Whidbey Is Reading The Boys in the Boat
he Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest
for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
by Daniel James
Brown is a work of histori-
cal nonfiction and tells the
tale of nine young men
who entered the Univer-
sity of Washington during
the Depression, took on
the challenges of rowing
and made the crew team,
then worked their way
through a series of grueling
competitions to represent
both their school and their
country in national and
The book describes
what it was like to grow
up and attend college in
Puget Sound in the 1930s.
It explores how these young
men, sons of farmers, log-
gers and shipyard workers,
learned about life, struggled
to meet their coaches’ ex-
pectations and eventually
learned to trust each other
and become a team. Brown
beautifully describes each
character — the boys, their
enigmatic coach and the ec-
centric boat builder who becomes their mentor.
The heart of the story is Joe Rantz, a young man with
no family or prospects who rows to put his personal de-
mons to rest and find a home. Abandoned as a teenager,
Joe worked several months to scrape together the funds
to enter the University of Washington. He
tried out for crew because making the team
antee him a
which in turn would enable
him to feed himself. Joe’s
transformation from loner
to someone who thinks of
life in terms of how his ac-
tions will impact “the boat”
carries the central theme of
the power of commitment,
determination and coop-
Whidbey Reads is an
annual program that brings
Whidbey Island residents
together to read and talk
about a book. A series of
public events focuses on
themes related to the sto-
ry. The shared experience
serves as a springboard to
explore commonalities and
differences. Whidbey Reads
2015 is a collaborative effort
between Sno-Isle Libraries,
Whidbey Island Friends of
the Library groups and vol-
unteers from each commu-
nity on Whidbey Island. Other partners include Skagit
Valley College, Best Western Harbor Plaza, Wind & Tide
Books, Island Thrift and Moonraker Books.
— excerpted from the
Sno-Isle Libraries website,
Whidbey Reads, discussion
Meet the Author April 15
aniel James Brown is speaking at 1 p.m. Wednes-
day, April 15 at South Whidbey High School, 5675
Maxwelton Road in Langley.
Also at 7 p.m. that evening at
the Best Western Plus Harbor
Plaza at 33175 State Route 20 in
Brown grew up in the San
Francisco Bay area and attended
Diablo Valley College, the Uni-
versity of California at Berkeley
and of Los Angeles. He taught
writing at San Jose State Univer-
sity and Stanford before becom-
ing a technical writer and editor.
With an interest in bringing compelling historical events
to life as vividly and accurately as possible, he now writes
narrative nonfiction full time.
Named the best Nonfiction Book of the Year for 2014
by the American Booksellers Association, The Boys in the
Boat also won the 2014 Washington State Book Award in
the History/General Nonfiction category. The Weinstein
Co. has begun to develop a script for a film adaptation
of the book.
Whidbey Reads Related Events Through April
ince early March the Sno-Isle libraries on Whidbey
Island have featured a wide range of programs in-
cluding book discussions, films, music of the era and
lectures about events relevant to the times and about
water and team sports.
Some of our own Friends of the Freeland Library
Board members are or have been featured in several pro-
grams. Michael Moch our Membership Chair is the son
of Bob Moch, the coxswain of the crew who won the gold
medal at the 1936 Olympic Games. He, his sister Marilynn
Moch, and Joe Rantz’s daughter, Judy Willman, shared
Related Events, see
Volume 28 Issue 1
Meet Meri — Our Archives Volunteer
f you see a petite blonde leaving
the library with a large scrapbook
under her arm, it’s probably Meri Mc-
Cormick. She is our new media and
archives volunteer. She is familiar-
izing herself with the Friends of the
Freeland Library’s history by looking
through all the scrapbooks that have
been put together since the Friends
formed in the mid 1980s.
Meri moved to Whidbey about
a year and a half ago with her hus-
band. She worked with the Whidbey
doing marketing, ad-
ministrative tasks and learning about
her new community.
“I’ve done everything,” she says.
Indeed she administered a nonprofit
organization for service dogs in
Denver, Colorado and, most recently,
worked in the Bellevue Botanical
Gardens. She holds a master’s degree
in organizational development and
has a lot of experience working with
She’d always disliked history as it
was taught in school — the chore of
memorizing dates and battle plans
felt soulless to her. However her
husband is a history buff. Sharing
his interests she discovered how
fascinating historical events can be.
“I love learning and I love this
library,” she explained. “We feel as
though moving here, we are awaken-
ing to new things in our lives.”
Meri is meeting with outgoing
archivist Diana Carew soon to learn
more about how to update the Friends’
. Diana has done
an incredible job posting items to the
site, both past and present. Be sure to
visit this website often and see how
our library’s history was made.
To Diana, the Friends of the Free-
land Library Board want to thank you
for your talent and creativity these
past six years as our archivist. Wel-
come Meri, it will be delight to share
our proud past and future with you.
— Prescott, editor
President’s Message: Your Donations Make a Difference
he year is off and running and it
always seems too fast. We have had
several programs at the library already
and there will be many more good
ones to come. I am especially looking
forward to the programs related to the
Whidbey Reads 2015 choice: Boys in
and the visit of author Daniel
James Brown on April 15.
At our January 20 Board meeting,
Betsy presented her yearly “wish
list,” items that will enhance your
visit to the library and make the
staff’s work, hopefully, easier. We
approved all items and it was the
largest amount we have ever spent,
as far as I can remember. Had it not
been for our Friends and countless
customers at the monthly Book Sale
we could not have done this.
The biggest item was by far the
new shelving. Now all the shelves
for the book collections are inter-
changeable and can accommodate
the bigger sized books.
A good amount of money goes
to funding programs in partnership
with Sno-Isle for all ages, toddlers to
adults and the wonderful Summer
Reading program attracts more and
At our March 17 Board meeting
we began preparation for our spe-
cial annual membership meeting
at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19. Sto-
ryteller Jill Johnson is presenting,
Rebecca: the Story of Rebecca Ebey.
Contact me if you can bring re-
freshments for this event. We also ap-
preciate help with setup and cleanup.
See you at the library.
— Else Christensen, President
Visit Our Friends’ Scrapbook Online!
Events Calendar • Archived News Articles • Video Interviews • Fun Photos • Current
Officers • Friends of the Freeland Library Newsletter & Brochure • Bookmark us!
Friends of the Freeland Library 2014
Friends of the Freeland Library — Spring 2015
Friends of the Freeland Library
P.O. Box 336 • Freeland, WA 98249
Your Board of Directors
President: Else Christensen
Vice-President: Iris Linton
Secretary: Kathy Foster
Treasurer: Candy Charlwood
Director: Keith Jacobs
Membership: Michael Moch
Book Sales: Keith Jacobs
Lobby Book Sales: Iris Linton
Newsletter Editor: Prescott
Mailings: Joan Hawkins
Archives: Meri McCormick
Everyone is welcome to attend our meetings.
The next meeting is the annual membership
meeting on Tuesday, May 19. All meetings
begin at 1 p.m. in the program room of the
Freeland Library at 5495 Harbor Avenue.
Friends of the Freeland Library
Used Book Sales
Hundreds of gently-used books available at great prices!
All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Freeland Library
First SATURDAYS —10 a.m.
to 2 p.m.
April 4 • May 2 • June 6 • July 11
Book Sale Help Needed
ur monthly book sale is in need of some weight-
lifting helpers (manpower)
who can help moving
boxes to and from the storage sheds to the book sale
room with a handcart.
Mostly, we could use help on Saturday afternoon
at 2 p.m. when unsold books are returned to the book
storage sheds. And, you get a benefit of price discount
on books and videos you might be interested in!
It’s a win-win situation. Thanks for considering.
Leave your contact information with the Freeland Li-
brary staff for me.
— Keith Jacobs, Book Sales Committee Chair
New Library Hours
he Sno-Isle Board of Trustees has approved new
open hours in 2015 for all community libraries. The
target date for this new schedule is Monday, May 4.
The new hours for Freeland are: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on
Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8
p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
In addition to being easier to remember, there are
many other benefits to this schedule, including being
open a total of four more hours each week and having
a consistent opening time every day that is the same
as the Langley and Coupeville libraries. Another ben-
efit to the new hours is that all Sno-Isle Libraries will
now be open until 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays so
customers can pick up their holds, books or
their way home for the weekend. Overall, the librar-
ies on South Whidbey will be open an additional 14
hours/week or 628 hours/year, which will provide
more service for the community.
— Betsy Arand, Managing Librarian
Inspired by Our Library: A Different Kind of Book Club
y sixteen year old granddaughter and I were dis-
cussing John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars
phone one evening. She indicated as we hung up that
she would really like to be in a book club but school
takes most of her time.
I called her back a little later and said I had an idea.
The family was going to Alaska on a cruise and how
about if we have a book discussion and she could
pick the book. Her mother told me later that she ran
right to her room and started rummaging through her
books. She picked another John Green, Looking For Alaska
(a girl’s name, by the way).
On the cruise seven hardy souls showed up, books
in hand. The ship found us a room to meet in and two
daughters, three grandchildren, one brave son-in-law
and one aging grandmother went at it. I think it was
Different kind, see
Another Adventure from Tears of Joy Theatre
ast year we had such positive response to Tears of
Joy Theatre’s play Mantis and the Moon
to bring them back during spring break for a show that
combines the artistry of puppetry with science. Come
join us at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 10 for Tad & Fry: A Tale
of Friendship and Metamorphosis.
A tadpole and a fry can
become friends, but what happens when they grow up?
Tad and Fry are best friends, but as their bodies start to
change and they grow up, their friendship is put to the
test. What will happen when Tad grows legs or Fry is
ready to migrate to the ocean? Experience biology and
the science of metamorphosis through this charming
and interactive puppet performance that utilizes shadow
puppetry and music. Grab your magnifying glass and
come explore your backyard stream.
— Jayanne Bixby, Librarian
Sundberg Lecture Fund
n Friday, April 24 is a luncheon fundraiser for
the Trudy J. Sundberg Memorial Lecture Series at
Useless Bay Country Club and the featured speaker is
Bob Whitsett, Trudy Sundberg’s son-in-law. In addition,
Bob Whitsett will donate several foursomes of golf with
himself and three others at the Useless Bay course. These
will be auctioned off at the luncheon
The cost is $100 per person and tickets can be pur-
Brown Paper Tickets
(click blue text).
For more information about the luncheon and the
foundation, please email
of the Sno-Isle
Friends of the Freeland Library — Spring 2015
ries on March
1 4 a t t h e
F r i d a y
April 3 come
to the Langley
10 to 11:30
to hear sto-
r i e s a b o u t
World War II.
the men were at war, from our Board’s Vice President
Iris Linton. Board President Else Christensen tells what
it was like to live in Denmark, as a child, when the Nazis
invaded. And a community member shares his soldier’s
perspective serving under General Patton and going
into Germany in 1945 to liberate concentration camps.
Whidbey Reads Movies
Freeland Library is doing a film series each Wednesday
at 1:30 p.m., including door prizes and snacks:
March 25 – Cool Runnings. This comedy hit starring
John Candy was inspired by the true story of Jamaica’s
first Olympic bobsled team. Rated PG.
April 1 – Invictus. Newly elected President Mandela
(Morgan Freeman) believes the country’s underdog
rugby team can bring his racially and economically di-
vided people together in post-apartheid South Africa.
April 8 – When the Game Stands Tall. The remarkable
journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who
took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity
to a record breaking 151-game winning streak. Rated PG.
Islanders should not miss the Thursday, April 23 infor-
mation forum by representatives of local water-sport
organizations. The theme, Getting Out on the Water, is
from 4 to 6 p.m. Representatives from South Whidbey
Yacht Club, Oak Harbor Yacht Club, Island Rowing
Association, North Puget Sound Dragon Boat Club,
and Whidbey Island Kayaking Company will gather
to introduce their programs and provide literature and
registration details on many different approaches to
getting out in boats around Puget Sound.
Friday Movie Matinees
njoy a free film showing on the third Friday of
each month at the Freeland Library. Each screening
begins at 2 p.m. and popcorn is served, compliments
of the Friends of the Freeland Library.
• April 17: Captain America: Winter Soldier featur-
ing Steve Rogers, who continues his journey as
the super-powered American soldier who’s grasp-
ing to find his place in a modern world after being
frozen in ice since World War II. Rated PG-14.
• May 15: Hundred-Foot Journey about a feud be-
tween two adjacent restaurants in a French town:
one operated by a recently relocated Indian family
and the other, a Michelin-starred restaurant. Star-
rng Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal and
Charlotte Le Bon. Rated PG.
Photo by Prescott
At the Children of the Boys on the Boat
program, Michael Moch, far right, is de-
scribing the quality of both the rowing skill
and boat construction seen in the video clip
of the race. “It was flying,” he said. Michael
and his sister, Marilynn (in the middle), are
children of Bob Moch, the coxswain. Judy
Rantz Willman, left, gave the main presen-
tation. Her father was Joe Rantz.
the highlight of the trip for me. Those three grand kids
discussed alienation, suicide, bullying, etc at a level I
know I could not have done at their age.
My thought is, if you are going on a trip, having a
reunion or a get-together of any kind, how about sharing
books you like with each other, instigating a one -time book
discussion etc.? You may find out great things about the
people who take part and get a “book fix” at the same time.
As an aside, the granddaughter and her mom have
now formed an occasional book club of mothers, teenag-
ers and grandmothers. Guess who is invited?
And it goes without saying that the staff at the won-
derful Freeland Library will be glad to assist you in any
way they can.
— Kathy Foster
“Inspired by Our Library” is a regular feature
of this newsletter. If you have a special experience about how
the Freeland Library has affected your life, please share it.
Contact the editor,
Rebecca Highlights Annual Meeting
oin us for the Friends of the Freeland Library An-
nual Meeting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19. Story-
teller Jill Johnson presents excerpts of her one-woman
performance as Rebecca Ebey. It is based on the diary
Rebecca kept living on the central Whidbey prairie in
the mid 1800s. The meeting is brief and the festivities
are grand. There will be lots of good food and friends.
Watch for your invitation in the mail.
Friends of the Freeland Library — Spring 2015
Book Review: The Field of Cloth of Gold
he author, Glenn Richardson, provides the first history
for more than four decades of a major Tudor event. In
1520, in an effort to bring the longstanding enmity be-
tween England and France to an end, England’s monarch,
Henry VIII and Francis I of France, agreed to meet. The
two kings and their vast entourages were accommodated
in tents and pavilions that were dressed in luxurious
fabrics, especially the cloth of gold that gives the event
its name. The two kings met for just over two weeks in
Northern France where they hosted a tournament held
to celebrate peace between their two countries. The event
which this meeting inaugurated soon assumed mythic
standards in the annals of English and French history. Part
of my introduction is in the words of the author.
So much of the appeal of this historical event is the
amazing size of Henry’s retinue which crossed the Chan-
nel; surely it must have appeared to be an early Armada!
Aside from the political purpose of this memorable
gathering, entertainments were planned including
jousting, archery, music and
dancing, wrestling and eques-
trian events. The hospitality
staged by the two kings was
“on a monumental scale.”
The feeding and watering of
some 12,000 people for ap-
proximately two weeks is
impressive. They ate (as an
example) beef, mutton, swan,
capon, pork, venison, fish; not
forgetting beer, wine and fruit.
“There was also one dolphin.”
Chapter six is entitled
“The Cold Light of Day” for within two years of the
event Henry and Francis were at war with each other.
I leave this wonderful book on that unhappy note, but
recommend it as a very readable slice of history.
— Iris Linton
or information about upcoming Freeland Library events, go to
Sno-Isle Libraries website
, select “Classes & Events.” A list
of libraries appears; select “Freeland Library” and view a calendar.
Scroll to the month you wish to see. To refine your search, select
the event types and the age group of interest to you.
Have You Ever Eaten a Book?
f not your chance is coming up at the South Whidbey
Edible Book Festival from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March
29 at Bayview Hall. You, your neighbors, your kids or
grandkids can enter your own edible interpretation of
The guidelines are: it can look like a book, it can
act like a book, it can be a pun on a book and it can be
inspired by a book cover or character.
The only rule: it must be edible.
Prizes are offered in several categories. After judging,
the forks come out. The entry is free but registration is
required to help plan for space. Please email the
Whidbey Edible Book
It is both a contest and
fundraising event. All
proceeds will benefit
the South Whidbey
Parks and Aquatics
Foundation. This year
proceeds will go to the Healthy Island Youth Initiative
). For more information, check out the Facebook
page of the
South Whidbey Edible Book Festival
blue text for hot link).
This example qualifies as an en-
try because the armless cookie
is a pun on the book, Farewell
to Arms, and it’s edible.
Seattle Opera Preview: Ariadne auf Naxos
t noon on Tuesday, April 14 the Seattle Opera educa-
tion department brings an engaging hour-long multi-
media presentation that covers the basics of history, music
and stagecraft of Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss.
A wealthy patron has commissioned two pieces of
entertainment for a private dinner party: an opera based
on the myth of Ariadne in exile, and a capering troupe
of clowns for comic relief. The catch: the two acts must
perform simultaneously so a fabulous pyrotechnics dis-
play can conclude the
evening as promised.
Photo by Rozarii Lynch
From Seattle Opera’s
2004 Ariadne auf
Naxos: Philip Cutlip
(Harlekin), Jane Eaglen
(Ariadne), and Jane
Friends of the Freeland Library — Spring 2015
Save the Date!
Tuesday, May 19
featuring Jill Johnson as
Join us for good food and good company!
Your Donations Help the Freeland Library
ach time a newsletter is published, individuals, families and businesses join the Friends of the Freeland Library by
making a membership donation! You can check your renewal date (quarterly) on the label of this newsletter. Your
membership donations help provide extras for the library, such as new work tables, book shelves, event supplies, additional
books for Whidbey Reads and more. Your library benefits in countless ways from your support. Please join us. Thank you!
Please note the Sno-Isle Libraries are closed:
Sunday, April 5
Monday, May 25
Saturday, July 4
Note new hours, starting May 4 (see page 3)
Whidbey Is Reading The Boys in the Boat ...................
Whidbey Reads Related Events Through April.............
Meet the Author April 15 ..................................................
Your Donations Make a Difference
Meet Meri — Our Archives Volunteer ............................
Another Adventure from Tears of Joy Theatre ..............
New Library Hours ............................................................
Book Sale Help Needed .....................................................
Inspired by Our Library:
A Different Kind of Book Club .....
Whitsitt Launches Sundberg Lecture Fund ...................
Friday Movie Matinees .....................................................
Highlights Annual Meeting ...............................
Whidbey Reads Movies .....................................................
Other Programs ..................................................................
Have You Ever Eaten a Book? ...........................................
Seattle Opera Preview: Ariadne auf Naxos .....................
Book Review: The Field of Cloth of Gold ............................
Your Donations Help the Freeland Library ...................
Friends of the Freeland Library, P.O. Box 336, Freeland, Washington 98249
Support the Friends of the Freeland Library with a membership donation, entitling you to a complementary
quarterly newsletter, program invitations, participation in meetings and early notice of events.
Limited Income, $5-$9 per year q Individual, $10-$19 per year
Family, $20-$49 per year
Sustaining, $50-$99 per year
Patron, $100 per year
Contact your current or former employer about matching your donation.
Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law,
Please make checks payable to Friends of the Freeland Library
Name(s) ____________________________________________________ Phone ____________________________
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Yes, I’d like to help with:
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Please leave this line blank:
Date received ________ Deposited __________ Thanked __________ In database __________
- Whidbey Is Reading The Boys in the Boat
- Whidbey Reads Related Events Through April
- Meet the Author April 15
- President’s Message: Your Donations Make a Difference
- Meet Meri — Our Archives Volunteer
- Another Adventure from Tears of Joy Theatre
- New Library Hours
- Book Sale Help Needed
- Inspired by Our Library: A Different Kind of Book Club
- Whitsitt Launches Sundberg Lecture Fund
- Friday Movie Matinees
- Rebecca Highlights Annual Meeting
- Whidbey Reads Movies
- Other Programs
- Have You Ever Eaten a Book?
- Seattle Opera Preview: Ariadne auf Naxos
- Book Review: The Field of Cloth of Gold
- Your Donations Help the Freeland Library
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