1. GOOD MORNING -NEWS OF THE DAY
2. WANNA TALK ABOUT SEMINARY LIFE
3. INSPIRATION – HE’S ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU
4. WHAT FUN – HOW I WROTE MY FIRST BOOK
5. BOATS & THE SEA – TALK TO ME
6. SHARE CONSTRUCTION STORIES WITH ME
1. GOOD MORNING – NEWS OF THE DAY – 5-15-17 to present.
KAILUA TOWN – OAHU’S WINDWARD SIDE:
Kailua Town a long time ago. Ko’olau mountain range, Honolulu and Pacific Ocean beyond.
There were a few houses and stores, but mostly vacant land, taro and watermelon farms. The developers bought up the fields after the war in ’45, and built modest houses, condos, and apartment on the land. The town didn’t change much. The land around Enchanted lake was turned into a huge, but modest subdivision, with a handful of stores. The country club was constructed in the ’20’s in Lanakai, where the rich and famous built summer cottages to escape Honolulu’s summer heat, and enjoy the windward side’s cool trade winds.
The country club today, the Ko’olau’s in the background. Jake took the photo from the 19th hole this week.
Jake and Elizabeth arrived here in the ’90’s. By that time, the town had grown to about 20,000 plus souls. The town remained a dusty old beach town until the year 2010 when a major overhaul began b y the landowners. The country club was one of the windward side’s jewels and catered to Kailua’s and Lanikai’s now affluent residents. Even President Bill Clinton, (Bubba) and President Obama hung out and played here. Obama’s vacation retreat was in Kailua. Lots of celebrities and movie stars have beach-side homes in the area.
The ‘locals only’ end of Kailua Beach in late afternoon. B y 5:00 pm it will be filled with locals shore fishing, drinking beer, smoking Pocololo, laughing and talking story.
As the town primped and prepared for entry in the 2000’s, this end of Kailua Beach resisted change and probably will never change. By early evening the beach is filled with pickup trucks and partying locals. There is some kind of unwritten truce between the police and the boys as long as things don’t get out of control.
A high-end cafe in Kailua with the A Kailua sunset over the Ko’olau’s rivals feel of Manhatten Soho restaurant. anything you would experience in Waikiki.
I was watching a streaming of Hawaii’s own Markus Marriota’s notable event of catching his own pass and scoring a touchdown against Kansas City when this Barnes & Noble advertisement popped up featuring ‘JAKE THE PRODIGAL SON” next to the top selling Trump expose, ‘FIRE AND FURY’. How cool is that?
The crew of he Frisky II meet for the annual eve before the eve dinner.
Puget Sound, Tree Tree point, Mt. Rainier. Jake and family biking . It’s 32 degrees.
12-23-17 The eve before the eve…
Jake flew to Seattle for a traditional Christmas Eve dinner with my siblings. It was the flight from hell. Six hours of big time turbulence. I was tossed out of my seat 3 times before I strapped on my seat belt. Each of the five swings off course was about 100 miles. Nobody allowed out of their seats, no meal or drink service, nutin!
Our traditional dinner is crab, spaghetti, french bread and salad. That white thing on the crab shell is the crab’s heart, a delicacy that we dare each other to try.
Pretty girl Sailboarding on Kailua Bay a few days before Christmas 2017
My book, Jake – The Prodigal Son, is out there. Mission Accomplished!
Jake sent his completed novel, JAKE – THE PRODIGAL SON, to the printer. It will be available on Amazon, etc. in December.
It’s been a tough week. We checked into a Waikiki Hotel to wind down. Elizabeth and I got a steak and Osso Bucco dinner with wine and desert at the Hale Koa Hotel for $65.
ALOHA O’E! A celebration. Our Grandson arrives in the Islands. Roasted leg of lamb, twice baked potatoes, caramelized peaches, rosemary bread and a twenty-year-old bottle of red wine carried back from Tuscany.
Our Grandson, the baker boy, made dessert. A custard and fruit tart. Yummie!
Arriving at the SeaTac Airport for the Winston family annual crab feed. Don’t know what that is, but it’s cool!
Landing the fresh caught dungeness crab at THE BEACH!
Jake snagging a crab pot. we got a dozen or so Dungeness and rock crab and tossed a dozen more females and too smalls.
Jake, his son and grandson crabbing on the Elyse River, Waldport Oregon. We hauled in a hundred and fifty crab in three hours with three pots. we ony got four legal keepers. The nine-year-old ran the boat for the first time.
The four keepers with spaghetti, wine and french bread.
The Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run is over, thirty-six million pounds of fish delivered to the canneries. Egegek and the Nushegek were the hot spots.
The Erica Lynn got it right. Egegek was where you want to be so far.
The Bristol Bay, Alaska sockeye salmon run is starting to show some fish. The boys down at Egegik landed 25,000 fish yesterday, leaving the fishermen, up at Naknek, a little nervous that they are in the wrong district.
6-1-17: Bristol Bay driftnet Sockeye Salmon season is open. No sign of fish yet.
Eastern Oregon Bing Cherries are now available. The best in the world. I bought these in Paris and paid $1.00 each for them.
Copper River Salmon, (Alaska) is availabe for a few weeks. Really special.
5-17-17: We celebrated the book deal at HY’s Steakhouse with a perfect Mai Tai.
5-15-17: I got the Webpage up and running with basic services.
2. WANNA TALK ABOUT SEMINARY LIFE – 2-15-17 TO PRESENT:
St. Edward Seminary entrance and The trail-head to the stations and the beach
The formatting of this interesting article got messed up. Therefore, We will re-run the proper version this week. Enjoy!
The old, decaying St. Edward Seminary building at St. Edward State Park faces an uncertain future.
On the outside, St. Edward Seminary is a fantastic Romanesque Revival building, four stories of glowing, pastel brick on a sweep of green lawn above Lake Washington. On the inside, time has been savage to this building. Chips of paint the size of a hand peel from concrete walls. In places, internal pipes that drain gutters down to a subbasement cistern have leaked and turned concrete walls to rubble. It is empty, dirty, eerie.
But in places it’s also elegant, formal, divine. And in its magnificent desolation, it serves a most unusual role. The 90,000-square-foot building, the centerpiece of St. Edward State Park in Kenmore, has been used as a set for a handful of horror movies and thrillers. Local police and firefighters use it to train bomb-sniffing and drug-sniffing dogs. Most of the building is closed to the public, but the dining hall is in good condition and is available for rent for corporate meetings, weddings and retreats. The outside of the building, which has an air of European elegance, creates a glorious setting for weddings all spring and summer long.
Earlier this year, St. Edward State Park was in jeopardy of temporary closure due to the state budget crisis, even as contractors finished a $2.4 million project to fix drainage problems that routinely flooded the lower floor with several inches of water. But a new donation program approved by the state Legislature, which will collect money through the vehicle license-tab renewal program, is expected to raise enough money to keep St. Edward and 39 other state parks from closing. And its popular swimming pool, which briefly closed while the park service looked for a new operator, will reopen to the public June 6. Still, the old building’s future is uncertain.
A few years ago, Portland brewpub company McMenamins proposed turning the seminary building — which is on the National Register of Historic Places — into a hotel and brew pub, but the idea was shot down by the community. One neighbor has suggested turning it into a repository for state archives.
“All kinds of ideas have been thrown out, but nobody really knows what we’re going to do,” said Mohammad Mostafavinassab, the park’s manager. Just fixing the remaining water-intrusion problems and making the building capable of withstanding an earthquake would cost $58 million.
Because additional changes would cost millions more, and because that type of money no longer is floating around state coffers, it’s likely that the seminary building is going to remain pretty much what it is today: a magnificent edifice on the outside, a magnificent mess within.
Rich sense of a history
Bishops and priests. The Trapp Family Singers. TV and movie actors. A family of snowy owls. And dozens of Catholic Church dignitaries and state politicians — they’ve all passed through, or lived in, the building where Mostafavinassab and his wife now rear their three children.
He and two other park employees live in apartments carved out of the building, which educated young boys for the priesthood from 1931 until the late 1970s, when the Catholic Church sold the 316-acre property to the state for a park. Living here is a peculiar perk: On rainy days, Mostafavinassab’s children can ride bicycles around the empty library on the second floor. And who wouldn’t want to tell their friends they live in a 90,000-square-foot mansion on Lake Washington, complete with a swimming pool?
But there are plenty of downsides, too. Among them: You can’t hang a picture. The reinforced concrete walls won’t take a nail, and tape sticks for only a few months before it peels off.
Mostafavinassab, who has lived at St. Edward for six years and enjoys taking guests on tours through the building, is a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge about the building’s history.
It was designed by noted Seattle architect John Graham Sr., who also designed numerous downtown Seattle landmarks, such as the Frederick & Nelson building. The seminary was built almost entirely of reinforced concrete; the brick is only a facade. After ground was broken in 1931, it took laborers a mere six months to build the outside and two months to finish the inside.
The building sometimes still surprises Mostafavinassab.
One day in the science lab, he turned over a piece of wood used as a pullout writing surface. It was covered in graffiti, the bored musings of long-ago seminary students.
Another time, he was leading a tour that included Gov. Chris Gregoire’s husband, Mike, through the building. He was recounting a story he’d heard of how the boys sometimes hid forbidden magazines in their closet drawers. To demonstrate, he pulled out a drawer and flipped it over. To his horror, a dusty pinup magazine from the 1960s was lying in the hiding place.
As a movie set, the building makes a fantastic backdrop. A few scenes from the TV show “Northern Exposure” were filmed here, and St. Edward’s other credits include “Singles,” “Chocolate Wars,” “Alone” and “Butterfly Dreaming,” Mostafavinassab says. Fake blood is still splattered on some of the floors.
What’s that ooze?
An oily substance oozes from walls in the priests’ apartments. Park staff members took samples for testing. The substance was nicotine. The priests, it turns out, were heavy smokers.
The parquet floors in those rooms are peeled and cracked, but the mahogany doors throughout still give off a rich glow. Two-inch-thick marble, believed to be from a quarry in Alaska, divides the bathroom stalls. The chalkboards are made of solid slate. But the building is largely devoid of decoration, perhaps befitting the monastic, somewhat austere lifestyle lived by the young priests-in-training.
“It was a very regimented life of prayer, study and recreation,” said Father Paul Magnano, vicar for the clergy for the Archdiocese of Seattle. Magnano, 67, went to school at St. Edward from 1960 to 1964. He also was the last priest to live in the building, in the late 1970s.
The food, cooked by French Canadian nuns who lived there, was “not good at all,” and the students had to observe what was called “grand silence” from 9 p.m. until early morning, the hours signaled by a bell system. “Your life, in a sense, was controlled by bells,” he said.
But Magnano has fond memories of his student days here, of the building and its lovely setting. He especially liked the hallway that led to the dining room; there, the boys lined up for prayer services, singing Gregorian chants in Latin under the archway while light streamed in through the wavy, leaded-glass windows. Seminary students who come back to visit St. Edward often speak warmly of their years here.
St. Edward Seminary opened in 1931, Jake attended from 1954 through 1958. It closed as a seminary in 1976 and became a state park in 1978. In 2006 it was designated a historical building, and today the deteriorating building is being developed as a boutique hotel. Over the last year, most internet references to the seminary institution have disappeared from the google site, and the previous references to St. Edward Seminary have morphed into references to St. Edward Park and the hotel.
St. Edward Seminary is more than a park and historical site to those of us who spent our formative years there. It was the home away from home, the extended family or Ohana that contributed significantly to who we are today. When I left the seminary as an eighteen-year-old, I never looked back or cared to, until I entered into my seventies. Not because of a lack of interest, but because my life was filled with today.
Left side of my room.
right side of my room.
Chapel facing the altar.
Main hallway. Classrooms on left.
The Refectory with raised platform for Professor’s table .
Sixty years after leaving St. Edward Seminary, Jake, the Prodigal Son returns.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously Monday to approve plans to restore the historic seminary building at Saint Edward State Park in Kenmore for use as a lodge-style hotel.
Commissioner Mark Brown of Lacey called the deal with Seattle developer Kevin Daniels “an outstanding proposal“ that will restore the badly deteriorated 1930s seminary building, a Romanesque Revival landmark that is on the National Register of Historic Places.
“I want to save the seminary building. It’s not just a building; it’s the heart of Saint Edward State Park,” Brown said.
5-15-17: Jake says:
Focus Dude. It’s not just a building, it’s not the heart of the park. It is a thankful monument to the hundreds of parish priests who spent their youth here learning to serve God as his priests. It is also the repository of treasured memories of those of us, whose lives were shaped by our short time spent in these hallowed halls.
3. INSPIRATION – HE’S ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU – 5-15-17 TO 12-31-17
St. Perigrine shrine at the Grotto in Portland Or.
Occasionally I attend the 6:30 am weekday Mass in the side chapel at St. Anthony’s. I don’t know why. I just do. It gives me a moment with the Holy Spirit before I take on a challenge that is taxing me. I did so this morning. The priest said something that got my attention during the homily. He said, “My mentor in the seminary told me that, ‘The day you become a priest, you will lose your faith.’ That disturbed me. I didn’t understand. It made no sense. As the priest continued, he alluded to the reality of his work as a parish priest, and how difficult it was to iterate Jesus’s words knowing the hypochraphsy, not only of the real world, but of those in his parish.. You are alone and so few seem to be listening or caring, but you continue on, because that is what you promised God you would do. Think about it!
St. Perigrine shrine at the Grotto in Portland Or.
There’s a proverb in the Talmud that says, “every child is sent into the world by God with a message to deliver. The message may be a poem the child writes, a portrait the child paints or a structure the child builds. But every child has a message to deliver.”
8-8-17: Jake was cured of liver cancer this day. St. Pergrin lead the many prayer teams for the success or this modern medical procedure.
5-15-17: I read Dennis Muth’s book, ‘Mother Mary Comes To me’ It’s well written and a worthy read for those who want to figure out the path to Heaven and want to know more about the Blessed Mother both at Fatima and Medjugorje.
to contact Dennis: MotherMaryComes@gmail.com
April 15, 2017: Eater Saturday we welcome a newcomer to the faith with the sacrament of Baptism.
February 2017: God took my little Portuguese friend and jokester, Rodney. Keep em laughing up there, my friend! Kailua beachpark will miss you.
4. WHAT FUN – HOW I WROTE MY FIRST BOOK – 5-15-17 TO PRESENT:
It has been a rewarding week for me as the first time author and the author or Jake – The Prodigal Son. I have received a couple dozen comments and reviews about the book. They were all favorable, no negatives. the most often comments include: I can’t put it down, it flows so well, I can pick it up at any point and it reads well, it made me laugh, cry, get angry and examine my very soul. Jake’s story is truly inspirational.
Quote: This is the first book I have read in 15 years. I’m halfway through it and I can’t put it down.
JAKE – THE PRODIGAL SON has been out for two-week. we have sold a lot of books to family, friends and acquaintances. It’s been fun and rewarding!
Now my publisher, BookLocker.com, is coaching me to kick it up a notch and get some national attention for the book. The first step was to clean up my two web pages which I have done.
jakewinstonauthor.com is the author’s general web page including a weekly blog. It is up and running.
jake-theprodigalson.com is dedicated to the book, JAKE – THE PRODIGAL SON.
Both of these we pages are all over the net.
Banes and Noble has been spotting ads on Oprah.com, the LA Times, YouTube and elsewhere.
Los Angeles Times
I”ll keep you posted on my progress.
Episode 1: The Summer of 2015:
On a very long airplane flight from Honolulu to London, I decided to write a book. Hey, I was a pretty good storyteller, and I had a million stories. It can’t be that hard to do, and I was sure it couldn’t take more than a few weeks of late nights and weekends. I’m on it. I finished my lunch and started typing on my Apple laptop. I started a story about an adventure at sea. After a dozen or so pages, I set it aside. It wasn’t what I wanted for my first effort. I then started a tell-all story about the big time construction business. That was too heavy, and I’m not a whistleblower, I discarded that concept, and ordered a chocolate sundae high above the Pacific Ocean for desert. You could do that in first class.
This wasn’t going well. I needed to focus on something I was passionate about, something that would hold my interest start to finish as I wrote. Thirty minutes later, I got it. I would write a story about a slice of my life. I mean what could be more interesting to me, than me? I didn’t know where to start the story? I could start as a child, a young man, a dynamic world-class builder or as an old duffer sitting on the beach in Waikiki, sipping a Mai Tai and reliving my triumphs. My story must, at a minimum, portray me, as the protagonist, battling insurmountable odds and devilish villains to achieve my goal. There must be adventure, danger, love, humor, challenges and clever solutions. Maybe food and drink could be a minor, but common element to the story.
I decided my story would chronicle a thirteen-year-old kid’s ill-conceived plan to escape his abusive father by entering a Catholic Seminary, a boarding school for future priests. I had dozens of true stories and vignettes that met my criteria for a good read. This was going to be fun and a piece of cake. It might also touch on the spiritual, but I wasn’t sure yet. By the time I deplaned at the Heathrow Airport, I had a fifty page draft of my book, and I was pleased with myself.
Stay tuned for the next weekly installment.
6-11-17: EPISODE 2: What’s wrong with it, Elizabeth?
Returning to La Ville Luminie`re, (Paris) after a day on the beaches of Normandy. I made some anal changes to the book while I was in London. But, my reason for being there, including a side trip to Paris, and a day spent on the beaches of Normandy, swallowed me up. The book was all but forgotten. When I returned to Hawaii, I messed with the book off and on as time permitted, changing a word, a phrase, and a scene. However, I was the construction manager on a large power plant that was approaching completion, and I needed to pay attention to business. With that project up and running, the pressure was off. I had a new fire station under construction, but that was an easy one, and I had time for the book.
I took a deep breath and read my manuscript with a critical eye. My honest assessment was that it had the potential of being a good story. But it was flat, uninspiring and didn’t seem to have a point or a clear direction where it was going. The individual vignettes were funny and entertaining, but the dots didn’t connect, and the overall story sucked. I asked Elizabeth, my wife, to read it and give me her opinion. She got most of way through it and said, “Jake, this is awful. Don’t give up your day job for this.”
“What’s wrong with it?”
“There are a lot, I mean a lot, of grammar and spelling mistakes. You change tenses and go from the first person to the third person seemingly at will. Your formatting is messed up, your fonts are all over the place, and a lot of your paragraph breaks were in the wrong places. Sometimes you rambled, and sometimes you didn’t say enough, and occasionally you got preachy. There was too much about the rule breaking, hijinks, and juvenile shenanigans. There was not enough of what I was interested in hearing about. I wanted to know more about how you got there, your relationship with your father, what was life in a Seminary really like and the pomp and ceremony? I wanted to know more about your friends, key professors, the villain, and what was going through your mind during all this.”
“What was good about my book, if anything?”
“Your descriptions of the individual events and people were good, but a little sketchy. A few of them made me laugh, and at one point I started to cry. You know what? If you were telling me this story, I would have enjoyed it. Reading it, no! You are a gifted storyteller with an excellent memory for details and a wild imagination. If you could pair up with a real writer, the two of you could easily write a great book or series of books.”
“Thanks for your honesty. Maybe this isn’t such a great idea. I needed to think about it.
6-19-17 EPISODE 3: Do some research, Jake.
A stormy afternoon at Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Oahu, where Elizabeth and I are entering our editor’s corrections into our manuscript without distractions. This is the neighborhood in which James Michener wrote the novel Hawaii.
I am embarrassed by my naivety concerning the publishing process. I thought Jake The Prodigal Son would publish in July 2017. It’s my first published book and I just didn’t understand how it works. Now, I think I do. So here’s where we are at: We have completed 130 of 276 pages of final edits as of today. Doing the math, these edits will be done September 25th. Then we send the corrected manuscript to the publisher, they format it and check it, Then it goes to the printer. They print a ‘gallery copy’ for my approval and get it to me within 5 days. My best guess is September 29th to October 6th.
Once I approve it: a) The paperback version gets printed, filed. and electronically sent to Ingram, the big book wholesaler in England, who distributes it to bookstores all over the world, including BookLocker, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc., You can purchase paperback the first half of September. b) The e-Book version is made available for purchase on-line immediately after my approval. Say, September 31st.
The formatting is fix. Publisher says I have too many punctuation errors. An editor is making those corrections now. So more delays. But still, not bad for a contractor’s 1st book. Best guess is available September 30, 2017.
Jake has messed up the formatting. The publisher is making correction and Jake – The Prodigal Son has gone to the back of the line for publishing. Best guess is it will be available as a paperback or e-book about August 15, 2017.
Jake is reviewing the final draft and making some grammar corrections prior to the publisher sending it to the printer this coming week. The cover is done, approved and in the hands of the publisher. I’ll be working on the marketing stuff the publisher wants, next. Still looking at mid July availability.
9-7-17: ‘JAKE – THE PRODIGAL SON’ manuscript is in hands of the publisher. Waiting for cover changes. Best guess, book will be available about 7-15-17 at about $17.95 for a paperback. The E-book much less.
St. Edward Seminary.
I wasn’t feeling good about continuing the book, but I wasn’t a quitter. Elizabeth was right, I needed some help, but I wasn’t about to hire a ghostwriter, and I didn’t know any writers that could give me a hand. I bought some books on writing a novel and I googled the net for tips and ideas. I subscribed to a writer’s magazine and read it cover to cover every month. I googled the St. Edward Seminary web page. The essays, comments, photos, and lists of familiar classmates brought me back in time to those hallowed halls. I reread my brother’s book, which did well. I read a spiritual book, written by a friend, here in Hawaii, which was also doing well, and I found a book on the net about another kid’s journey through a ghastly Seminary in California. It was so similar in many ways to my journey but so very different at the same time. I was fascinated and read it three times. I still pick it up and read portions of it, occasionally.
By chance, a friend introduced me to a successful local writer, Henretta, at a breakfast celebration. We talked about writing and getting published. I told her about my book, and she encouraged me to keep writing. One evening in February 2016, Elizabeth hosted a dinner party for several old friends. When she mentioned I was writing a book, two of her guests, who were voracious readers, wanted to know all about it. I told them the book was about me as a teenager, it was a good story, but I was having trouble with grammar and I badly needed a coach, a reader, or an editor. They got excited, and wanted to read my first draft. They called me the next day and critiqued the draft, and offered to serve as my reader/editors for free if I intended to continue writing the book. I was warming up to the idea of finishing the book, but there was one more stone I needed to turn over before I made my decision. I contacted the author of the book about the California Seminary. I told him it took a lot of guts to write that book, and I admired him for both his courage and writing skills. We corresponded back and forth, discussing our Seminary experiences, writing and publishing. His parting words in regards to my book were “Get it out there, man!” His encouragement put me over the top. After all, he was an experienced journalist and had several well-received novels out there.
I decided that I was going to do this, come hell or high water. I would salvage the best of the many scenes and vignettes and abandon the rest of my dismal first effort. I was a lot more knowable and astute at this point, and I decided to start by developing an outline of the story I wanted to tell. This time it would have a captivating beginning and an interesting story line that would hold the reader’s attention and a feel-good conclusion.
7-6-17: Episode 4, Draft #2, Jake – The Seminarian
Turtle Bay at dawn
A consulting job for the Honolulu’s Rapid Rail System was keeping me busy, and I didn’t have a lot of time for writing. But I couldn’t get the story line out of my mind and kept toying with. Elizabeth noticed I was getting a little cranky and decided we both needed to get away for the long weekend and decompress.
We drove up to the North Shore on Friday afternoon and checked into the Turtle Bay Resort. Elizabeth set up at the pool overlooking the ocean with a good book and a bottle of sun tan lotion. I rented a long board from one of the beach boy and paddled out into the surf line and jockeyed with a dozen locals for a prime take off spot. I caught a dozen good waves and earned a little respect from the locals, who grudgingly accepted me as an old guy who had earned his stripes.
The next morning Elizabeth and I enjoyed an eighty-dollar brunch of mimosas, waffles, ham and eggs, lox and bagels, and coffee. After which, I burped, dusted myself off, grabbed my laptop and found a spot in the shade by the pool where I took a deep breath and began anew. I reviewed a couple of earlier half-hearted attempts at outlining my story and my London draft and came up with a cohesive beginning and middle and ending to the story. With this roadmap in place, I plunged into my second draft. The story would now open with a determined thirteen-year-old, Jake Winston, manipulating his abusive father into sending him away to a Catholic Seminary, a boarding school for future priests. Although he had no intention of becoming a priest, this was his only viable option to escape the abuse at home. The middle of the story would basically be an expos`e of life in a Seminary through the eyes of a rambunctious teenager There would be some adventure, lots of hijinks, disobedience, sophomoric pranks and lots of laughs. Moments of solemnity, pomp and ceremony and spirituality would dance though the story. There would be comrades, villains, challenges and solutions, fear and joy as Jake pursued his childhood dream of becoming a world-class builder. The story would conclude with Jake’s entry into the world of big time construction. This new and expanded story line got me excited. Now I had a bigger stage, and an opportunity to develop a deeper story line. All in all, it would be a lighthearted fast moving read. I was thinking a slim book; maybe a hundred pages, thirty or forty thousand words would be appropriate. I named the draft, ”Jake, The Seminarian.”
Although I was making some progress with the story line, I was embarrassed by my lack of understanding and interest in the basic elements of grammar and punctuation, but it was evident I needed to master it to pursue my writing adventure. I got on the net and tried to learn the basics, but I really didn’t get it and I abandoned that pain in the ass. My fall back was my amateur crew of reader/editors. I relied on them to catch the mistakes and clumsy sentences that Word’s spellcheck and I missed. I knew this wasn’t going to get it long term, so I bought some software, Scrivener and Grammarly, which claimed to do this for me. Those programs were a huge help, but they missed a lot of comma errors. As a contractor, my computer skills, Word and Excel basic features, were adequate, but tools, formatting, tabs and features like that were totally foreign to me. When I learned to format a page, and manipulate the pesky tabs, I was actually please with myself.
7-9-17: EPISODE 5: What’s the story about, Jake?
Kailua Beach, my place to think.
I kept after it and by the June of 2016, I had a hundred-fifty page manuscript that chronicled Jake’s twelve-year struggle to enter the world of big-time construction. But there was something missing, no, there was a lot missing. When people asked me, “What’s the book about?” I would hem and haw, scratch my head and admit, “I don’t know, or it’s about me, I’m Jake.” When prompted to dig a little deeper, I would respond, “It’s about a kid’s struggle to get into college, and subsequently achieve his childhood dream of becoming a big time builder.” When my reader/editors pressed me to explain what the book was about, they wouldn’t accept those lame explanations. They goaded me to accept the fact that my story was much more complex than a kid seeking his dream job. In fact, it was probably six stories, five of which were already in the can, and the sixth was yet to be written. The first five stories took the reader through Jake’s love-hate relationship with his Father, and his coming of age and struggle to communicate with God in a Catholic Seminary. A poignant love story, parallels Jake’s search for his dream job and concludes the story. My reader/editors further argued that Jake’s real, but latent, goal in life transcended his desire to become a renowned builder, and was somehow spiritual in nature. God’s subtle presence in nearly every chapter of the book subtlety pointed to something more. There had to be more. Jake’s adventure didn’t end with a construction job.
I did not want to acknowledge that. This was not a religious or spiritual story, perhaps it’s a little bit inspirational, but, no, it’s not about Jake seeking God. No way! I told them “this book is about Jake Winston’s struggle to enter the rough and tumble world of big-time construction, period! It stops right there. Don’t try to make it something that’s it’s not. It’s my book, damn it!
I’m old, but I’m not stupid. I took the weekend to think about the comments of my trusted crew, and I rode my bike down to the Kailua Beach Park, my refuge for deep thinking. I bought a turkey sandwich from the Kalapawai Market and scored a prime spot on a log forty-feet from the water’s edge, on the busy section of beach reserved for the wind surfers. I could see southeast from Flat Island to the Mok’s, northeast past President Obama’s Ohana to Marine Corps Base Kaneohe, and due east to the curvature of the earth. My friend John, an eighty-year-old who was walking his dog, approached me and asked if I had heard about our buddy Rodney passing away? John sat down and pulled a pint of Jack Daniels out of his pocket and we shared a nip or two as we told funny stories about our dear, dead brother, who had been my friend for the last seventeen years. Rodney looked and acted like he was homeless, and he collected cans and bottles for the deposit refund. However, he had a nice home a couple of blocks off the beach and plenty of money. He was the local bookie and the homeless look was a ruse to keep the cops off guard. I asked, ”Do you think Rodney was religious, we never talked about it?”
“I don’t know, but if he’s up in Heaven, I bet that little portagee has em laughing in the aisles! we gotta go, See yah latter, Jake”
As I watched them stroll down the beach, I considered my own mortality and my very private sense of spirituality. It was then that I realized my readers were right, as usual, and I needed to take the book to the next level, How Jake’s carefully camouflaged real goal in life played out.
7-16-17: EPISODE 6: The story ends.
We rented a boat here, and went crabbing in Waldport, Oregon.
I decided to get away and do something fun to clear my head and come up with yet, one more story to bring a dynamite ending to my book. Elizabeth and I flew to Portland, Oregon, and connected with our son and his family. We all drove down to the little sea-side town of Waldport, and went crabbing on the Elyse river, and trout fishing nearby. I’d been doing that for the last thirty years, and that did the trick. I chilled out for two week, and when I returned to Hawaii, I settled down and finished the book. I’m not going to tell you how it ends. I’m just going to tell you that it will blow you away.
The book was done, and I was proud of my accomplishment. I had a nearly, four hundred-page book, which took me two years to write, and I was ready to go to print. As I was struggling with how to publish, an odd thing happened. Elizabeth’s cousin, Thelma Rose from Vancouver Island, called. She was in town and wanted to have lunch with us. I wasn’t real interested because I had never met her, but I agreed to come along anyway. We had a nice lunch on the beach at the exclusive Kahala Manderin. Halfway through our meal, I learned that she was a well-known Canadian journalist and had written a book or two. That got my attention and we talked about writing, books, publishing and how to tell a story for three hours. She taught me that the real story was not in the telling of the what happened to the protaganist, but what went on in his mind as these events unfolded. She also put me onto a small publishing house that she had used successfully several times. I understood what she had to say, and I was grateful for her advice. I spent the next month revising my manuscript. When I finished the revisions, I sent it to Thelma Rose’s publisher. I was surprised when they notified me a few days later that that they had reviewed my book and they wanted to publish it. The next day we executed a publishing contract. That’s pretty much how Jake – The Prodigal Son came to be.
*** The End ***
BOATS & THE SEA – TALK TO ME – 5-15-17 TO PRESENT:
1-17-18 PART 1:
Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge, Island. A favorite destination in the ’80’s. Seattle in distant.
Boats and the sea are embedded in Jake Winston’s genes. He first stepped aboard a vessel in 1946, right after WW II when pleasure boating was for the affluent. The pristine bays and harbors were mostly deserted even in the summers. There were few docks, moorages, or fueling stations. The rich and famous rendezvoused and partied in places like Roche Harbor, Rosario, or Deer Harbor in the San Juan Islands in their expensive wooden and steel hulled yachts.
Yachts tied up side by side to a log boom before there was a dock and mooring buoys at Roche Harbor. If a boat left, the vessels on either side had to re-secure their lines.
The 1920’s 110-foot Olympus wood yacht. The 36 foot Frisky II, a 1950’s wood boat.
A 1950’s Chris Craft Commander.
The mid-fifties and sixties saw the decline of those old wooden boats like the Olympus and the rise of a short-lived era of modern, wide beam, fast wood boats. Chris Craft led the way with its forty-five-foot Commander. There were other boat builders like Higgins Industries, the manufacturer of WW II PT boats, who built two smaller versions of their wooden PT boat for Edgar Kaiser and Doc Winston. These were unique fast cruisers with three big Chrysler engines.
When Uniflite and Bayliner introduced mass-produced fiberglass boats to the Northwest, they were a hit. First came the small runabouts, followed by mid-sized cruisers. They were inexpensive, sleek, and required much less maintenance. boats up to 32 feet were trailerable. That was huge. You can take them anywhere an launch in a boat ramp. There was no expensive moorage costs and annual unpleasant hull scraping and repainting. It wasn’t long before having a boat was nearly as common as owning a second car. The marine service sector expanded rapidly, and the post-war boating families crowded into the formerly pristine Island destinations. The old-guard yachting crowd gravitated to the Canadian San Juan’s to escape the influx of the inexperienced new boaters.
Part 2 will be published on 1-25-18. Stay tuned!
1-10-18: San Francisco
Jake passes under the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time.
Captain Jake Winston and grandson Deep Sea Fishing in Hawaii off the coast of Waianae.
Captain Jake enjoying a day in the ocean November 2017.
Captain Jake enjoying a day in the ocean November 2017.
Gigg Harbor, Washington 1960’s
Pleasure trawler entering Gigg Harbor for lunch. August 14, 2017
Gigg Harbor’s famous boating stop for lunch, The TIDES TAVERN. You can eat in the tavern inside or on the deck, or the waiters take your order and serve you aboard your boat.
5-15-17: After a nice lunch at the Gig Harbor Pub, we are headed for the the annual family get together and crabfeed on the beach.
SHARE CONSTRUCTION STORIES WITH ME – 5-15-17 TO 12-31-17