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Dick & Margot's 50th Anniversary

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Dick & Margot's 50th Anniversary - Page Text Content

FC: Dick & Margot January 26, 1963


2: BEST MAN In the beginning...It was a dark and stormy night and I was huddled around my desk lamp in my dorm room at Oregon State, trying to understand the mysteries of Chemistry 202. I was having very little success because I had not yet understood the mysteries of Chem 201. My daze was interrupted with a shout from down the hall that I had a phone call. Back in the old days there were no cell phones and no phones in the dorm rooms. There was just one phone at the end of the hall. I think I had received two other phone calls in the five months I had been at OSU, so I was somewhat curious as to who would be calling me. It was my brother Dick! Little did I know that this would be the first phone call out of four or five that I would receive from my brother in the next 50 years. It seems that he was planning to get married and he wondered if I could come to Victoria and assist in the process. Could I come? Absolutely! You don't turn down a request from a big brother and it gave me a chance to escape chemistry for a weekend. I took the bus from Corvallis to SeaTac and then flew to Victoria. Margot's father and Dick met the plane and we drove to her fathers beautiful home somewhere in the country. I don't remember much about getting ready for the wedding. It was 50 years ago you know. The church was small and old and in a picturesque setting. Again I don't remember much about the ceremony, but I must have done my part right, because Dick and Margot are still married. What I do remember is after Dick and Margot left we went back to Margot's fathers home and had a great party. There were a lot of old people there. You know people in their 60's and 70's. We sang songs, many that I knew from home, and told stories. One woman in her 80's told me that her wedding ring had not been off her finger since her husband put it on during their wedding. I remember wondering why these people were being so nice to me and treating me as if I was some one special. I had a wonderful time and I do remember thinking that this was the kind of wedding I wanted if I ever got married. - Mark

6: OLD FRIENDS During WW2, a family named Miller from Ketchikan Alaska moved into a home across South 148th Street from my family home in south Seattle. Dad, mom, and three young boys had come south so dad could participate in the war effort. I think it was 1943 or 1944. Dick and I met soon after, became friends, and fought many pretend battles until the enemy was defeated. In 1946, my family moved to Granite Falls, and Dick’s family moved back to Ketchikan. End of story, right? By 1962, I was studying at Western Washington University in Bellingham. I had been introduced to a young lady named Carolyn Gjovaag and was quite smitten. Carolyn lived with two other girls off campus, Margot MacKenzie and Elizabeth Martindale. One evening while I was visiting, Margot’s boyfriend arrived. Another smittee. It did not take long to figure out that we knew each other, although we had lost touch. Before long, both couples were married, and moved along. We have kept in touch ever since that evening in the girls’ apartment. Dick and Margot’s friendship is very dear to Carolyn and me. We love them, admire them, and congratulate them on their fiftieth anniversary. - Bill Davisson

8: COURTING THE PRINCESS Once many years ago, probably about 1958, there were two brothers who were painting the family castle. The older brother thought that this task should take precedence over all other activities and proceeded to insist on work, work, work. The younger brother was courting a princess of the realm and thought he should have time off from painting to pursue this noble task. Of course a major argument took place and harsh words were spoken. The younger brother then quit painting and went to change into courting clothes. The older brother, much dismayed at this display of gross insubordination, went to the stables and stole the harness for the family steed and carriage to keep the younger brother from being able to go courting. The younger brother was very unhappy at this turn of events. But then with a flash of his famous inspiration, he hopped into the carriage without the horse and let it carry him downhill, almost all the way to the princess’ castle, and proceeded with his courting. His courting was so successful that he married the princess and they lived happily ever after – for at least 50 years. The older brother, at seeing the happiness of his younger brother and the princess was very sad about his poor behavior and vowed never to stand in the way of true love ever again – and he didn't. The end. - Jim

10: THE ARTEAGAS For more than 40 years the Millers have been more like family than friends. Charlie taught with Margot and got to know her at school. I met them both at the crab feed put on by the high school faculty. That very first meeting we just hit it off. Soon after at the infamous "Mexican Potlatch" party, Dick and I became "blood brothers" or maybe "blood families" if you will. When opening a can at a party I somehow cut his hand and we have been relatives every since. One special memory is an extended camping trip at Stack Island where we made sand candles with Margot and the girls and Dick acted as our grocer, bringing back supplies when he joined us after work. Best wishes to Dick and Margot, “The Millers." Funny thing, we rarely think in terms of Margot, or Dick. For 45 years it has been, “The Millers,” a testament to the fact that they have been, with or without their girls, a close knit, loving couple and family. We honor their 50-year partnership. Together we have had many laughs, a few cries, but all in all a great friendship and many wonderful times. Be it camping, boating, travel or wonderful meals, our time together has been memorable, enjoyable and always fun. - Charlie & Judy

11: THE PACKARDS There are a million memories, so I will just list a few: There were some great parties surrounding the making of a piñata for the legendary Mexican Potlatch party. I think there were at least three parties with the Arteagas, Millers and the Packards just to make a piñata that seemed nearly impossible to break. A New Years Eve party with Dick on the front steps playing the trumpet for the neighborhood. Camping out and making sand candles on Stack Island. The Millers and the Packards were partners in a 24-foot Reinell inboard/outboard. One perfect sunny day Dick Miller, Charlie Arteaga, Willard Jones and Bob Packard all took a personal leave day. There were minus tides and on the back side of Gravina where we gathered abalone. We caught a nice halibut and later in the afternoon a king salmon. We found some rock scallops and perhaps we dug some clams. That gorgeous day is as vivid in my memory as the day it happened. Congratulations Dick and Margot! - with love, Bob and Karen

14: MEMORIES & ANNIVERSARY WISHES I have so many fond memories of cruising the seven seas with Dick and imbibing a little bit of brandy en route! I also have great memories of the wonderful meals Dick and Margot cooked for me while I was still in Ketchikan. I would have starved without them! A person couldn't HAVE better friends! - Ol' Arn, aka Arne Iversen Our favorite memory of Margot and Dick: On our first cruise to Alaska the first stop was Ketchikan. Margot and Dick met us at the dock. We began a hurried (cruise ship schedule), but lovely day with them serving as our tour guides, with a stop at their home for a delicious lunch, and a parting gift of Japanese floats to take home. What a beautiful day! - Bev & Don Noyes Strangely, but factually, the one thing that comes to my mind every time we have Tacos is that we make them the way Margot taught us when we are at Carolyn and Bill's and Margot and Dick were in Monroe for a visit probably 20 years ago or more. We use Lawry's Taco mix (they still have it available) to cook the ground beef in following the package directions. Then pour red wine vinegar over the chopped onions. The rest is simple: chopped lettuce, grated cheddar cheese, and tomatoes. Either serve in a taco shell or as a salad with chips broken over it. We have these at least twice a month and I ALWAYS think of when the 6 of us were together that one time. - Charles & Elizabeth Martindale

15: The Early Painting Years | The Tugboat Years | The TeachingYears | The Marina Years

17: TRUST ME If you know my brother Dick, you know that he would rather tell you a made up story than the truth any day. You have to be particularly aware when somewhere in the story comes the phrase, “Trust me.” A perfect example of this occurred at the marina. Dick had just acquired a newly caught salmon using the “Dick Miller Patented Fish Gathering Technique.” This technique consists of watching the fish cleaning station for a fisherman who has caught a lot of salmon. Dick waits until the fish are all cleaned and then goes down to chat. The fisherman with all the fish is wondering what he is going to do with all this salmon and usually offers one to Dick. Dick looks them over and picks the one he wants and takes it up to the marina office. I was standing there with Dick and the fish when a local boat operator came by. He asked Dick if he had caught the fish and Dick said yes. Then Dick went into this long story of where he caught the fish and what time of day and what lure, etc. The friend looked doubtful and Dick of course said, “Trust me.” The friend, knowing Dick, said “Naaw,” and walked away. So Dick has learned over the years that it is getting harder and harder to fool the regulars. He has compensated by improving his technique and mastering the innocent look. It has become so hard to know if he is telling the truth or not that most of his family and friends, just to be on the safe side, don’t believe anything he says. - Jim

18: First Christmases – each of you tiny eyeing the tree with lights we hoped you would love both of you dear, so small those first years (how little we knew) but Snow – we knew snow – we had some, and we held you up to the window to watch – “Oooooooooooooo,” you sighed Snowmen – the squeaky crunch of “great snow” that we rolled and packed to icy white rounds, patting them smoothly fashioning bottom and middle and, finally, a head sculpting the eyes with black rock, nose with orange carrot, and thick neck with plaid And Angels – a virgin white yard sifting snow down your necks – the backyard with wings and snowclumps clinging to mittens and sleeves and teeny boot imprints your shivering protests as we promised cocoa and marshmallows and later a bath (oh, those cute bodies we’ll never forget – tiny limbs chilly but silky to touch – cold, mottled cold, needing warming and drying and snuggling in towels) Ice on the pond – that ride out to check and rummaging through to find skates that would fit (oooo – black wouldn’t do!) | And sometime – the beginning or middle of winter, depending on weather, the Gathering of Greens – and most important – The Tree and later the lights and both of you searching through tissue-wrapped “specials,” smoothing the icicles to dainty each tip eyeing our angel to see she stood straight Much later you grew to your own Celebrations – striving and attaining the love of that season how proudly we’ve watched while you’ve built traditions choosing and melding until you’ve come to your own We grant you grace to do what you want – popcorn and milkshakes or other forbiddens And always we wish that Peace may prevail – that you seldom worry “what Mom & Dad think” and always you love as we have loved you Merry Christmas! Love, Mom & Dad | CHRISTMASES

20: PEEKING Under the hall light I peeked I was supposed to be long asleep but you were dancing Once I crept down the hall and you were kissing on the couch Mom winked and waved I tip-toed back to bed Wind pounded rain on my bedroom window And I lay awake knowing soundly and steadily the love of you two - Love Jennifer

22: KNUDSON COVE We first met Dick Miller in the parking lot of Knudson Cove Marina 13 years ago when we brought our 5th wheel trailer to Ketchikan and asked him if we could leave it there for a "short time" while we fished in Alaska that summer. Though he cast a somewhat wary eye our way, advised us the marina did not have positive past experiences with RV'ers, emphasized he would need to talk to his partners who would probably deny our request, and told us to check back with him the next day, we knew immediately that this would be a great spot to call home and felt an immediate connection with the marina and its owner. Karen walked away from that first meeting feeling confident this would be our new home in Ketchikan and sensing another side to this soft spoken man in coveralls with an easy smile and a warm twinkle in his eyes. Needless to say, Knudson Cove has been our Alaskan summer home ever since that first meeting and over time we have made many friends there. Through the years we have gotten to know Dick and Margot and their family members and soon realized they are a remarkable couple. Our home in Anacortes has been enriched with Dick's beautiful paintings. Tate has helped Dick a little on some marina projects where Dick had diplomatically instructed Tate about the way things are done in Alaska. Though Tate would push to do something his way, Dick reminded him on several occasions "that's not the way we do it in Alaska." It took several years for Tate to accept there is an "Alaskan way" of doing things, and with Dick's subtle (sometimes not too subtle) coaching, he has finally agreed that his coach was right - there truly is an Alaskan Way. A good lesson to learn. Margot is remarkable. She has always welcomed us warmly to her home and prepared terrific meals for us. She introduced us to St. Johns and we've admired the work she continues to provide there. Margot has taught us how to bring the sunshine of life to even the most difficult situations. She is always ready with stories, ranging from local characters to the history of the town that she loves so much. Over the years, we've spent many evenings with the Millers discussing everything from current events and politics to the merits of electric reels for halibut fishing. We cherish those evenings. We wish we could be there with you today to celebrate your 50 years together. We look forward to toasting you when we return to Ketchikan this summer. Happy Anniversary! - Love, Karen and Tate

23: THANK YOU I want to thank both Grandma and Grandpa for the time they have spent with me and the things I have picked up along the way. I've not only learned the seriousness of a good cribbage match but that a little compassion can go a long way. I've learned the art of storytelling, and that you never know when a punch line is about to arise from one of grandpa's "completely true" stories. I have also learned that no one will ever top Grandma Margot's shortbread, no matter how hard they try. When I think of my grandma and grandpa I think about chilly days bobbing up and down in a Lund skiff, waiting for the tug of a salmon. Or one of the many days spent in the toasty cabin of Helm Bay listening to the fire crackle, or outside the cabin mindlessly shooting pop cans from the porch. One of the first memories I have in Ketchikan is looking out of their living room window on a stormy day and watching the tugboats inch their way across the channel. The first time I fished, crabbed, played cribbage, shot a gun or saw a grizzly all took place in Alaska, thanks to grandma and grandpa, along with an infinite number of other firsts. And although there is a long list of memories shared, the things that stand out to me the most are their unique personalities and their wise insight on the world. I appreciate everything they have taught me and I am looking forward to the memories to come. I love you both - Mackenzie

24: When I think of Gramma & Grampa I think of warm cozy days at Helm Bay. I think of fishing and learning how to shoot a bb gun. I think of Christmas carols and shortbread. I think of all the great memories we’ve shared. Happy 50th! I love you. - Sarah Jane | GRAMMA & GRAMPA

25: Gramma and Grampa, I love you both so much and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful memories we share and all of the fun times we’ve had... Waking up on a misty morning to head out to the Marina for a day of beaching The excitement of starting the list for Helm Bay Candy bars Jiffy Pop Romaine Steak Cribbage board Crab bait Duct tape... And then going to A&P to check everything off Waking up to the sound of ravens’ song and eating breakfast while Grampa works on the crossword and Gramma evaluates the weather—think it might clear up later Pulling on my xtra-tuffs and going for a walk up the Helm Bay creek And swimming when the tide is just right and the green water covers the sunbaked shale, heating the icy ocean just ever so slightly Casting off the beach into water so clear, you can see the trout swim up to your lure Afternoons spent playing cribbage and picking huckleberries in the backyard - enough for a pie? And what’s for dinner anyway? Grampa would like to know. Congratulations on 50 years of loving each other! - Love Maggie

26: Margot and Dick, Happy 50th Anniversary – and Happy Commemoration of that longer-ago time when you started dating. You two have always been there for us – no matter who “us” was. Erin and I arrived in a Grumman Goose when she and Jennifer were babies. We watched them as they sat in Jennifer’s crib – two adorable baby cousins playing “Pat a Cake.” Over the years, Margot and Erin both visited – remember their making fans the day of the first Moon Landing? Mom was astounded that the children were out playing in the yard on a sunny day when they could have been glued to the TV, watching the historic event. After Mom beckoned them in, the little girls gave the TV an obedient glance, then headed back into the yard, saying, “Okay – let’s go make fans!” You were there for Heather and her brood when they would fly in from Juneau or Anchorage – or Dubai. You, lovingly, provided a retirement home for Mom when the time came – and she would later say she had never felt so safe or cared-for as she felt in her years in the apartment. And you were always there for Carol. Then, when John and I were married, you welcomed our whole combined extended family! After John retired, didn’t the four of us have so much fun boating; gathering Huckleberry Bushes; “Mountain Pointing;” and just being together? Your 50-year marriage combined with your sweet house where you have lived “forever,” have made a warm second home for extended family, providing so many “forevers” for so many. Thank you for your long-lasting love – and for our memories which we hold so dear. - With love from Sheila and John

28: Happy Anniversary to both of you-- such a long time with so many memories. We wish we could be there to celebrate with you...it will be a great party. From those first days in Eugene when our children brought us together we have shared so many great times. Certainly, one of the times we remember so well and so happily was the first time all of us were together in Eugene when we all met including Louis and Marcella. What a fun day-- and as I recall many martinis were served. I will never forget our joy and anticipation waiting for Maggie's arrival...it was so special to share with you. And Margot, I love that you and I can both be so "objective" and in complete agreement concerning our amazing granddaughters. We could not have handpicked a more wonderful family to share our family with and it has been really special to have such great friends. We love you and are so thankful that our children were brilliant enough to bring us all together. - Much love, Linda and John Happy 50th Anniversary Dick & Margot! Thank you for making such an adorable curly-headed little girl, and helping to raise her into such an adorable curly-headed woman. Our little family would not be the same had it not grown out of your love and the wonderful family you made. Thank you for that, for endowing Annie with so many magical gifts that bless us every day, and for filling our lives with so much joy and happiness and special memories. - Love, David

29: LIKE A ROLLING STONE Hmmm, the task at hand is to write a short bit sharing my thoughts on Dick and Margot Miller. The difficulty is not in what to say, but in how to condense it to a paragraph or two... First let me thank you for the very reason you accelerated your wedding plans. If the two of you had never gotten together, my life would not be what it is. I’ll spare you the gushing about how much I admire, adore and cherish your daughter, but you cannot imagine how much happiness you have brought me. We all know one of the big things in life we cannot control is who our in-laws are. With the two of you I have hit the jackpot. I am so blessed to have you in my life. You are an inspiration to me (as you are for everyone who knows you) with your kindness, tolerance, love of family and, above all, your generosity. And if all of this business of being married for 50 years has you feeling old, just remember: the Rolling Stones just celebrated 50 years together as well. And you, like they, are still rockin’ it! Congratulations, - Mitch

30: HOME Cozy Sunday afternoons reading, flopped down by the crackling fire Mom at the table, grading papers Dad watching the game, the volume turned low A pot of beans simmering on the stove Planting moss baskets with Mom who explained “annual” & “perennial” and taught me the names of all the plants— (so exotic to me then) Lobelia Godetia Petunia and one of my favorites—Creeping Charlie Watching for what seemed like hours while Dad—like magic!— crafted watery landscapes with blobs of paint and pebbly paper and used a glass cutter to neatly snap off perfect strips of the panes he used to frame those scenes of home | Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding Shrimp & Caesar Salad Taco Night with the Madsens The Animal Game So many beautiful meals and occasionally, a glass of spilled milk Float plane trips to Ella Lake Days on the boat, fishing and beaching, Crabbing at Helm Bay and the miracle of enjoying that beautiful food together for the first time What sweetly, deeply, wonderfully Alaskan childhoods we had! Mom & Dad, you wove such cozy togetherness for Jennifer and me, bringing the best of your growing up years to ours. Thank you for loving each other and for making us the family that we are and will be for generations to come. Happy Anniversary. - Love, Annie

32: MOVIE STARS Oh, Dick and Margot! 50 years of being in love and BEING there for each other through stormy seas and calm. Congratulations on such a sweet milestone! I feel privileged to have been a part of your life for many of those years, as neighbor, babysitter, ironer (is that a word? My former English teacher would know), bread-baker and fishcake-maker, student, and later--friend. As a child I always thought of you as movie-star people because you seemed so cool and so elegant, so beautiful (Margot) and so handsome (Dick). I always loved how you played off one another. And Dick, you are so like my dad in many ways: that irreverent, sometimes dry sense of humor, getting such a kick out of yourSELF (especially after having had a few cocktails). After I grew up and left home, got married and had children of my own, a visit to Ketchikan was never complete without a visit to Dick and Margot. Ever the gracious host and hostess, they always make one feel at home and like they have nothing better to do than spend time with you. Thank you! | And once my mom was gone, it was such a comfort to me to know that you were taking Dad under your wing, playing cribbage with him and fixing him fantastic meals. I know he would have been so lonely and lost without you. Thank you for all that and more, and especially for being such a constant in my life--for being such stable role models in a world where marriage isn't as much a commitment and as permanent as it was designed to be! Your children and grandchildren are blessed, indeed. And so am I! Much love to you both! I will enjoy picturing the two of you dancing at your anniversary party (for you SURELY will!) - Chris Iversen Patterson

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