A Great Book for Fall, A Block Party, World Peace, and Some Cool Unique Events

What does a library system want for its 75th birthday? A good book, of course! And you’re invited to read along. To celebrate 75 years of sharing stories, Whatcom County Library System created  a countywide book group called Read & Share, and the book that’s been selected is Leif Whittaker’s gripping memoir, “My Old and the Mountain.” Learn what it’s like to grow up in the shadow of a legendary father—the first American to summit Mount Everest—and hear Leif share his story at special events this fall. Then, explore the book’s themes of adventure and ambition at inspiring presentations that will introduce you to others who bravely met their own personal challenges.
Events with the author:
10:30 a.m.-noon Oct. 5, Blaine Library, 610 Third St.
1-2:30 p.m. Nov. 2, Lynden Library, 216 Fourth St.
3-4:30 p.m. Nov. 16, Everson Library, 104 Kirsch Drive.
Book talk/multimedia presentation: Leif shares photographs and film clips from modern and historic expeditions to Mount Everest. He combines stories from his own adventures in the Himalaya and his father’s legendary climb in 1963 to illustrate an inspiring and humorous talk about family, teamwork, risk, and perseverance.

6-7:30 p.m. Oct. 10, Ferndale Library, 2125 Main St. “High and Hallowed: Everest 1963” This film is the deeper story of the greatest Himalayan climb in American mountaineering history. Film introduction and Q&A with Leif.
3-4:30 p.m. Oct. 12, Deming Library, 5044 Mt. Baker Highway. “Celebrate Our Local Mountains.” Leif shares his experience as a climbing ranger hiking in the North Cascades.

Discuss “My Old Man and the Mountain” with library book groups:
7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 17, Deming Library. Books on Tap (meeting location: North Fork Brewery, 6186 Mt. Baker Highway
1-2:30 p.m.Sept. 20, Blaine Library. Books and Bites
6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 14, South Whatcom Library. Books on Tap (meeting location: El Agave 2, 4 Clubhouse Circle, Sudden Valley Gate 2)
1-2 p.m. Nov. 5, Off the Shelf Book Club, South Whatcom Library, 10 Barn View Court, Sudden Valley, Gate 2
2:30-4 p.m. Nov. 20, Ferndale Book Group, Ferndale Library
6:45-7:45 p.m. Oct. 2 and 9, Sumas Library, 261 Second St. “The Mountain Runners” film screening and discussion. View “The Mountain Runners” followed by a Q&A session with the writer and producer of the film, Todd Warger, in this two-part program co-sponsored by the Sumas Community/Senior Center.
7-9 p.m. Oct. 11, Point Roberts Library, 1431 Gulf Road. “Everest Adventuring,” a presentation about trekking in Nepal and Mount Everest. 
7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 14, Ferndale Library. “Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.” Amanda Stewart hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail as a solo female. Join Amanda as she shares tips on backpacking as well as inspiring photos and stories. Details: https://www.wcls.org/readandshare/.


Greene’s Corner, 2208 James St., is the location for an Old-Time Jam starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19. The plan is to have the jams on the third Thursday of each month.  The jams will be led by experienced, well-known players. This first jam will be led by fiddler Clyde Curley, accompanied by Laurel Bliss. Players with traditional acoustic instruments are invited to attend. (Please leave your tin whistles, flutes, bodhrans, concertinas, and other percussive or non-stringed instruments at home.) The session will begin with familiar old-time tunes, but some rarer old time tunes might be introduced later in the jam. A tip jar will be used to compensate the jam leader. Participants are asked to be generous, and to please purchase a drink or some food so that the venue will be happy to host the jams. An email list will be started for the purpose of disseminating the previous list of tunes played and to remind players of the next jam and its leader. To be placed on the list,  email oldtimemusic.bellingham@gmail.com

The Cody Rivers Show, aka Bellingham favorite impro duo Mike Mathieu and Andrew Connor, presents “Baderson,” an improv storytelling format that brings entertainment back to basics and imagination to new levels: Six actors seated on stage, narrating a story together in the good old oral tradition. Except they’re making it all up on the spot. Simple premise, infinite possibilities. This one-weekend run is being recorded for a future podcast! Why? Says Mike: “Because years ago, for fun, Andrew and I would sit together with friends and make up stories without an audience, and one of our favorite stories focused on a mythological suburban figure named Mr. Baderson. Ever since then, we’ve felt that good old-fashioned storytelling is extremely awesome and also kinda precious and healthy, in a broader ‘tickle your brain’ and ‘hold on to the simple and present joys in our increasingly virtual lives’ kinda way.
Shows are at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, and Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Sylvia Center, 207 Prospect St.
Admission is $10 for Sylvia Center members, $12 general. Tickets are selling out!

Figmentally (Drea Lusion and Eric Parthum) presents: “Miss Fitts” circus comedy at 8 p.m. Sept. 20 and 21 and 4 p.m. Sept. 22 at Bellingham Circus Guild, 1401 Sixth St.
This is Figmentally’s third full-length show, faithfully following their tradition of off-beat, genre-defying disobedience. They train in clown, mime, puppetry, dance, juggling, acrobatics, and most importantly playfulness. “We created everything you see in this show—from costumes to sound design and promotion” says Parthum. Meet Miss Fitts, a befuddled and daydreaming seamstress who is about to have her world turned upside down by a quirky new client, Sir Tinnly. Will the jacket fit? Does it tango? Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets: $10 low-income, $15 general, and $20 for super supporters; it’s free for kids 10 and younger. For more, go to For more information, visit www.figmentally.com.

The Coldharts present “Edgar Allan,” a two-person, dark musical comedy that follows a pre-adolescent Edgar Allan Poe in his first year at English Boarding School, as he seeks to gain academic ascendancy over the student body, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave. All goes to plan until another boy named Edgar Allan arrives in class… which complicates his schemes of dominance. Created and performed by Katie Hartman and Nick Ryan, in collaboration with Mark Benzel, the Coldharts is a Brooklyn, NY-based, touring theater company that creates devised, music-theatre inspired by the American Gothic and are founding members of the Twin Cities Horror Festival in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“Edgar Allan” is a dark, comedic riff on the obsessions, the mania, and the insanity that haunted the life and work of America’s first professional writer. “Edgar Allan” premiered at the 2013 Twin Cities Horror Festival and has toured across North America with more than 100 performances. It is a six-time “Best of Fest” Winner, was held over at the 2015 Edmonton Fringe 2015, and has played Off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse. The show appropriate for brave children of all ages. Tickets are $15, available in advance through Brown Paper Tickets.

Stones Throw Brewery, 1009 Larrabee Ave., is gearing up for it annual Fresh Hop Block Party starting at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, the final Stones Throw Block Party of 2019 that welcomes the Fall Equinox! In celebration of this time of year they are raising funds and partnering up with the Chuckanut Center in an annual harvest swap. Everyone is encouraged to bring ripe produce from their gardens to contribute to the swap and find some delicious fall goodies to take home! Also, you can help pick locally grown hops right off the vine that will be used for the brewery’s community fresh hop beer, set to release in October. If you have any hops you would like to donate, contact  head brewer/owner Tony by shooting him an email at tony@stonesthrowbrewco.com. There will be three food vendors on site for you to choose from: Back East BBQ, Fairhaven Pizza and for a vegan option Sage Against The Machine. High Mountain String Band takes the stage at 2:30 p.m., followed by Sapphire at 5:30 p.m. Our block parties are always free to enter, and family friendly. Details: http://www.stonesthrowbrewco.com/block-party.

Ella Higginson: Inventing Northwest Literature” is presented by Bellingham author Laura Laffrado from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Deming Library, 5044 Mt. Baker Highway. Higginson was Washington state’s first poet laureate and was a Bellingham resident. She was a prolific writer of poetry, short stories, and essays during the turn of the 19th century. Her work fell into obscurity until Laffrado discovered it in the Washington State Archives. Laffrado, a professor at Western Washington University.  is the editor of the book “Selected Writings of Ella Higginson: Inventing Pacific Northwest Literature.” Light refreshments will be served at the free event. 

September has brought many exciting changes to the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, including the official hire of the new executive director, Aline Prata. The International Day of Peace, the organization’s staple yearly event, is just around the corner! Come celebrate the date to focus on this year’s theme “Climate Action for Peace” throughout the program, beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at The Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St., The fundraising celebration supports WPJC and hosts representatives from 20 active community groups. The program begins at 7 p.m. with the reading of an opening piece by the recently confirmed Lummi poet Rena Priest. Bring your friends and family to enjoy the musical stylings of talented, local musicians The Sweet Goodbyes, learn about how climate change affects our lives and livelihoods from keynote speakers from Women of Color Speak Out and browse the silent auction where you will find pieces from talented local artists, certificates, and products from local businesses. The evening will also feature the presentation of the 2019 Howard Harris Lifetime Peacemaker Award. 


World Peace Poets hosts the seventh annual Community Read-In on Peace, organized by Bellingham’s Carla Shafer and C.J. Prince. This year, the duo will host the first ever Bellingham Community Write-In on Peace and Justice, and the public is invited to take part in this year’s project to provide writing support and space for peace and justice throughout Bellingham for five weeks from Sept. 21 to Oct. 26.  During this writing period they hope to inspire poets, writers, and musicians to set aside time for self-directed writing on the theme of peace and/or justice. Their goal is to offer a designated space where everyone can come to a place where they will read a few poems on peace and justice (which we provide) in spaces that will accommodate 1 or 2 or maybe 12-15 or more people.  The International Day of Peace is celebrated in Bellingham on Sept 21 by the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center and Oct. 26 is the date of the World Peace Poets seventh annual Peace Read-In, which features 40 poets, writers and musicians from the Pacific Northwest and Canada who show up to express their commitments to and ideas about peace and justice here and around the world.
World Peace Poets was created by a group of writers to help people express their hopes and frustrations, while expanding the historical and community conversations on our peace and justice values. To obtain the list of locations, to offer assistance,  or for more information, call Carla at 360-961-2320 or C.J. at 360-393-3439 Register your participation at worldpeacepoets@gmail.com.

Long-time musical friends Marie Eaton, Laura Smith and Richard Scholtz, who’ve been playing together for years, decided to do a public concert, which will now take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Firehouse Arts and Event Center, 1314 Harris Ave. Come enjoy banjo, guitar, autoharp, dulcimer, and great songs, some original, some familiar, and some obscure, but all wonderful. Suggested donation is $20. You can reserve a seat by emailing host Neal Harold, nlharold@gmail.com.