Tag Archives: Becky Fox Marshall

Marshall: When your coiffeuse cuts out

This month, Bainbridge Islander columnist Becky Fox Marshall writes about a painful parting of ways with her longtime hairdresser.

There is a glaring error on the list of things that stress us out – that list so often referenced by the cranky: “Hey, I am off the stress chart so leave me alone.”

I totally get the top stressors – death of a spouse, divorce, job loss and one that would completely stress me out, “imprisonment.”

But the error of which I speak is a major omission – the loss of your hair stylist.

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Marshall: Love, hate and hot showers

Here’s Islander columnist Becky Fox Marshall’s column about our recent spate of power outages.

For anyone unfamiliar with what is meant by a “love/hate” relationship, might I suggest you experience being the only house in your neighborhood that mysteriously has power the day before Thanksgiving?

I am smack dab in the middle of about 16 homes on the west side of Bainbridge Island that, like the rest of the island, lost power on the Monday before Thanksgiving. It was all rather exciting to experience that howling, frigid wind and see Puget Sound behaving like an ocean with high, pounding surf.

After a few rounds of Bananagrams by lantern light with NOAA Weather Radio in the background repeating its endless loop of millibars and wind speeds, we hunkered down in our own homes for a long, cold night of scary sounds and down comforters.
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Marshall: Neighborhoods shouldn’t fear the elderly

Islander columnist Becky Fox Marshall shares her thoughts on some of October’s more infamous Bainbridge news items, including the flare up over an elderly care facility in the Commodore neighborhood.

Bainbridge Island got a lot of bad publicity in October – and that was before the tragic police shooting.

A 28-year-old islander accused of armed robbery crashed through a roadblock and was the object of a manhunt in Mason County in which a sheriff’s deputy was shot in the leg. News reports stated the wound may have been caused by a ricochet, but still, we’re talking flying bullets.

Three island men were arrested in connection with a string of burglaries on the north end – with a few felony warrants and heroin thrown in. All of the burglaries occurred late at night while people were home, often while they were asleep. Scary!

There were multiple drunk driving arrests, a bloody fight at a gas station, and a standoff between a 73-year-old man with a crow bar and his 25-year-old tenant, who was armed with a gun. Unloaded, but scary nonetheless.

There were at least three dog attacks – at Fort Ward State Park, Grand Avenue and Foster Road.

You had a guy apparently shooting a gun near two child-care centers who was actually angry when the cops showed up in response to calls.

Oh yeah, and a bicycle rider punched some pedestrian along Manitou Beach Drive – surely there is more to THAT story.

But perhaps the most troubling story to come out of October was the strident and frankly shocking reaction of some neighbors to an adult care facility on Whited Place in the Commodore Lane neighborhood. It was troubling enough for the local Fox News crew to show up.
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Marshall: “hp 2 di w/out evr havng wkd thru spdr web”

Longtime Bainbridge journalist Becky Fox Marshall has revived her regular Bainbridge Islander column. This week, she aims to fight irrelevancy by taking on technology….

“I am proud to say,” my friend announced in the midst of a conversation about cell phones, “that I hope to die having never sent a text message.”

Wow. If I had to choose one thing I hope to never have done upon my death, I’m not sure I’d select never sending a text message. But he loathes such things.

What I loathe, besides spiders (making this time of year particularly perilous) is becoming irrelevant. I remember as a young person thinking that “old” people were nice and all, but they seemed so, so irrelevant. So disconnected. So … yesterday. Imagine not being able to figure out a TV remote?

That’s why I have made a point of getting to know my computer and a variety of applications. Why all my photos are digital and online. Why many of my conversations are via the three IM options resident on my client. Why, I finally took on the iPod and brought music back to my life.

I felt I was keeping up pretty well. I got on Facebook despite the groans from my peers (who since have joined – TOLD YA!). My children gave me accolades for being slightly ahead when graded on a curve with their peers’ parents. But with every birthday I feel more pressure to step up my game. After all, my 87-year-old former mother-in-law writes emails (most are annoying sappy forwards, but still – she’s tech savvy!) How was I to differentiate myself?

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Marshall: “Terminal rage” takes hold of ferry commuters


This week, Islander columnist Becky Fox Marshall explores the commuter angst that’s all the rage at the Winslow ferry terminal.

To the list of rages in our modern world – road rage, air rage, work rage – you can add yet another, unique to Bainbridge Island – ramp rage.

The ramp of which I speak is the passenger ramp onto the ferry. Oh, and parking rage. The parking to which I specifically refer is the parking lot at the ferry terminal.

Maybe together these can henceforth be known as “Terminal Rage.”

Now that I’m not a Seattle ferry commuter, riding the ferry has actually become – again – a pleasant experience. And so it was with light hearts that I and three of my friends and coworkers met at the ferry terminal one Saturday afternoon to head over to the big city for dinner out and a show.

We waited near the flag pole as the ferry unloaded, seeing that a good many people formed a long line to the right of the rope that divides the ramp into one side for those intending to board, and one side for those tromping off the vessel.

Once unloaded, the go-ahead was heard on the loudspeaker and boarding began. And so we moved on down the ramp, ending up on the left side of the rope.

A fellow who had been queued up on the right took umbrage with our boarding technique and stood out from his line to dress us down. I couldn’t catch all of what he said but it boiled down to this: “So you think you’re special? Why can’t you get in line with the rest of us? Are you special?”

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Marshall: The two-footed Bainbridge experience


Bainbridge Islander columnist Becky Fox Marshall writes this week about the new perspective that can be had by strolling through familiar places. Read her column below…

If you were to look up the word “inertia” in the dictionary, you would see my picture, followed by the definition as provided by physics: The tendency of a body to resist acceleration… of a body at rest to remain at rest.

And resist acceleration I did, at least for the last few years. Until the immovable object I had become met an irresistible force and the paradox of my paradigm was blown to bits. In other words, my doctor warned me I was eight weeks and one blood test from an official diagnosis of type II diabetes.

So I got up and and started walking.

Three months later I’m hooked. My blood work is all in the optimal range. But beyond dodging the diabetes bullet, I have benefited through the discovery of an entire world out there.

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Marshall: We’re entering an era of ‘mcnews mcnuggets’

Islander columnist Becky Fox Marshall entered the journalism world in the era of Woodward and Bernstein. Now, some of the best reporting is coming from Comedy Central and most people only hunger for tasty little morsels of news rather than full meal deals.

Read Marshall’s column below…

Industries and professions come and go with the times. It is part of the march of time. The iceman no longer cometh, because we have freezers in our houses. Farriers are few, and exist mostly for girls who ride in horse shows, rather than serving as a critical cog in the wheel of commerce. It’s a painful transition. It’s even more painful when it’s an industry to which you’ve devoted most of your working life, and surreal to watch it peak and fizzle within your lifetime. It’s downright scary when the industry is a cornerstone of democracy.

I speak, of course, of the demise of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and likely, The Seattle Times. Seattle a no-traditional-newspaper town? How can that be? Last week, a list of 10 newspapers circulated in the surviving media as in their death throes – newspapers in the cities of Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Miami, Detroit, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Fort Worth and Cleveland. And while many in the media believed that community newspapers were not threatened, we on Bainbridge Island have seen drastic changes in our local newspapers.

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Marshall: A vigil for a father in hospice

Islander columnist Becky Fox Marshall writes this month about the last days spent at her father’s side.

I am memorizing the room like my life depends on it.

The walls are buttery yellow. Cheerful, but not too much so. Warm and calming, like a sunrise.

Hardwood floors and modern, halogen lighting, a handmade quilt over the loveseat. It reminds me of a four-star hotel room. My sister is doing a puzzle on a small, round pedestal table in the corner under a flat-screen TV cantilevered from the wall. CNN is on, but it’s muted. Blagojevich has been unanimously ousted by Illinois lawmakers. His mouth is moving but there is no sound.

My dad takes a breath and then is silent. We both look at him, wondering if that was his last. Long, agonizing seconds go by. Then another breath. My sister goes back to the puzzle, and I to my memorization. The sink is sparkling stainless steel and a new Sunbeam coffee maker sits on the shiny granite counter, next to a package of mouth swabs and dad’s single-coffee bags.

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Marshall: ‘A love-hate relationship with snow’

Islander columnist Becky Fox Marshall explores the pleasures and pain of snow days on Bainbridge.

What is it about snow that makes us shop like it’s the end of the world? What is about snow that makes us want it so badly, then detest it so completely?

The snow that defined this Christmas season revealed two significant things about myself (and I bet I’m not alone) – when it’s not falling, I feel cheated and when it is falling, I’m freaked out. Bottom line: I’m never quite satisfied.

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Marshall: Giving thanks that this election is over

As we enter the month for giving thanks, Islander columnist Becky Fox Marshall says she’s thankful that the long feast of election politics is done.

My timing is simply lousy. Because of immutable details like deadlines and press runs, I write this two days before the election, and nearly three weeks before Thanksgiving.

And now I don’t even know what time it is, because we reverted back to Standard Time this weekend and I don’t recall which clocks I adjusted.

I do know it’s too late for politicking – and surely we’re all weary from having politics in our faces for months – and too soon for holiday reflections – although surely we’re all excited about stuffing turkey in our faces for a night or two.

Suspended as I am between great hope and deep fear, between Daylight Savings and Standard times, there is no alternative but to consider, regardless of the outcome of the election, that for which I am grateful. So here it goes.

I am grateful for all the people who got me through the last few months – that includes my family and dear friends and coworkers, and especially Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. I’ve spent enough time with these people to consider them family – and I’m going to miss them!

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