Sunday, August 5, 2007


It's hydroplane Sunday in the Pacific Northwest. Those jet boats are tearing up Lake Washington under picture-perfect blue skies. The Blue Angels came out and did a "half-time" show...always awesome to watch. My sister, Teri, is at Safeco watching the Sox and the Mariners, and I'm wondering if she can see the Angels from outside the stadium. You could watch them perform from the old King Dome.

The Sea Fair boat races were a big deal in our household when I was a kid. (ANY sporting event could be a big deal as far as Dad was concerned.) But back in the 60's, we would combine forces on that race-day Sunday with our neighbors down the street, and have us a bit of a party. Dad and Fred would hunker down in front of the TV, beer in hand, to talk and watch the boats. The amazing Bill Muncey in the Miss Thriftway, Run Musson at the helm of the Miss Bardahl ("Bardahl did it again"), the Slo-Mo boats, the Miss Maverick, Miss Wahoo, and later, the Miss Madison and the Miss Budweiser. The Gold Cup Race was a HUGE deal, and boats came from all over.

In the kitchen, Mom and Aurelia would be putting on a taco feed of mass proportions. There were 14 of us in the two families, and tacos are not the easiest thing to prepare for a crowd. But Aurelia was from El Paso, and tacos were a family specialty. I'm sure we did a lot of waiting in line for our turn for another taco once the initial serving had been received. And as if the frying of hamburger, chopping of tomatoes, grating of cheese, and shredding of lettuce wasn't enough, not to mention frying the taco shells (that's the way we did it back then) they also made chili rellenos. Oh, yum. Well....I'm not sure I liked those back then, but I sure do now.

And while all that TV watching and cooking was going on, we kids were outside playing. Nine girls, and my lone brother. Something called "No bears are out tonight" and "kick the can" were two favorite games. It was a great time. It was summer...the weather was was just around the corner but we weren't thinking of that yet.

So today when the races came on, I felt a bit nostalgic. It always reminds me of a special time in my "childhood." And if that wasn't enough, who's busy announcing these races today but Pat O'Day...DJ to all us teens in the 60's...and 70's. KJR, Seattle...Chanel 95. Ah yes. He was our constant companion in the days when transistor radios were a brand new thing, and we could take our music with us without benefit of electricity. He brought us Elvis (well, later Elvis), the Beach Boys, and of course, the Beatles and the rest of the British invasion. He was so funny, even the adults listened to him. And what's amazing is, his voice sounds exactly the same as he did 40 years ago. Exactly!

Well, I'm sure it's about time for the final heat....gotta run!


Anonymous said...

You know, Sis, I have these same memories whenever I watch the hydros! Some people find them boring but I feel a certain "duty" to watch them every year because that's what we did growing up! Dad would be proud of us!!! It sure is nice to see the Budwiser out of it someone else a chance to win!

Anonymous said...

Okay, who was the person who just wrote about being lucky if she could remember where she lived?
Where was I? I don't remember any of that! I remember them coming over for tacos,(kinda)but I sure don't remember anything about watching boat races.
In fact Kathleen, you remember a lot of things. All these things you write about are from soooo long ago. You seem to have a great memory. Your memory isn't fading with your age at all. Speaking of age, aren't you about to turn another year older? The 10th everybody. Just wanted to mention that.

Anonymous said...

My turn! I, too, remember the hydro races but not sure about the Chitty's being there for taco feeds. I remember the taco feeds, I just don't remember them being during the races. Did you have to look up somewhere to get the names of those boats? How do you remember these things?? It's scary. Do you remember this? Mom and Aurelia are responsible for taco and chili relleno ingredients being in Olympia. The stores around here didn't have taco shells, salsa, or chili rellenos. Mom and Aurelia requested them from Peterson's and he got them. Who knows how long it would have been before those ingredients made it to the big city if they hadn't requested them.
We did see the Blue Angels a few times while at Safeco yesterday. Safeco isn't on their flight path, but they did go over and around it a few times. Pretty cool and very loud!
Stacy's Dad works with the hydros every year and has done so for many years. Stacy was on the docks every summer during the races and she always got to ride on one of the hydros during the parade. I don't recall seeing any hydros in this past parade. Did you watch?
Well, keep the memories coming. It's fun to read!

Kathleen said...

I had no idea that Mom and Aurelia were responsible for Mexi food showing up on the shelves of grocery stores in the area! How cool is that?

Kathleen said...

I had no idea that Mom and Aurelia were responsible for Mexi food showing up on the shelves of grocery stores in the area! How cool is that?

Elizabeth said...

See! Sisters and memories.

Love it.

I think age at the time has a lot to do with what parts we remember.

When we were young (er) an age difference of 2 years was a big gap. So boats vs food memories can make sense.

strauss said...

Kathleen, that story was AWESOME!
What a vivid picture you painted of the blokes in front of the box; women in the kitchen; the mexican food smells wafting through the house and the kids squeeling outside playing games and having fun. It was like I was there, watching the scene from the corner of some room.
Hope you had a tremendous, fabulous and totally wonderful birthday yesterday. Many happy returns.XXXX