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Wednesday Sept 11

Columbia Park

A few days ago, we visited Columbia Park. Columbia Park was a second home during our childhood years. We learned to swing the swing, slide the slide, teetertotter, and ride the merry-go-round. The children’s pool provided cool refreshment during the hot summer days and eventually we all took swimming lessons in the then, outdoor pool.

Dad threw thousands of pitches during batting practice. Almost 60 years ago, I pitched and won the Little League championship game for the Lombard Merchants, only to be disqualified because I pitched too many innings in too few days. But I’m not bitter!

On summer afternoons, we rode our bikes to the pool and swam after picking berries or beans most of the day. And we often ‘relocated’ the tennis nets so that we could play roller hockey on the courts.

The only undefeated, city championship team I ever played on was our eighth-grade Pop Warner Football team. Our coaches were police officers who volunteered their time. I think they wanted to make our acquaintances early! During practice, on Columbus Day, October 12, 1962 a violent windstorm that sent branches flying and uprooted many majestic Douglas Fir. Practice was cut short, no one was hurt, but the devastation was incredible!

Many a church pot-luck picnic or family gathering was held there. Each August, for 50 years, our high school class has held a reunion picnic at Columbia Park. I’ve never been. Maybe next year.

Cousin David

Sunday afternoon we migrated north to Seattle. On Monday morning Paul and I took the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston to visit our cousin David on the West side of Puget Sound. Every day David rides the ferry to work in downtown Seattle. I hope he never takes the spectacular commute for granted. David and his wife have taken a tired, old, waterfront house and renovated it into a beautiful showcase. His side of the Bolin family has gifts I can only admire. The stories of camping trips, fishing excursions and family feuds went on and on. The laughter ended only when we realized the return ferry would leave with or without us! Seattle Pacific University Reunion

All three of us attended Seattle Pacific University – back when it was a college. From the fall of 1969 through the spring of 1976 there was at least one Bolin boy on campus – and one year there were three. A half-dozen friends from college days gathered on Monday evening to share way too many pictures and a boatload of memories from 45 years ago. We laughed until we hurt. We even called a few other old friends who could not attend! I continue to be amazed at the way four decades evaporate and conversations flow as though we had just returned from Christmas break! Maybe the group was self-selected, but I was amazed at how well everyone was doing. God has worked in everyone’s lives in remarkable ways. Financial challenges, marital crisis, health problems, and still, God is working all things for the good.


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