Great Strait Sale delights West End

By Donna Barr, West End North Correspondent


The Great Strait Sale happened Saturday, Sept. 14, on Highway 112, all the way from the Laird’s Corner turnoff in Port Angeles, out to Neah Bay.


Karin Ashton set up shop on the sidewalk in front of Sunset West’s Co-Op, assisting them in selling bread, plants, furniture — and giving directions.


“I’ve already been asked for a map,” said Ashton, just as the sale opened.


Little Maria Grimmett assisted Zacarias Espensoza. The pair was down from Neah Bay, with a big cooler full of luscious smoked salmon, soft-and-plain style. Grimmet had helped prepare the salmon. They offered shoppers a plate of free samples.


Sharon Wilson sold her cedar-bark weaving bracelets and headbands. She’d learned how to weave in classes taught by her mentor, Theresa Parker, of the Makah Museum and Research Center.


“My sister’s been helping me a lot. She has patience, Wilson said.


Wilson’s bracelets are adorned with bright-colored sinew, which she purchases from other artists. Her bracelets are woven over silver-plated bracelet bases. Wilson says her sister weaves $3,000 one-of-a-kind cedar hats as high art, but she herself prefers to do her less expensive, small offerings, which are popular sales items in Neah Bay.


“This way, you make more people happy,” she said.


A group of retired nurses had hit Highway 112 just to see what they could discover that was fun and got the sale as a surprise.


From states including Virginia, New Mexico, Colorado and Montana, the seven — members of a University of Minnesota 1960 nursing school class originally numbering 10 — bought salmon and crackers at the co-op to make a traveling dinner and checked out Unique Junque’s bargains.


Margo Fullinwider (Dutch for “wild colt in the field,” in reference to a non-royal line of her family), said they’d just driven out to Clallam Bay to enjoy the trip and, “Anything else is just frosting on the cake.”


Lisa Wright and Kathy Cowdrey sold second-hand items and antiques at The Lighten Our Load Sale — also known as the “Fiscal Cliff” — open as they usually are on on weekends, in the former art gallery.


The Three Sisters of Clallam offered many different collectibles, art and just pretties for the sale, while informal lessons on how to make Mexican flour tortillas were carried on in the kitchen of owner Sue Heiny’s attached apartment. Surprise: flour tortillas are made just like Chinese hot-water dough! Here’s the recipe:


Start with 3 cups flour. Stir in 1/2 cup oil. Dribble in and stir about 1/2 cup of hot water, until the dough will hold together when clenched in the palm of the hand. Form into small, flat pillows of dough. Roll out. Pour a capful of oil into a hot frying pan. Slip in a flat of dough; fry until it forms a couple of bubbles. Flip, brown on the other side. Pull and put on a plate. Repeat. Put whatever you want on it (the correspondent is going to be trying it with smoked salmon).


In the gallery proper, Kim Elkins displayed her paintings and trade-bead-and-cloth-decorated carved dolls, whose designs are “all out of my head.” Elkins has been a been a doll maker for 20 years. She is in the process of developing a new line of shamanic trade dolls, based on a jade carving found in a crypt in Mongolia.


For the second year, the Presbyterian Church opened its back hall to offer donated items for sale for — what else? — donations. It was run by the Rev. George Eastman, Mary Jan Brown and Joan Smith, who said the sale would help fix up the church.


Eastman quipped, “It’s not a straight sale — the road is awfully wind-y.”


At the Clallam Bay School bus barn, Mandy Leiza raised money for her mother, Diana Leiza’s special education class supplies, with items from the classroom and donated by the students’ parents. Class member Krista van Tassel, was, according to Mandy, “A lot of help.”


Preschool teacher Eddie Bowlby ran a table and Bill Drath said he was selling, “Just junk I had in storage.” He’d sold all of a box of opalized wood, which he planned to deliver to the buyer in Port Angeles on Sunday.

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