Thursday, September 11, 2008

This photo was taken at the Ksitigarbha Temple, one of the larger Buddhist Temples in the greater Seattle area. The temple recently celebrated the opening of a new hall and the revealing of a new statue. More than 1,000 people attended the ceremonies. Three monks, visiting from Taiwan, blessed the temple and statue, and conducted the ceremonies. Thich Thanh Man, the head officiating monk from Taiwan, is between the two umbrellas before the unveiling of the statue.

Beacon Hill Playground

Grace Crunican, Seattle Director of Transportation, walks through the King Street Station clock tower.

(from left) Becky Benton and Brittany talk before walking in the finale of Friday’s fashion show at the 19th annual Esprit transgender conference in Port Angeles. If you've ever wondered about the transgendered spectrum, please give a look to Marc Ramirez's article, "Logging town welcomes Transgendered Group."

“Kinderkarate” class at the Filipino Community Center.

Edith Woods, right, walks with her sister, Vida Lidge, after attending Sunday service at the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

A Pacific Northwest Portrait, written by Tyrone Beason

Edith Woods has attended services at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Seattle's Central District since she moved to the city in 1962 — and her sister, Vida Lidge, has been going even longer than that, since the congregation was founded nearly 60 years ago.

Woods is 74 now and Lidge is 92. They are church ladies, tried and true, pillars of stability, portals to history and wearers of fantastic headgear.

Woods has assembled quite a church-hat collection, "about 20 or 30" by her count.

Her big sister, Vida, buys them for her from vendors at Baptist Church conventions around the country.

Not that Woods is vain. She insists she doesn't need anything fancy, "just one that fits my head."

But the hats and the churchgoers who wear them represent something more to the rest of us.

Woods, who now lives on Beacon Hill, has seen crime go up in the Central District and watched it go down. She's seen blacks flock to the neighborhood, back when it was Seattle's de facto African-American enclave, and watched their exodus when the cost of living there grew too high.

The church's congregation is morphing, too.

"New people are coming in, but a lot are dying out," Woods says.

But at least now, when Woods walks through those honey-colored church doors, she can gaze out on racially mixed 21st Avenue and see a "Barack Obama for President" sign tacked to a house across the way.

The more things change, amen, the more things change — except when they don't, except when we wander past church on a Sunday afternoon and glimpse grand ladies in bright dresses and big-brimmed hats and thank goodness that some things in this city on the move, in these historic times, stay the same.

Continuity may be one of our lesser appreciated civic virtues, but Woods and Lidge remind us of its place.

They are the last surviving siblings among five sisters. "She's the oldest, and I'm the baby," says Woods.

She has raised eight of her own children in Seattle, all of whom live within their mother's venerable field of vision on Beacon Hill.

"I can point a finger, and they could all see it and be right here," she says with a giggle and pride.

Summoned by family, our Sunday best and a long view of time, community finds a way to endure.

1 comment:

Vava said...

NICE PICTURES! and i cant believe u posted before me. 1 point for erika 0 for vava. LOL

but seriously REALLLYYYYYYY AWESOME PICTURES. i really like the one with the dude playing b-ball

All images copyright Erika Schultz or The Seattle Times