BETWEEN CLASSES: We’ll miss our island’s special gems

Growing up on Whidbey has shaped us “island kids” in inescapable ways.

Growing up on Whidbey has shaped us “island kids” in inescapable ways.

As graduating seniors, we have come to realize how distinctive our island-upbringing truly was. We’ve asked our fellow seniors what they’ll miss about Whidbey next year, which special places and memories they won’t want to forget.

When we were younger, the wooden castle at the playground and the park was Heaven on Earth. The playground is the most elaborate jungle gym we’re ever likely to experience.

Some of us still wander back there every now and then, in awe. Hundreds of signatures around the covered tire-swing attest to the epic status the castle holds in the minds of island kids everywhere.

We’ve heard frightening rumors that the mighty wooden structure might be torn down for a shiny, new, plastic apparatus. We are unsure how any pile of plastic tubing could be an improvement to the tree-born majesty that is Castle Park.

Much of the summer of a typical islander takes place at the beach. Whether we’re scaling Double Bluff or leaping over gooey duck holes, we spend a lot of time in the sand and sunshine.

We trudge home exhausted and triumphant at the end of a summer day smelling of sea salt, sand between our toes, our ages forgotten. Not many American teenagers have that experience regularly. We know we’re lucky.

We would also like to personally thank Deception Pass for being the awe-inspiring natural beauty it is. The park at the pass is one of the most extraordinary sights viewable by man and it almost makes the drive through Oak Harbor worth it. Plus, you can stop at these writers’ favorite Mexican restaurant on the island, Mi Pueblo, while you’re up there.

And for those of us who like running around in the dark, Fort Casey is a gem.

The mysterious, abandoned fort is also an ideal setting for the kind of kite flying and picnics in sun-strewn grass that could knock off Robert Frost’s socks.

Many island teenagers will complain about having to take a ferry and drive for at least half an hour to reach downtown Seattle. But, we also know ferry rides are a unique, regularly gorgeous experience we islanders share.

The people who have had the misfortune of being landlocked all their life, having never taken a ferry ride, should cry for all the windy fun they’re missing. To quote The Little Mermaid, “Oh, the landlubbers lie down below.”

We also spend a lot of time in Langley, which is, as every islander between the ages of 13 and 18 knows, the place to be. There, we can catch movies at the ancient Clyde Theatre, endearingly long after they’re released, for next to nothing. Good Cheer, the Moonraker and Joe’s Music have always been there for us. We now also have two unique coffee houses and Living Green, where a good many of us spend much of our time these days.

And if all the gorgeous serenity surrounding us ever begins to bore, we have the Island County Fair and Choochokam to look forward to every summer. We’ll miss you Whidbey Island.

This is our last article for the Record, because school will be out next week. We want to thank anyone who reads this. We appreciate everyone who has taken the time to respond to our remarks. Have a great summer!

More in Opinion

Letter: Life isn’t free; it’s time for community to teach that

Editor, Suppose your car was giving you trouble. You put it in… Continue reading

Commissioners were right to join opioid lawsuit

Pharmaceutical companies continue to make astonishing amounts of money selling pills that… Continue reading

Letter: Quoting Scripture proves nothing about immigration

Editor, Re: Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions quoting the Bible to support separating… Continue reading

Sound Off: Proposed Island Transit fares don’t add up

As a local leader, I work to improve regional mobility in support… Continue reading

Letter: Clinton beach AccessMats make beach accessible for everyone

Editor, Now that the winter weather is past, Island Beach Access has… Continue reading

County planning commission’s remarks were shameful

Homeless people like to live in the woods and should just stay… Continue reading

Letter: Trump’s immigration policy violates human rights

Editor, Trump’s new immigration policy is even worse than previously thought. Since… Continue reading

Letter: Island Transit fares should do no harm, minimize impact

Editor, Tom Walker, in a letter to the editor in the June… Continue reading

Chief Marks can no longer lead the department

Langley Police Chief David Marks has lost the ability to effectively lead… Continue reading

Letter: America should treat immigrants and children humanely

Editor, Trump’s immigration policy is treating it as a criminal problem in… Continue reading

Letter: Rather than berate newspaper staff, why not educate others?

Editor, In reply to Captn Blynd: I was never even aware of… Continue reading

Road will keep island traversable if highway is blocked

Island County commissioners’ decision to spend $4 million to build a short… Continue reading