Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 2/4/22

What’s the story behind the tire stuck 25 feet up in a tree near the high school? It’s been up there 30 odd years or so. 

We suspect it was once the tire swing of a young boy who went off to war (we haven’t decided which war) and never came home. 

It is a reference to this meme, which is wholly inaccurate as the bike was left in the 1950s by someone who, to the best of my knowledge, is still alive. 

What am I not supposed to forget?

The tire reminds us of other famous betreed objects, such as that one mailbox way up a tree in Frog Holler labeled “air mail” and the half a barrel getting swallowed by a tree off the highway. That one’s been there upward of 40 years. Also there’s the stop sign up in a tree near Burton. And there’s this guy in my backyard: 

Come on over and shoot some hoops at my place

And speaking of things found in trees, a painted rock hunter found this delicious cranberry-orange scone in Tacoma.


The rock started out in Seabrook in 2018, was rerocked in Tacoma, and is now hidden somewhere in a Vashon forest. 

I love the word “rerocked.” I like that people created a word that describes the concept of finding a rock, painting it, hiding it somewhere, then someone else finding it and subsequently hiding it again. 

This may be second only to my other favorite word, Rickroll, which means to trick someone into watching a YouTube video of Rick Astley singing “Never Gonna Give You Up.” 

We’ve had some instances of mail theft. 

Looks like they took the one decent piece of mail (a belated Christmas card) and scattered all the store flyers and ads for window replacement to the winds. 

Why would someone steal mail? I don’t even want my own mail, let alone someone else’s. 

And speaking of theft, there’s been a prowler. 

First off, I’m really impressed that the 2 am prowler going through the drawers on someone’s porch was wearing a securely fitting k95. 

We’ve pored over the video and discovered that the prowler was wearing a raccoon-fur jacket. Was it the very same raccoon-fur jacket that was stolen from someone’s house recently? Maybe. 

We then get a photo of a totally different person in IGA  wearing a totally different raccoon-fur jacket, and we speculated wildly. 

The prowler in the video kinda looks like me, and I worry that one day I’ll see a picture online that someone took of me at Thriftway, and everyone will look at it and be like, “that’s the face of a cold, hard criminal.” 

A man from France recently moved to the island and is offering to cook you crepes and drop them off at your house . Yes, he can make them gluten free. Yes, he will even come to your house and teach you how to make them. 

How come when I lived in Germany it never occurred to me to get to know people by offering to go to their houses and make traditional food from my country? I could have microwaved hot dogs or poured them a bowl of Lucky Charms. Such a missed opportunity.

Someone shared a link to an event at the Yukon Public Schools called Reality Check, and many islanders feel we should bring the event to Vashon. Here’s a description from the post: 

“During the event, freshman students are assigned a random annual income before traveling to booths like housing, clothing, insurance, and child care to make virtual payments from their budget. Once they’ve paid their bills, the students who have money leftover receive a KitKat, while those with $0 left in their bank account receive a Zero bar.”

Astute islanders make the following comments: 

“For extra realism, this event needs various social services booths to help the kids who got assigned lower incomes, or who have families with health needs, etc. etc.!”

This was followed up with: “then they’d have to stay all day to prove that they qualify, or find out that their income is still too high.”

I think we should train high school students to be capable adults by having them pretend to stay on hold with the insurance company for three hours while simultaneously washing dishes. And they only get a KitKat if they find a technician to repair their broken furnace, make a dish for the Scout potluck, and attend the meeting with the department head that just got rescheduled. Also their dog needs surgery.

I wonder if you could win Reality Check by becoming an ascetic with no phone or car who wanders the high school gym with a blank check book until the bell rings and you get your KitKat.

For more info on Reality Check, click here. 

Finally, we have another prowler wearing fur:

I’ve definitely seen this guy in IGA
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.

2 thoughts on “Only on Vashon – The Weekly Rundown 2/4/22”

  1. Re: mail theft…package theft…found in our recycle carts, first noticed Nov 2020, large plastic bags (which are not recyclable) full of broken down boxes, padded envelopes etc (Murrey’s does not recycle), all with names & addresses of other island folks. (Just put 2 & 2 together with most recent “drop-off”). YOU know who you are. Next time you drive down our driveway, make sure you Smile for the camera 😉 wink, wink, nudge, nudge

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