Lifestyle

Some MI ‘Places of the Heart’

The synergy of Bev Bowles’ music and Jean Davis’ art delivers a one-two punch, say those who saw their latest production.

“Jean thinks in terms of shapes, form and colors. I think in terms of melody, harmony and rhythm ... so our joint project came together like a puzzle,” said Bowles. She set to music such Davis scenes as hill towns of Tuscany, children telling secrets, coming home to a cozy cottage, seasonal colors, a Parisian street scene, cruising, boats at anchor in a Canadian harbor, ballet rehearsal, and celebrations at the Roanoke Inn.

Davis’ watercolor and pen-and-ink work is inspired by her 21-year worldwide travels with her grandson, Tyler Case. Each year, Davis creates a scene from their trip for their Christmas card.

The former teacher began seriously sketching in 1970, and studied with such Northwest painters as Jerry Stitt, Deanne Lemley, Cathe Gill and Julie Creighton. Her works have shown at MIVAL and EAFA shows, the Frye Museum, Tolles Gallery, Women’s University and Overlake Golf club.

Bowles, an accomplished composer and music teacher of 33 years, teamed up with Davis to create a digital presentation — with technical assist from her husband, Tom.

This became part of her “musical scrapbook,” along with “Pike Place Market Sketches,” “Holiday Pieces,” and musical gifts for weddings, bar-mitzvahs, memorials, new grandchildren, social commentaries and news-based songs like “A Nation with Tears in its Eyes,” when Rabin was assassinated.

HOORAY TO the Mercer Island pastors who suggest we welcome 80-some guests for a few months later this year or early next. If approved, Tent City 4, a temporary shelter for the homeless, would come with strict rules. From its track record in Bellevue, Issaquah and Bothell, the residents become good neighbors who help patrol the area and ensure safety.

While suggested spots have been the MI Presbyterian, Emmanuel Episcopal or the Christian Science churchyards, I see Luther Burbank as ideal — closer to I-90 and grocers — with outdoor facilities. What better use for the former Boys Parental School campus?

Speaking of Luther Burbank, what a setting for the June 16 memorial service of Fleeta-Jo Swinehart, a long-time Islander who died June 12 at age 64. Balloons were released into the rainless sky and seven ballet dancers dressed in white togas danced to Josh Grobin’s “You Raise Me Up.”

TWO VINTAGE homes recently transported us back to the waterfront summer cottages of the Island’s past.

Duck-In Bed & Breakfast off East Mercer Way is hosted by Ruth and Ron Mullen, who “grew out of our little cottage in the 1960s and built our house next door. The question was what to do with our folks’ furniture stored in the basement. A B&B seemed the answer.”

The inn-keepers now enter their 20th year serving up breakfast and lakefront. While they’re open all year, it’s now through October that their cottage is continually full of visitors from around the world.

A two-story shingled bungalow in East Seattle, hidden behind thick brush, maples, fir and holly on 61st Ave. S.E., will turn 100 years old next year. The 3,000-square-foot “lodge” now belongs to Andy and Susan Anderson, but was built in 1908 by a lumber baron from Modesto, Calif., as a summer home on the water —before the locks lowered the lake and created additional island shore.

Not only do the plants reflect the era with lilacs, wild roses, hawthorn and ferns, but the mullioned windows and front porch once looked directly onto the lake. The Andersons wonder if there is another home any older than their’s still on the Island? Please let us know.

The retired teamster and his wife have created a peaceable kingdom on the property, attracting a murder of crows, assorted birds, squirrels and a resident raccoon that gets along with their cats. The on-guard raccoon challenged our entry into the enclave, so we sadly left that window on the past.

INSTEAD, WE TRUCKED on to last weekend’s “Grand Salute to the Greatest Shows and Stars from the Golden Age of Radio” at the Bellevue Coast Hotel, sponsored by the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound. Among them were Mercer Island’s Dave and Joan Selvig, and their granddaughter Ellyana Muller, Denny and Mary Morrison and Archie Cress.

They hobnobbed with radio personalities Eddie Carroll — a right-on Jack Benny impersonator and the voice of Jiminy Cricket; Kathryn Crosby, wife of the late Bing Crosby and Lux Radio Theater actress; Shirley Mitchell, a voice from Great Gildersleeve, Fibber McGee and Molly and “I Love Lucy”. Also there was Gloria McMillan, who played Harriet Conklin in Our Miss Brooks, and scores of others.

Two days of radio re-enactments by talented pros included sound effects, music and commercials of such products as Lux soap flakes, Lucky Strikes (LSMFT), Brillo and Blue Bonnet margarine.

We laughed with the Great Gildersleeve (Jim French provided a dead-on Gildie giggle), strolled down Fred Allen’s Alley, rode the Wild West, enjoyed Selvig’s rendition of George Burns; and cheered “The Shadow” thwarting evil-doers. You too can hear old radio dramas on “When Radio Was,” at KIXI 880, Bellevue, Saturdays and Sundays 10 p.m. to midnight.

“Say Goodnight, Gracie.”

To contact Nancy Hilliard, e-mail her at nancybob hilliard@msn.com.

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