Archive for the ‘From the Past’ Category

Welcome to beautiful downtown Oysterville!

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Bard Heim Barn c.1950

Paragraphs #9 and #10 of “Oysterville” in the 2019-2020 issue of Discovery Coast:

But all is well.  History has been saved, and it can be truthfully described as “living history.”

With Willapa Bay as its backdrop, the 80-acre Oysterville National Historic District and the areas immediately adjacent to it feels [sic] like a movie back lot version of a 19th -century coastal community.

I’m probably among the minority but I have never been to a movie backlot.  So I did a little research.  According to Wikipedia A backlot is an area behind or adjoining a movie studio,   containing permanent exterior buildings for outdoor scenes in filmmaking or television productions,  or space for temporary set construction. 

The Briscoe Residence c. 1890

The article went on to say: Some movie studios build a wide variety of sets on the backlot, which can be modified for different purposes as need requires and “dressed” to resemble any time period or look…  The shells, or façades, on a studio backlot are usually constructed with three sides and a roof, often missing the back wall and/or one of the side walls.  (Yep!  There are lots of houses in Oysterville exactly like that!  Not!)

But it was the final paragraph that struck me:  Though some studios like MGM and Fox sold vast tracts in the 1960s and 1970s, many historical sets continue to be demolished today, as there seems to be little interest in their preservation.

In that respect — the “little interest in their preservation” part — I do believe we are a lot like a historical set.  I well remember some years ago when Oysterville citizens went before our County Commissioners asking for tax relief which is allowed in many Washington Counties for designated historical properties to offset the monies spent to keep things authentically “historical.”

Tommy Nelson’s Cannery 1945

We were, of course, denied.  But it was Planning Director’s  remark that has stuck in my head all these years.  “Oh, protecting old houses isn’t really necessary.  We build historic houses every day. You just have to wait fifty years for them to be recognized.”  There are no words to describe my thoughts on that Trumpian viewpoint…

The importance of what’s not said…

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

A Sign Marks The Site of the Oysterville Courthouse

So… a week or so ago, I left off with my critique of Paragraph #7 of the “refreshed” version of Oysterville’s history as presented in Discovery Coast 2019-2020.  Now for paragraph #8:

However, like all extraction businesses, the native oyster business inevitably came to an end.  Hotels, saloons and a college all disappeared as people sought greener pastures.  Eventually, even the county seat was removed to South Bend, on the east side of the bay.

Pretty much true… as far as it goes.  But, a bit more information gives a better understanding of the historical context.  This is what I wrote in my book, Oysterville, for Arcadia Publishing in 2010:

 Beginning in the mid-1880s, a series of setbacks befell Oysterville.   Native oyster population declined, probably through the overharvesting of the past 30 years.  Annual production fell to 2,000 sacks per year, a tenth of what it had been during the decade just past. Then, in 1889, the new Ilwaco railway chose Nahcotta over Oysterville as its terminus.  Not only did Oysterville oystermen feel cut off from rail access to distant markers, but the entire village was also distraught over the many businesses that moved to the newly created town four miles south.  The final blow came in 1892 when the county electorate voted for South Bend as the new county seat, prompting “South Bend Raiders” to make off with courthouse records.

Early Nahcotta

By the early 1890s, Oysterville had entered a “dull” period.  With the oysters in decline, the transportation hub in Nahcotta, and the county seat now clear across the bay, there was little reason for most folks to stay in Oysterville, and the population rapidly decreased.  Most businesses moved, for without the viability of a strong oyster industry, there was no need for the many ancillary jobs that had flourished during the boom years. Blacksmiths, sailmakers, hostellers, and mny others moved away.  For some, such as Alf Bowen, a newspaper publisher and editor, and John Morehead, a proprietor of one of the general stores, it was relatively easy to transfer interests four miles south to Nahcotta.  Others just left, taking what they could manage and leaving everything else behind.

Peninsula College 1895-1897

I might add that the “college” (a 1st through 12th grade school) was actually begun after the county seat moved to South Bend.  It was housed in the erstwhile Oysterville Courthouse and lasted only two years.

Well… granted, space was limited for Mr. Webb’s article.  Still… putting all the blame on the decline of the native oyster isn’t quite how it happened.  In my college journalism classes, such writing might have been red-penciled for its “sins of omission.”  Just sayin’…

Where does this stuff come from?

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

At The Entrance to Oysterville

At the halfway mark in the article, “Oysterville, A Simply Lovely, Living Ghost Town,” paragraph #7 states:  On Aug. 5, 1854, community leaders decided that Oysterville was a better name than Oyster Beach or Shell Beach to represent their town.  It grew to a population of about 800.

Again… bits and pieces of information cobbled together to make some sort of story.   As far as I can remember, the 1860 census reflected the all-time population highpoint for Oysterville:  231!  Ten years later, according to the federal census, there were 738 people living in all of Pacific County.  By then, of course, there were several other settlements in the County, but even assuming that every resident of Pacific County was living in Oysterville, it’s still doesn’t make the 800 people mentioned in paragraph #7.

H.A. Espy and Charlie Nelson, Oysterville Centennial 1954

And, as far as the “community leaders” naming the town…  Probably true.  In a way.  According to native son Charlie Nelson (1883-1978), “Oysterville” suggested by I.A. C;ark was only one of several names proposed and the men left it to Mother Stevens to make the final choice.  “…And a fitting one, too,”was Charlie’s comment.

I have yet to find anything definitive about the names Oyster Beach or Shell Beach — not where it was, not who lived there, not whether it had any connection whatsoever to the Peninsula or to Oysterville.  With so much written about Oysterville and its founding, it is curious to me why people continue to latch onto  undocumented “facts” (fake history?) to tell the story.  I sometimes feel it’s a deliberate slap at me and my family…  but why?    Nyel says, “Just another one of life’s little mysteries…”

 

 

At the crux of the matter… maybe.

Saturday, July 6th, 2019

Old Oysterville Sign

I have arrived at Paragraph #6 in my (increasingly infrequent) commentary on the article in Discovery Coast titled “Oysterville, A Simply Lovely, Living Ghost Town”:

By 1854, a community of several hundred, then called Oyster Beach, existed.  On April 12, 1854, I.A. Clark filed a 161-acre land claim that encompassed all of what is now the Oysteville National Historic District.

Hmmm.  I’ve seen a reference to “Oyster Beach” twice in my thirty plus years of research on Oysterville and its origins.  Both mentions have been in the Sou’wester , the quarterly magazine of the Pacific County Historical Society.  In the Summer 1975 issue in an article on early post offices in  Oregon Territory:  In a letter dated August 2, 1854 from Washington City, the Honorable Columbia Lancaster announced the post routes in the new Washington Territory, including “from Astoria to Chenook, Edmonton (John Edmonds Pickernell’s), Tarlit, Oyster Beach (an early name for Oysterville), Brigham City and the direct route to intersect the route from Olympia to Grays Harbor, 120 miles and back once a week .”  The second reference to Oyster Beach was three years later in the Winter 1978 issue of the Souwester and was a reprint of the same information about the early Oysterville (Oyster Beach) post office.

James Swan, One of the First Pacific County Historians

The only other contemporary information about Oysterville that I’m aware of (besides the statements by founders R.H. Espy and I.A. Clark) was written by James Swan in his book, The Northwest Coast or Three Years’ Residence in Washington Territory.  In January 1854, Swan took a trip to San Francisco, apparently to get out of the Northwest’s winter weather.  He returned in early June and traveled via the Peninsula on his way back to his home at Stony Point.  This is what he wrote: We reached a settlement some fifteen or twenty miles distant, called Oysterville, where quite a number of oystermen had collected during my absence to San Francisco.  

Although Swan traveled extensively around Shoalwater Bay during his stay here from 1852 to 1855, and although he mentions many early settlers as well as the only settlement on the bay at that time, Bruceport or Bruceville, he makes no mention of a place called Oyster Beach.

The rest of Paragraph #6 seems accurate as far as it goes.  Apparently, the land claim that Clark filed on April 12, 1854, was incomplete and had to be re-filed some years later.  However, it seems that Espy and Clark chose that April 12, 1854 date as the “founding” of Oysterville and over the years it has become known as the date they actually arrived here in their stolen canoe. (Well, they said “borrowed,” but that implies that it was returned to the graveyard where they found it and that’s one story I haven’t yet heard…)

 

 

 

The Fourth and the Fifth

Thursday, July 4th, 2019

Fourth of July Parade, Oysterville c. 1900

Here it is the Fourth of July and I’m only on the fifth paragraph (out of 14) in my commentary on that “Oysterville” story that was in the Discovery Coast insert in the paper.   Actually, though, Paragraph #5 seems hauntingly appropriate for this the birthday of our country, the “Land of the Free.”

The California Gold Rush of 1849 (wrote the author) drew significant numbers of settlers of European descent to Oysterville.  Gold miners spent their earning [sic] on Willapa Bay oysters.  Settlers and the Chinook Peoples gladly filled schooners with oysters to be shipped to San Francisco.

To me, this paragraph seems a fine example of half-truths and innuendo. It is true that Oysterville, like other settlements in Oregon Territory, got its fair share of adventurers — some from Europe, some from the East Coast — who had become disillusioned in their quest for gold.  But there were also a number of people who had come west on the Oregon Trail and had turned north, rather than south, in their search for a new life.  My great-grandfather, R. H. Espy, was one of those.  So was I.A. Clark.  So was  Gilbert Stevens family.  And many others.

The Oregon Trail 1830s – 1869

According to the 1860 Pacific County Census (taken by Robert H. Espy), there were 201 individuals living in Oysterville, 23 of whom were born in Canada or Europe, 27 born in Washington Territory, and the remaining 136 residents were  from 15 of the (then) 33 United States.  Of those born in Washington Territory (1853 – 1889), all were children, most under seven years old.   I can’t help but think that the writer of Paragraph #5 quoted above was trying to give a different impression of Oysterville’s beginnings.

On to Paragraph #5’s second sentence.  Yes, when the miners took a break from hardtack and jerky and went into San Francisco for a little r&r (and, hopefully, to visit the assay office) they were likely to have enjoyed a good meal or two in the city’s gourmet restaurants.  Oysters on the half shell (from Shoalwater Bay — it was not named Willapa until 1892) were popular, especially among the miners who hailed from the Atlantic Coast.  There, oysters were the fast-food of the 18th and 19th centuries — a lot like hot dogs were in the 20th century.  California restaurateurs capitalized on that demand to the point that San Francisco Bay was soon stripped of its native oyster stock and the search was on for more.

The Louisa Morrison, Oyster Schooner

The nearest source was Yaquina Bay in Oregon Territory.  Next was Netarts Bay, due west of Portland; then Shoalwater Bay, and finally Puget Sound.  Oysters in the first two locations could meet only a small fraction of the demand.  Puget Sound was so far away that seafood frequently spoiled in transit.  “But…” as the Shoalwater Storytellers used to relate:  “…that bivalve thriving in a barely known estuary just above the mouth of the Columbia River… Yes, gourmets declare that the native oyster of Shoalwater Bay was just a taste of heaven locked between pearly shells.”

As for settlers and Chinooks “gladly” filling schooners with oysters to be shipped to San Francisco…  Yes, indeed!  I think I would have joined right in, had I been lucky enough to snag a job with one of the oyster companies in town.  A peach basket  filled with oysters brought a dollar in gold on delivery to a schooner anchored in Shoalwater Bay – a schooner which might hold up to 2,000 baskets.

It saddens me that our colorful history, told accurately by so many over the years, has now been reduced to a few misleading half-truths. And for no apparent reason. Happy Fourth!

Deaf Ears, Blind Eyes – So what’s new?

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

Bardheim Dairy, Oysterville c. 1930 – c.1990

As I’ve ranted on these past days about the Discovery Coast article on Oysterville, I’ve been doing (read “re-doing”) my own research about the beginnings of the village.  I enjoy the fact-checking and am constantly amazed at how each new reading of familiar documents brings a fresh perspective or another question.

Yesterday while I was reviewing what I know about early settler John Douglas, I ran into a blog I had written back on July 19, 2012.  I could have republished most of it when the current issue of Discovery Coast hit the stands and saved myself a lot of T & A (time and angst.).  Here it is in its entirety:

What first caught my eye in the new Chinook Observer’s 2012 Visitor’s Guide was a long-ago picture of Jazz and Oysters and the accompanying text that said it would be held in Oysterville this August.  Obviously written by Aliens.  J&O has not been held in Oysterville since 2010, much to our distress.  Would that the information in the paper were true… but it’s not.

Methodist Church 1872-1921

My attention thus arrested, I read the rest of the article with the enchanting-if-overused title:  “Historic and lovely Oysterville is a ‘Shangri-La’ on the bay.’  I was treated to an entirely new history of Oysterville.

According to the paper (and, we all know what happens to “facts” once they are in print), Oysterville was first settled thirteen years earlier than all the first-hand accounts and history books have told us for the past 158 years.  Plus, according to this confused account, it was settled not by Espy and Clark but by John Douglas..  And by 1854 (when Espy and Clark built the first house in the area according to their own accounts), there was already a settlement of several hundred people here.  And by 1854, says the article, there were 800 people here. WOW!

Where does this stuff come from, anyway?  I’m being literal here.  Where does this information come from???  I called the editor to find out exactly that.  I had to leave a message and, admittedly, I was irate to the point of incoherence – probably said things about responsibility and ethics in journalism and what were they thinking.  Mostly, I wanted to know the source of this new history.  My call has yet to be returned.

Pacific House in Oysterville, c. 1860s – c. 1900

Perhaps my ‘favorite’ part of the article (is it possible to have a favorite part of something that you really hate?) is this paragraph:

Old for a West Coast town, Oysterville is brand new in geographic terms.  Oysterville could be the only place in the United States that has always had human occupants. Native American people probably settled Oysterville as soon as it was created.  Chinook peoples came to the area that is Oysterville at seasonal intervals for untold centuries to harvest its bountiful oyster beds.

I’ve read and re-read these words and still cannot understand what they mean.  Who were those earliest human occupants?  Apparently not the Chinooks who “settled Oysterville as soon as it was created.”  Huh?

Meanwhile… a dedicated group of local historians have been working for more than a year to develop a Community History Program.  Its purpose will be to explore Pacific County history through field trips, visits with experts and opportunities to explore various history archives.  The goal is to provide certification to those interested in perpetuating our local history.

County Courthouse in Oysterville 1875-1893

I do hope that whoever wrote that “Shangri-La” article takes the course – for the part on verifying sources and the ethics of documentation, if nothing else.  And, just in case there is still a question …for the second year in a row, J&O will  again be at Wilson’s Field in Ocean Park.  I checked.

So, it seems that I’ve been wrong in my criticisms of Mr. Webb.  It’s not that he didn’t do his research.  He just picked up the words of someone else who was equally lax in scholarship. I apologize.  But, I’m continuing on in my paragraph-by-paragraph examination of this year’s story.  Coming soon: paragraph #5.

Perpetuating Errors of Fact

Monday, July 1st, 2019

At the Oysterville Cemetery

A number of years ago, more-or-less out of the blue, Wikipedia came up with a new factoid about Oysterville — that John Douglas had founded it in 1841.  It’s amazing to me how this “fake history” has spread over the years despite contemporary documentation by both actual founders, Isaac A. Clark and Robert H. Espy.

The “John Douglas settled Oysterville” statement is an erroneous bit of information that has been picked up by writers for Discovery Coast several times previously, but no matter how much alternative “proof” is provided, it seems a popular enough notion to continue resurfacing.  In Paragraph #4 of this season’s “Oysterville” article, author Webb states:  Native Americans have always lived here.  Oysterville itself was first settled in 1841 by John Douglas who married a local Chinook woman.

Envelope with I.A. Clark History

Well, in 1844 John Douglas did, indeed, settle about a mile south of the area that would become Oysterville ten years later.  Douglas even took out a Donation Land Claim in July of 1854 and, interestingly, signers of supporting affadavits were I.A. Clark, R.H. Espy, and George Dawson.  But Douglas no more “settled” Oysterville than George Easterbrook settled Long Beach.  (Easterbrook took out a Donation Land Claim in the [now] Cranberry Road area in 1854, but Long Beach was “settled” by Gilbert Tinker in 1889.  Look it up.)  Taking out a DLC is not synonymous with founding a town.  Nor is settling in the area nearby.

John Douglas was, however, a very interesting man.  As I wrote in my October 5, 2010 blog: Douglas was born in Maine about 1811 and first arrived at Fort George (now Astoria) in 1840.  He was a cooper aboard a whaling vessel that had docked to unload blubber for rendering into lamp fuel.  On its next voyage to the Columbia in 1841, the ship wintered in Astoria and Douglas took advantage of the time to have a look around.  He liked what he saw and decided to come back some day and “drop anchor” permanently in the Shoalwater area.

My Great Grandfather R.H. Espy (The H is for Hamilton)

For the next few years Douglas sailed the South Pacific.  He was off Hawaii in 1846 when a barrel rolled against him, breaking one of his legs.  The resulting lameness put an end to his seafaring career.  He returned to Shoalwater Bay and laid out a donation land claim of 320 acres along its western shore, somewhat south of the location that would later become Oysterville.  There he built a “studdin’” house of upright posts, with a cedar shake roof and an attic with a gable-end door and an outside stairway.  And, there, John Douglas settled with his Chinook wife, Jalak.

Douglas is buried in the Oysterville Cemetery and two tales are told regarding his death.  One says simply that he died of pneumonia at the age of 59, though his grave marker puts him at 67.  The other story says that in the 1870s, while serving as a United States Marshal, Douglas had the misfortune to severely injure his foot.  He died from gangrene because he stubbornly refused to allow a new boot (hard to come by in those days) to be cut from his swollen, infected foot.  If that’s the true story, it puts a whole new twist to “dying with your boots on.”

Personally, I think the facts (as far as I’ve been able to research them) about Douglas are far more interesting than the fanciful idea that he settled Oysterville.  Oh well…  And, by the way, his granddaughter, Irene Nelson, lived across the street when I was a little girl.  I knew her.  And that’s a fact.

A Miracle for Mary

Monday, April 22nd, 2019

The recent outbreak of measles in Washington put me in mind of Mary Douglas, the daughter of Jalek, an Indian woman, and her husband John Douglas who was one of the first white settlers in this area.  John, a cooper on a whaling vessel, had been to this area in the early 1840s, liked what he saw, and when he suffered an injury in 1846 – an injury serious enough to put him out of seafaring – he returned here and laid out a donation land claim on land just south of what would become Oysterville a few years later.

The story of Mary and the measles is best told by Lucile McDonald in her book Coast Country:  Douglas built a “studdin’ ” of upright posts, with a cedar shake roof and an attic with a gable-end door and an outside stair.  Is daughter Mary slept up there on a feather bed on the floor.  An attack of measles had left her blind in early childhood.  She had no medical attention until she was fourteen, when Dr. James R. Johnson (in 1854) began to practice across the bay at Bruceport.

Douglas arranged for her to live at the doctor’s house for a short period.  It was a fearsome adventure for Mary, who was dependent upon her mother.  Her clothes were packed for the journey in a tiny trunk adorned with bright nailheads, which her father had brought from San Francisco.  This was the only familiar object the blind girl took with her.  That night she went to bed in the doctor’s house, lonely and disturbed, wondering how she would manage to dress in the morning in a strange place where she could not find her way by touch.

Day dawned and Mary awakened.  A miracle had happened.  She could see again!  During the night the doctor had treated her eyes; likely some very simple thing had been wrong with them… By the time John Douglas died… Mary had become Mrs. Frank Garretson.  Her daughter treasured the little trunk with the bright nail heads, taken on that miraculous voyage across the bay to Bruceport.

And, in the Small World Department:
Frank Garretson was one of “The Bruce Boys” who entertained my great-grandfather, R.H. Espy in 1853 and who R.H. described as ” a clever fellow” which meant he was a good poker player!

Tommy and Irene Nelson’s Cannery, Oysterville

Frank and Mary’s daughter, Irene Garretson, married Tommy Nelson and lived across the street to the south of the Oysterville Church.  When I was a girl, she and Tommy had a small cannery behind the house and, in the late 1940s, canned gourmet quality smoked oysters under the label “Espy’s Own” which was an enterprise of my grandfather Harry Espy’s and my uncle Willard’s.
Both Irene and Tommy are buried in the Oysterville Cemetery (as are Frank and Mary Garretson.)

Also buried there is Dr. James R. Johnson whose daughter married Richard Osborne Goulter, our Oysterville neighbor Bud Goulter’s great-grandfather and making Bud Dr. Johnson’s great-great-grandson!

113 Years Ago Today

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Sacramento Street, San Francisco – April 18, 1906

Dearest Helen and Harry and Girlies,
So much has happened since Wednesday morning that I don’t know where to begin to tell you of it.  Sometimes when we think of it all it seems a hideous dream from which we will waken to find everything as it was a week ago and dear old San Francisco smiling at us from her sand banks and hills but, unfortunately, it is a grim reality and we do not yet know what the end will be.

Thus, begins a letter written by Leila Rider, my grandmother Helen Richardson Espy’s girlhood friend.  “Aunt Leila” (as she was always called by our family) lived in Berkeley and was writing to my grandparents and their daughters Medora (7), Suzita (3), and Mona (2) who were in far off Oysterville.  It’s a long letter – 12 pages – written in Leila’s beautiful longhand script on April 24, six days after the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906.  I include just a few excerpts here:

It was 5:13 Wednesday morning when the shock came.  As we frightened sleepers stumbled from our beds, we thought the end had surely come.  To my dying day I can never forget the horror of those few seconds, each of which seemed a minute.  The skies were gray and out of the depths of the earth came the roaring and rumbling that added to the terror of the dazed people.  Then came the starling crack of walls and beams, the falling of chimneys and tumbling brickbrac till it seemed everything would crush in upon us…

S.F. Ferry Building, 1906 Fire

…As we looked toward the City, we saw a great cloud of fire and smoke arising that did not die down till Saturday morning and left San Francisco a skeleton city and more than three hundred thousand people homeless.  Three fourths of the City, including the entire business district is wiped out and only the residence district west of Van Ness and in the vicinity of Golden Gate Park and the Presidio is left…

…In Berkeley, every available building is being used for a hospital or shelter and the University Campus and vacant lots are turned into camping grounds… You never saw such a motley collection of people as constitute the refugees or such a conglomerate mass as their possessions represent.  The articles saved are in some instances pitiful, in some humorous and in still others, provoking.  One man dragged a clothes basket filled with flat irons for blocks.  Another man arrived in Berkeley with a large mirror on his back and an empty bird-cage in his hands.  Such a collection of cats, dogs, monkeys, canaries, parrots etc. was never dreamed of!  The limit was reached, I think, Thursday when one woman arrived with twenty-three angora cats… 

An excerpt from Aunt Leila’s letter, April 12, 1906

We have been so busy working in the hospital shelters that we have hardly had time to consider our own loss, but Saturday night I found myself worn out and decided to rest till Monday morning.  Meanwhile, contagious diseases are breaking out among the refugees and I received my orders to stay at home so I expect I shall have to obey…

Havetos and Gettos

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Sydney in Oysterville, 1939

When I was a young girl, I hadn’t heard of “the power of positive thinking” or of “the cup being half full.”  My life was simply a matter of havetos (as in you have to go to the dentist and get your braces tightened or you have to clean up your room)  and gettos (as in you get to go outside and play until dinnertime or you get to go see the new “Road” picture with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby.)

It seems to me that most of the gettos were connected to ifyous.  If you put away your toys you get to listen to “Let’s Pretend” on the radio.  The havetos, of course, were decided upon by forces beyond your control like your parents, or by circumstances like getting sick.  And they were really serious like having to stay in bed or go to the doctor.  But, as I remember, my life was mostly gettos.  Thank goodness!

I didn’t realize until long after I was grown that not all of my playmates had as many gettos as I did.  For me, for instance, school was a getto.  The only haveto I associated with it was having to eat some breakfast before I left the house.  That always left me feeling a bit sick to my stomach and as soon as I went away to college, I gave up eating first thing in the morning.  (Ever since, breakfast is a getto if I can wait a few hours for it.)

I was amazed when I learned that some of my friends looked upon school as a haveto.   They thought of visiting the relatives as a haveto, also.  And, even of going to camp as a haveto!  They were the Eeyores among my friends.  I tried to stick with the Poohs and Piglets.

I remember hearing some older people made dire predictions and ominous statements – “when you grow up, you’ll realize…” or “enjoy being young while you can…”  I knew even then that they were referring to the grim realities and responsibilities of life as an adult when it would be all havetos and very few gettos.  But, I hadn’t heard of “making lemons out of lemonade” back then, either.

I’m happy to report that my life is still more gettos than havetos.  The number of doctor’s appointments are creeping up, of course, and housework and gardening definitely fall into a gray area… So far, though, the gettos are way out in front.