Water log

Cody Ellerd

The water feels colder, she continues to grow older, but 83-year-old Marion Chadwick is determined to stay a water baby rather than turn into a couch potato.

The Mercer Island resident swam in four races this summer alone. Those include the Senior Olympics in Pittsburgh in June. And she said the organization is doing a remarkable job helping people her age prove their competence and strength.

She also competed in the Masters Mile Open Water competition at Elk Lake, Ore., where she won a gold medal.

She'll add that one to her medal wall. At last count, sometime in the late-1990s, it held upwards of 700 testaments to elderly strength.

Chadwick prefers swimming in the natural beauty of open water to indoor pools, but admits that the cold temperature chills her bones more easily than it used to. Wet suits are prohibited, so determined as ever, she covers her body in Vaseline for better insulation.

What else keeps her flutter kick afloat?

``I sing hymns'' when swimming, Chadwick said, ``in alphabetical order. `All Powers Given To Our Lord,' then I have to look up and see where the buoy is.'' `Behold Men Are Beloved' is followed by `Come Labor On, ' which ``I always sing because it makes me work a little harder,'' Chadwick said.

Working hard(er) is something Chadwick seems to have no trouble with.

Riding in style

Some Mercer Island fans of Pearl Jam are getting a pretty sweet ride to the show at the Gorge on Sept. 1. The Party Bus, a long black coach with the slogan ``You Drink, We Drive'' scrawled across its grill, is leaving from the Mercer Island Park & Ride on Thursday afternoon and promises to get its passengers back from Eastern Washington by 2 a.m., with time to spare for some shuteye before work Friday morning.

For $100 a piece, Party Bus riders get a ticket to the sold-out show, transportation to and from, with beer and food provided along the way.

The planning was done by James Kimmel of Epic Seats, a Seattle-based company that brokers tickets to concert and sporting events nationwide. Kimmel said he likes planning trips from the Mercer Island Park & Ride because it's a convenient place for both Seattleites and Eastsiders.

Kimmel said he had a big hit on his hands with a similar party trip to the Apple Cup last year from Mercer Island. Over time, word about Epic Seats' events has spread and he has ``built up a following.''

There are still some spots available, so folks who would rather mosh to Rearview Mirror than look in it can get on Kimmel's Evite list for this or future events by e-mailing him at

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