Finishing Strong on Lopez

“This is the best thing I did for my old age,” proclaimed Gale McCallum, age 91, about her little cottage in The Hamlet. In 1971 Gale and her husband bought a house on the South End of Lopez – a big old Victorian on Alec Bay Road. They moved there permanently in 1986, when they retired.…

Old is the New New

One afternoon in the summer of 2009, Lisa and her father, William, walked into the Lopez Island Historical Museum, a small building with an old fishing boat in front, nestled in the middle of Lopez Village. William absolutely did not want be there. He had spent quite a bit of time on Lopez as a child,…

The Simple Life?

Ah, the simple life. Pigs with abscesses. Ewes that die at birth. Sheep with mastitis. Rows of lettuce plagued by wire worms. Allergies triggered by the ever present dust and pollen in the fields. Though they make it look simple, life on Horse Drawn Farm for Ken Akopiantz and Kathryn Thomas is anything but. I had lunch the…

Organic Growth

When Blossom Grocery moves into its new location in early 2016, it will at once be the newest and oldest natural foods grocery store in San Juan County. Since Jeff Nichols opened Blossom in 1977, Lopez has watched the store grow and change – along with the consumption habits of the island. When I recently asked Blossom co-owner,…

No Time to Waste

“I love entropy.” This is how my conversation started with Nikyta Palmisani, the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District (LSWDD, aka The Dump). I scheduled coffee with Nikyta expecting to learn a few data points about Lopez Island’s garbage habits. I left that conversation with that and an entirely new perspective on human…

Lopez Island’s Living Room

It was a sunny morning on Lopez Island, Aug 23, 2001. Jeff Nichols and the staff of The Galley Restaurant and Lounge were scurrying around making sure everything was set for The Galley’s reopening under new management. Jeff was nervous. Not entirely confident that The Galley was ready for business – especially at the height of tourist…