Only on Vashon- The Weekly Rundown 04/22/2022

I would like to start by thanking everyone for doing a very good job posting this week. Keep up the good work. 

We start with this suggestion in the rants group:  “I think what Vashon could use is the opposite of the Welcome Wagon. How about The Fuck Off Back To Bellevue Wheelbarrow.”

Why is Vashon attracting so many wealthy residents? Why are there Teslas and Mazaratis rolling down the highway instead of our ‘95 Toyota Tacomas?

Maybe it’s all the times we’ve appeared in the New York Times and Sunset Magazine. Or perhaps the local realtors are to blame for luring in newcomers with smartly placed honeypots. 

A long-time islander tells us, “It doesn’t matter when you got here, what matters is one’s intentions.” This is reassuring to me because I’ve only been here 8 years, and I still don’t know how to find The Coop. But my intentions are good. (I want to breed a really weird chicken that is a cross between a Polish and a Silkie.)

Ambitions in the making

Some say, why hate the rich? What actual harm have they done to you? They have caused our property taxes to go so high that we can’t afford our houses. It is everyone’s solemn duty to make your property as messy and un-upgraded as possible to keep property values down. Keep old cars on your lawn. Leave material from half-finished projects lying around. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, clean the moss off your roof.

You’re welcome. 

We also have this contradiction, “oddly enough, the super-wealthy aren’t the problem. It’s the six-figure wannabes that are the worst.”  Imagine being so rich that people didn’t even resent you for it anymore. Money truly can buy anything, even the admiration of our most skeptical neighbors. 

Some of us see the proliferation of Teslas as a sign of the end times. But the original poster sees it differently.  “Tesla Shmesla who cares. To be honest, I’m more offended by the sheer mediocrity of the ubiquitous PT Cruiser. “

Since cars are both a place to plaster our ideology and a marker of social class, an islander shares this lovely image of their bumper stickers. An astute group member points out that the most Vashon thing about the car is that the tabs expired in 2014. 

No one stipulates what the unwelcome wheelbarrow would look like, but this is what I picture: 

With the West Seattle Bridge down and ferry service limited, there’s a new plan for public infrastructure: a bridge to Blake Island. Here’s the post by an intrepid islander: “Attention Commuters! I need your help building an isthmus to Blake Island from the north end. The work is going slowly but steadily as I fling scoops of otherwise unwanted soil, donated by the old K2 factory and Beall greenhouses, from each ferry ride I take to Fauntleroy. Coming soon, Gold Beach North! #goldbeachnorth

I can chip in by dumping my garbage, as well as the gunk I clean out of my chicken coop that in theory should break down into compost, but never does. Also, my basement has accumulated so many boxes that are full of things I don’t need, such as my old college textbooks and poorly made Halloween costumes from years past. I would be happy to donate those to the cause. 

Other islanders offer their emotional support, which is okay, I guess, but not as good as offering something tangible, like empty Keurig cups.

Finally, we have a request for a new holiday: “Why isn’t there an annual Parade of Poodles on Vashon?  Aren’t there enough precious poodles to parade here? Poodles are prettier than Teslas and are less practical than Subarus so are more precious than either of them. Poodles unite! Poodles Parade!”

I wholeheartedly support this. This may even become the foundation of my political philosophy and activism. I will put pro-poodle bumper stickers on my car. (That’s activism, right?)

Some say the poodles could be part of the Strawberry Festival parade, but that is not good enough. The poodles need their own parade. Note: Labradoodles would not be included. The parade is only for purebred poodles. This is because it is wrong to sully the poodle, a dog that was bred for war, with some basic, generic, boring, less poofy domesticated wolf. 

Photo 42836475 / Labradoodle © Nathan Clifford |

Everyone hates you and you don’t deserve a parade

Some say they will crash the parade with their non-poodle dogs. One islander says, “I have a heeler and a kuvasz and we will be in the parade. My great grandfather was a poodle.”

Poodles are pretty astounding if their grandchildren have mastered the fine art of posting on the internet. 

I also learn from this thread that there used to be a wiener dog sled team?! Someone mentions it in passing and no one seems to notice or care that the pinnacle of hybrid human-animal sport took place on the island? If you or anyone you know has information on the whereabouts of pictures of wiener dog sled racing, please contact me immediately.

Anna Shomsky
Author: Anna Shomsky

I'm a former teacher and a data engineer living on Vashon Island. My writing has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Women on Writing and on the Post-Culture Podcast. I wrote and produced the radio show Whispers of Vashon for 101.9 KVSH. I’ve had short stories published in the anthologies Island Stories and Chicken Scratchings, as well as through the Open Space Literary Project.

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