Ellen Steen

Ellen Steen

We had such a nice community get-together on October 30. It was our first Cape Meares potluck since the pandemic began. The Barbara Bennett Community Center was decorated for Halloween, including a giant, menacing spider that touched the heads of people passing beneath it. Attendees, many in costume, brought ghoulish dishes such as fruit cups decorated to look like little pumpkins and a lava cake. BJ Byron brought delicious pulled pork for sliders. One tasty contribution was caponata, a gluten-free, eggplant-pepper dish that Wendy Kunkel and Dave Audet learned to make on their recent trip to Sicily…where they also experienced a pumice eruption of Mt. Etna! The gathering was limited to vaccinated individuals; we missed having our littlest goblins present. Everyone wore a mask when not eating or drinking. There were perhaps two dozen individuals spaced well apart at the dining tables inside the building, and another half-dozen gathered outside around a portable fire pit brought by Chris Spence. It was a step toward normalization to once again visit with neighbors and catch up on community news. We hope circumstances allow us to have another gathering soon!

Veterans Day arrives in two days, on November 11. Let’s salute the brave individuals who have fought to protect our freedom and way of life, and those who are serving today. You are patriots, one and all, and we owe a great debt of gratitude to you. In honor of Veterans Day, I’d like to share a personal story from Cape Meares resident Dave Dittmer:

“My father was a corpsman in the navy during World War II, although the navy term for his classification was pharmacist’s mate. He served on a troop transport ship and was stationed in the waters around the Philippines. I asked him if he was drafted and he said he was afraid of being stuck in the infantry, so he enlisted in the navy. If you saw ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ you saw the Higgins boats that brought the troops ashore. Dad said he was on the seventh wave, although it was the South Pacific, not Normandy. He was at the Battle of Leyte Gulf and saw kamikaze attacks. Toward the end of the war, after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, his ship was sent to Japan. He and a pilot were dispatched on a small boat with a couple of officers to Hiroshima. He was interviewed about that experience for the Atomic War Veterans group.”

Thank you, Dave, for providing a personal look at Veterans Day. Many thanks to our veterans.

Captain Pete and I got our COVID boosters! We went out to the Tillamook County Fairgrounds on one of the mass vaccinations days and got shot. A retired doctor from Manzanita did the honors for us. Our own Kathy Burke, a retired ICU nurse living here in Cape Meares, has also been giving vaccinations. Both of these ladies and many of the other personnel there are volunteers. It makes me appreciate just how much these retired medical professionals have given in an effort to help us fight the pandemic. Do your part: Get vaccinated.

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