Monday, April 12, 2010

Barbara Krohn - UW Communications Trailblazer

May I humbly call your attention to a blog written by Seattle writer Jeff Christiansen February 12, 2009 on his blog at concerning the recent death of a long and very much admired mutual friend Seattle's Barbara A. Krohn, whose well-written paid obituary has just appeared in today's online edition of the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Whether or not you ever had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Krohn during her lifetime both blog and obituary are well worth reading. Her firm published the invaluable reference known as the Washington Education Directory for the Superintendent of Public Instruction for Washington State for over thirty five years.

The fact that Krohn's obituary can be accessed on the website of a newspaper entertaining the all to soon possibility of its own physical demise reflects in many ways the bold advances and dynamic transitions upon which the profession of print journalism to whom she gave many years of her life has been continually requested and is still being called upon to navigate.

Those of us whose membership in generations which arrived since - particularly females, are especially forever indebted to pioneers such as Krohn, who was the first woman named to be publisher of student publications at the University of Washington back in a day and age when a good many individuals felt comfortable thinking and saying aloud such an appointment would never come to pass!

As difficult as it is for some to image a date when just being a woman was considered to be a crippling handicap, to successfully compete and be selected to take positions such as this even among the ranks of enlightened institutions of higher learning, or that such blatant discrimination passed as normal were blessedly shattered specifically because of the determination and persistence displayed by hardy trailblazers like she.

The diligence showed by these women in both mental and physical realms ensured that their initial tracks through these virgin territories in both spheres could well be missed by crowds since lured to cruise along the densely occupied social and cultural highways which their initial forays began.

Krohn often credited the heritage bequeathed by pioneering grandparents who homesteaded land along the Columbia River in 1881 (eventually becoming a part of Washington State) for her faith, diligence and tenacity. The example of her parents in combination with her own upbringing served as well to enhance the talents she brought informing and expanding access to the press and other communication resources while encouraging her fellow man to establish their own links to the same empowering values and ideals.

ultimate legacy (which includes milestones not listed here) will continue to be enjoyed and provide a lighted beacon of inspiration during the highly daunting challenge before us of learning to navigate transitions which have since popped up in the radar of our shared horizons.

Molting Boldly Into The Future

Returning from a long time in the fog of self-examination and rediscovery prompted by a need to change my personal thinking about relationships - I'm going to hang out the "Open for business" sign at One Muse At A Time once again. I've been missing-in-action since July 2009 which doesn't seem so far away in the great scheme of things. It has however actually been a few months short of a year since I last put my fingers to the keyboard at this address. No doubt very few if any have actually missed my absence.

For those of you newbies who've noticed the blog after the posted date of this entry, my natural inborn inclination has always been to view time as one long continuum. Doesn't everybody? Apparently this is more true for Idealists.While I'm more than willing to plead guilty to that, if idealism is truly dead there would really be absolutely nothing to live for. So now I'm gettting used to the idea of seeing time as a series of hopefully sequential intervals, which is just the way a longtime acquaintances described our 30 plus year marriage.

Now he didn't exactly say the words "hopefully sequential" . Rationals don't express themselves so tentatively. I'm the one who inserted the word hopefully. For all these years I used to think everyone had hopes. But I was informed this is not an irrefutable fact. Apparently some people prefer to just stick with reality!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Beauty is in the Eye.....

Having never tried my hand at photographing fireworks, I must secretly confess to be pleased as to even freeze a visible image. While my operational skills can be greatly improved I'm nevertheless delighted with the painterly shots my camera registered last night while watching Fourth of July fireworks with a crowd in Federal Way, WA. In my mind they truly capture the magic and mood of the evening. They also easily provide a great foundation for these very lovely "pastels of light" studies. And what do you think?

Above: Enthusiastic crowd watches a fireworks display in Federal Way, WA.
Copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura

Copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura

Copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tired Eyes, Eyelids and Other Tales

If there's a next time I sign up for any plastic surgery, I'll ask to hear every detail of the long version. This is because prior to my having a blepharosplasty to improve my peripheral vision the end of January, I had no idea that I would be still going back to my doctor for additional follow-up visits in this fourth month of 2009.

Be assured I don't look quite so ghastly as I did to myself when I first looked in the mirror after the operation. For most intents and purposes, I look fine right now, unless you get more or less right in my face. To some extent, this cannot be predicted as this is often where those factors that set us apart from each other as individuals come into play. Sigh...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Vashon Island's Blue Heron Art Center Inspires

Left: Aya Clark.

Using resources available on hand is a lesson that small arts organizations and larger communities can possibly learn from Vashon Island's Blue Heron Art Center. The center which once served as a meeting hall for a local chapter of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, provided a cozy and suitably intimate setting for a special performance of "From The Heart", a one-woman show by award-winning playwright Jude Narita.

I caught the ferry to Vashon while a passenger in an automobile driven by my long-time and talented theater buddy Aya Hashiguchi Clark. Clark may be known to many enthusiastic fans of Seattle and South Sound community theater for numerous appearances in front of audiences as an actress and behind the curtain as a director and producer.

Ms. Clark has also written occasional theater reviews for a number of local publications and has started her own blog. I have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Clark since looking her up in the phone book after enjoying one of her earlier journalistic efforts while reading a regional shopper many years ago.

We also shared membership in the same generational tier (Sansei) third-generation Americans of Japanese ancestry all of whose immigrant grandparents for the most part arrived in the United States in the early 1900's. Additonally, we share the sad fact people on both our mother's and father's side were forced into US government internment camps during World War II. As the early communities were essentially blown to bits physically and emotionally during this period of forcible dispursement, it's become highly unusual outside of a handful of communities in the State of California for both of us to ever run across, much less into another Japanese-American at all.

While we were on the island just happened to learn Ms. Narita's local hosts were none other than the Shiosaki's, another local family of Japanese-American heritage of who were formerly close neighbors of Clark when she was a girl and residing in Renton, WA at the southern tip of Lake Washington. The world is small indeed!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

More About Barbara Krohn

Last year I had occasion to write about Barbara Krohn in several columns published in the Federal Way Mirror including this piece ("Tearing down walls: Japanese "camps" in WW II", November 5, 2008)  which can be accessed using this link. A few other websites of note with links to Krohn can be accessed by clicking here and here. 

Remembering Barbara

Above: Photo and art collage by Mizu Sugimura
copyright 2009.

Barbara A. Krohn,
Writer, Editor, Publisher, Historian,
Preservationist and Humanitarian,
August 23, 1925 - February 8, 2009.

"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. " - Henry David Thoreau