Sunday, January 8, 2017

Family Silver

It has recently become apparent that there's some confusion amongst family members about our collective grandfather, Thomas Rawson Rice. He came over to North America from the UK in the 20's and worked as a silversmith in Seattle. My mom said:

"Grandad went from Vancouver to Seattle and working for father linstead 1951 or so immigrated from Canada. Worked there awhile then moved to Portland in 1954 and back to Seattle in 1953. That's about when city was making the freeway and they probably moved into store on 5 or 4th ave. The son was around then I think . Grandad worked there until he passed in 1973. So was the store."
After she saw the results of an inquiry to Zapffe Silversmiths, the response (on January 4) of which stated:

"Hello. We know we had a Linstead (possibly Carl) who worked here in the late 40's and early 50's. He worked alongside Carl Zapffe and his successor Don Thompson before opening his own shop in downtown Seattle which was then taken over by a son. It shortly closed after his succession. That is all the information we have."

Clearly the record is gradually getting a bit clouded with time. My sister, "linda bus driver," for example, wondered: 

"That is very cool. I wonder what the address of that shop was. Seems to me it was somewhere around 3rd and Lenora. I remember going there once. That silver that granddad made is beautiful. Hope you will post something on Averill Happenings."

Well, y'all, THIS is that post. As you can see from the ad shown below, the shop was at 2323 3rd Avenue in 1965. I DID try to call the listed phone number, but nothing worked. Same as if you called our own old phone number of LA2-6760. The ad may be found in Catholic Northwest Progress of December 17, 1965.

The address hasn't really changed all that much over the years, well, other than Linstead eventually closing up. It is near the monrail, as I remember it, and you can see the monorail in the Google Maps aerial shot, shown below.

This is what the building looks like nowadays, from Google Streetview

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Return of Rumbo

Rumbo was named after a famous racehorse, and was one of the family dogs. His tail wasn't bobbed for fashion. He lost it when he whacked it against something and it broke, They had to cut it off. He was really Jennifer's dog. He came in a long line of family dogs, including Rex, Pal, and Jester. When we lived on 25th Ave NE, dogs eventually went out into the front street and got squished by cars. Pal and Rumbo both lasted a long time, so they represent our fondest dog memories of days gone by.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A salute to Valerie S. Averill, Ph.D.

Some people live lives far too short, yet accomplish so much during their time on earth. Valerie, who died April 16,2010 is one of them. Born Jan. 7, 1959, she was 51.

To colleagues and students left behind, she is Dr. Valerie Averill. To kin, she was daughter, sister, cousin, aunt. And having led such a distinguished and accomplished life, future Averills searching their lineage will see her a shining star and claim kinship with pride. “Yes, I am related. I can trace my family roots to Valerie Averill.”

Valerie was the first and eldest born to Richard and Donna Averill. She grew up in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and every few summers the Seattle Averills would see the Arlington Averills. What I remember from those visits is that as the oldest child in her family, Valerie carried a certain air of authority. She wasn’t bossy, as elder siblings can be sometimes. Valerie commanded respect and exerted leadership, because she so clearly was a leader.

Naturally, as Valerie grew older and established her career, others recognized her leadership qualities too. She was beautiful and strong, --tall and large boned, with a long mane of dark chestnut-colored hair.

As all the Averill kids grew up and travelled our separate ways we would, from time to time, hear news of Valerie. She never married or started a family. She was too busy pursuing education, claiming honors, and conquering new horizons.

She received her masters at Eastern Illinois University. She earned her Ph.D. at Kansas State University, the first Averill to distinguish herself with such high honors in a very educated family. She also settled in Tampa.

At the time Valerie passed, a google of her name produced numerous articles, many of them recounting her activities while still living. Valerie was something of a celebrity in the world of universities and residence halls. Stories reported her latest accomplishments as the National Advisor of NACURH, a position she held for eight years. In 2008, the organization named her Advisor of the Year. And in passing, the Dr. Valerie S. Averill Leadership Development Endowment fund was established in her honor at her alma mater, Eastern Illinois University.

NACURH is a national residence hall student leadership organization and Valerie clearly found it invigorating. Why settle for being eldest sister or mom to a few? She mentored thousands of aspiring young people. Looking at the articles about Valerie, the love and respect her students and colleagues had comes through.

Clearly, she carried throughout her life the same approach and attitude I saw a glimmering of when we were girls -- exerting leadership not through sheer power or force, but through convincing others to put their trust in her capable hands. That is the best kind of leadership.

The last time I saw Valerie was in Seattle, about a year earlier, in 2009. She had flown into town for a conference related to work and took a few hours from her hectic schedule to visit Uncle Bob and Aunt Lu over dinner at Ivars, the local salmon house.

She was full of energy and passion about her career, even as she struggled with various ailments from diabetes. To her, they seemed a nuisance to put up with. She didn't let it slow her down or sour her view of life. Her zest and joy in living was evident and infectious.

Valerie we miss you. Your time was far too short. But your memory will live long among the Averills, and with all the other lives you touched.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

The other night I was visiting Dad at the family homestead, 41st, listening to war stories from Boeing days.

Seattle was pretty much a one-company town back in the 1950s and '60s, and it played a constant role in the Averill family. Simply getting on at Boeing required serious mental gymnastics. Dad started at Seattle University for two year's to gain his engineering degree. SU is a catholic school in the heart of capitol hill.

His grades were lousy in high school. Fortunately, Seattle University lost the transcripts he sent from his Illinois High School. If SU had seen those transcripts he never would have been admitted. That bit of luck enabled him to start his first quarter in engineering with Uncle Sam picking up the tab on the G.I. bill.

Meanwhile, by the time SU found dad's transcripts he had proven himself a good student with a 3 point-plus GPA. After a short debate with his SU advisor the man threw the incriminating transcripts away, letting dad off the hook... and probation. In two years time he transferred to the U.W. Now the moral: why did he study so hard and turn everything around? Cuz he had to feed the kids!

Motivating his study to become an engineer was the grinding work and low wages of being a rivet bucker at Boeing, his first job. Times were not super easy in Seattle. And to even get that job he had to apply about 3 or 4 times.

First he applied asking for a wage of about $1.50/hour (things were cheap in 1950!) Boeing response: "we don't have any starting job at that high wage!" The boss put dad's application in the round file. But he needed that job, and so went right back again, filling out another application with a "will take any wage!" He also put down his "desire" to work day shift as a rivet bucker.

Said Boeing: "Don't you have another application already filled out?" Dad: "throw that one away." Boeing: "The day shift? Not willing to work anywhere, anytime? Sorry, no jobs." That application went to the bottom of the pile. Dad went back a third time, and said he was willing to work anywhere, anytime for any wage. Boeing said "Great! You're hired for the swing shift!" Why was he so motivated? He had his first born son on the way!

Kids rarely know what fathers put up with in order to make sure we are fed, clothed, sheltered. We see them come home at night grumpy. What we don't see is the long day's labor earning bread and butter to keep the family going.

Well on father's day, what better time to say thanks dad for all the sacrifices you made. Those spankings were a pain. The yelling matches were something else. But you always had our best interest at heart. Thanks! And to all the dads out there as well a very happy father's day!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Inky from last summer
Inky left us today. About 5:35PM CDT. We thought he might not make it past our summer vacation last August, but he kept on keeping on until this morning when he couldn't get up, eat, or drink any more. He went out the same way he lived his life. An unusually calm and mellow dog, taking what life threw at him without complaint.

A chart on the vet wall indicated he was 115 in dog years. He'll be missed. Note to Inky - stay away from the chocolate in Dog Heaven - it's not good for dogs. Instead, go chase those durn cats!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More Cars

Ok, I dont know what car this is

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Texas Tech

So I decided I would post something to the blog. I got bored what can I say and as much fun as chemistry sounds, this was more appealing.

The end of school is coming up pretty fast and I must say that my first year in college went pretty well. I met a lot of people and learned a lot. I think all of my classes are going to end well, although I didn't get any midterm grades so my assumptions could be wrong. I will find out for sure in May how I did. I was asked to join Gamma Beta Phi. It's an honor society that you are allowed to join if you are in the top twenty percent of your class. I didn't now I had done that well last semester but apparently I did.

What my friends and I do at Tech on the weekends when we get bored. We go to the park and take random pictures. There are some really good ones that I may post later. :D

I hope everyone is having fun in Washington. Well beside my own family which is in Texas, but you know what I mean. I am going to study and get ready for a test tomorrow and a test next week. Probably a better idea then blogging! :D