History’s course | Tom Camfield

Tom Camfield
Posted 12/14/22

And please, if you insist on telling me how Port Townsend “used to be,” consider that I can recall snow in the backyard up on Willow St. back in the winter of 1932-’33. In the fall …

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History’s course | Tom Camfield


And please, if you insist on telling me how Port Townsend “used to be,” consider that I can recall snow in the backyard up on Willow Street back in the winter of 1932-’33. In the fall of ’35 I began first grade and walked to school from out on 33rd Street west of San Juan Ave. It’s been a while. President Calvin Coolidge was just stepping out the door of the White House when I was born (the same winter in Olympia).

I’ve lived in Port Townsend since the early spring of 1929, my arrival not too much later than that of my late grandfather, Ernest L. Camfield, who came here to help build the paper mill.

Birds such as Charlie above are typical of the continuing changes in my daily life. During my childhood on San Juan Avenue near F Street, Chinese pheasant and quail were common garden pests and I was awakened mornings by the song of the western meadowlark — entertained by barn swallows.

I’ve lived at our present home site Uptown only 61 years but was shocked the other day to realize that even the common crow no longer is perched around neighborhood rooftops — nor flocks of pigeons seen along the telephone wires. Song sparrows have disappeared — and consequently I haven’t seen a red or gray hawk for several years. Red-wing blackbirds and stellar jays also were sights of yesteryear.

Never saw a deer around town until a relatively few years ago — after they were chased into the city from the woodlands by property development, unchecked packs of dogs, etc.

Occasionally, one sees a brief little news item such as “Extinction. Populations of a vulnerable marine mammal, numerous species of abalone and a type of Caribbean
coral are now threatened with extinction, an international conservation organization said Friday. . .” and wonder about the food chain. The tiny vaquita porpoise, which is less than 30 left in the world, will likely go extinct in the next few years. The Culebra Parrot, also known as the Puerto Rican parrot, has a current estimated wild population of 34 to 40 parrots, and also is close to extinction. The polar bear, the Cascade red fox . . .

MEANWHILE, AS CURRENT SPACE-FILLER, I suspect that some citizens who voted or not Nov. 8 don’t realize that their choices actually won’t take office until shortly after the first of the coming year. So the Democratic special Jan. 6 committee — dealing with the lies and general self-serving disruption of Ex-President Donald Trump — still has a couple of weeks to go. After that, the House will officially turn Republican by the slight majority registered at the polls Nov. 8.

Kevin McCarthy will likely become Speaker of the House majority and begin his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. I doubt we’ll see support from his camp for Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.

I’m looking for continuation to some degree of the ruinous Trumpism that has rotted America since 2016 (and earlier). It will be interesting what the Democratic special committee can get into the courts by year’s end — and what the Trump situation will be by 2024. I’ve decided to give it all another shot (luck perhaps allowing). I’ll be 95 come Election Day 2024. I have no doubt that Biden’s age, rather than something such as green energy, will be on the front burner come 2024, but he’ll be only a youthful 81 or so if he chooses to run again that year.

Others failing in their senate-seat bids during the recent 2022 election were Oz of Pennsylvania, Masters of Arizona, Laxalt of Nevada, Bolduc of New Hampshire — all supported by Trump with one-time high expectations, Although boasting one of the worst Republican candidates in history, the runoff race in which former football star Herschel Walker was endorsed by Trump for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, actually had a shot down to the wire the other day.

Fortunately, the former red state had the intelligence to turn purple for the occasion. And for that we will continue to thank its voters in Georgia.

One shudders to consider a six-year term in the U.S government going to Walker. And the victory by The Rev. Warnock gives the Democrats a 51-49 Senate advantage far superior to the slender edge surrendered in the House of Representatives. It turned into an encouraging off-year election.