Oysterville Daybook Archives

Espy’s the name: E-S-P-Y

Espy’s the name: E-S-P-Y

Last Sunday I met a woman who said she knows one of my relatives – “Sue Espy” who lives in Portland. I know (or think I know) all the descendants of my great-grandfather, R.H, Espy and, in addition, I know many of the descendants of his brothers...

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Excerpt from a Work-in-Progress

Excerpt from a Work-in-Progress

A few years back I began writing a book about my uncle, author and wordsmith Willard Espy. My concept was to do a book about how growing up here in Oysterville had influenced him and how, conversely, as an adult with an international reputation, he...

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The Consummate Storyteller

The Consummate Storyteller

Yesterday afternoon I spent the better part of an hour with my Uncle Willard. He was telling stories about Oysterville – familiar stories that I had heard him tell many times previously. On this occasion, though, he was ‘in person’ but not ‘live.’...

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What goes around…

What goes around…

 Yesterday brought the discovery of a ‘new’ fourth cousin related to me through my maternal grandmother, Helen Richardson Espy.  Her name is Bonnie Meyer and she introduced herself to me in two different ways – in a comment on my blog and through...

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The Last Outhouse in Oysterville

The Last Outhouse in Oysterville

As far as I know, the little two-room shed just north of the Red House is the last outhouse in Oysterville.  It seems fitting, somehow, that it is a double-occupancy affair and that it is at the erstwhile home of one of the town’s founders, R. H....

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Before the Red Cottage was red…

Before the Red Cottage was red…

During the Christmas holidays of 1956, my son Charlie, his father and I stayed in the Red Cottage.  At that time, it was owned by my grandfather who, at age 80 was “in his dotage” as the family said, and was being cared for by my aunt Mona in the...

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“The Espy Lineage Is Secure!”

“The Espy Lineage Is Secure!”

My Uncle Willard Espy, son of Harry and grandson of Robert Hamilton was the genealogist of our branch of the family.  He spent more than sixty-five of his eighty-nine years tracing lineages and writing up his ‘discoveries’ for the edification of...

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Dreams, Choices, Bottom Lines

Dreams, Choices, Bottom Lines

Yesterday’s mail brought the unwelcome news that my book about Willard Espy “in its current form is not one that fits the current WSU Press publishing goals.”  The letter, while disappointing in the extreme, contained good news as well as bad.  Or...

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The Bother of January

The Bother of January

I grew up thinking of January as a long, dark penance between Christmas and my birthday at the end of February.  These days it seems even darker and, actually, it is, given the contrast in day length between the Bay Area of California and...

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Fifty Shades of Pubic Hair

Fifty Shades of Pubic Hair

Yesterday on NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday” host Rachel Martin talked with book critic Ron Charles of The Washington Post about the literary and linguistic phenomena which have sprung from the ‘romantic’ (some say “soft porn”) novel, Fifty Shades...

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Every Writer Needs A Cuzzin Ralph!

Every Writer Needs A Cuzzin Ralph!

Until his death in 1999, my uncle Willard Espy was the go-to person in our family with regard to Espy and Richardson history.  Willard had spent three-quarters of his life chasing our forebears back through time – in some cases back to the...

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“I told you so!”

“I told you so!”

I can hear my mother’s admonishing voice saying, “When you speak, speak the truth but don’t always speak.”  I’m quite sure that she would consider any thoughts following the words “I told you so” right up there with what should remain unsaid.  But…...

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