by AMANDA WINTERS
Alicia Medeiros, a 1990 graduate of Sequim High School, was bored at work in South Carolina on Aug. 8 when she started a Facebook group, spurring thousands of memories of days gone by in Sequim.
The group, called “You KNOW You’re From Sequim If …,” had more than 1,200 members in its first week and more than 2,300 posts reminiscing about favorite restaurants, teachers and party spots of yesteryear.
Members of the group finish the sentence “You know you’re from Sequim if …” with inside jokes and memories only locals could understand.
“… you and one of your parents had at least one of the same teachers through school,” Braedon Freeland posted.
“… you read a street name and you know how it got its name!” Dave McInnes said, prompting several examples such as Lotzgesell, Kirner, Hendrickson and Beeson roads, all named after local families.
Medeiros said she wasn’t expecting such a big response but is enjoying reminiscing with people of all ages.
“It’s amazing how many people remember Bandits,” she said of the restaurant that now is the Highway 101 Diner. “The restaurants everybody has been remembering is fun.”
Another restaurant frequently noted is Nolan’s, which was at Fifth Avenue and Washington Street before moving to what is now Union Bank.
Dominic Robertiello posted his memories of Nolan’s as an ice cream shop with just a couple of tables. Mike Golding remembers drive-up service to get milk at Mil-Key after stopping at the restaurant.
“French fries and tartar sauce!” Medeiros added to a comment thread about the restaurant.
Some memories are local legends of sorts, like a ’67 Volkswagen Bug hoisted onto the high school roof during a kegger in the 1970s or bonfires with snake dances where everyone held hands and “snaked” from the high school down Sequim Avenue to the only stop light in town and back to the school.
“We used to give people directions to our house: You go to THE stop light, take a left …” Lauren Henderson wrote.
Memories of teachers and school days, good and bad, are exchanged by members of the group. Many even post pictures of themselves, with classmates or teachers, taken decades ago.
“… if you know who Helen Haller was and you remember her blue/purple hair. Once I got older and got to know her, she was a very kind and giving lady, but I sure didn’t like her when I was in school,” Marti Blair wrote about the woman for whom the elementary school is named.
Medeiros said she left Sequim after high school and came back recently for her high school reunion. Though the population has grown exponentially since her high school days and now there are more stoplights in town, so much remained the same.
“I had a great childhood,” she said. “I should’ve moved back and raised my son there.”
Though there is lively debate about what some see as the Californiazation of Sequim, the legitimacy of the lavender festivals and the conversion of farmland to retail chains, plenty of warm memories are exchanged as well.
“… you remember the WHOLE town coming together to support the Kruckeberg family and it still gives you a sense of pride to have been a part of that community,” Robertiello wrote Aug. 20, referring to a Sequim family who lost their daughter to leukemia in the 1980s.
Medeiros said she sees the community’s continued cohesiveness through the Facebook group.
“It just shows Sequim is a tight community,” she said. “Always has been, always will be, no matter how far away we move.”
Reach Amanda Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org.