Daily Archives: December 14, 2012

‘Hobbit’ release brings unexpected attention for Bainbridge builder

Islander Chris Whited didn’t set out to build a “hobbit house” when he started his eccentric building project on High School Road. The comparisons, however, proved unavoidable. His neighbors were the first to invoke the Middle-earth reference, inspired by the cottage’s slanted walls and curved roofline.

When we featured Whited’s creation on the cover of the Sun in October, the word “hobbit” landed the story on the AP wire. It went modestly viral from there, popping up in various forms on news sites across the country. Whited wasn’t prepared for the response.

“I was figuring I would have to dig around back on page 11 or 12 to find it, boy, was I ever surprised to see it on the front cover!” Whited wrote to us in an email after the story ran. “I figured the front cover was reserved for escaped convicts and politicians. Then I heard from friends on facebook that it was in the Yakima Herald the Tricities paper and in Lewiston Idaho. I  checked online and saw spinoff articles in New York and in the UK! Seems like a lot of fuss for a little cottage doesn’t it?”


But Whited’s whimsical house seems to have struck a chord, and the release of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” this week brought a new wave of interest. KOMO gave the project news feature treatment in a segment Thursday:

Despite his newfound notoriety, Whited wasn’t queuing up for the “Hobbit” premier Thursday.

“Midnight just doesn’t sound like fun to me,” he told Sun reporter Rachel Pritchett.

Friday preview: Bainbridge edition

Here’s the Friday preview: Bainbridge edition for Dec. 14. Feel free to give your events a plug in the comment section below. Above, a detail from the 2013 Kids Can Make a Difference calendar, illustrated by Ordway Elementary third graders. The calendars, which benefit programs on Ometepe, are available at Ordway through Dec. 21.

Weather: The National Weather Service predicts rain showers and temperatures in the low 40s this weekend.  Expect a little wind as well, with gusts up to 25 mph.

Sports: Another full slate of winter sports today. Wrestling is away at the Hammerhead Invitational in Silverdale. Bainbridge gymnastics welcomes Bellingham, Mercer Island, Squalicum and Sehome at 6 p.m.

Spartans basketball hosts Franklin. Girls varsity tips off at 6:15, followed by the boys at 8 p.m. A home swim meet was postponed.

See a full Spartans schedule here and follow the Sun’s Prepzone on Facebook for updates. Continue reading