Summer Kids: Barry, Bart, and Me

Jul 7, 2013 | 0 comments

Guy Allison

Barry’s Grandpa, Guy Allison

As far as I know, my book signing at Bailey’s Bakery and Café yesterday is the last that I’ll be doing for Legendary Locals of the Long Beach Peninsula.  Not that I won’t sign more books at the drop of a hat.  I will and gladly!  But yesterday’s signing was the final ‘scheduled event’ for this particular Arcadia book and I’m a bit sorry about that.

One of the most enjoyable parts about the five signing events that I’ve participated in for this book has been the people I’ve met – people heretofore unknown to me who have a connection to someone in the book.  Every time that has happened, I’m at once delighted and dismayed.  Oh how helpful it would have been had I known these folks during the writing process!  The information that I’d have gleaned!  And the possibility of more or different photos – consistently the most difficult aspect of any book for Arcadia Publications.

Take Barry Bartron and Bart Bartlett, for instance.  Both were gentlemen ‘of a certain age’ – my age, actually, give or take a few years.  Both have grandparents featured in Legendary Locals (as do I), and both were summer kids on the Peninsula (as was I.)  I doubt that our paths crossed then but I feel enriched that I’ve met both men now.

Margaret Russell

Bart’s Grandma. Margaret Russell

Barry introduced himself to me at my Oysterville Store signing –the May 25th “Sneak a Peek” event.  He is the grandson of Guy Allison who was famous for his Ocean Park beach cabin, “The Wreckage.”  It was built completely of lumber salvaged from two maritime accidents which occurred during the winter of 1911 – one involving dozens of fir logs that washed onto the beach and the other, a helpful load of tongue-and-groove lumber.

One of Barry’s fondest summertime memories involved reading the books of Elizabeth Lambert Woods, a local children’s author and another of the Legendary Locals.   He told me that on one occasion he was permitted to share an excerpt from one of his favorites at a meeting of the Chatter Club – a gathering of his grandfather’s cronies who periodically talked about the books they were reading.  It was an event that Barry has savored in memory for more than sixty years.

Granny, Papa, Sydney 1939

My Grandparents, Helen and Harry Espy (and me)

Then, yesterday at Bailey’s Bart introduced himself to me.  His grandmother was Margaret Russell of the Moby Dick Hotel fame.  Bart was able to fill in for me ‘the rest of the story’ concerning her three pet raccoons – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  (Only one lived to maturity…)  Bart also said that he has a great deal of memorabilia from the early days of the Moby Dick, including some of the guest registers!  I hope he makes good on his promise to share some of that information with me.

Though there are age differences among us, I can’t help but wonder if we were ever on the Peninsula during the same summer visiting our respective grsndparents – me in Oysterville, Barry in Ocean Park, and Bart in Nahcotta.  For sure, our grandparents knew one another.  There are letters from Guy Allison to my grandfather in our family archive and my grandparents celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary at the Moby Dick in 1947.  I was twelve and well remember Mrs. Russell.

Here on the Peninsula it seems to be ‘six degrees of separation and shrinking…’

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