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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
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.