Old habits die hard.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve used this space to urge islanders to act with caution and common sense, and take care of themselves, their loved ones and their neighbors.
So now, who could really blame us if we do the same these days, as islanders begin to move maskless through the landscape of our newly reopened town?
Like Fire Chief Charles Krimmert, we too were a bit on pins and needles about what might happen over the Fourth of July weekend, with no big fireworks show over Quartermaster Harbor to corral the irrational exuberance the holiday always seems to bring. We hoped not to have to cover brushfires and injuries caused by personal fireworks, and it looks as though Vashon was lucky in that regard this year. (See page 1.)
Conditions are bone dry now, following the horrible, record-shattering heatwave of only one week ago. The King County Fire Marshall sent out a strongly worded recommendation for those in unincorporated King County not to use personal fireworks.
Many here didn’t listen. We can’t remember a noisier Fourth or more haze hanging in the air from fireworks. The loud booms of M80s and staccato pops of lesser firecrackers continued well into the day and night on Monday.
It seemed depressingly unsafe, and more than that, unfriendly.
Our climate has changed on Vashon. The chilly, drizzly days of “Juneuary” seem to be gone forever. Our region is already bone dry, with wildfire smoke from Canada and Eastern Washington expected to drift our way soon.
We hope, in the summer days to come, that islanders will enjoy the respite from masks and restrictions, but do so more responsibly than they did over the Fourth.
Because there are people to see, and places to go, and good clean fun to be had.
We’re grateful to Vashon’s Chamber of Commerce for planning a low-key, local Strawberry Festival. We hope everyone digs through their closets to find their long-forgotten dancing shoes to wear to the Festival’s main stage on Saturday, July 17 — when 11 (count ‘em!) bands will play in the IGA parking lot.
We hope islanders will take advantage of Vashon Repertory Theatre’s upcoming theater fest, visit Vashon’s Summer Arts Fest, and head back into the Kay White Hall for Drama Dock’s latest offering, “ART.”
We all need to go to the drive-in at Open Space, as well as check out a series of upcoming light and music shows that will take place at O Space over the summer.
And have you seen “In the Heights,” at Vashon Theatre? Thursday, July 8 is the last night for the blockbuster summer hit, but theater owner Eileen Wolcott has more cinematic treats in store in the coming weeks.
Theater, art, movies and music not really your thing? That’s okay. Sit on your deck with a good book and a cool drink, head to the beaches or hike the cool, beautiful trails of Vashon.
Visit our local restaurants, or go shopping in town, supporting our local economy. Or here’s an idea — get off the rock, and go to a Mariners game.
But as we circulate and as our town comes back to life, let’s not forget our responsibility to each other.
It seemed like that is what happened on the night of July 4, as explosives boomed and animals trembled and the air increasingly smelled like it was burning. It seemed as if there were a lot of people here who didn’t really care very much about their neighbors.
Surely that is not the case.