Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Bellinghamsters demonstrating the unofficial motto of their city

Here in Bellingham, Washington I've spent the past five days visiting and trying to get to the bottom of what are some examples of "subdued excitement" ~ where is the evidence of this exactly? One can read various accounts of the origin of this cities informal motto and all kinds of results come up. Then of course there is this descriptive and entertaining song uploaded about six years ago.

There is nothing quite like interviewing the inhabitants directly. The following results are a brief sampling of stories I found that are pretty decent proof that the motto fits. 
  • Hammocking is an activity very popular in "B-ham". Genny, age 16, described how most people her age really enjoy doing this in the warmer months. Either in solo hammocks in a group or a group of two in one hammock and it involves taking in nature views and relaxing. Perhaps this activity wasn't invented in this town but B-hamsters really love doing it.

  • Claw machine excellence is a story I heard from Mr. Zazoo Pitts. Apparently Zazoo had a burning urge to figure out the secrets to how to beat the stuffed animal claw machine. There was one machine in particular in the downtown Ranch Room located inside the Horseshoe Cafe. Zazoo had it pegged and he managed to collect some 90 stuffed animals in the period of two years, spending about $300. He has now gone through claw-machines-anonymous in order to keep away from future claw machines. That is some serious subdued excitement.

  • Music engagement is another example of subdued excitement. No matter what the music, one hand holds the beer while the other goes into the front jean pocket and the head bobs in time to the music just slightly but not enough to spill the local microbrew.  I heard this summary from several people who have seen this firsthand. No dancing here.

  • Booze and books is the last observation. Because the latitude of Bellingham is so far north above the 48th parallel, the winter has quite a few dark hours each day. Therefore many Bellinghamsters admitted to enjoying books and beverages (not always together). But someone mentioned this fantastic soup: Whiskey Crab Soup to soothe the soul. That would take my worries away for awhile.
Finally, a postscript that when walking through Fairhaven ~ don't forget to look down for some history. This little gem presented itself and I had to look up the details as it confused me. This really happened, click here to read more. 

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