Letters to the Editor - December 23 - 29, 2010

Published on Thu, Dec 23, 2010
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The Editor:
The American Legion Post #86, Women’s Auxiliary Unit 86 and the Sons of the American Legion in Birch Bay put on another successful Thanksgiving dinner on November 25 at the Blaine Senior Center. We had 51 volunteers working from 5 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. We served 179 meals including many home deliveries this year.
Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers without whom we would never had been able to put it all together so well and the Whatcom County Health Department for the free operating permit. The generosity of the Cost Cutter in Blaine, Hempler Food Group, Sound Beverage and the Blaine Senior Center made this day a resounding success.
David Van Duisen, event coordinator

The Editor:
So very grateful!
On behalf of the Blaine high school wind ensemble and the Blaine Fine Arts Association, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the “Band to Japan” effort.
Support of friends, family and community, from here to India, has made it possible for 51 students to make the trip to the Funabashi Music Festival, in Tokyo, Japan on January 30. The families and students are so grateful and excited about the experience that lies ahead and hope that you will join them at the 14th Annual Arts & Jazz Evening on January 22 in the Blaine Performing Arts Center.
Arts & Jazz is an auction, dance and community celebration that, this year, will include a performance by the Wind Ensemble before they leave on the 25 of January. Thanks again to this wonderful community for your ongoing support.
Dorita Gray

The Editor:
Let me re-introduce a rising star in American and world literature, Marilynne Robinson. Her brilliance (witness her Yale Terry lectures “The Absence of Mind”), enriches her elegantly written, profound religious novels.
A few comments about four of her books to hopefully pique your interest. “Death of Adam,” a series of essays about ancient Christian notables, John Calvin in particular. She skewers certain secularists who, for ideological reasons, distorted European and American puritanical traditions. “House Keeping,” winner of the Hemingway-Penn award. Critics place it among the top 25 most distinguished American novels. “Gilliad,” (my favorite), set in the town of Gilliad in 1950s Iowa. Reverend Ames writes a series of letters to his beloved seven-year-old son, a blessing from his marriage to a much younger woman in his congregation. The letters provide moral advice, wistful depictions of small towns and close knit communities and historical descriptions of the character and personalities of earlier family members. The book won the Pulitzer Prize and the national Book Critics Award.
“Home,” winner of the Orange Prize, a British annual award to gifted women novelists, worldwide. Robinson overcame competition from five other contestants. The novel is set in the town of Gilliad in 1950s Iowa. Jack, the prodigal son, returns home after a 20-year absence. His life has been rife with evil, trouble and pain. Jack’s deceased mother had grievously noted: “I believe that the boy was born to break his father’s heart.” Yet he is his father’s favorite son! There to greet him is his 38-year-old sister, Gloria, crestfallen after a long lasting engagement failed. Of the other children in the family she notes: “Hope was serene, Luke generous, Teddy brilliant, Grace musical, Jack was Jack.” As the story unfolds rich fascinating dialogs transpire among the four main characters, Jack, Gloria, the father Reverend Boughton and Reverend Ames, his best friend and neighbor.
The novel closes dramatically and tragically, when Jack’s senescent father cannot forgive his son. Joyfully, when Jack’s wife, Dela and son appear searching for her long absent husband. Moving conversations between Dela and Gloria before she departs. Gloria’s conviction, “the lord is wonderful” (Read James Woods review, New Yorker, 3/30/09.)
Ken Knutsen

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