About Me

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Hi, I'm Darryll and I live in Pullman, Washington with my wife and two kids. I'm a licensed Architect and am employed as a Project Manager at Washington State University. In addition, I have my own business doing residential designs in the greater Palouse area. I am a self-taught pianist, song-writer and singer and am involved in the music department at my local church.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Imagination - Playing Army!

I read a blog post recently where the author was commenting about how kids today had so much electonic stimulation of what isn't real that "...they are forced to imagine what reality actually is".  That's a really powerful and rather thought provoking concept.  Like most of you, I grew up playing with the neighborhood kids and we all actively employed our imagination in almost all of our play times.  And I am thankful that we had that in our lives.

I grew up in North Seattle and lived near the Puget Sound.  Some of the best times we had as kids were when we went down to the big park by the water and played army.  It’s a lot more developed now, but when we were kids it was a mainly a huge hillside of sand and Scotch broom bushes.  You can check it out here:

…here's a view in google maps that shows it pretty well.

I remember that we would literally spend hours there playing war.  Even though there was only half a dozen of us, we would scamper up and down the hills – hiding in scotch broom outcroppings, behind old rusted out cars, sidling up to the few lone trees – and taking every chance we could to “kill” each other.  In our minds eye, we were all Vic Morrow on the TV show Combat! – taking out all the ‘krouts and Japs – not very PC today, but definitely the verbiage of our generation.

Mind you, we didn’t have fancy electronic guns that would make shooting noises for us.  No – that was all up to us – and the kid who could make the best “pekuuu” (single shot)… or “pphthththth” (machine gun) sound was cooler than everyone, even if he did get killed.  And some of the coolest guns we had were those that we hand made out of old broom handles, hunks of 2x2 and a mass of black electrical or duct tape.

I drove through our "battleground" last time I visited my family - it’s now full of nature trails, BBQ’s and playground platforms, and lots of amenities for the family.  I’ll never forget that in my youth, it was a hillside full of imagination of intense warfare in a Wolrd War 2 setting, and made for endless hours of awesome memories.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Future Pilots in the '70s!

Someone said something the other day that sparked a memory and I had to write about it.  This was one of those times when I realized that we did a lot of simple things growing up and had a lot of fun doing them. 

We lived on the west side of Washington state, and we often vacationed on the east side of the Cascades.  It was almost always warm and sunny over there and we would go stay in campgrounds and state parks.

We often went to a place called Entiat, a beautiful state park on the Columbia River.  We would spend hours as kids playing in the river, playing frisbee, playing on the camping playground and generally just having a lot of fun being kids.

One thing that was a real treat was when we would go to the little general store in town and buy those little balsa wood airplanes that had the wind up rubber band to power the propeller.  Entiat was a nice park and had a huge green grassy area which was perfect for playing with these planes.  If I remember correctly, they came with an extra rubber band which was good, because that ended up being the limiting factor on how long the planes lasted.

The whole length of the park had a row of huge Poplar trees that acted as a windbreak and were cool to climb in.  Sometimes we had to climb the trees to retrieve our planes and we weren't always able to find or reach them.  I bet to this day you can still find 40 year old balsa wood plane skeletons in those trees.

Sometimes, we would splurge and spend a little bit extra to buy the planes that had the little set of wheels on them.  While the grass wasn't ideal for take offs and landings, it was really cool to have them and made us feel like we were running our own little airport.

These were really awesome and gave us hours and hours of outdoor, fresh air fun.  I bet kids to day would love to play with them, too.