Friday, August 5, 2011
Conversations Awaken the Sleeping Beauty Of Quilcene
What’s ice cream without flavorful toppings or community rejuvenation without plentiful helpings of “dreams and passions” stirred with “conversations and non-partisan politics”? The 45+ participants attending the Grange’s June 6th Ice Cream Social, from port officials to county commissioners, Quilcene long-timers to new-comers, had an opportunity to hear Linda Herzog, Cass and Tom Brotherton speak about Quilcene’s unique blend of community activism and cooperation. The presenters shared the intricacies of: energizing Quilcene’s natural leaders, utilizing fun and informative cookie & coffee conversations held informally in living- and dining-rooms throughout Quilcene’s diverse neighborhoods, and identifying community needs, assets, appeal, and potential projects that could be accomplished within one-year with the people and resources available at the time.
The ten conversation groups of 10-12 people yielded over 150 great possibilities for the Quilcene community to pursue in their revitalization efforts, so with more ideas than Baskin Robbins has flavors, volunteer teams formed and implemented a handful of projects: Beautify Quilcene, Help Businesses, (EaRS)Youth Mentoring, Re-open Quilcene Park, Develop Community Identity and Outdoor Signage. The group, like the Quimper Grange, created its own blog. The Quilcene Conversations Blog gives an overview of the group’s process, describes and illustrates each project, offers a calendar of up-coming community events, and allows browsing through the outcomes of the individual conversation groups. http://quilconv.blogspot.com/ In addition, with the help of Tom Brotherton, they’ve recently incorporated as a new nonprofit: “Count Me In for Quilcene” with a 501(c)(3) designation to solicit both dollars and people-hours to contribute to a better future for Quilcene. Mr. Brotherton closed the formal presentation with a discussion about “Entrepreneurial Social Infrastructure”-- a methodology for successfully linking physical resources and leadership for community development. In typical Quilcene fashion, the evening involved impassioned discussions on a range of diverse audience perspectives with a few heated exchanges, warm enough to soften, but not melt ice cream. In the founding spirit of the project’s initiators, the evening’s facilitators legitimized all alternative viewpoints, accepted controversy, permitted the respectful airing of differences of opinion, and managed to humanize as they depersonalized so the evening ended on as flavorful a note as it had begun. Susan Langlois
Our Historian Says…….Montgomery Ward, The Original Grange Supply…
In 1872 young Aaron Montgomery Ward started selling quality merchandise mail order at wholesale prices exclusively to Grange members. The ‘70s were horse and buggy days and making a trip to town on dismal rural roads was a not an easy task. Stores often had limited selections at high prices so the rural community immediately embraced having affordable merchandise delivered. Montgomery Ward not only offered practical items but also luxury items that one might associate with city life such as a “silver plated drinking cup lined with gold plate” or “ivory handle silk fan”.
With the first ever “Satisfaction or Your Money Back” guarantee customers were confident buying goods sight unseen and business flourished. By 1949 the Montgomery Ward catalogue was voted one of the top 100 books with the most influence on the life and culture of the American people by the Grolier Club, a society of bibliophiles in New York. The first “catalogue” had been a one-page list of 163 items, mostly $1 each but by the time it received the book-of great-influence recognition Wards not only sold household items but also began selling kit houses offering 73 models.
Montgomery Ward set the bar for low prices and in this way fought monopolies, one of the Grange’s primary goals. Mail order made it possible for rural Americans to purchase items to beautify their homes, another Grange goal. Well-kept homes improved the image of farm life and helped establish a greater sense of pride among farming people.
Chicago was the birthplace of Montgomery Ward but the business spread across the nation even establishing a catalog store in uptown Port Townsend in 1969. That store was in buildings now occupied by The Printery and Badd Habit and bore little resemblance to the business that first advertised itself as “ The Cheapest Cash House in America”. Marla Streator
Posted by Quimper Grange at 12:40 PM