The Rich Fantasy Life of Outsiders

Jun 28, 2019 | 0 comments

And now we come to Paragraph #3 of the article about Oysterville that appeared in the 2019-2020 issue of Discovery Coast — the article I’ve chosen to examine paragraph by paragraph in hopes of setting the record straight.

Its history is rich in detail.  Sure, times have changed, but if there is one pace that resembles that fictional Shangri-La — an idyllic community where life is frozen in time — this is it.

I’ve heard similar descriptions before — Camelot…or Brigadoon, for instance.  Just to make sure that I am on solid ground as I tackle the Shangri-La idea, I turned to my trusty computer to find a definition.  Shangri La  A fictional land of peace and perpetual youth; the setting for the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by the English author James Hilton, but probably best known from the movie versions. Shangri-La is supposedly in the mountains of Tibet.

A land of peace and  perpetual youth!  Wow!  Don’t I wish!  Never mind that all our full-time residents (except for Dan and Linda) are of retirement age and beyond.  We are wrinkling faster than you can say “botox”  Only our part-timer-newcomers are still of working age — but not here, of course.   And, peace?  I’m glad that we who live here give that illusion.  Perhaps it gives others something to strive for.

“Idyllic community” the writer says.  Apparently he has not been paying attention.  Like its boomtown past, Oysterville’s Design Review Board (ODRB) is now history.  With the thunk of a gavel, county commissioners Frank Wolfe and Steve Rogers voted to end the board’s 40-year reign as arbiter of all things Oysterville… began the July 19, 2016 story in the Chinook Observer. 

But it wasn’t “the board’s 40-year reign.”  It was actually 40 years of Oysterville residents managing their own affairs when it came to design review.  Since that gavel’s thunk, life in the village has been far less than idyllic.  Not that it ever was Shangri-La, mind you.  But once in a while 30 or 40 years ago, it seemed almost close.

“Frozen in time,” though, we are not.  I have documentation about life in this village from the very beginning.  And, trust me, no matter how it looks to the wishful thinkers passing through, nothing here is frozen in time.  Not the people.  Not the buildings.  Not the flora or fauna or even the waters of the bay.  Yes, times have changed here just like everywhere else.  And, like everywhere else, not necessarily for the better.  Still, most of us who live here wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Not even for the fantasies of those looking over our fences or through our windows.




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