Whidbey Is Reading The Boys in the Boat

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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 

international competitions.

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 

would guar-

antee him a 

campus job, 

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 

Oak Harbor.

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 

page 4

Volume 28 Issue 1 

Spring 2015

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 

Life Magazine 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’ 

website on


. 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 

the Boat 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 

more children.    

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!



$1,170.00     Interest  



Lobby  Sales,    








Misc  (flash  

drives,  fax  




Book  Sales,    


ThriN  Book  





License,  fees,  









Prin&ng  and  






Opera&ons  -­‐  

Other,    $234.10    



Friends of the Freeland Library 2014

Income $16,892

Expenses $10,410

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

Director: Prescott 

Membership: Michael Moch

Committee Chairs

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 


s on 

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 on the 

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 

page 4

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 we decided 

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

Whitsitt Launches 

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-

chased through 

Brown Paper Tickets

 (click blue text).

For more information about the luncheon and the 

foundation, please email 

Paul Pitkin 

of the Sno-Isle 

Libraries Foundation.


Friends of the Freeland Library — Spring 2015 


their memo-

ries on March 

1 4   a t   t h e 



F r i d a y 

morning on 

April 3 come 

to the Langley 

Library from 

10  to  11:30 

to hear sto-

r i e s   a b o u t 

World War II. 

Learn about 

the English 

Land  Girls, 

dispatched to 

farms when 

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. 

Rated PG-13. 

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. 

Other Programs

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.

Related Events, 


page 1

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 

Editor’s note: “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, 


Different kind, 


page 3

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 

a book.

 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 

Giering-DeHaan (Zerbi-



Friends of the Freeland Library — Spring 2015 


Save the Date!

Annual Meeting 

Tuesday, May 19

1 p.m.

featuring Jill Johnson as  

Rebecca Ebey



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!

Library Closed

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 ..................................................


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 Naxo .....................


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 


 Lifetime $250+ 

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  ____________________________

Mailing address ____________________________________________ State________ Zip ____________________    

Email ______________________________________  q I want to receive my newsletter by email         

Yes, I’d like to help with:

Adopt a shelf  q Mailings 


Book sales 



Membership  q Refreshments  q Phone/emailing  q Events      

Other ______________________ 

Please leave this line blank: Date received ________ Deposited __________  Thanked __________ In database __________

Document Outline

  • 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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