The Puget Sound Chapter
(well, some of us)

On December 27th, 2003, a few members of the Puget Sound Chapter of Free Republic gathered at the Oak Harbor, WA, Godfather's Pizza to welcome visitor and long-time FReeper Doug_from_Upland who is, well, from Upland.  As in California, east of Los Angeles.  Doug was visiting his daughter and son-in-law, who is stationed in Oak Harbor.

Doug is one of the longest-term FReepers, having joined in March 1997, back when Free Republic was a message board called "The Whitewater Tavern."

It was a cold, gray day outside, but considerably friendlier inside -- as a bumpersticker hinted.

All sorts of discussions were carried on through the afternoon, as exemplified by Publius chatting with two long-time "lurkers" (Vladimir and Valentina), sometime residents of Seattle and Redondo Beach area. They left the Soviet Union some 30 years ago, and he  warns (paraphrased) that few Americans understand what their society is headed towards, because they have no experince of it.   (Vladimir and Valentina, I hope we will see more of you in time to come -- online and at FReeper events.)

The group got so caught up in discussion, someone had to remind us we were there for lunch too!

Initially, those present were "Chogmac," "Doug_from_Upland," "Eala," "Publius," Vladimir, Valentina, "Libertina," and Josh.  People came and went as the afternoon wore on, adding (at least) "noexcuses" to the list before your reporter had to leave.

Doug_from_Upland entertained the group with some songs he had written, new words for familiar tunes.  He'd even written one for the Puget Sound Chapter!
In other discussion, we learned from the locals about Whidbey Island's political landscape.  From (the town of) Greenbank north (specifically from "the phone booth" and north, including the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station) it is conservative.  From that point south, it is extremely liberal.  

"noexcuses" related a story: "I have a Bush-Cheney bumpersticker on my car, and [at work] I park at the end of the lot where it can easily be seen.  One day a fellow walked by and went 'Hmph! What a bad sticker.' I said, 'Ecuse me, but that's mine! What would you have it say?'  He said, 'Ummm... Gore - Lieberman.'  I said, 'I have only two words for you...  Gore lost!' "

All in all, we had a good time.  And when it was done, we faced a pleasant drive back, crossing appropriately-named Deception Pass, as we returned from beautiful and conservative North Whidbey Island to our homes elsewhere in Puget Sound, a land of liberal deceptions.

Deceeption Pass Bridge .