Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Small World - 9/24/2012

Earlier in the Summer Anne of Cascadia invited Herb and me to join her at lunch at the Anacortes Senior Activity Center -- not that we qualify for '55 and Over!'

We found it to be a delightful place, copious quantities of wonderful food, and very friendly people.  We went several times over the course of a few weeks, and kept seeing a man whose face reminded us of a friend we knew when we lived in Longview TX.  

Mel and Dotty

Willie and Herb

However, he never seemed to recognize us.  

(Have we changed that much!!!) 

 Too much of a coincidence, it couldn't be him!   However, one day Herb could stand it no longer, approached him, and learned that he is indeed Mel Kangas of Anacortes, formerly of Longview TX.  We are delighted to see him and his wife Dotty again, and spend much time catching up on our lives since we all left Longview.

As members of the Summit Club, we always made a point to go especially on Thursdays for half priced drinks and free hors 'doeuvres -- or was it half priced hors 'doeuvres and free drinks?  We would always see Mel there, as he stopped in for quick refreshments on his way home from work.  

He was always ready with a story or funny joke you could tell at church, and we looked forward to seeing him each week before he hurried home to Dotty's delicious dinner.

Summit Club - 10th Floor of Bank

In Anacortes now, we learn he has a connection to the Alliance, which we see often see docked in Cap Sante Boat Haven Marina.  We ask him to tell us more ....

This from Mel:

The "Alliance", which plies the waters of the Northwest is a 135' yacht, owned by PACCAR (of Kenworth and Peterbilt heavy-duty truck fame).  During 1976 - 1984, I served as General Sales Manager of PACCAR's Dart Divison (heavy-duty mining trucks, etc).  This included some 6 summers of entertaining, with my wife Dotty at times, many mining customers from the U.S. and Canada aboard the 95' "Gryphon", the predecessor of the "Alliance", on the waters near Alaska, Mexico, and Northwest U.S.

  PACCAR sold us in 1984 and I went with R.G. Le Tourneau as V.P. - Sales in Longview, TX, resulting in the meeting with Herb and Willie Stark at the "Summit Club" in Longview.   After 21 years in Longview, Dotty and I moved to Anacortes, WA in 2005 to be near our son, Steve, and his family, who live in Seattle.  This resulted in several meetings again with Herb and Willie in Anacortes. Small world! Much fun!  Happy travels!  Mel Kangas
We treasure this reunion.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday, September 24, 2012


  1. Great to learn more about your connection with Mel and Dotty. It is obvious how such friendly folks like you four enjoy each other :-)

    I can see that you and Willie must have friends, or soon-to-be friends, everywhere!


  2. We are so glad we met you and Gus!

  3. I had the pleasure of spending time on the Gryphon during the 1970's as a guest of KW. Wonderful memories off new friends, beautiful scenery, and great salmon fishing