Forks & Spoons

Posted on Jun 27, 2024

Concerned Citizens, Clowns, and Cello. Some golden moments captured by author Chris Bricker.

Written Tuesday, June 25th     Forks

It was a late night Monday, and the camp slowly awoke this morning.
I could hear Kristin chatting with early risers at the kitchen trailer. Documentarian Ward Serrill was doing Tai Chi on the grass in the sunny morning silence. There were a sprinkling of patrons enjoying the Chautauqua’s innovatively renovated “state of the art” outdoor shower. 

We had guests for the morning meeting. Linda Middleton, Robin Schostak, and Lambros Roger joined us to give us background and origin story of Concerned Citizens of Clallam and Jefferson Counties. They’re our hosts here in Forks, along with our community liaison, Sue Shane, retired Nurse Practitioner/Mid-wife, who’s “delivered half the kids in Forks and from the reservation,” including their offspring growing up to make their own families.

Busy day today, with a short parade from the Concerned Citizens Center and down the campus road to the grass across from our camp. The Center’s kids, and some of the developmentally disabled adults along with their caregivers, made a dear parade with the band. The kids & their caregivers alike gleefully joined the parade in colorful hats. Faeble blew bubbles and showed kids how to fall like a clown. Kristin handed out red noses to the entire row of kids. ”Who would like a red nose?”  Unanimously, the answer was a gleeful “YES.” 

Jeremiah and Mark handled the juggling workshop. There were hula hoops with Orion, and an “Instruments Petting Zoo” hosted by the band. As the band left, you could see a long single file row of kids, nosed in red, following the Chautauqua pied pipers back to their classrooms and activities.

Don focused on beginning to paint a very long fence, while Christine’s cello filled the outdoors for a the Center’s residents shaded in the afternoon sun.

Raul helped an artist-teacher from the Center create a rock sculpture of Baby Yoda. 

Later, after lunch, Eben and the band, along with Cellist Christine, Kim, Faeble and Jeremiah, headed for a short show at a Senior Center here in town. There were about a dozen clients under memory care, whose eyes and voices lit up to Kim’s version of “Over the Rainbow.”

Chris B. did a radio interview with Concerned Citizens Executive director, Linda Middleton, and Jr. Executive Director Lambros Roger about the non-profit’s amazing 47 year history.  Linda started it all all in 1979 as a concerned parent with a special needs son. She saw the lack of resources and support that a local parent with a special needs child would be grateful for having. So she gathered her own resources. The first platform for outreach was a renovated feed store. Then the charismatic Robin Schostak came along with her kind charisma and a unique ability to never take “No” for a answer when garnering support from the community for the Center.

The result is the campus where we stayed, which accommodates a spectrum of special needs, from birth-to-three, and kids to adults. The Center’s efforts have been ripples in a pond, radiating throughout the region to help satisfy this important need. Now, with about 150 employees,

Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow morning, though we’ve been blessed throughout our stay with mostly sunshine and mild temperatures. Time maybe, for folks to decide if they want to pack a wet tent or opt for dry shelter tonight. But Chautauquans are hardy!

Danielle and Paul have been busy today, meeting with with the Hoh Tribe’s Vice-Chairman, and exploring images and Creation Story ideas for the mural project with local Hoh artists..

We were invited guests to Rainforest Arts Center’s community potluck tonight. 

Chris B took the opportunity to interview Sue Shane about her career here as Nurse Practitioner/Midwife, and about her relationships with the Quileute Tribe and the local Forks community.

Post-potluck, Chautauquans are hanging out near Karl and Robyn’s camper, along with their new Ausie named Blossom. Some are in the meeting hall learning to do beadwork from Donna. Kristin is graciously offering popcorn to folks indoors and out. Some may be ready to crash from a long day, but a fire circle awaits soon, so we can begin to share our own origin stories with one another.

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Written by Chris Bricker