Let’s lighten up, Port Townsend! | Mann Overboard

Bill Mann
Posted 12/15/21

Christmas Car Prowl: I’ve been making my annual rounds looking for noteworthy Christmas lights locally. It’s a fine tradition here. The best I surveilled this year were: 

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Let’s lighten up, Port Townsend! | Mann Overboard


Christmas Car Prowl: I’ve been making my annual rounds looking for noteworthy Christmas lights locally. It’s a fine tradition here. The best I surveilled this year were: 

— The winner again, on McNeill, north of San Juan: Michael Ridgeway has done it again with this impressive, colorful flashing display and, as always, it has its own radio station. Bonus: A neighbor has restored the hot-chocolate stand just across the street on weekends. And Merilee Ridgeway is again handing stopped motorists candy canes. This display isn’t subtle, but is impressive nonetheless. 

— The goofy hot dog and friends as you come into town, at Mill Road. Lots of blue lights. One to relish. 

— This really cuts it: Debbi Hinton’s showy display on Kearney, next to her Victorian Clipper barber shop, is a perennial visual treat. The old truck festooned with lights is the capper.

— A home on Lopez Street, off San Juan, that features one of the city’s loveliest displays.

— Out on Hastings, across from New Life Church: This is always a lovely display. 

— Seahawk City: On Thomas Street, just east of McPherson, the 12th Man shrine, complete with a giant helmet and a big 12 on the roof, shows that Seahawk spirit is alive, even during a downer season. 

— Two more of note uptown: the large new lighted Xmas tree at the east end of Lawrence; and the Blue Gull Inn’s helicopter and display on Clay Street. 

Yes, I’m sure I’ve missed/overlooked some fine displays you may know. But hey, I’m not the brightest bulb in the box.

— Say cheese: On the very day my last column came out predicting we’d be seeing Canadians again here now that Canada vaccine restrictions have been eased to allow three-day visits, I was devouring mac-and-cheese at Tommyknocker’s downtown when four tourists from Langley, B.C. sat down at the next table. Pleasant conversation about hockey, etc. ensued. BTW, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is Canada’s top-selling grocery item. (True). But Tommy’s hearty version is far better. 

— Speaking of Canadiana, this erstwhile TV critic recommends two enjoyable CBC comedy series available on Netflix: “Corner Gas” and “Kim’s Convenience.” Both are set in small grocery stores, and both are recommended. My holiday viewing gift.

Also, home-viewing fans, don’t miss director Peter Jackson’s 7.5-hour Beatles-finale doc, “Get Back.” It’s on Disney Plus, and while I’d almost rather give money to a Trump grift as to Disney, it’s worth the $8.50 for one month. You’ll see the band’s final days in a different light. Yoko didn’t break up the group, and Paul became the leader and is obviously a musical genius. 

— Such a question: The Diagram Prize, for the Oddest Book Title, is run by The Bookseller magazine in England and voted for by the public. It pitted six titles against each other this year, from “Curves for the Mathematically Curious” to “Hats: A Very Unnatural History.”  

The winner this year has a definite Jewish twist: “Is Superman Circumsized?” Second-place was “The Life Cycle of Russian Things: From Fish Guts to Fabergé.” “Superman Circumcised?” took 51% of the 11,000 public votes to win.

The title follows in the footsteps of former winners including “How to Avoid Huge Ships” and “The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories,” and here author Roy Schwartz explores the creation of the “Mensch of Steel” by Jewish immigrants Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Schwartz argues that Superman’s origin story is based “on Moses, his strength on Samson, his mission on the golem, and his nebbish secret identity on themselves,” and that Krypton’s society is based on Jewish culture. It’s enough to make the Mensch of Steel schlep to his Fortress of Solitude. 

— Looking for a classy place to share a holiday toast? The Meadery out on Cook remains open this month. I’m a virtual nondrinker, but it’s a pleasant venue to sit and visit. 

— Finally, Billy Connelly the preternaturally talented Scottish actor (“Mrs. Brown”), comic (his live shows are bombastic and funny) and travel documentarian (q.v.,  his superb BBC travelogue on traversing northern Canada) has developed Parkinson’s. But Connelly still does occasional live shows. His funny opening line: “Good evening, symptoms spotters.” 

(PT humorist Bill Mann wishes readers Non-Sectarian Season’s Greetings. Newsmann9@gmail.com)