Friday, May 7, 2010

Sydney of Oysterville

Although out of the scope of our South Sound Neighborhood and since I’ve never demurred from sharing neighbors in our larger electronic world, I’m sharing a smooth coastal gem I found on the beach on the Washington coast. Most readers know of my love for and the large portion of time I spend at the Long Beach Peninsula. I lived there fulltime for only three years, but my family’s love of the place goes back generations and my own childhood summers were spent there.

During the time my children and I lived on the Long Beach Peninsula I was fortunate enough to meet and work in the same school as Sydney Stevens. At the time Sydney taught a first, second, third split class at Ocean Park Elementary School, but it was obvious that Sydney was more than a wonderful teacher who organized things like “Mother Goose Week” whereby the rhymes we all grew up with, but were falling out of children’s common knowledge, were taught and culminated in everyone dressing up as their favorite character and parading around the little school—she was passionate about the Peninsula.

Sydney’s family went back generations on the Peninsula and she was passionate about preserving and teaching the children about the rich history that was all around them. Although she’d lived elsewhere during her adult years eventually the soft salty breezes and even the wild storms called Sydney home. A teacher by trade and a historian by heart she combined the two and published little children’s books about the history and culture of the area.

Once Sydney retired from teaching she got serious about writing. I wrote a blog about her collection of letters from an aunt who grew up in Oysterville, Sydney’s family home, in a much simpler time a couple of years ago. What I didn’t know was that she also began writing a blog. So I am here today to introduce you to Sydney Steven’s. Check out her blog

PS The little church you see in the background of the picture of Sydney is where Dave and I married 20 years ago.


Jo said...

Thanks for sharing Sydney with us. My next stop is her blog. She sounds like a special person. I would have liked to be one of her students!

Stephanie Frieze said...

What was so cool about Sydney's class that it was kind of like a one room school house. The older kids taught the little kids. Her dream was to get a grant to run a one room school house as an experiment in the old Oysterville school house that is now a community club. I'm sorry she never got to do that.

Stephanie Frieze said...

Get out your gracious wear and come to her book launch on the 26th. Her newest book is a history of Oysterville and her book signing will be at the Oysterville Church where Dave & I got married.