Looking back, 2017 has been an exceptional year for WhatcomTalk. We have had the privilege of featuring many stories about amazing people working to improve and uplift our community. We have learned about innovative new businesses, heart warming non-profits, remarkable individuals and many creative enterprises.
This year WhatcomTalk has published more than 700 positive stories about what it’s like to live, work and play in Whatcom County.
We’ve compiled a list of our WhatcomTalk writers’ favorite stories from 2017 along with explanations of why they found them so impactful. We hope you enjoy these highlights and that you will continue to visit WhatcomTalk.com for your positive local news in 2018. Thank you for making these stories and the community they represent a part of your daily lives.
Taylor Lisa Bailey
I would say that my favorite story of 2017 is one that I wrote on Whatcom County birding. Not only is birding an interesting and fun topic on its own, but when writing the article, I was able to go out and meet with people of all ages and backgrounds, and enjoy the outside air while we treasure-hunted for rare and common birds alike.
I was born in Bellingham and have lived here all my life. When I was in third grade, the “Unicycle Guy” began his tradition of daily work commutes via unicycle. So for the past 14 years, I’ve seen this guy around town but have never known his story. Dan Burwell’s tellingly titled Meet Unicycle Guy – Joe Myers charmingly answers my questions and many more. This story makes me smile.
My very first thought was the story on Sara Holodnick. I know and just love both the person who wrote this story and the person this story is about. I felt like what makes both of these beautiful woman so dynamic is represented wonderfully in this article. Sara gave me my start as an artist, she is indeed the real deal. One of the most authentic gals I’ve ever met. Mary Burwell also gave me an immediate feeling of welcome and when you know Mary – you are cool!
If I had to pick one favorite story from last year, it would be like picking my favorite child. It was great getting to know Peter Gunn better when I wrote about him to commemorate his retirement. I also had a front row seat to his (usually funny, but occasionally bad) jokes. I learned so much about brass instruments when I wrote about musician and instrument creator Jack Champagne, one of the kindest people I have ever met in Bellingham. This was also the year of our first wedding in the immediate family, and I got to share my personal pain and tips for shopping for a formal dress on a budget.
My favorite story of 2017 was on Cascade Tiny Houses. There are a couple of reasons as to why I liked this story. First off, I love the idea of tiny houses and everything they represent, from taking up less space to creating less waste, they are a great idea. Secondly, this article introduced me to a family enacting this idea right here in Whatcom County, and it was awesome to know people are living in tiny houses in our community.
It was a tough choice. So many stories deserve this spotlight, but I’m going with Meet Unicycle Guy – Joe Myers, by Dan Burwell. I love this piece, because, as a Bellingham resident, I’ve been wondering for years who the Unicycle Guy is! When I saw the title and photo, I instantly wanted to read the article and now, after reading it, I feel more connected and more appreciative of where I live.
My favorite article was Leroy Carlson is Whatcom County’s Turtle Man. I liked the process of writing Turtle Man, being welcomed into Leroy’s home and sitting down with him and his wife.
One of the reasons I love writing for Whatcom Talk is getting to know the people and the great things they are achieving in my hometown. Interviewing the Smiths of Atwood Ales gave me a peek inside the brewing process on their farm (where they also grow many of the ingredients) and I learned about their efforts to cut out waste along the way. Their award winning beer can also boast that it is easy on the environment – cheers to that! I’m happy to be a part of something that highlights people doing great things all around us.