Signs are Art: The Silent Impact of Judy McVay

My dad, Jim Mason (1943 – 2014)  was a self-taught cartoonist who practiced drawing Mickey Mouse and other characters in the margins of his homework starting in Kindergarten. Later, he put himself through graduate school as a sign painter and eventually he became one of only a handful of Art Therapists in the State of Montana. At age five, Dad started taking me on sign painting jobs. Often he was on a ladder and I was tasked with handing up brushes, rags, and tubes of colors, or helping clean up. It was fun and from my child-eyes, what my dad did was art. The silent impact of Judy McVay I was first introduced to Judy McVay’s work in 2018 when…

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Clam Digging on the Hidden Coast in the 1930’s; an Oral History

Clam Digging on the Hidden Coast Scenic Byway in the 1930’s; a Personal Story In April 1990, Harriet Baller, a 48-year resident of Moclips wrote about the trials and tribulations of clamming digging on the coast. Upon her death at the age of 90, her stories were donated to the Museum of the North Beach where they “live to tell” along with other local oral and written histories. Harriet Baller (1915 – 2006) Born on February 1, 1915 in Glendive, Montana, by age 13 Harriet and her family moved to Western Washington where her father worked as a carpenter in Queets and then Hoquiam. After graduating from Hoquiam High School in 1933, Harriet worked at the local Kress department store…

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Judy McVay the Ultimate (Wood Carved) Sign

To say that pulling a 16-foot wood carved sign from the attic of an old service station in Copalis Beach took the top spot on my ‘best of’ list, is an understatement. It did so much more; fed my obsession with Washington State history, my love of forestry, brought new friends and family into my life, and seeded a movement. Thank you, Judy McVay! But First… Used Car Salesman Leo A car guy from way back, Leo owned dealerships on South Tacoma Way (auto row) as well as a couple at the beach including this one, across from Copalis Beach Grocery. We met in the summer of 2018 when Leo’s building was up for sale. His dream was to use…

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