We finished our tour strong with stops in Olympia, Seattle and Everett, WA on March 1st and March 2nd. Thanks to all of the excellent videographers in WA we have a bunch of great video from the events to share (see the Olympia stop here, and Jim Page's performance in Everett here). The highlight of the three stops was a very well attended event at University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle where Pastor Rich Lang opened up his Church’s Common Good Café for an unforgettable evening.
At all three Washington tour stops we were joined by participants in the Shelter Half, a GI Coffeehouse located in Tacoma from 1968-1974. The Shelter Half was a center for the powerful GI and veteran resistance movement to the US war in Vietnam. We got to hear stories from Lyle Quasim, Lois Thetford, Allan Poobus and especially Philip Kaplan who spoke at all three stops. All four “Shelterhalfies” joined us in Seattle and shared some stories about their work at the Shelter Half, and what it still means to all of them forty years later.
After that we had staff from the Clearing Barrel and Under The Hood give their presentations, and ended the Seattle and Everett events with a powerful testimonial from Coffee Strong GI Rights counselor Sandra Sampson. Sandra is a veteran of the US Army, and talked about her own experiences while in the Army and how if she had known about Coffee Strong what a difference that would have made for her.
Our Everett stop also had some excellent musical accompaniment with Seattle’s own Jim Page making an appearance. Thank you to everyone who helped with the Washington tour stops, including Western WA Fellowship or Reconciliation, Veterans for Peace Chapter 92, Kaeley-Pruitt Hamm (Seattle stop MC and musician), Linda Newton (Everett stop organizer) and Maria Trevizo (Olympia stop MC).