After a wet, stormy October, November began with a dramatic rainbow and sunset.
Komo Photographer Peter Mongillo was out covering stormy weather and found himself on the picturesque shores of Lake Samish, just south of Bellingham.
Traveling through Cle Elum, Eric Johnson and I happened upon Stephen Ristene, his neighbor Caleb, and their amazing wheelbarrow tower.
Imagine the surprise to those passing by,
the quizzical looks, the wondering why.
What’s that in the woods on the edge of Cle Elum?
Would anyone believe ya if you dared even tell ‘em?
The wheelbarrow’s a rickshaw for dirt and debris,
a long shot for glory and immortality.
But there in the trees among pine cones and sparrows,
is a sky scraping tower of rusty wheelbarrows.
There was no master plan when he first stacked dirt carriers,
imagination and gravity his only true barriers.
Does he rent them? Does he steal them? Is he on the straight and narrow?
Does his old dog Hunter beg, steal and wheel-barrow?
But he could only go so far without pushing his luck,
what the stacker really needed was a big fire truck.
And then just this morning, like a gift dropped from heaven,
came the big ladder truck from fire district seven.
Of all the great towers in all this great world,
we should remember and try to be mindful.
Spectacular feats of engineering and vision,
Babel, and Pisa, Eiffel.
But when they ask you to name the greatest of towers,
made by kings, czars or pharaohs,
Be sure to tell ‘em,
‘bout the one in Cle Elum,
Known simply as “Tower Wheelbarrows”
And when the stacking is done
and the stacker grows old,
there will be no sad goodbye.
He’ll look up for a while then Stephen will smile,
and climb his wheelbarrow stairway to the sky.
- Eric Johnson
Fire District 7 Chief Russ Hobbs says that they don't often get a chance use their ladder truck, the wires and angle of the wheelbarrow tower made this project the perfect training exercise.
"It's Very Capitol Hill" was fun to do. It's become the topic of conversation for a lot of folks around the area. Reporter Lindsay Cohen had hoped to do the story but was not able, so she gave it to me.
With the fence to around it, the challenge was getting a variety of shots in tight quarters, and because I shot it late in the day, I had to get those shots and the artist's interview in the twenty minutes before it got too dark. I went on auto-pilot at that point and had to hope I had enough when I sat down to edit.
To flesh out the story, I had to rely heavily on interviews with passersby who, luckily, had much to say about it all. I was able to use their fantastic sound to advance the story and rely on the artist to fill in the some of the gaps, like the inside information on Ada's Books.
It was a treat to work on this.
The band and orchestra of College Place Middle School in Lynnwood were the lucky recipients of new musical instruments worth more than $20,000. Fidelity Investments presented the students with four timpani drums, three violins and two violas. The instruments were on the wish list for the school and their expanding music department.
It was pretty foggy this morning in Seattle, this shot is taken from Fisher Plaza, looking south towards the Denny Triangle.
Bryan and I needed to shoot a short tease for our story this week. I had no idea what he was going to do or how fast he could run. Bryan has been at KOMO for more than 50 years, but I think he has more fun covering the news than anyone else I know.
Here is the raw video, check it out!
Maybe the most loved of the Eric's Little Heroes stories is the annual Mutton-Bustin' at the Puyallup Fair. This year's was one of the best.
This story was shot by KOMO Photographer Paul Koehnke
The Taylor Bridge Fire burned thousands of acres across Kittitas County in August. One of the first structures in it's path was Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and it's seven chimps.
This is the harrowing story of those first hours, when fire surrounded the sanctuary and the caretakers and firefighters did everything they could to defend it.
Nellie and Abra are two teenage otters at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium with some very special skills. While they both are able to stack cups, Nellie is particulary good at it, though Abra likes to help out.
The city of Shoreline Washington just wrapped up a month long arts project involving 8 pianos. They were donated, decorated and delivered to the streets free for anyone to play. I caught up with some fun people enjoying one of those pianos outside Darrells Tavern one Saturday night. I really enjoyed how much they loved playing. Thanks for watching.