Sunday, July 28, 2013

Art Suit in LaConner

Art Suit worked for years at the New England Fish Company underneath the Rainbow Bridge in LaConner.

Art retired and the fish company went bankrupt at about the same time.

He lived with his wife in a modest home on Maple Street. We moved in across the street in 1980, into the double-wide, which was still there last time I looked.

So Art was my neighbor -- him and his happy wife. My kids were pre-school age then and they could wander over to visit with Mr. Art in his garage workshop.

Elaine Dubuque was our other neighbor and Herb Cram, the Cookie Man, lived down the street.

Eugene, being 4 or 5 years old, used to run away from home and when we couldn't find him anywhere, we would walk down to Herb's house, and there was Eugene sitting in front of the TV eating cookies.

Getting back to Art, he had his retirement and his workshop. He owned every tool that I ever dreamed of owning. It was like he walked into the hardware store and said yes, I'll take it. Not that he bought it all at once, but he built up his shop one tool at a time.

He reached the point where most of us only dream, and he had the time and the good health to take on any project from welding, to carpentry, to garden-growing, to electric and plumbing repairs.

He had a few good years like that after he retired.

Art is not with us anymore but he's a was a kind man and a very good neighbor.
The Weather. We had the Greek Festival in Santa Barbara this week and I had the lamb dinner. It was wonderful.

Naturally I called John Kagouras to tell him about the fun we had. He's Greek. He said he was glad I had a good time.

John grew up in Colorado Springs. I didn't know they had such a large Greek community in that town, but John said he did not learn to speak English until he went to school.

John is a retired architect in LaConner. I asked him about the weather. He said it's been warm this summer.

I told him that I was coming to LaConner in a few weeks with my girl friend Laurie and I might see him at La Crema, the coffee shop.

Then I called Jim Smith and Janet Saunders, also in LaConner. Janet answered the phone, she agreed -- it has been pretty warm this summer, with lots of sunny days.

She put Jim on the phone. Jim is recovering from a serious illness, but he sounded a lot snappier than when I called him a month ago. He said he felt much better and he was getting around more. That was good news.

On Facebook I saw a lot of photos of Swinomish people in the tribal canoe journeys. It is a colorful and meaningful annual journey. Try not to get too wet!

Young People. Here in Santa Barbara I share a house with people who are less than half my age. But they're not ready for Frog Hospital so you won't hear about them here.
Egypt. I am studying Arabic and watching the news from Egypt and Syria -- The language is beautiful and the Arabic-speaking people I know seem very good and happy in their ways, and yet the whole place is a bloody mess. I can't explain it. I guess it's not my job to explain it, but I know it's good to pay attention and learning a few words in their language is a way to help.

In Cairo many thousands of angry young men are rampaging through the streets -- educated and unemployed. There are no jobs, there never will be jobs. They must learn to create opportunity. The government can only give them bread, exported from the US and paid for by Saudi Arabia and Qatar....... I would tell them kindly, someone raised you, some one taught you, now the rest is up to you. Your ancestors built the pyramids, what about you? ...... "create opportunity" -- you start by picking up sticks, you start by looking around at what you have, and what you can do and what somebody else needs...... The Arab Spring was started by an educated young man in Tunisia who was selling fruit because he couldn't get a that's what you do -- sell fruit -- what's wrong with selling fruit? I've done it, it's fun and you can make money..... But jobs, forget it, there will never be enough jobs.
The Nanofabrication Facility at the University of California at Santa Barbara. This week I'm taking a tour and writing a story about the clean room at UCSB where researchers attempt to discover a more efficient way to produce LED lights. I have been studying in preparation for the interview. Learning about Gallium Nitride, which is a wide-band gap semi-conducter, and how the researchers "dope" the GaN with Indium or Aluminum in an attempt get it to work more efficiently. I love science. To make the effort to understand the research, to have the opportunity to see people make discoveries about the nature of things -- this is such a good thing.

Research, finding a way to build a better light bulb, is not about learning. It's about learning how to learn. We know how to do that here and they don't know how to do that in Egypt. That's the problem.
Otherwise I spend my spare time at the beach reading and swimming.

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My blog is Fred Owens

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Fred Owens
35 West Main St Suite B #391
Ventura CA 93001

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