Author Tom Robbins in his La Conner home, which he says is the oldest house in the Skagit Valley city. Robbins has written his memoir, “Tibetan Peach Pie.”
Author Tom Robbins’ eleventh book, “Tibetan Peach Pie,” features a series of true stories from his life. “All of the wonderful women in my life put me up to this,” he said. (The list includes his wife, sisters, yoga instructor, physical trainer, assistant, agent and financial advisor.) He is photographed in his home in LaConner, Wash.
In June, I had a wonderful time photographing author Tom Robbins for his eleventh book, “Tibetan Peach Pie,” at his home in La Conner, Washington. His advice to me, “Forget the rattlesnakes, you’ll be queen of the rodeo!”
Mary Ann Gwinn’s writeup in the Seattle Times on how Tom Robbins’ childhood turned him into a storyteller: http://bit.ly/SFvP1v
Also, her review of his memoir, “Tibetan Peach Pie:” http://bit.ly/SNNgNL
Katie Oittinen, 29, just received her Concealed Pistol License in the mail. “It’s important for me to have a CPL to protect myself and my son,” she said. Oittinen drives down long, dark roads to reach her home outside Granite Falls. “You can’t count on a sheriff to show up in a timely manner and keep you safe. It is also important for me to be able to protect myself while out in the woods. You never know what kind of wildlife you may run in to,” she said.
The Seattle Times article, ‘State’s concealed-carry permits skyrocket, especially for women,’ was one of the last packages I worked on with ace reporter Brian Rosenthal before he left to cover Texas Politics The Houston Chronicle.
While working together, Brian and I would often share reporting duties when working on stories.
In this case, Brian asked me to try to source women for the project. I contacted a handful of online gun message boards to see if any women were interested sharing their experience having a CPL, and later, interviewed a good number of the respondents. Women in the gun community, including Anette Wachter, eventually trusted me and helped connect us with a number of their friends. (Sometimes it helps to be from Wyoming.)
After fact checking and helping with some of the writing, our editor Jim Neff, suggested my name added onto the byline for the Sunday A1 story— a gesture I very much appreciate. Often photojournalists contribute to the reporting to the project, but don’t receive a byline. A big thanks to Brian, Jim and Justin Mayo for all of their help and collaboration with this story.
Anette Wachter, a member of the U.S. National Rifle Team and Belltown resident, secured her Concealed Pistol License three years ago.”I carry because I feel I am responsible for my own safety,” she said. Wachter says she can’t rely on others or the police to be there at the right time to protect her. She conceal carries in a variety of ways, including a bra holster, an inner waistband holster and side holster. She also designs upcycled-bullet jewelry and blogs about women and gun culture at http://www.30calgal.com.
Gracie McKee, 26, director of training and range manager at West Coast Armory CQ, knew she wanted her Concealed Pistol License by the age of 19, and obtained it at age 21. “The reason I carry is out of a deep-seated love for myself, my family and the innocents,” she said. By the age of 24, McKee became an NRA training counselor, a certified instructor and a range safety officer. “I’d like to encourage women to explore any avenues, whether it be carrying concealed or something else, that will empower them to take on the survivor mind-set and refuse to be a victim,” she said.
Linda Waggoner, 57, obtained her Concealed Pistol License in Washington state about three years ago, and also had one in Alaska for 10 years. “We live in such an isolated area, for me, it’s for protection,” said Waggoner, who lives with her husband in the rural Robe Valley near Granite Falls. Isolated roads, bears and cougars are all part of life in this part of Snohomish County. Most of the time, Waggoner carries a Smith & Wesson BODYGUARD 380 with a laser sight on her hip.
Michelle Locke Hemby, 48, of Queen Anne, applied for her Concealed Pistol License in March.”My biggest concern is that in the event I need to use a gun, I most certainly do not want to be afraid to,” she said. Hemby wanted a license to exercise her rights of gun ownership. She also applied after hearing rumors that the federal government could try to restrict CPLs. The license would also give Hemby the ability to make an immediate purchase of a gun, instead of going through a waiting period.
Burmese refugee Thian Mawy, 19, with her baby, Peter, at their Tukwila apartment, sometimes struggles with transportation to medical appointments. For many low-income families like Mawy’s, lack of transportation keeps them from getting health care. Global to Local, a coalition of groups working on health issues in South King County, has tried to help by organizing carpools and bus vouchers.
“Maps of how people die in King County tell a stark story of inequity. Life expectancy varies by as much as 12 years across the county. In the Tukwila/SeaTac area, the teen-pregnancy rate is almost three times as high as it is in the rest of the county; twice as many students are on free and reduced-price lunches; and people are 1½ times more likely to die of diabetes-related causes. Perhaps most shocking, 17 percent of kindergartners in Tukwila are homeless.”
The Global to Local global-health alliance is trying to alleviate health inequality in South King County, particularly around chronic chronic diseases. For more on Global to Local’s efforts, please read Abigail Higgins‘ story in Pacific Northwest Magazine.
Dannia Garcia, of Burien, feeds her daughter, Valerie, during a Global to Local cooking class for the Latino community in SeaTac. Global to Local also provides diabetes and nutrition education, as well as culturally tailored exercise classes.
Children play outside an apartment complex in Tukwila, where safe places to play are not always accessible for folks without transportation.
Dentist Dr. John A. Johnson works with patients inside the Medical Teams International dental van outside of New Hope Health Center in Tukwila. The health center, based at Fellowship Bible Church, provides free primary medical care and counseling services. Pastor David Sobocinski, executive director of New Hope, says Global to Local has provided a framework for many local organizations to share information and refer people to services such as the dental van.
Tony Tansey works at putting his daughter, Kylie, to bed in the basement of the Riverton Park United Methodist Church, where he has lived for about a year, trying to get ahead on bills. Despite having steady work, he says, “I’m just really stuck.”
Tony Tansey snuggles with his 3-year-old daughter, Kylie, on the basement floor of Tukwila’s Riverton Park United Methodist Church. The single dad, a cabinetmaker, has lived at the church for about a year, trying to get ahead on bills. Homelessness, as well as lack of access to good food and health services, are some of the challenges facing low-income families in Tukwila, says the Rev. Jan Bolerjack, pastor at Riverton Park. The church has hosted some of Global to Local’s Community Conversations and programs.
It’s a scene that every mother knows all too well: Monica Davalos tells her daughter, Arlette Ramirez, she’ll have to wait for a healthy snack instead of grabbing a sugary treat at the grocery store. Her son, Abraham, gets a laugh out of it all while her father, Ernesto Davalos, stays out of it. Ernesto’s diabetes diagnosis in January helped the family start to understand the importance of nutrition and exercise.
Monica Davalos shops with her father, Ernesto Davalos, 72, in Tukwila. For years, Davalos’ family didn’t pay attention to her advice about nutrition and health — things she learned through Global to Local. It wasn’t until her father’s diabetes diagnosis and hospitalization in January that he started to become interested in fruits and vegetables.
Maria Phillips and her daughter, Jazlyn Gaytan, greet Davalos at Foster High School for their weekly walking group. Davalos works as a Latino community liaison with Global to Local in Tukwila and SeaTac. She helps organize child care so mothers can attend exercise classes and cooking groups.
Rita Rai sits with her father, Suk Rai, as her cousin, Albina, plays in their Tukwila apartment. Suk is sick with a rare form of diabetes, and hasn’t been able to work for months. Their family, which fled persecution in Bhutan, said the food they had in Nepalese refugee camps consisted of rice, beans and veggies. When they came to the U.S., they were soon exposed to food with lots of sugar, salt and oil.
Rita Rai, at front, and her cousins, Som and Albina Rai, walk to a relative’s home. The older girls, who attend Foster High School, say they enjoy the diversity of their classmates and the opportunities in America. Rita says she is also thankful for access to health care, particularly through one of the HealthPoint clinics, where her father goes for appointments to tend to his diabetes.
Ron Dunphy, a busker, mingles with friends at Pike Place Market during a shower. “I like the rain,” he says. “It knocks the pollutants out of the air. I can smell the trees. It makes it cozy. It makes your pillow more comfortable back home.”
Like it or not Seattle is a water city.
For many photographers, water has a dual nature.
Water gives our city a beautiful aesthetic. It’s moody, even a touch romantic.
But, in seconds, a heavy downpour has the potential to destroy camera gear, make the road barely visible and soak through multiple layers of clothing.
A friend’s brother, who recently moved here, likened our enjoyment of the rain to a form of Stockholm Syndrome, “an affection built through abuse as a means of survival.”
Having lived in Seattle for seven years, I can relate.
I’ve come to adore foggy autumn mornings, ribbons of light peeking through steel-blue clouds and the texture of water running down windows—making ordinary street scenes painterly.
This spring, The Seattle Times and I asked readers to share their favorite rain and water photos on Instagram with the hashtag: #SeattleWaterCity. Below is a selection of reader-submitted images.
Read Tyrone Beason’s essay, “We are water: In it, on it, around it all the time, it shapes us,” in this week’s Pacific Northwest Magazine.
We are surrounded by water, from above as well as below. Lauren Ylvisaker poses for a portrait after a rainy practice with the Highline Premier Football Club in West Seattle.
At dusk, the Great Wheel on the Seattle waterfront offers glimmering, dramatic views of the downtown skyline and Elliott Bay. The climate-controlled gondolas shield passengers from the elements, giving riders a chance to see the city in all of its moods.
A lone rower sets out on Lake Union during a foggy morning. Although many people complain about the weather, the moist climate can make everyday scenes seem painterly.
LeRoy Johns, of Sisters, Ore., loads his net on the Pacific Rose in Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal, where the city’s historic status as a maritime hub still rings true. “All the ports I’ve been to, Seattle is the best port to do boat work and gear work,” Johns says. “From California to Alaska, no one comes close to it.”
Rust forms on 55-gallon drums at All Metal Co. in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Famously nicknamed the Emerald City because of our lush landscape, it’s easy to forget that our bayside location also makes us an important industrial port town.
A pedestrian waits in the rain for a northbound bus in downtown Seattle.
Randy Sue Coburn walks her schnauzer past the gum wall in Post Alley. Coburn, a novelist, said she loves rainy days. “They are the best ones for writing,” she said. “I get depressed when there are too many consecutively nice days.”
A strip of blue sky can be seen at twilight through the clouds at Fremont Peak Park overlooking Ballard. On certain days, the weather brings a mix of rain, slush and sunshine.
Seattle is 41 percent water, and that doesn’t even count the 36 inches of it that falls from the sky on average each year. Here, raindrops accumulate on feathers at the Washington Park Arboretum.
An onramp to Highway 520 shelters a man from the rain as he walks through Washington Park Arboretum on a drizzly day. The weather creates a climate where plants can thrive, but we have found a way to thrive in our soggy surroundings, too.
Dad drives past Crowheart Butte, the location of the 1866 battle between the Crow and Shoshone tribes.
Sunset glints through the windows of my childhood friend’s farmhouse.
Ryan hikes near Sinks Canyon State Park outside of Lander, Wyoming. My parents were married on New Year’s Eve in cabin just down the hill.
Kinsey and I ride near her family’s farm in Fremont County, Wyoming.