FYI — I live in the OTHER Oysterville!

May 20, 2022 | 11 comments

Photo by Marta LaRue

I was dismayed to learn from one of my facebook friends that this message has been on the  Music in the Gardens Tour FB page for the last few days:

Special News Flash!  A select few tickets for the Oysterville Garden Tour VIP Experience have opened up!  The very special private tour of the gardens — along with a catered and wonderful dinner in the gardens — is an incredible experience!  Proceeds go towards Music Programs in the schools and also supporting the Oysterville School.  Tickets are $1.000 each and this elegant evening is not to be missed.  As you can imagine — it will be a VIP Experience worthy of the Rock Star that you are — while supporting these community nonprofits.  If you want to join an elite group of garden lovers (and foodies) join us Friday, May 20, in Oysterville.  Please send a private message and we will answer questions and arrange for you to join us!  #vipexperience #gardentour #dinner #finedining #taxdeductible

Just Beyond The Garden Gate

OMG!  I fully expect to go up to the cemetery next week to place flowers on the graves of my ancestors and find that the ground is rockin’ and rollin’ as they toss and turn in their graves.  If there is anything that this town was NOT founded on it was elitism.  Everyone was welcome  in 1854– as opposed to the exclusivity of the Bruce Boys in Bruceport just across the bay.  RH Espy and Alonzo Clark were of one mind on that point — there would be no exclusivity or elitism here.  The Oysterville desribed on the Water Music FB page is certainly not MY Oysterville or one my forebears would recognize!

South Garden in Summer 2013

And in more recent times, or at least for the last 80 years (which is about all of my 86 that I can clearly remember) Oysterville has continued to be a welcoming place.  Friendliness, sincerity, and a willingness to help are the defining charactertistics that Oysterville residents have considered important.  How much money you have, how Very Important you are in your own eyes, or whether or not you have Rock Star characterists don’t really hold much cachet.  Foodies?   Elite group of garden lovers?  I’m not sure the people who lived and loved, worked and played here and cherished Oysterville were all that interested in those aspects of life.  I am happy that this is not MY Oysterville.  Shame on you, if it is yours!




  1. Cyndy

    What especially got my goat was the last paragraph of the Observer article on the tour de farce: “Allen noted that although tickets to the tour have been sold to people from Seattle, Portland and Cannon Beach, towns with enthusiastic community garden clubs of their own, the event is a way to link peninsula neighbors. “It is really a local, social event, people reuniting with their friends . . .” What?? Locals? Reuniting? Is the expectation that Peninsula folks who could not attend can come to Oysterville and gawk at those who were invited? This event is a far cry from reuniting the community.

  2. Bradley Huson

    Dear Cyndy and Sydney.

    Thank you for the extremely helpful gardening, and community building tips. I know that you’re experts at BOTH of these things, as you are on a myriad of others!

    You are treasures to have as neighbors.

  3. sydney

    Which was the part that I left out? Perhaps you could fill me in.
    Thanks, Sydney

  4. Melissa Van Domelen

    I am extremely confused and insulted by the attitude in your post. I think you are totally off base.My husband and I work really hard in 4 out of 5 of the gardens in the tour.Todd Wiegardt works really hard in the other one.His family has a long history on the Peninsula. We love Oysterville and love making it beautiful. This event was to raise money for music ed at the schools and for repairs at the Oysterville school. Why would you have problem with that? The special dinner sold out and might not of been your cup of tea ,but just because not everyone can afford such an event,me included, why do you have such a reverse elitist attitude if it is raising money for a good cause? I was in one of the gardens we work in during the garden tour all day greeting people and talking about our shared love of gardens and gardening…these people were not elite …just regular people. We let passersby tour if we are working spur of the moment all the time,no money involved…just shared love of the beauty of nature and the awesome setting of Oysterville.Why would your ancestors be against an event that benifits and beautifies the community? I think this is a personal vendetta and you are missing the point entirely. Shame on you.

  5. Greg Rogers

    There have always been fundraisers here in Oysterville of varying degrees. If anyone had made as much money for something you cared about you would have called them “rock stars” as well. Why you are singling this one out for your ire is just weird. How about a “thank you!”
    You know, in that fabled Spirit Of Community, of which you spoke?

    • sydney

      “Always?” Not that I know of. But perhaps your memory goes back farther than mine.
      My objection is not to the fundraiser, Greg. It is to calling it an “Oysterville” Garden Tour when only some residents were asked to participate and it was to using terms like “elitist” and “rock Stars” and by making parts of the “tour” so expensive that most of our greater community could not afford to participate and were made to feel like lesser citizens. Had it been reasonably priced, open to anyone, and included all the gardens of Oysteville, I might have felt differently.

  6. Melissa Van Domelen

    Where is my comment?I thought it was a well thought out rebuttal? Only post what suits you? I don’t get it.

  7. Bradley Huson

    Dear Sydney

    You should talk to Nancy Allen about a future Oysterville Garden Tour.

    You obviously have strong ideas of what you would like to see and how you would like it organized.

    This year’s tour was a resounding success. People enjoyed it. The weather was fine. The gardens were beautiful. And several thousand dollars was raised for good causes.

    Because of the reasons laid out in the previous sentences, a future Oysterville Garden Tour is being discussed. Probably not next year. Maybe not even the year after. But, I’m sure that Nancy would be happy to have a chat with you about this.

    Just an additional note, it was a conscious decision by the people organizing and involved in the tour, to make the tickets slightly more expensive, and limit the numbers of people in the gardens. Parking, was also a serious consideration, especially for those of us who remember what Jazz and Oysters used to be like, when it was in Oysterville.

    Because of the way events unfolded yesterday, and because people came at different times during the day, parking was not a problem, nor did any of the gardens feel crowded at any time. If you do discuss having a future Oysterville Garden Tour with Nancy, I’m sure that she would be an amenable to increasing the number of people, and possibly lowering the ticket price, so that more people would be interested in attending.

  8. Ann Deiscoll

    We have been snowed under with the tragic loss of our beloved daughter Ava. We have great memories of the way Oysterville. was when I grew up there. There were many kind and helpful people. Every time I hear of Water Music I remember when we moved to the peninsula fulltime and I was informed that I had not lived here long enough to be part of Water Music. I played the piano and had done a lot of accompaniment, played in the band, was in the marching band at WSU, sung in the glee club, octet, madigral singers, church choir; yet I wasn’t uppity enough to me with the Water Music group.

  9. Mary Storm

    The wording WAS appalling.
    Also, doubling down on insulting residents of Oysterville and the peninsula by saying “it was a conscious decision to make tickets slightly more expensive”. Elite? Rock stars? VIPs?
    This whole situation reeks.
    The Oysterville you live in is the Oysterville I want to see!
    You have my full support!

    • sydney

      Thank you, Mary.


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