Like a Russian novel we need a cast of characters. Also like a Russian novel, some go by different names so it is important to give this list your full attention.


  • Serena and Tammi – friends from Tacoma who Karen tended to meet in various bars. Harbor Lights was popular, strong drinks and reasonable prices in the day.
  • François-Paul Briand- next door neighbor in Tacoma and frustrated Barman. Often referred to as FP. He will be involved throughout this month.
  • François-Luc Briand- François-Paul’s father.
  • Leslie and George Patton- Live in Tacoma and we traveled to France together. George and I have also done a fair amount of bike riding together.
  • Joe and Helen Dowsett- Karen’s mother and father. Joe was my partner in Westpac after a career as a high steel painter. He painted the Space Needle a couple of times along with the transmission cables across the Narrows in Tacoma. Helen was my Mother-Outlaw, couldn’t have been an in-law since they tend to be a pain in the ass.
  • Ed Hoff- a life raft salesman for Viking Life Saving, at least at the time we were drinking in bars together.
  • Chuck Granoski- Tacoma neighbor. First time I met Chuck he was with Candace and I explained that she was my mother. Chuck was confused, but I had left out that she was my Dorm Mother in 1972. While FP wants to be a Barman, Chuck is looking to be a Pool Boy at their place in Mexico.
  • Mark Haley – Used to be part of Brown and Haley (Almond Roca) but now a great friend of François-Paul. Wife, Nancy produces amazing documentaries.
  • Werner Krampl- Canadian who has become part of our bike riding group. Werner is known for his large luggage on bike trips, probably due to the amount of booze he brings.
  • Greg Switlik- one of the three Switlik brothers who ran the Switlik Parachute company our main supplier of life rafts. Like FP, Greg had a bad influence on our daughter, taking her to fancy restaurants and introducing her to great food. Greg passed away way too young but he did arrange one last party for his friends to attend at their place in New York. I believe some drinking was done that night.
  • Ed Davis- bike riding friend who had a business down the street in Tacoma from ours. Ed introduced me to sneaking on to Ft. Lewis through a hole in the fence to ride bikes on base. Why we never were caught I don’t know.
  • Pascale Meuiner- a school friend of FP’s who has become a friend of ours. Lives in Paris and is allergic to idiots. She also knows that in most countries if she is suffering from an allergy and hides in the women’s bathroom, no guy will come looking for her. This doesn’t work in France.
  • Ryan Cummings – cyclist, wine drinker and a nurse at U of W.
  • Jim Brose- neighbor in Cle Elum who seems to have a problem with time. Happy Hour has now moved up to 16:30 and sometimes earlier.
From Mark Haley