Friday, August 26, 2011
1951 Dodge pickup
Love the purr from those high lift cams...
1966 Dodge Charger
Brings me right back to my high school days and cruising the loop!
1970 Dodge Challenger
Back in the early 70's I had a 1966 Oldsmobile Starfire Coupe... That was a car! Two door, white bucket seats, 425 V8, 4 speed automatic. Loved that car!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I haven't seen many of these around. This is the "Gear-Up" model. It was originally built as a military bike back in 1941. It's based on the BMW R71. Story has it that the Russian's smuggled them into the country via Sweden to reverse engineer them for the war effort.
IMA - Ural is headquartered in Irbit, Russia in the Ural Mountain region. They were built to go over rough roads and trails where only a horse or donkey could traverse. They're popularity is worldwide and they sell everyone they make. In 2010 they made 800 of them. Irbit MotorWorks of America is the importer.
They have a very informative website: imz-ural.com
The Gear-Up is my favorite model... I love the fact they so closely resemble the original 1941 design.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Isaac Benveniste founded the Renton Economy Department Store back in 1950. Ike’s story is nothing short of amazing and not unlike many of my grandparent’s generation who immigrated to the Pacific Northwest “from the old country” to create a better life.
Ike was born in Greece on the Island of Rhodes. In 1925 at only 16 years old he hitched a freighter to Africa. With next to nothing in his pockets he made his way to (what was then) the Belgium Congo. Over the next few years this enterprising young man would develop a successful trading business, learn several African languages, and gain the respect and admiration of locals and settlers alike. It wasn’t long after his hard work paid off and he bought a building and opened his first store in what is now Lubumbashi, Zaire.
Benveniste became a successful entrepreneur. Yet, in 1948 political unrest turned to violence. The gap between the privileged class and those that had never had any privileges grew. With revolution emanate Ike and family took flight to America, leaving everything behind.
Back to square one the Benveniste’s settled in Seattle. Ike had to have been a human dynamo. In just two years working odd jobs, he learned enough English to get by and saved enough money to start up his first store in Renton selling surplus, general mechandise and western wear.
Lucie, Ike’s daughter, bought the store in 1976. After Ike passed away in 1980 the store was renamed Renton Western Wear. Lucie’s son Jerry became a 3rd generation partner in 1986. They were early adopters of the internet and started up their online storefront in 1996. The business has grown and prospered. Renton Western Wear is now Washington State’s premiere western attire store. They opened another large store in Tacoma, and a smaller venue in Puyallup known as The Outpost.
I’m inspired by stories like Ike’s as I am with so many of the immigrants who came to Renton and the area to start a new life. Their beginnings were so humble, yet through their willingness to work, they created opportunity, a good life for their families, and contributed to their community.
I appreciate Ike's simple premise and goal:
To provide his customers with "quality at reasonable prices"...
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Richard Beyer is one of my favorite sculptors here in the Pacific Northwest. His public art works are everywhere, and deservedly so. One of the most popular sculptures in Seattle is his...
The Interurban was a local rail system who’s first incarnation began with an electric streetcar line in 1889 and grew to provide cheap public transportation connecting Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, and points in between. The sculpture’s joke is that (after over a half century) they’re still waiting at the stop on Fremont & 34th in Seattle for a ride to Everett. The Interurban was gone by 1940.
In old downtown Renton just south of the post office on Williams is Tonkin Park. I like this little triangle park. It’s a great place for a quiet moment and home of another Richard Beyer sculpture, “Donkey Run Away From the Mines.”
The donkey was a perfect symbol for Renton with it's long coal mining history. Donkeys and mules were used in the coal mines to pull the coal wagons. Many of them spent their entire lives in the mine.
What I appreciate about Richard Beyer’s art is he sides with the public. They can be somewhat controversial and/or irreverent, yet to me they’re more conversational. They reflect the views and perspective you’d hear in the neighborhood.
I drive past here most every weekday going back and forth to work. It's one of my little shortcuts that long time residents know to get across town and beat the traffic. I can't tell you how many times in the rain, fog, snow, or sunshine I've caught the donkey out of the corner of my eye driving by and did a double take thinking it was real.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Seattle 2011 Seafair
Thursday, August 4, 2011
They started practice this morning from 10:00 am to Noon. They’ll do another session today from 1:30 to 2:30 pm... It’s a beautiful summer day and we’ve got the deck door at our office open over looking Lake Union. I can hear the occasional low roar of an F/A-18 Hornet in the background as the Blue Angels do their routines over Lake Washington a couple of miles east of me on the other side of Capitol Hill.
When they finish a sequence and circle around to reform over Lake Washington for the next maneuver one or two of the angels make a huge arc over downtown Seattle, around the Space Needle, and fly right over Lake Union and our office on Eastlake Ave.
It’s a beautiful thing.
Blue Angel flying over Lake Union and our office on Eastlake.
I’m instantly a kid again when I hear them. The Blue Angels have been a part of Seattle’s Seafair since I can remember. The only time they missed Seafair was back in 1994 and 1995. All because a few residents complained about the noise which resulted in a dispute with the FAA about their ability to fly safely over Lake Washington.
Talk about a loud noise! There were so many of us Puget Sounders up in arms about it that we made a lot of noise for a long time until we finally got the point across to the “authorities” that Seafair isn’t Seafair without the Blue Angels. They acquiesced... In their first feeble attempt to quiet us down they had the Angels do a separate event over Elliott Bay in 1996. Wrong!
We weren’t happy nor satisfied and rightfully so... The Blue Angels are an integral part of Seafair. If it ain’t over the Lake as part of the Hydroplane Races, then damn it... it ain’t Seafair! The Angels were back in 1997 and flying over Lake Washington as part of the race and weekend activities every year since.
As my friend Mark, a retired Naval fighter pilot said to me back in the mid 70’s during Seafair as the Blue Angels came screaming over head,
“That my friend, is the roar of freedom.”