Sad Commentary… Or Maybe Not

A brief, neighborly visit with Tucker last evening revealed that we had each spent part of the day perusing the new Our Coast magazine and both of us for the same reason.  We were looking for Oysterville.

We agreed… found it!  A dot on the map on page 107.  As far as we could tell, that was it.  “Times they are a-changing,” said Tucker.  “Past tense,” said I.  “Times have changed.”

This is year seven of Our Coast, described in this week’s Chinook Observer editorial as “this newspaper’s annual gift to the region’s travelers and residents.”  And what a gift it is!  Gorgeous pictures, interesting articles, colorful (almost glitzy!) in its presentation of our little corner of the world.  Minus Oysterville.  Mostly.

There was a time when Oysterville got its own. special attention – National Historic District, Oldest Town on the Peninsula, Site of Pacific County’s First Courthouse, yada yada yada.  Apparently, all that is no more.  Tucker and I sadly agreed that that is probably for the best.  Oysterville has lost its distinction, lately – blended in to all those communities up and down the coast that are full of second homes for the affluent, mobile set.  We, we decided, are an anachronism… and that is, perhaps, as it should be.

I remember years ago, in 1947, when my grandfather had me fetch him the old Revised Encyclopedia Britannica published in 1891.  Never mind that it was considerably out of date.  What he wanted to show me was the map of Washington on which Oysterville was in far bigger print than Seattle.

My Uncle Willard’s comment in his Oysterville book says it best: …The name O Y S T E R V I L L E plowed across the ocean on that map like a frigate under full sail.  By contrast, SEATTLE was printed in such trifling type as to be illegible without a magnifying glass.              The editors of that Encyclopedia considered Oysterville a name to reckon with, and they were right… 

But now… not so much.  There are other, more interesting and important things to reckon with, apparently.  Tucker and I agreed that the best part of this year’s issue was seeing our friends and acquaintances pop out at us – Noel Thomas, Jean Nitzel, Israel Nebeker, Bill and Sue Svendsen, Shawn Wong – and those are just the photos.  Never mind the familiar places that are, happily, a part of our daily lives.

Come to think of it, if it were my turn to choose what to include in Our Coast, Oysterville would not have made the cut, either.  It’s hard to say what, exactly, we have to offer the bright-and-shiny new visitors who come our way.  We know the ones that can see beyond the slick pages of this new publication will find their way here.  And they will come back.  No matter the changes, Oysterville endures… if only in our hearts.

One Response to “Sad Commentary… Or Maybe Not”

  1. Beloved Cuz, you made me cry… first of all for your being ill with the Winter Menace (as have I) and secondly because every day I am so grateful to have Oysterville in my heart, mind, memories. We are so fortunate. Thank you for keeping the torch burning! Love, Kris

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