Living in the Hub… or on the Edge!

Mar 13, 2014 | 2 comments

By Pat Fagerland

By Pat Fagerland
(In Greater Downtown Oysterville)

So far this week, I’ve had two unusual (for me) experiences right here in Greater Downtown Oysterville.  Both involved interesting people who had contacted me and wanted to visit and both of those visits (which were potentially stress-producing) turned out to be great fun.

The first occurred on Tuesday when an impressive looking gentleman (wearing a great hat!) came visiting to see the blue print of an early Oysterville plat.  He had emailed me to set up the meeting and had identified himself as G.C. Waldrep, poet and historian with a B.A. from Harvard and a PhD from Duke, currently on sabbatical from his teaching job at Bucknell University where he directs the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets and edits the journal West Branch.  Whew!

For starters, the entire concept of “poet” and/or “historian” is intimidating to me.  I was glad that there was something specific on our ‘agenda’ but, as it turned out, G.C. is engaging and easy to talk to and I didn’t feel nearly as inept as I thought I would.  Plus, he had already read Willard’s Oysterville, Roads to Grandpa’s Village and my Dear Medora.  Two thumbs up right from the get-go!

A Signature Waldrep Hat

A Signature Waldrep Hat

Furthermore, he is a resident at Willapa Bay AIR and has been spending his days drinking in all things Oysterville.  (He says he’s a “night writer.”)   He stayed only for a short time and left me hoping that our paths might cross again and interested in hearing or reading some of his poetry – especially whatever comes out of his residency here.

On Wednesday, I had another visitor – actually, two – from the Washington State Trust for Historic Preservation headquartered in Seattle.  Again, the contact was made by email and again the subject centered on Oysterville history.  Chris Moore, Executive Director of said organization, wanted to interview me “about the significance of Oysterville, the changes over time to the district, etc.”


Chris Moore

Since that’s a subject near and dear to my heart, I agreed, even though I would be filmed and I had vowed the last time I was interviewed on video “never again.”  But, as they say, “Never say never.”  And so it was on Wednesday afternoon I stood in the street in front of the house talking about the fragility of Oysterville and the difficulties we residents have in being good stewards of our village.

Chris was charming, empathetic, and a great interviewer.  Plus, we discovered just before the camera started rolling, that he (like I) had graduated from San Rafael High School, albeit about a generation later than I.  Go Bulldogs!  He had the knack of putting me at ease in front of the camera and the time flew by.  I don’t imagine I covered all the important stuff, but the videographer (Megan?  I’m embarrassed but I don’t remember) assured me that it would all be edited and ‘cleaned up.’

The most difficult part of the process was stopping each time a car (read: motorcycles, garbage truck, lookie-loos) approached and then picking up the thread.  That part was far from seamless from my standpoint.  Lord knows, I have enough trouble staying on the subject when I’m not waiting for traffic noise to subside!  Again, both interviewer and photographer assured me that the final editing would work magic.  I surely hope so!

All in all, in case you’ve ever wondered about how it is to live in a village of twelve full-time residents – busy and edgy and endlessly challenging.  At least from my point of view!


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    As articulate and learned as you are, I am surprised to find that you’d be stressed by meeting someone else of that kind. It is they who ought to be grateful to spend time with you and I am sure your desire to preserve Oysterville kicked into gear. No one is more passionate on that subject. Oysterville may not be on the edge of the Earth, but you certainly can see it from there!

    • sydney

      Thanks for the “articulate” and “learned” — but I’m just as insecure as they come! I’m surprised you haven’t figured that out yet! lol


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