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Pair looks for others to share Smilin’ Dog memories

Six-year-old Adrian Martin places flowers on the Smilin’ Dog truck parked on Third Street in Langley. Adrian was quite a regular at the Smilin’ Dog.  - Photo courtesy of Petra Martin
Six-year-old Adrian Martin places flowers on the Smilin’ Dog truck parked on Third Street in Langley. Adrian was quite a regular at the Smilin’ Dog.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Petra Martin

The South End is still buzzing over the sudden closing of the beloved Smilin’ Dog coffee house a week ago.

Some people in Langley have begun decorating the classic Smilin’ Dog truck with flowers to express their gratitude for Marty Fernandez and Peg Moe, who ran the cafe for five years.

Others have been talking about the closure on the street and on the Internet, calling for a boycott of the replacement cafe or vowing to march on Goosefoot Community Fund headquarters, which was the Smilin’ Dog’s landlord until failed lease negotiations led to the closing.

Some just want to vent their anger and sadness over the loss of the popular hang-out. But one local resident is looking for a more positive finish.

“It is time to channel our grief and frustration in positive ways,” Petra Martin said.

Together with Kathleen Rauch, Martin has come up with an idea that will give the community a chance to express its love and appreciation for Marty and Peg.

The women plan to collect stories and images from and about the Smilin’ Dog. Then Martin will turn these memories into a book for the former owners.

“For many of us, the Smilin’ Dog was a second home and losing it makes us feel homeless. But beyond that, Marty and Peggy have become part of our extended family — and when they hurt, we all do,” Martin said.

“I’ve felt helpless and have wanted to do something this past week,” she said. “Then I realized that creating a book of memories that celebrates the Smilin’ Dog and the role that it and Marty and Peg played in our community will help us all heal.”

Martin and Rauch call for contributions from the community in the form of writings, photos, drawings and event posters.

They are asking the community to recall their favorite Smilin’ Dog rituals and traditions, special moments, and any memories about working, eating and gathering there.

“We need poems and short stories revolving around or set in the Smilin’ Dog,” Martin said.

They are also looking for illustrations in the form of drawings, paintings and photographs. Submissions from children would be wonderful, Martin said.

From collectors, Martin and Rauch need Smilin’ Dog event posters, newspaper clippings, table tents, and any other items you may have held on to over the years.

“We will turn all these things into a book, and then present it to Marty and Peg,” she said.

The new tenants for the cafe space at the Bayview Cash Store are Tamar and Gene Felton, the owners of the Star Store

in Langley.

Their cafe will be called the 3CATS CAFÉ, Tamar Felton said. The couple plans to carry on the informal, comfortable café tradition established by the Smilin’ Dog, and the cafe will serve breakfast, lunch and specialty coffee once it opens.

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