This posting on Ritzville is really about some more of the people that I met there. There are, of course, many more people to meet which is one of the main reasons that I continue to return. They all have their own stories.
Unfortunately I do not have a photo of John Rankin. I met him when he was working on a pet project, the restoration of the Ritz theater. John has been a major player in revitalizing Ritzville serving on committees getting abandoned buildings such as the Ritz donated to the city, and putting in untold hours (and money I think) bringing these structures back to life. John graciously allowed me into the Ritz, proudly showed the interior and exterior work that had been done, explained that on weekends now they project dvds through a computer. A modern movie projector is hopefully in the future. He is somewhat of a renaissance man redoing the neon work, painting and so forth of the Ritz. His business card reads John G. Rankin President Flying Arts Ranch, Inc (and) King Mercantile – Graphic Design, Screenprinting, Signage, Sportswear, Framing, Art Gallery (and) Propaganda.
Nathan hoards firewood. His life appears to center around finding trees that need to be taken down or have fallen of their own accord and processing them into neatly stacked piles of firewood. I don’t know how many cords he has stacked in a large plot across from his home, but it has to be many dozen. None of it is for sale.
Pete aka “Thumbs” is a civil war reenactor. The sobriquet comes from learning to keep his thumbs out of the way while loading artillery. I ran into him late one afternoon when he stopped at the post office and I was photographing in the adjacent alley. He was very affable, and was eager to share information about Keystone Battery, a group of Civil War reenactors.
Dennis and Mary Chamberlin Uniquely Washington. I have mentioned Dennis and Mary Chamberlain in a previous post (Alleys). They own and operate a store called Uniquely Washington that features items made in the state and has a small liquor store in back. This year they have opened the Whisky Gap Distillery in an adjacent space. They have been most helpful introducing me to others in town, filling some blanks on history and generally just showing their enthusiasm for reviving historic Ritzville. Across the street from Uniquely Washington is Memories Diner.
Dennis and Mary
Scott and Laurie Gorman own Memories Diner. When I have been there Laurie is efficiently waiting tables and tending bar while Scott has been cooking, but like most family run businesses everyone does everything. They serve good food in large portions and are very welcoming. Memories Diner has become my place of refuge while photographing in the region.
Laurie and Scott