Gateway: Living

Little-known Key Peninsula historical facts to be revealed

Colleen Slater is working on another book, one focusing on pioneer families and other Key Peninsula historical articles.
Colleen Slater is working on another book, one focusing on pioneer families and other Key Peninsula historical articles. Staff file, 2014

A summer to remember seemed like a good title for this column, but since it sounded like a song, I checked and discovered it’s a movie.

My memories of this summer will be totally different from that scenario, and this stretch of months between spring and fall will likely be talked about for some time to come by many.

The weather, always a topic of discussion, has been a new experience for us — hoorays for some and complaints from others who don’t take such heat too well.

Where is our usual summer rain? Seems the east coast and some southern areas are getting more than their share, with the usual cheers and boos.

However, we adapt as best we can to what Mother Nature brings us.

Our son Michael moved to Maryland and we’re dealing with the “loss,” plus things they couldn’t take with them.

The good news of the move is his family loves the new location and they’re pleased to be a family unit in one place again. He’d been commuting to his D.C. office for over a year.

I’ve been spending long hours getting my new book finished for a deadline that had to be postponed.

New (time consuming!) learning curves were involved in this book.

Along with that, although our garden is smaller than usual this year, the produce has been abundant, partly due to extra warmth, we’re sure. Never again will I attempt to set a summer or early fall deadline for a book! The gardens needed more attention and I haven’t even squeezed in pickle making so far this summer.

By the time this hits print, my book should be at the publisher’s and I should have several batches of pickles done.

Another special set of incidents marks this summer. Our oldest son is finishing his first novel, our youngest celebrates his second with a book signing this weekend, so our family has three new books out at almost the same time.

Mine, “Peninsula Pioneers,” is a collection of edited previously published columns on pioneer families, other Key Peninsula historical articles, plus some unpublished stories.

Some of the photos included with those stories are included, some are the same as my previous Key Peninsula book, and some have never been publicly shared before.

My hope is to hear many readers say, “I didn’t know that!” about some fact or photo.

Our rescheduled date for first reading, signing and sales will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 26 at the KP Civic Center, Whitmore Room (yes, there’s a story about that in the book).

We’re calling it “Written history a la mode.”

Sponsored by the KP Historical Society, we’ll have some special local musicians and ice cream to enjoy.

The museum will be open for a while after the program for browsing or purchase of other books and gift items sold there.

The museum will sell the books. Check this column next month for other locations and signings.

I’ll carry copies with me for purchase, of course. Plicata Press in Gig Harbor will take orders.

If you like local history (including Purdy and Victor in my KP collection), please check it out.

This seems to be a month of celebrations for us, and we can’t make them all — birthdays, anniversaries, a family reunion.

Sept. 12 is our annual Peninsula High School “Mega” reunion for alums and classmates of the first dozen years plus two: 1948-1960. Gathering at the Gig Harbor Eagles starts at 6 p.m., no food will be available.

Meanwhile, enjoy what’s left of this special season called summer that often carries into September and sometimes beyond.