Lighthouses, art history, and a long walk to town

Our recent encounter with the North Head Light at Long Beach got me thinking about how much I have always loved lighthouses, and remembering my fascination for lighthouses put me in mind of a postage stamp. 

I collected stamps when I was a kid. Someone gave me a Scott World Stamp Album for Christmas one year. It was organized by country and had places on its pages for common stamps, with a black and white photograph of each and a little description of it. Though I don’t exactly recall, a bag of “assorted commemorative stamps” was probably also included in the gift, maybe even as part of the album. I was instantly enthralled with the process of matching stamps to their place in the album, and I was a philatelist for years. Etymologically speaking, the word philately means “love of tax exemption”, but by convention it refers to the collection and study of stamps. To this day, I don’t think I have ever said this word aloud, not only because it sounds like an offense punishable by prison time, but also because I have always been unsure of which syllable gets emphasized.

Edward Hopper's " The Lighthouse at Two Lights" painting used on 1970 commemorative stamp. This image used without permission of the USPS.

Edward Hopper

What you were supposed to do was affix each stamp to its place on the page using a tiny folded “glassine” paper that you licked, and which was called a stamp hinge. It was a tricky operation, because once you licked it it wanted to stick to your fingers, and you had to get it placed on the back of the stamp and then place the stamp in the book just so, all before your lick expired. It was a maddening experience, but these little hinges were designed to adhere to the back of an unused stamp without compromising it. Before I knew this, I glued most of my first bag of stamps to their pictures with Elmer’s glue. Glueing stamps is a quick way to decrease their resale value to zero, which is antagonistic to the purpose of collecting them, or at least to one purpose. (My purpose as a kid was, now that I think about it, more direct and more purely about the stamps. I wanted them right here in my book, forever. There’s something kind of raw and good about children’s disregard for market value appreciation.) The few stamps that survived this philatelic holocaust were transferred carefully (with hinges) to my second book, the Minkus All American Stamp Album, a more thorough catalog of U.S. commemoratives in a hot-red vinyl notebook emblazoned with the American eagle carrying arrows and olive branches.

There was, and maybe still is, a man named John Kardos, who ran a little shop on Main Street in Bellevue called The Stamp Gallery. I went to The Stamp Gallery often with my Scott’s Stamp Prices book in hand. Mr. Kardos frightened me a little, but he treated each customer with great respect, including the gawky and bespectacled ten-year-old who came in to buy three stamps. He stood behind a glass-topped counter that had two or three tall stools in front of it. Under the glass were various colorful plates of stamps from around the world. I gathered they were rare. Sometimes I would have to wait a very long time because the customer ahead of me would be involved in a significant transaction that took half an hour or more. Sometimes Mr. Kardos was appraising someone’s collection and was explaining why this or that stamp or group of stamps would be worth this or that much. Sometimes a customer was simply loading up on plate blocks and it took a while.

It was a quick bike ride or a pleasurable walk to The Stamp Gallery from our house about a mile south of Main Street. Click for higher res.

Much of the streetscape has changed since I was ten, but you can still see that it was a quick bike ride or a long walk to The Stamp Gallery from our house about a mile south of Main Street. Image lifted from Bing Maps.

Mr. Kardos gave his full attention to the present customer and did not rush anyone, while acknowledging other customers as they arrived under the tinkle of the little bell above the door. He gave stamp collecting the air of the most noble enterprise. He never laughed. He had a thick Eastern European accent. I think he was Hungarian. Hungary had the coolest stamps, I thought, because their own name for themselves was not Hungarians but Magyars, and their stamps said “Magyar Posta”. When I moved to North Carolina at age 11, I wrote to Mr. Kardos and he sent me stock sheets. He used stock sheets in his many ring-bound notebooks, not touristy little pages with photographs, which I began to understand were for lightweights. Stock sheets were blank slotted pages that you could put your stamps in in any arrangement you chose, so they demanded and assumed a measure of creativity and responsibility and knowledge. People who used stock sheets were organizing their collections, cataloguing their particular pathway through stampdom. Because you couldn’t collect everything. There was too much. You specialized in a country or two, or a theme (aviation, maybe), or maybe you collected coils, or numbered plate blocks or whole plates. Mr. Kardos also used tweezers called stamp tongs to take stamps out of the stock sheets and put them in. I began using tongs, too, but not faithfully. Two things Mr. Kardos never did: he never touched a stamp with his fingers (the oils in our hands, as you might guess, are hostile to the integrity of the paper) and, at least to my recollection, he never said “philately”, which makes me wonder if the word is pronounceable at all. Maybe no one says it. Maybe no one has ever said it.

There was a six-cent stamp that had an image of a New England lighthouse on it, and it turned out that the artist who painted that image later became a favorite of mine, Edward Hopper. We went and saw some of his paintings at the Seattle Art Museum last winter, though the exhibit was mostly assembled from his urban scenes depicting women at work or having coffee or looking out windows, and did not include any of his lighthouse paintings. When I first encountered Edward Hopper as an artist I felt an instant recognition of and love for the kind of light that inhabited the air in his paintings (see “Early Sunday Morning”). It was only recently that I realized that the lighthouse on that old Maine Statehood stamp was a Hopper lighthouse. I don’t know if I liked Hopper because I had this stamp when I was young, or whether I remembered this stamp simply because Hopper’s painting style so resonated with me.

I still have my stamp collection in an old crate. Since the Maine Statehood commemorative didn’t come out until 1970, and I think I was collecting as early as the late ’60s, there’s a good chance that my copy of this issue was safely placed in the second album with a stamp hinge. It’s probably worth two bits by now. 

Since beginning this post I’ve discovered that The Stamp Gallery is still right where it was in one of the last little two-story, post-war, slap-dash buildings in Bellevue, and is still under the austere administration of Mr. John Kardos (here’s the website). I’d like to go back and visit him and ask him how the self-adhesive stamp has affected stamp collecting.

Anyway, as my own commemoration to an enduring fascination, I couldn’t resist posting just one more picture of the North Head Lighthouse. Click for big.

What would the scientific term be for a lover of lighthouses? Photodomophile?

What would the scientific term be for a lover of lighthouses? Photodomophile?


67 Responses to “Lighthouses, art history, and a long walk to town”

  1. 1 Marni September 14, 2009 at 17:08

    Okay, place this for me- where in relation to Toy’s Cafe are we talking about? Was it by the car wash….my mind is frustrated because I can almost see it but not!

  2. 2 Kip September 14, 2009 at 19:22

    Two things I have learned today: One, if I said the word philately on the radio I might get fired (joke), and B, you collected stamps (not a joke)! I had no idea! Marni, I had to Google it, but from what I can tell, it looks like it’s across the street from the 7-11…correct me if I’m wrong. Kind of funny…our first night in the area over Labor Day, Claire would not sleep. So, after a nine and a half hour drive, I put her in the car, hit I-90 west bound from Issaquah (we stayed at teh Hilton Garden Inn…nice place), and exited at Bellevue. Drove down good ole Main (some memories there eh?), so must have passed right by it. Twice, even. Main Street has changed quite a bit, I’m glad something from “The Old Days” is still there, under the same ownership.

  3. 3 Louis Chirillo September 15, 2009 at 06:36

    I remember stamp hinges! And I remember the frustration that were stamp hinges. My father was a big stamp collector, and I caught his philatelic phever. He collected sheets of the latest U.S. stamps (Seattle World’s Fair commemorative, Apollo 8..etc) while I collected bags of stamps from all over the world. I remember having to put the stamps, which were still adhered to pieces of envelope, in a bowl of water to loosen them. And then there were the stamp hinges…

    But for the life of me I do not remember The Stamp Gallery. Like Marni and Kip, I cannot place it. Toy’s? Yes. The Barber Shop and its collection of BHS Beacons? Yes. The Mustard Seed? Yes. But The Stamp Gallery escapes me!

    Fear not the pronunciation. Click on the little horn dealy:

    After all these years, I now know the location of Magyar Posta.

  4. 4 Marni September 15, 2009 at 08:25

    I clicked on your link Louis— and I still can’t pronounce it! And off topic- no one told me you are the guy who put that fabulous picture montage of Bellevue on You Tube!!! In trying to find a picture of Old Main in the 70’s yesterday so I could place this darn stamp shop I came across an article about it, you’re the one who put that together. I join all of the others in clapping you on the back and thanking you for the memories- anything that can show me both the Bellevue Bowl and the John Danz along with “real” Bellevue Square and the Crabapple is fine in my book.
    Now, back to Matthew’s blog!

    • 5 Marni September 17, 2009 at 14:54

      oh, and by the way….I know it was called Belle Lanes, but my mom was in a bowling league when I was a tot and we lived in Woodridge and that’s what I called it, so that’s what I have always called it. I hate it when people might think I don’t know the correct name of something, hence the clarification!

  5. 6 jstwndrng September 15, 2009 at 09:04

    You guys are so hot…you’re burning up…you’re looking right at it but you just don’t realize it. If you’re standing just west of the intersection of Bellevue Way and Main, and you’re looking at the front door of the 7-11, and then you turn around 180 degrees and look south, then you are looking at the Stamp Gallery. Toys and the Russell’s barbershop are slightly right (more west) of you, and then the driveway to the Mustard Seed, which sits back deeply on its lot. The building that the Stamp Gallery is in also sits back a ways from the street (in fact it’s sort of “next” to the Mustard Seed, to the east one), so that you might not register it. If you walk from the corner on the south side of Main, you will be aware that to your left is the KFC, then a vaguely dentisy-looking two-story building with cars in front of it, then Toys Cafe. It’s that vaguely dentisty-looking building. I’ll see if I can put a link in here to a view of it.

    Kip, I think I kept a pretty tight lid on my philately once I grew to the age of nerdly awareness. Sorry I didn’t share that with you, old bean. You think you know someone, eh?

    Marni, off-topic allowed and encouraged. I was impressed by Louis’ “montage” talents too when I saw that video. The Eastside Heritage Center’s website links to that video but only refers to “a researcher” and does not credit Louis by name. I told him he should be credited but he’s too much of a prince to scratch and claw at celebrity. You know he’s an actor of some accomplishment, right? He would never mention this. You have his email address…ask him about the Watchmen.

    Louis, we might have to do some trading. That is, unless you glued all your stuff.

  6. 7 Marni September 15, 2009 at 12:40

    I’m literally about to get in my car and drive over there to see it; now that my new dvr is installed I’m free to leave my home! If it’s set back like the Seed then is it next to where the car wash used to be? aaarrrrgggghh. KILLING ME. Also the loss of the car wash kills me, but that’s another story that my dusty dirty car could tell.
    No, didn’t know that another of Mr. Chirillo’s accomplishments was acting- he just gets more intriguing. He is named in an article I found yesterday, in fact he’s quoted.
    Now I’m going to go back to picturing a youngish Matt and his earnest endeavors in the stamp world…

    • 8 jstwndrng September 15, 2009 at 12:52

      I almost said “it is butt-up against the car wash”. You mean the car wash is gone? Well, I shouldn’t be surprised. But yes, by Jove I think you’ve got it. There was also a place off Main between 106th and 108th for numismatists, but I don’t recall the name of it. Jeff would remember, since he collected coins.

      Careful not to scare Louis away with too much prying. I don’t think my blog can survive a 33% dive in readership.

  7. 9 Marni September 15, 2009 at 14:55

    Using a visit to CPK (California Pizza Kitchen for the uninitiated) to pick up a grilled vegi salad, I drove down Main. Um….I loathe being the one to tell you this, but all that remains of the Stamp Gallery, the Pawn Shop, and the funky building that housed them is- the sign on Main, mostly covered by the branches of a tree that I’m sure is not long for this world either. It seems that with the demise of the car wash and the soon-to-be-demolished Mustard Seed, and seeing as how that building was between the two, it has perished in the name of progress. It’s actually a bloody mess over there right now- glad to get out. You’ll need to see if/where it relocates Matthew!

  8. 10 Kip September 15, 2009 at 16:05

    OK, that makes sense…when I drove past there, even in the middle of the night…I had a hard time picturing that as being there. I saw the car wash was gone….but was quite a bit groggy, and thought maybe I was looking at the wrong area. Now, I must find this Bellevue Montage of Louis’s….off I go to the Internet! Wait, I guess I’m already there….

  9. 11 Kip September 15, 2009 at 16:16

    Ok, that was a WONDERFUL trip down Memory Lane! MAny thanks to Louis! Matt, it the Comment section on the Youtube, someone mentioned Pizza And Pipes. How is THAT for a blast backward! Marni…California Pizza Kitchen is new to me. Where might it be? I’ll have to try it when next in town!

  10. 12 Louis Chirillo September 15, 2009 at 17:53

    I wish I could just get on my stingray bike, ride down the parents’ driveway and make my way to Main Street so I could take a look at this place. (Or maybe run down there in my Keds) It’s just not registering. But I’m sure it would if I could see it.

    Marni and Kip, thank you for the kind words regarding the video presentation. Matt, sadly I no longer have my stamp collection. Once I turned 10, trading cards – baseball, football, hockey, basketball – took over my life…at least until I turned 14 and discovered girls.

    • 13 Marni September 15, 2009 at 18:17

      My stingray had a basket with pink plastic flowers, and pink and silver tassels on the handlebars; I’m thinking yours didn’t.

      • 14 Louis Chirillo September 16, 2009 at 02:48

        Mine was a little different, Marni. My stingray was blue with a blue sparkle banana seat and playing cards inserted into the spokes with clothespins for that cool motorcycle effect. During the 4th of July, my brother and I would buy smoke crackers, attach them to the back of our bikes, light them and ride down our street criss-crossing as if we were the stingray bike Blue Angels.

        I used to work at the Bellevue Ice Plaza. The manager would “hire” us kids to sweep, dole out skates, shovel the snow out of the Zamboni and clean the bathrooms. In return, we were given free ice time..child labor at its finest.

        Speaking of CPK, does anybody remember the Pizza Haven that used to be on Main Street just east of Bellevue Way?

      • 15 jstwndrng September 16, 2009 at 07:56

        I think I remember it. Was it behind the Burger King or was it further up the hill, past Phil Smart and nearer to 108th?

  11. 16 Marni September 15, 2009 at 18:14

    Kip (do you KNOW how hard it is for me not to add the “py” on??? Have I gotten ANY love for being a good kid? Just saying- I deserve some pats on the back), CPK is a chain that’s rather prevalent in (duh) CA, AZ, CO, TX, and has a small presence in WA, OR and even UT! Gooooooood pizza, goooooood salads, crazy good menu for small kids, not so great ambience for the hard-of-hearing. I saw Pizza and Pipes in the comment section as well- also the skating rink where I sadly deluded myself into thinking I was Dorothy Hamill for about 2 seconds of my life…

  12. 17 Kip September 16, 2009 at 06:58

    Sorry Marni…I have noticed and, to be honest, I’m not sure I like it! Yes, I know, there was a time when I got a little cranky about it…but…maybe you can try it again, you know, just to see how it goes?

    I never had a Stingray, but my bike did have a busted seat that made it look like a low rider. It was the coolest bike, and was a bit sad when I graduated to a ten speed. I never ice skated, but roller skating at Skate King was the best! “All Skate! All Skate!”

    • 18 jstwndrng September 16, 2009 at 08:04

      Interesting that Marni cannot resist appending “-py” and I cannot resist adding “-per”. I think the “-py” suffix can be considered a diminutive, closer to a maternal nurturing endearment — fidgety territory for men, whereas the “-per” suffix is reminiscent of suffixes of “agency” or “doing stuff” (writer, actor, producer, bookseller) and is therefore a more comfortable choice for males. Same reason men used to balk at calling me Matthew when I went by the full name. The lispy “th” sounds somehow faggy, so even when I introduced myself as Matthew, manly-men often said right back, “Nice to meet ya, Matt.” We can’t help it, I guess. Boys will be boys.

    • 19 Marni September 16, 2009 at 16:11

      Kippy, Kippy, Kippy. Ahhhhhhhh- there. Feel much better now, thanks! Skate King, with the black light and the Locomotion and the popcorn and cotton candy- good times, good times- also some scary puberty-racked bad times, as I recall!

  13. 20 Louis Chirillo September 16, 2009 at 16:56

    I liked the Lake Hills Roller Rink, but Skate King was truely king. It was the modern rink, whereas Lake Hills was just hanging on from the 50’s..

    Matt, the Pizza Haven was located in a little strip mall on Main, I believe just before that big hill that passes through a residential area to BHS. I remember it had a jukebox and a really cool mural of zany pizza chefs creating havoc…and pizza.

  14. 21 Kip September 16, 2009 at 17:02

    Glad you feel better! And, truth be told, I much prefer Matthew to the abbreviated version. I will, however refer to you as YOU prefer. And I was quite happy the first time you used the old moniker -Per. It’s like the past 15 years were mere months….except for the lack of communication and all. I seem to recall Pizza Haven, but, sadly, also cannot recall the location. I also noticed on this last trip that the McDonald’s is gone. I remember backing into one of there concrete garbage cans in the Dodge Colt Wagon, also known as The Woody, for the simulated wood grain vinyl on the sides. And, ready for this one? Budget Records! Bought “Trick Of The Tail” there, because the clerk had it on, and they were out of “Wind And Wuthering”. Matthew, I can’t wait for the next topic of conversation. Or, will this line continue? Hmmmm…..

  15. 22 Louis Chirillo September 16, 2009 at 17:07

    Budget Records?? I remember that name! Was that located in the strip mall across on Bellevue Way across from McDonald’s and KFC?

    Speaking of record stores, how about the Brass Ear?

  16. 23 Kip September 16, 2009 at 18:07

    Budget was in that strip mall….but I don’t recall the Brass ear. Where was that gem?

  17. 24 Louis Chirillo September 17, 2009 at 02:26

    The Brass Ear was located on the eastside of Bellevue Square on 104th..about where the Bellevue Square clock used to be..I think I bought my first Kiss album there..

  18. 25 Kip September 17, 2009 at 05:09

    I remember as a kid going from Seattle across teh Evergreen Point Bridge, also known as 520, going to the original Bellevue Square. It was almost like a treat! I still don’t seem to remember the Brass ear. But what a great name for a record store!I DO remember from one of the pictures from the presentation Louis put together Nordstrom Best and Fredrick & Nelson…Frango’s anyone? Good times…good times!

    • 26 Marni September 17, 2009 at 11:10

      Do you remember the “amusement park” next to F&N? That was always the highlight of going shopping with the ‘rents, going on the rides….sigh, I’m old.

  19. 28 Louis Chirillo September 17, 2009 at 05:11

    Frangos! I think Macy’s carries them now..

  20. 29 jstwndrng September 17, 2009 at 09:21

    I remember the name Brass Ear (not sure I ever went in there — I patronized Budget and Everybody’s, and later Rubato’s), but it just now struck me why that’s a great name. I had never noticed the pun before now.

    I think you guys just set a record comment string for this blog. Get the old gang talking about Olde Bellevue and it’s a riot in here…

  21. 30 Kip September 17, 2009 at 13:17

    YES! Loved the rides! And I know Costco carries something akin to Frango’s, and I think Macy’s did buy the rights, or recipe, or something. Everybody’s, I had forgotten that one! I’ll bet the string gets longer if we all start talking about Bellevue Junior High School….anyone remember Nutrition Break? Anyone?

  22. 31 jstwndrng September 17, 2009 at 13:33

    Nutrition break. Was that when I sat in the cafeteria listening to “Life is a Rock” and “Kung Fu Fighting” on the jukebox that the 9th Graders of 1974 bought for the school?

  23. 32 Louis Chirillo September 17, 2009 at 14:15

    Nutrition Break sounds familiar. Little help? The amusement park used to be called Kiddie Land, and then later Lollipop Park. I loved that place. I remember they held a painting contest, and we all won “honorable mention”!!

    I donated “Ballroom Blitz” to the BJHS jukebox. Most students liked it, but one day Paul Morey was so sick of hearing the song, he nonchalantly walked over to the jukebox and kicked it. He then paid the ultimate price – a few punches from the “BB” faithful.

    What was the vice-principal’s name? Jack something…

    I had a friend who worked at Everbody’s. And I learned about Elvis’ passing at Rubato’s…

  24. 33 Kip September 17, 2009 at 14:31

    Nutrition Break…15 minutes between, what 2nd and 3rd Period? I remember buying ice cream at Nutrition Break, and even at that age getting the irony. Paul Morey, there is a name from the past. And I cannot remember Jack’s last name, but I do remember he had a crew cut, and a mean streak! I sure hope someone remembers his last name…it’s gonna drive me NUTS!

  25. 34 Marni September 17, 2009 at 14:38

    Aaaaand….I’m out. Went to Chinook. Didn’t want to. Parents made me. Hated it. Envied all of you for BJHS!

    • 35 Marni September 17, 2009 at 14:41

      And anyone who would kick a jukebox for playing Ballroom Blitz deserves to lose said foot. That’s just sick and wrong, people.

  26. 36 Louis Chirillo September 17, 2009 at 14:40

    YES. I remember nutrition break. Thank you, Kip! Marni, why didn’t you like Chinook?

    • 37 Marni September 17, 2009 at 14:49

      Mainly….long story made short. My cousin Nancy, who is 7 years older than me and was my constant companion (read: babysitter to only child-cousin) in my youth/teenage years, was my idol- I wanted to be just like her and do everything she did. She was at BHS when she started talking about school to me- she was in choir and on drill team and she ran track for Mrs. W (can’t remember how her name was spelled, something like Wojehyski, gym teacher) and I wanted to do all of those things too (well, not the track- I hear Kip laughing as he reads this). Problem was, Chinook stood in my way and it just seemed like a cheap substitute for where I wanted to be. Also- BJHS was a cooler building. And it was downtown. I felt stuck up on the hill, away from all of the fun and glamour and the excitement-and my destiny. When I finally made it to BHS I did end up in choir and drill team…and I was a track assistant sophomore year, so I came close to my “dream”! It’s actually partly why I loved high school- it was one of those few times in my life where I saw what I wanted and it actually happened that way, so it’s a pretty perfect memory of time for me.

  27. 38 jstwndrng September 17, 2009 at 15:05

    Daly. Jack Daly. The Principal was Clarence somebody.
    And up at BHS, Mrs. W was Mrs. Z, for Zaradnidski. Mr. Wozeniak was the Driving Instructor who told 30 students that statistically, one out of every 30 high school students was killed in a car crash. We all looked around the room at each other. Which one?…. Actually, that statistic had to be bogus. He was a scaremonger. The big finale to the class was when we took the simulator ride, and when the video showed us about to rear end the delivery truck, he threw two metal trash can lids down the middle of the aisle from the back of the room, just to see how high we would jump.

    • 39 Marni September 17, 2009 at 15:22

      THANK YOU- I knew I wasn’t getting it right! Mrs. Z- she was adorable in a you-will-run-laps-or-you-will-perish kind of way. Being a Virgo, I had to take drivers ed in the summer, so I never got to experience that fun hell- was he the basketball star’s dad? Rick, I think…

  28. 40 Louis Chirillo September 17, 2009 at 15:47

    Marni, I shared your Clyde Hill alienation. I went to Sacred Heart. (Wasn’t there a name for that street with all the schools on it? Something like “school row”, “school lane” or ” the gauntlet of education”?) I so dearly wanted to attend BJHS, mainly because it was downtown and I thought it would be so cool to be able to walk “downtown” to school. Fortunately, Sacred Heart only went to 8th grade, so I was able to attend BJHS in 9th. That year at BJHS was like an explosion of freedom for me from the oppressive catholic school years.

    Matt, thanks for tagging the last name on the BJHS vp. And Wozeniak pulled that film can stunt on my class too! I also liked the way he would check in while one was driving: “How are you today, Mr. Chirillo?” “Fine, Mr. Wozeniak.” “Everything good?” “Yes, Mr. Wozeniak.” “Did you have a productive day, Mr. Chirillo?” “Certainly, Mr. Wozeniak”. Rick was his son, Marni. I was the trainer for the varsity basketball team, when Rick was the big star. I got to pick up his towels!…and I also got to pick up all the combs that were thrown onto the court everytime Sammamish High School’s star, Rob Rask – with his feathered back hair and chiseled good looks – entered the game.

  29. 41 jstwndrng September 17, 2009 at 16:06

    This conversation should be happening around a large pizza.

    • 42 jstwndrng September 17, 2009 at 16:08

      …and would you guys upload some avatars so I can see who’s saying what? This is getting hard for me to wade through. My scrolling finger’s killin’.

  30. 43 Louis Chirillo September 17, 2009 at 16:22

    How does one go about uploading an avatar here? And what kind of pizza would we be having? Shakey’s? Pizza Haven? Pagliacci’s?….

    • 44 Marni September 17, 2009 at 16:51

      I”m with Louis…kinda clueless about the whole avatar thing. Enlighten us! I think it really has to be Shakey’s in honor of the whole wading-in-nostalgia thing, although Pagliacci’s is so much better.

  31. 45 jstwndrng September 17, 2009 at 17:04

    Not sure what it looks like from the perspective of you mortals, but as a WP blogger I have a menu bar upper left, and one of the items on that bar is My Account. From there:

    1. Click “Edit Profile”.
    2. Click “Change your Gravatar”.
    3. Upload an image using the easy wizard thing.

    You must have registered a WP profile at some time in order to comment, so there must be some way to edit that profile. Once you find that I should think it would be easy.

    Is Shakey’s still there?

  32. 46 jstwndrng September 17, 2009 at 17:12

    Louis, if you come all the way from Brazil to favor us with some conversation, you can choose the pie joint.

  33. 48 Kip September 17, 2009 at 18:52

    Woa, this got away from me! A couple of hours away from the computer and DANG! Jacl Daily..thanks Matt, and didn’t the principal have a mustache of some kind? Shakey’s wold be a perfect pie, or maybe, if was still there, the old Pizza & Pipes. Even if the pizza wasn’t the best (I don’t remember the pizza), the Pipes part would provide the perfect backround music for these walks down memory lane. MArni, as I recall, your house was right on the line for Chinook/BJHS. I remember Margaret had to go there after it closed. It was a REALLY cool building. I recall my first year there my locker was actually outside…I think. My brain is tired from all this remembering! Matt, I’ll try to get some kind of avatar posted…if I can figure it out! And Louis, if come up from Brazil, the least I can do is travel the paltry 500 miles from Boise!

    • 49 Marni September 18, 2009 at 12:35

      I thought we were having a metaphoric pizza- sorry! Shakey’s is gone, as is P&P, as in the Pizza Haven on Main that Louis has referenced. We’re left with Pagliacci’s or CPK at this point, unless Domino’s still delivers? I’m sure they do.

  34. 50 Jeni September 17, 2009 at 19:48

    Being just two years ahead of you all, I’m smiling down this memory lane wishing I knew Marni and Louis. But i don’t…
    Having lived in Bellevue all this time that it is changing, and with my kids at Bellevue Christian up on Clyde Hill next to Chinook jh and Sacred Heart…I drove through the area almost every day. So, all I can picture is what is, not what was, or at least, not with any ease of mental acuity (did that mean what I meant it to mean?)
    Anyway, it’s been fun! It’s nice to hear people speaking of Olde Bellevue with fondness instead of jeering. 🙂

    so Marni, did you have Mr. Taylor for choir?

    • 51 Marni September 18, 2009 at 12:31

      Hi Jeni! Yes, once I attained BHS I had the wonderful, the revered, the not-to-be-outdone Mr. Taylor (with Kippy the tenor, me at alto). At Chinook, I had the too-sad-to-be-believed Mr. Peters whose hilarity knew no bounds; he routinely inspired us to rise up and sing by saying “speaking of vegetables, lettuce stand”. To this day, when I hear that in my head, my cringe knows no limits!

  35. 52 jstwndrng September 18, 2009 at 09:09

    Well, I was going to award a box of Frangos to the 50th commenter, but that turns out to be me. Jeni, you probably were in a class or two with Louis; he is our elder statesman here and I believe your contemporary, class o’ ’78. Yes, I think change is easiest to see when you are away from it. When you live there, the change is just part of daily ride.

  36. 53 Louis Chirillo September 18, 2009 at 09:28

    I’m a ’79 alum, Matt. In fact, we’re having our 30th reunion this weekend…I think at the Bellevue Hyatt. Unfortunately, I can’t be there, but I’m thankful to be able to reconnect with classmates via Facebook. I’m hoping pictures will be posted of the festivities.

  37. 54 Louis Chirillo September 18, 2009 at 09:28

    Jeni, we may not have known each other then, but it’s nice to meet you now!

  38. 56 Kip September 18, 2009 at 14:14

    I was fortunate to have JT 7-12, from BJHS up the hill to the high school. Don’t know what junior high and high school would have been like without choir, frisbee, and a couple of good friends! Might not have made it through.

    And for the record…it is great to reconnect with the siblings of Matt as well! I have always remembered the lucky evenings I could join in for dinner and the split pea soup! Never a fan of the pea until that first bite!

  39. 57 Louis Chirillo September 18, 2009 at 15:05

    I remember in the music room at BJHS there was a big poster of Mr. Taylor with the caption, “I’VE ALREADY HAD MY LUNCH!” It always made me smile.

  40. 58 jstwndrng September 18, 2009 at 15:36

    I remember that poster. He was looking over the piano with his mouth open and pointing to someone. Louis, please tell me you still have a copy of the original vinyl Godspell album that JT and his choir put out in 1974. It had the best-ever version of Day By Day, hands down, better than the original or any of the radio covers. Jeni had it but my mom got rid of it years later.

    That U-shaped room was special to me. It’s where I met up with Jeff again in 7th grade after we lost touch in 4th grade, and it’s where we met Kip, if memory serves. And it’s where I first remember hearing “Tuesday Afternoon” by the Moody Blues, which JT used to teach us phrasing by alternately clapping and snapping fingers as the phrases changed. And does anyone remember this golden oldie from Africa that he taught us? “daka day ku fa, yeh yeh, zomon dozo weh. Daka roy ee wah, yeh yeh, zomon dozo weh. Wo yeh yeh yeh yeh, zomon dozo weh…”

  41. 59 Louis Chirillo September 18, 2009 at 15:46

    Sorry, Matt, I only have it on mp3. kidding! badda-boom.

  42. 60 Kip September 18, 2009 at 15:51

    I will occasionally break into that song, with the proper rhythm, that I cannot imitate in writing. My thought, though, is that with the one word “Ryka” (spelling) we could break into tat rhythm as if we were in that room! And Tuesday Afternoon? Always hear those those transitions with snaps and claps. I’m a little sad I cannot now tell JT how much that simple exercise has actually helped me now that part of my job requires me to edit music.

  43. 61 jstwndrng September 18, 2009 at 16:08

    Kip, I just had a sweet vision of you sitting in an editing room clapping and snapping, with JT looking over your shoulder with a grin, and there’s someone leaning into the room at the door having just asked you a question, and you’re in mid-clap, and the caption underneath has you responding…(wait for it)…

  44. 62 jstwndrng September 18, 2009 at 16:09

    “No thanks…I’ve already had my lunch…”

  45. 64 Ben September 18, 2009 at 18:13

    How fitting. I was four (five for Jeni) years behind anything Matt and Jeni did, and that went for JT as well. Now here is every spitting yarns about the ole’ fellow and I’m late again, what? Kinda like Don Knotts tapping out the old melody while everyone else has stopped singing and left the room.

    By the way Marni, ..I went to both BJHS and Chinook. I was severly brutalized in the traditional fashion as a seventh grader at BJHS, then they shut the school down. I was promptly ripped away from Mr. Taylor and tossed into Mr. Peters shindig where the ninth grade Basses constantly asked Jimmie Day and I “Why?” Over, and over, and over…and over…strange people. My first year at Chinook was accompanied by a second brutalization because not having been active in football or wrestling, everyone thought I was a new seventh grader versus a BJHS transfer. All of this caused me great pain for some time. Relief and a return to Tuesday Afternoon clapping did not come for another two years.

    • 65 Marni September 19, 2009 at 09:42

      Wow- going from Mr. Peters to Mr. Taylor was heaven- I can’t even imagine what it was like to go from Taylor to Peters. Yikes! What a comedown….I’m glad you survived and lived to tell the tale, Ben!

  46. 66 Mickey December 16, 2011 at 09:19

    A little late to this discussion but wow . . . Mr. Kardos. Somewhere in the late ’70s I saved up about ten bucks to get one of the cheapest Harris albums available. Must have called the shop half a dozen times to make sure the book was in stock. When I got to the store, he was deep in conversation with a grown up (I was about 10, my yellow Schwinn parked downstairs). If you’re 10, two grown ups in conversation represents approximately an hour of your life in which you will be ignored. But things didn’t work like that at the Stamp Gallery. A moment after I came into the store, he looked up and acknowledged me with a look that might have suggested that we were about to engage in a transaction of international political importance. I have never forgotten the sound of Mr. Kardos’ accented voice as he said to the other gentleman, “Excuse me while I get him the book.” That’s how well he treated the kids and the big spenders who came into his store. I spent the rest of the afternoon hinging (yes, hinging) stamps into that album. To Mr. Kardos, the old guy at the coin shop that used to be next to what is now the burger joint at Main and 106th, Carl Waluconis at the comic shop in Kirkland, and Uncle Harold (whoever he was), thanks for my childhood.

    • 67 Matt December 16, 2011 at 09:44

      Thanks for reading and for your comment. I really enjoyed your vignette, especially since I could see it so clearly. I emailed Mr. Kardos after I posted this but I never heard from him. He must be up in years by now. The building the Stamp Gallery was in is gone but the info at that link suggests he is still doing business out of Medina somewhere. What schools did you go to Mickey? Sounds like you were my brother’s age.

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