Different Vets in the woods

Ed Bush and Bob Davis talk as the sun sets. Photo by: Juliette Lynch

Ed and Linda Bush took another several hours of their time Saturday to escort Juliette and I around to veterans in the woods of Ferry and Okanogan counties. We met two: Mike Rounds and Bob Davis.

Mike, who spent four years in the Army during the Vietnam War, has steely eyes, a cool, steady voice, and 20 gorgeous acres far above a wooded valley. For 25 years, he designed traffic patterns for major events in Seattle, a job that gave him a thorough distaste for city life. “I see living out here as definitely an escape,” he said.

Making it Move

Screenshot of Flash CS4 on David's iMac

Right now I'm working on an interactive tour of Jerry Middleton's cabin in Flash CS4. It's a lot of coding, and figuring out where elements need to be in relation to the main "stage" (what you see in the physical frame of the finished project) so that they move into that viewing area with motion and from the right location.

a young John Wayne

A young Jerry Middleton, photographed by a friend in Vietnam

john wayne, the american cowboy
you can be him too, chant the troops,
follows the boy, still wishing for more than stubble
on his baby-soft chin.

pull up your boot straps, boy
towering over, says father
to war, you go, now is your duty

but rumbling streets, and white-brimmed hats
filled with beautiful young things
that only visit in the night
can't fight the feeling
nor the terror that lingers
when it's over.

touch the earth, young son
press your weathered face to my ground
rush, deep dirt, fill the holes
clothe him in the whispers
that run through the trees

Introducing Chewekah Middleton

Photo by: Juliette Lynch

Thursday was the fourth visit Juliette and I made to Jerry's house, but the first time we've met his son, Chewekah (chew-EE-kuh).

The younger Middleton is 30 years old and lives in a cabin he built himself a few hundred yards from his dad's. Jerry wanted to find a Native American name for his son, and liked the sound of Chewekah, a creek in Washington‚ when he heard it mentioned.

Back to Vietnam

Photo by: David Miller

Justin and Juliette have been spending a lot of time with Jerry Middleton, a Vietnam veteran living in the woods outside of Chesaw, Washington. Years ago Jerry was an aspiring photographer, and during his time serving in Vietnam he shot hundreds of slide photographs.

Jerry was gracious enough to give us his slide projector, 8mm film projector, and boxes of slides and film reels to go through.

Tree Talk

Photo by: Juliette Lynch

To get to Chesaw from Republic, you take Route 20 to Wauconda, hang a right at the Spaghetti Saloon and continue on until you see a black bear lumbering across the road. What?!? Anyway, that's how Juliette and I got to Jerry's house Tuesday. We think we deserve a prize for being the first team to spot a bear.

Justin Gets a Ringer

Photo by: Juliette Lynch

When Juliette and I rattled up to Jerry's yard Sunday for our second visit, we found him spending his Sunday afternoon as they're meant to be spent: playing horseshoes with his brother and cousin out in the sun, with two overgrown puppies racing around the yard. "We don't know all the rules, so we just play country horseshoes", Jerry admitted, taking a pull of water from a brown bootleg jar.

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