Sand & Soil Garden Club
Member Profile Archives
HAROLD "HAL" GOODELL JUNE 2011
Halís father worked as a cattle rancher in North Dakota for some years, returning to Washington in 1941, where he worked at lumber mills, among other crafts. Hal remembers the family always having a garden, noting that soil-rich Olympia was a plus for raising vegetables, and, of course, tomatoes. Hal does not consider himself a gardener, per se, his main interest being tomatoes, and he always raises them from seed. He doesnít collect seeds, stating that it is so inexpensive to buy them, which also allows him to easily experiment with new and unusual varieties.
Hal has two small greenhouse "laboratories," where in early spring he can observe and nurture his new plants, getting them ready to transplant into larger containers for friends, and especially the annual Fox Island plant sale in early May. He is very proud, and rightly so, of contributing 150-plus of a variety of tomato plants to the sale, for the benefit of the Fox Island Garden Club, FICRA, and our Sand & Soil Garden Club, all organizations whose activities include working to help maintain the history and beauty of our little island. His favorite tomato, by the way is Stupice, for its tastiness, medium size, and being prolific throughout the summer. The bane of his existence as a gardener?: cold springtimes and summers (tomatoes need lots of heat), slugs that eat his beans, and he canít seem to grow zucchini. Oh well.
Beyond all of that, however, Hal has made his mark in the world starting with his activity as a ham radio operator since he was 15 years old, which then piqued his interest in electronics. He holds a B.S.EE from the University of Washington (HUGE Huskies fan!) which took him into the then Boeing aerospace program, now space and defense. At Vandenberg AFB in California, he helped develop the Minute Man missiles, AWACS surveillance aircraft, the last 26 years of inertial upper stage surveillance satellite development. As a licensed ham operator and a member of the American Radio Relay League, Hal has credit for contact with the current 340 recognized countries in the world (all but five at present). He has two 125-foot antennae and one is 40-foot, which he still climbs "often," but emphasizes that he practices safety first.
Then comes his MOST favorite activity: golfing. He says that this gives him treasured time with Annie, his wife and fellow Sand & Soil gardener, and gives them both time for walking and exercise. He describes himself as "curious, and a good troubleshooter and problem solver." His practice is to live well and be kind to everyone, and if you know him, you know thatís our Hal!
JOHN REESE MAY 2011
Somehow, this all led to a college degree in forest
management, and he worked with ITTís soils program, mainly as a researcher,
but during the Carter years, he was part of an enormous lay-off. What did
our stout-hearted friend do? He became a real estate appraiser until he
retired in 2010, and now can leisurely enjoy traveling to see family and
friends, fishing, and gardening, when heís not helping his daughter with her
young children while sheís at work.
JOAN BROUGHTON APRIL 2011
BARBARA SCHULTZ MARCH 2011
Barbara professes a love for "nature and living in nature, nurturing growing things and children." She has concentrated her efforts on container gardening, and has a wide variety of planters to complete her garden pallet. She fears that she has sustained some serious losses from the wild temperature swings Fox Island has experienced this winter, but takes that in stride, as any farm-raised "country girl" would. What aspect of gardening raises her ire? Slugs! We wonít describe here Barbaraís methods of contributing to their demise. Her favorite plant, rather recently, is a golden bamboo that she installed as a privacy hedge. She says it is particularly beautiful as it waves in the north wind crossing her waterís-edge property.
This club member has lived here since 1958, only four years after the island bridge connected us to Gig Harbor; however, her late husband Bobís parents arrived long before that. They bought the little Tanglewood Island in 1933, known then, and for some years afterwards, as Grave Island, by native Indians. They built the roundhouse and lighthouse to be used as a boysí camp.
Barbara, and Bob, a computer expert, raised five daughters, who have given them five grandchildren. She and her husband were charter members of the Fox Island Yacht Club, and her children were "raised on our 40-foot ketch," named The Solution. They sailed extensively, participated in hydroplane races nationwide, and were national champs four times in the "6 liter class." She states that she didnít come to boating easily, for years pretending that there wasnít "anything below the surface of the water." That isnít all that has kept her busy through the years, though, with sketching and watercoloring, sewing (a lot, including her daughtersí wedding dresses and countless bridesmaid outfits), and horseback riding among her hobbies. All that and keeping a full-scale garden, too. Whew!
Barbara describes herself as "determined" with whatever sheís interested in. She went on to add: she loves and cares about others, is somewhat shy, and has a comic nature. Her philosophy: "Do the best you can, and forget the rest...and fly over the rainbow." The rainbow part is difficult to put down on paper. Youíll have to ask her about that, and this writer hopes you will. Itís a beautiful thing. Weíre really glad this determined person, one of the most active (what else?) in our group, chooses to be with us.
DOREEN SAMUELSON FEBRUARY 2011
Doreenís Scottish father was one who showed her the joy in gardening. He gave each of his seven children their own plots and seeds, and taught them how to design and care for their spaces to grow what they liked. It was a family thing. Besides her roses, she claims a juniper tree placed near her dining room window as the favorite item in her current garden, and has pruned it up so she can see the beauty of its trunk as well. She feels her garden is a place she can search her soul for peace, and says that five hours can pass before she knows it.
Doreen claims no notable achievements as a gardener, but tells of many "failures," which have taught her more than anything in her years of effort to beautify her surroundings. When asked if there is anything about gardening that irritates her, her prompt reply was "moles." She has a spacious greenhouse where she nurtures the soil and plants her favorite vegetables. Alas, the moles have discovered what a wondrous place this is, and pop right up inside as they make their way along the rows, making hills and creating air spaces around roots and ruining her plants. Also, because her property is right on the water, she must choose plant types and locations carefully, as the saline tidewaters will ruin some plantings.
Most people are unaware that Doreenís husband, Pastor Dick Torgerson, is a Sean Connery look-alike and sound-alike, who for years has often been hired to work around the country taking on the persona of the master spy, James Bond, for special events. Recently, he has taken fewer "assignments," but continues to perform occasional weddings in his real-life role as a pastor.
Doreen describes herself, in a word, as HAPPY: she appreciates that she has a wonderful life, a great large family, she lives in the U.S., on Fox Island, loves our group, has the best lot of friends, loves to travel the world, and says, what more can she ask?. She likes to be around people, loves to chat, does her best to follow the Golden Rule, looks for the best in others, invariably looks on the bright side of any circumstance, and refuses to be a negative person. Are we blessed to have her as a member, or what?
RUTH CLEMENT JANUARY 2011
Ruth is a nonagenarian (one of two in our group!), and laughingly states that she "didnít plan on living this long. It just happened that way." She maintains a limited gardening schedule, and thoroughly enjoys adding beauty to her surroundings. She has always preferred starting plants "from scratch" in some way. She recalls a time when she visited her daughter here and saved some cuttings from rose bushes that had been pruned. She put them in water, which her daughter tended while Ruth returned to Long Island. When Ruth came back, the rose cuttings had rooted, she planted them, and felt a real sense of accomplishment for saving them. She often begins plantings from cuttings and seeds.
Her real gardening passion, however, is blueberries. She has fourteen bushes in her back yard. With early, mid, and late varieties, she benefits from having berries for a long span of time in spring and summer. We agreed that berries are not the only benefit from growing these wonderful bushes, as their striking color changes all year long are truly wonderful to behold. Ruth feels that having something beautiful growing indoors and out throughout the year, especially in winter, really adds to her enjoyment of life. She has several types of plants that she nurtures to brighten her household during winter. When asked what, if anything, causes her aggravation in her gardening efforts, she feels, as many do, that the chores of watering and weeding take too much time that could be better spent elsewhere.
Secondary to gardening, Ruth has enjoyed worldwide travel, and through the years has visited many lovely foreign gardens. She describes herself as "friendly," and she can be observed at the Sand & Soil meetings chatting and enjoying the camaraderie, her smile always at the ready, comparing notes on our projects and other gardening issues with other members. Ruthís main purpose in life is to love and enjoy others. So may it be ours!
BARBARA BRADLEY DECEMBER 2010
Barbara has gardened her whole life. She grew up on a dairy farm in upper New York, where her family always had large gardens. She called her mother a "plant rescuer," who did her best to coax ailing plants back to good health. Barbara can remember being very aware of gardening when she was quite small, and remembers the enjoyment of being in those surroundings.
She loves roses and, as is often the case, that passion was nurtured by a family memory. The winters, of course, were severe in her home town, and she remembers the sadness her mother would express when spring came to reveal the loss of rose bushes she tried to grow. Since then, Barbara has lived in milder climes, on Fox Island since 1990, and has the satisfaction of growing roses successfully in remembrance of her motherís efforts. Currently, she is especially enjoying helping her grandchildren learn the delights of gardening. Her favorites are African violets, and she has some lovely ones on display. Outdoors, she looks forward to the blazing show her burning bush puts on every year, "before everything else goes," in the fall.
Gardening provides a calmness in her life that nothing else seems to equal. She calls it "getting back to earth," and feels we owe so much to the earth, in what it provides for us. Barbara describes herself as "just a backyard gardener."
She and her husband of 21 years, Richard, live beside the water, with limited yard space, so it keeps her creativity in check. Barbara loves to observe changes in her surroundings: how some plants will be prominent one year and not the next; how "not all weeds are bad, just the Ďshot weedí," and how some plants will attempt to bloom twice in one season, etc.
Barbara has been a registered nurse for 45 years, and continues to work a few days a month on call at Multicare in Tacoma. She enjoys decorative painting, and attends regular classes. She and her husband, a retired Alaskan Airlines pilot, own their own plane, a small Cessna, and fly often for pleasure. She talked of being very content with her life. Her philosophy is inherent in the Golden Rule, and she believes we should give every person a chance - "Donít make a decision about someone until you know them." Weíre thankful she gave Sand & Soil a chance!
SAND & SOIL
I often think about my initial gardening experience in 1997 at the ripe old age of 57 - truly! At first, I remember, months after moving to a new house in a new section of the country, broke, and suffering from major depression, I just looked at an empty, brown yard with thatched grass and hundreds of dandelions and other weeds, and thought "I can probably do something with that." Honestly! I didnít have a hoe, a spade, or any other garden tool that I likely would have known how to use well, anyway. If you think Iím making it sound too elementary, you donít know me. I had never even mowed a lawn since I was a teenager, and hated it then.
I started with a butcher knife. I am blessed with a poor back, so I got down on my hands and knees, neither of which were too friendly with the ground, and started chopping at weeds. I pulled up large areas of thatched grass, then chopped and smoothed the soil in the areas I had devastated. Over the weeks, I acquired a few hand tools, a couple of books, and began to feel that I was making a difference. I believe that was what really brought me around. I was making a quantitative difference, one that I could see at the end of a dayís work. I began to plant sections with grass, and watered; planted a couple of plants that were interesting to me, and watered; did more things, and watered, watered, watered. At that point, I didnít know you had to do special things with terrain that was nothing but sand and rocks, to make it hold water.
All this time, I was becoming acquainted with a Turkish neighbor, whose main joy in life was deriding me for watering so much, and laughing at the fact that I did most of my gardening on my hands and knees. As it turns out, however, Iíve had the last laugh. Heís long gone, moved away, so he doesnít hear my inner laughter, but our specimen garden now is filled with trees, bushes, and hundreds of flowering plants, flowers, and ferns. There was something about the fact that I was making a difference, a beautiful difference, that made me want to persevere.
Whatís your story? More later.