Kind hearts, and Veterans Day | Home Again

By Joanne Peterson | Nov 20, 2017

In my most recent column, I wrote about the Christmas when I was 6 years old and found a shiny new blue bike parked by the Christmas tree, next to a matching one for my 8-year-old brother.

Although actually longing for a scooter, I soon learned to ride the bike. By the time I was seven – the year my family moved to Edmonds – I relied on that shiny blue bike every day.

Eventually, I moved on to a two-tone green Schwinn from my father’s Western Auto store at Fourth and Main, a bike that saw me through childhood.

My brother, who was 9 when we moved to Edmonds, helped out at our father’s Western Auto store at Fourth and Main and eventually saved his money to buy a new bike from the Western Auto stock. The day he rode it home from the store, our mother and I hurried down the front steps to admire his treasure.

It was an English three-speed, green, sleek and lightweight. In those days, a three-speed was a great thrill. He rode it for years.

I’m writing about bikes again because I want to report on the response to my request last week that readers consider donating bikes for the annual Toy Shop, held in early December at the Edmonds Food Bank.

Coralie Shepherd, the Christmas elf assigned to collecting bikes for the Toy Shop, contacted me a day or so after the Beacon appeared to tell me that someone had called right away to donate a bike. And it wasn’t just any bike the caller provided – it was a shiny blue bike!

So this Christmas, thanks to the generosity of that caller, another little girl will ride her shiny new blue bike, just as I did many years ago. Coralie (425-771-2862) said many others also responded to my plea, and we both thank you for your generous response. Oh, the kind hearts in Edmonds!

Veterans Day

Last weekend, on Veterans Day, the Sno-King Chorale and The Brothers Four twice performed an amazing “Sing Out For America” concert, honoring men and women who have served their country in the armed forces.

What memorable moments when those of each branch of the service stood to be recognized while the chorale, under the direction of the beloved Frank DeMiero, sang the songs of Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard.

The Brothers Four performed with their customary enthusiasm and musical gifts, both with the chorale and as a quartet, a quartet that’s been popular worldwide for over 50 years.

Few would deny that these are times of upheaval and tension in our country. The concert reminded me that despite the differing ways in which Americans express their love of country, they can join in by honoring those who have stood tall – and still do – as defenders of our rights.

The Sno-King Chorale did its part in honoring our veterans, and I thank them for their musical tribute. And I again thank the donor of that shiny blue bike – and the many other compassionate individuals and families who contributed bicycles to the 2017 Christmas Toy Shop at the Edmonds Food Bank.


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