Evergreen @ 60

The Baker Street Story -- EUUF Timeline
--by Kurt Munnich

 

Jo and I joined EUF in 1960, after we moved to Everett from Oregon. We had the privilege of hearing the late Peter Raible “candidate” at Baker Street. The typical service was lay-led, with serious discussion over coffee afterwards.

(Sometimes, when a speaker failed to arrive, a “canned” sermon was read.) “Madame” Swing was the stern matriarch of the tiny lending library. Ben Bradford, a retired minister, always brought his “bag of tricks” for children. (We learned later that his “glass of water” was spiked with vodka.) John Pierce periodically stretched our minds with his knowledge of science. Paul Girioux brought his madrigal singers from ECC on special occasions. Carro Mae Sawyer always came to church one hour late on daylight saving time days.

 

The building was constructed in 1915, and the mortgage payment was $40/month. I recall Edwin Parker on a scaffold, stripping hanging wall paper from the sanctuary.

His wife, Helen, was our Director of Religious Education.

There was a drain channel on the inside wall of the basement to handle seepage. (Later, Don Chamberlin and I dug up and installed a proper foundation drain.) I remember Pete Dewell building room dividers in the basement for classrooms. There was a squeaky, wildly-painted inside stairway that “announced” latecomers.

Overhead roll-up doors designed to enlarge the sanctuary were too heavy to use. One of the two basement restrooms featured an old fashioned overhead flush tank. Oh yes, the steeple leaked periodically and the roof had to be replaced. For a rather short time, we had a “artist in residence” renting a room in the basement.

 

Several elaborate performances were staged: In impromptu play reading of “Crawling Arnold” caused at least one member to resign. “Godspell”, directed by Barbara Patteson, included Maxine and Bill Kraemer, Kathy Beem and Dave Patterson, and Don Chamberlin in the cast.

“Job”, a play reading directed by Barbara Jelinek, included Kurt Munnich, Ward Wille, Al Swing, Don Chamberlin and Maxine and Bill Kraemer in the cast. A controversial painting by Randy Jelinek, showing  Mary giving birth, didn’t last long. “Super Graphics“, by Bob Haggard, adorned the sanctuary interior for a number of years. Kermit Chamberlin built and donated the harpsichord which is now in our sanctuary.

 

“Pancake socials” consisted of electric frying pans lined up on plywood tables. (The electric wiring had to be upgraded to prevent a total blackout.) Soon afterwards, the kitchen was cut in half to provide more classroom space.

 

After the premature Jane Raible part-time ministry (1978?), Jo and I attended only occasionally. During this time, EUF was not doing very well. A number of stalwarts (Dave Patterson, Kathy Beem, Dave and Rosemary O’Hara, Maxine and Bill Kraemer and Elizabeth Greene, as I recall) decided to turn things around. “Pilgrim Firs” became the “turning point” for EUF. The result was an extension ministry program, with a requirement for a significantly increased budget.

 

Early “canvasses” consisted of a shoebox into which people dropped their pledge cards. This all changed in 1988(?) when Annie Foerster became our part-time minister (starting at ¼ time), and we committed to buying a larger building and going to full-time ministry. Mike Mallory lead the “search team” to locate a suitable building after we decided it was not possible to expand the Baker Street facility. Kurt Munnich reluctantly agreed to chair a combination three capital fund drive and canvass for greatly increased operating funds.

 

With the help of a consultant, our capital fund drive committed $153,000 over three years, along with pledges for first year operating expenses of $56,000. Mallory’s team located a church for sale in Marysville at a price of  331,000, including the organ. In addition, their real estate agent located a purchaser for Baker Street, who paid us $140,000. After arranging for a $100,000 loan from the UUA, we moved to Marysville on Easter morning of 1990. (All dollar amounts are rounded.)

 

The Methodists, from whom we purchased our current building, had every intention of moving into a newly constructed facility. However, a state-mandated sewer connection moratorium forced them to share “our” building for almost two years. Our very first Easter service was conducted in hastily contrived quarters in the Masonic’s basement, across the street. But that starts the “Evergreen Story”, which is another chapter.

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Evergreen Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
1607 Fourth St. Marysville, WA 98270
Phone: 360.659.6621
E-mail: evergreenuu@comcast.net
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