The Hallberg Memorial Bench

Hi Rhonda, I meant to send you this long ago. Here is a bit about the memorial benches and a story Ada wrote. Please use any or all if it fits for the blog. As ever, thanks for all you do. Sincerely, Tia

My folks dear neighbor Ed Marcus arranged for a memorial for Ada and Bob Hallberg; both of them did a lot to build community, preserve our natural spaces and the history of the area.  Their memorial bench sits on Beach Drive at the foot of Jacobsen road and next to another memorial bench for a significant community activist, Suzy King. Ada and Suzy, worked to gather community involvement and support so that together they could preserve the green spaces and unobstructed views of the water that we all can enjoy today as we walk and drive along beach drive. Weather watch park, Mee Kwa mooks and more only exist today because people came together on an issue they agreed upon and they made it happen. The activism by my mother, Ada, Suzy and others made a difference. And their likemindedness override their differences. Ada’s description of “This Peaceful Spot” reminds us of the joy of having public access to the treasured beauty that surrounds us here.

This Peaceful Spot by Ada Hallberg
With my head down, I push along the rocky beach near Alki Lighthouse. A surge of the southwest wind is invigorating. I press my hands into my pocket as I plunge along. Out of the bay crisp caps of white froth appear like beaten egg whites. On the brink of the clear waves they foam against crystal water.
This is the beautiful picture I took for granted in my childhood. In my adulthood, as well – this incomparably beautiful sight, set off by the Olympic Mountains and the forest across the smooth calm of Puget Sound.
I feel the full strength of the wind as I round the Point — or, Constellation Park.
Carefully I cross the clay outcropping that folds, one over the other, even more exposed than they were ten years ago. Then, University of Washington Professor Dixie Lee Ray would often stand on the outcroppings in any kind of weather, lecturing her class on the beach’s biological and geological features:
“The crust of the earth is layered; it can fold up, it can buckle, and sometimes the parts beneath become exposed.” As one of her listeners, I wondered: was she talking about the clay? I had intended to phone her about that.
At 63rd Street I climb from the beach onto some large, black rocks; it is easy to step on one then another, until I get up to the sidewalk. I walk along and the beach is not within my view because the houses and apartments are close together.
After a half dozen blocks of walking on the sidewalk, I squeeze back down to the beach at Andover Street, using an obscured path in an overgrown area past a holly tree and over a pile of chopped wood.
I feel that I have intruded into a private space, although a few years ago the Grad family and Fred Fletcher bought this beach property and assured access for the public.
There used to be a spot on the beach here, somewhere, a bit sheltered in the wind. Ahh, yes, here it is: a quiet pool of water behind this log. Wait a minute! What is this? The body of a dead seagull in great disarray is floating, its neck all askew, its body bloated, its feathers discolored and matted. A rusty can with a partially attached label. At first I start to examine… Ohh, what’s the use!
Deliberately I look away towards the north. In my sight a davenport is sitting on the beach among the sand and rocks. Kelp is wrapping around the arm, some draped across the back; pillows are following off.
Waves dully roll in, now close to shore. There is a lethargy about these waves: the clearness gone from their crests; with slumped shoulders they push in. I turn my back and make my way to the sidewalk. Soon I will be at my destination, Carroll Street and Beach Drive. It is only a mile from where I began my walk at the lighthouse. I look forward to sitting in the small cove at the foot of Carroll Street, across from the Rustica Restaurant.
Finally arriving, I walk down to the small comfortable beach and lie among the logs. This 150 feet of waterfront is still open to the public, and most of us think it always will be; though we may be wrong about that. But for now, I will enjoy this peaceful spot.

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