Saturday, May 06, 2017

The Boardwalk at Fishtown

 By Fred Owens

The boardwalk was never in good repair. It was rickety, some of the boards were loose, and some were missing. The small branch of an alder tree grew across the boardwalk at one place. One had to push the branch down and step over it, or stoop and get under it – but no one ever cut it off. Two seconds with a lopper would have done the job, but the branch remained unharmed for years, and every day it was in the way – in the way of all visitors and all residents, going back and forth. So some visitors to Fishtown might have thought the residents were too lazy or too spaced out to “fix” the branch, or to nail down the rickety boards. They were welcome to that thought. Yet the branch was there because it was there, and things don’t need to be fixed because they are not broken. The branch was not “in the way” it was the Way – a concrete symbol.

Claire Swedberg is writing an art history of LaConner and Fishtown. This quote will be included in her text.

You can read a longer history of Fishtown on this link.

Foreign Travels

Trump is making his first trip to the Middle East. The itinerary is a patriarchal trifecta -- Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam, then Israel, the home of the Jews, and then Rome, the center of the Christian faith... Abraham will not be pleased. Trump gives patriarchy a bad odor. I would take Isaac from Old Testament as a role model. Or Saint Augustine of the new persuasion. But not this guy.
Is he flying directly from Saudi Arabia to Tel Aviv?  That actually would be a good thing. The Saudis and the Jews pretend that they don't talk to each other. But they do talk to each other, all the time. So why not fly from one capital to the other?
Then he finishes with Pope Francis in Rome. He will be handing out American treasures as he travels -- gift certificates to McDonalds, entitling the bearer to a Big Mac and fries.
Selling the Orchard
Last week I reported on the possible sale of the Mesa Harmony Garden Orchard, an almost one-acre plot with 100 fruit trees, located on property belonging to Holy Cross parish in the Mesa neighborhood of Santa Barbara.
The orchard was planted seven years ago and it is just now coming into full abundance. This winter's ample rain ensures a robust harvest of plums, peaches, apricots, figs, table grapes, citrus, and more -- some hundreds of pounds. All the harvest is donated to the Food Bank. That was the idea -- that lower income people might have access to fresh fruit.
But the parish is running a deficit of $10,000 a month, according to Father Rafael, the new pastor. The orchard needs to be sold, he said.
Bad news, you bet. Except that a likely use of the property would be several units of apartments to rent to lower income families. Yes, there is a scarcity of green land in these parts, so let's save the orchard. But yes there is an incredible scarcity of affordable housing as well, so lets build a few more apartments. It's complicated.
This possible development could take years, three years, five years. Those fruit trees aren't going anywhere, not for a while. And who can guarantee the future? If you plant a fruit tree, you can hope for the harvest, but there is no promise.

Spring Subscription Drive. A $25 or $50 subscription to Frog Hospital comes with the promise that I will try my best. I have been writing this journal since 1998.
I have written some hundreds of issues of this journal, and some of it has been very good indeed and I would like to continue writing this, and I would like you to send me a check for $25 or $50 or punch the PayPal button.
You can find the PayPal button on the blog. Go to Frog Hospital.
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Fred Owens
1105 Veronica Springs RD
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
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