when Mercer Island’s Curt Nakayama shared this wisdom from Buddha, I seized upon it: “In the end, these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you learn to let go?”

LET GO — what a novel concept for us Islanders. Please send me your summertime suggestions for kicking back, saying no and simplifying.

One way not to “let go” is with fireworks! They are illegal and prohibited in all our parks and school properties.? Yet, “safe and sane” fireworks are for sale on Mercer Island from now to July 4, and may be discharged only on July 4 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The community’s annual fireworks display will be at Luther Burbank July 12 as part of Summer Celebration (

Last month, 13 former Islanders recaptured the more “Norman Rockwell” lifestyle of the 1940s and ’50s here. Tom Davidson, Steve Stroh, Bill Lilly, Bob Holloway, Rob Albin, Dick Storgaard, Tom Alexander, Chuck Comeau, Gordon Currie, Jim Martine, Jim Garrison, Whit Smith and Pete Paget (by phone from China) reminisced about simpler days of Island fun before MI had a high school, TV, computers, cell phones or I-90’s background hum. Most are 70 and retired; but from 1943-56, attended East Seattle School, Mercer Crest Junior High and either Bellevue or Garfield high school.

“Fifty years just melted away,” said Davidson, the last of his buddies left on the Island and whose dad, Herbert, was the first Island dentist. “We remembered goofing around on the lake in small boats, running up and down pathways along the shore, camping in the woods around Island Park, tobogganing when it snowed from Island Crest Way down to Appleton, and learning how to shoot baskets from the tough guys at Luther Burbank Parental School. We hardly realized our great fortune to grow up in such a beautiful spot, and hoped today’s kids are capturing equally great memories.”

The guys’ common lament is that their East Seattle School is slated to be demolished — “a travesty to us all,” says Davidson.

Dino Rossi, stomping for state governor on the Island last week, wants to reduce crime, increase small business opportunities, judge educators by their performance, invest $15 billion to relieve traffic congestion (quick breath) and still not raise taxes. He’s looking for a more customer-service approach to government — a conservative fiscal manager with a social heart, he says. Yet his 7-year-old daughter is worried about him becoming governor “because someone told her the governor’s mansion is haunted,” said the father of four kids.

As many as 40 people ran or walked for “Team Randy” last Saturday at the high school to honor Randy Peterson, who died of brain cancer on June 20. The MI Presbyterian Church was full at his memorial service on Monday. His cancer was diagnosed only months ago and appears to be one of the hardest to treat. “Randy was a loving, caring and compassionate person who often shared his time and talents with others,” said Jim Seeks, team organizer. “We know he would cheer our team to raise awareness of the Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at Swedish. Team Randy donations will go into a foundation in his name to support this important research. Our walk also celebrated Randy’s life and encouraged Carla, his wife; Geoff, his son; and his extended family and friends.”

If you wish to check the progress of 15-year-old Danny Betz, who was badly burned while lighting a campfire at a family party on June 21 and is being treated at Harborview’s burn center, go to Now 12 days into treatment, he and his family are adapting to the challenges of Danny’s painful physical therapy and skin regeneration treatment and all the accompanying trauma. They say support from family, friends, St. Monica Church and the community has been continuous and provides a loving network. Keep praying and send messages via the Web site, they ask.

Saul Goodwin, an 11-year-old who attended West Mercer last year and heads to Islander Middle School in the fall, is a bagpipe star. He plays in the Grade 5 Northwest Junior Pipe Band that won first in its division in both drum corps and overall band performance at the Bellingham Highland Games on June 7. This band is comprised of the first juvenile bagpipers in 40 years to represent the Northwest at the International Piping Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, this August. Saul is the son of MIYFS director Cindy Goodwin, who invites everyone to watch her flip pancakes on Sunday morning, July 13, at Rotary’s Pancake Breakfast at Mercerdale Field.

To contact Nancy Hilliard, e-mail her at

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 19
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates