"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

The faraway kingdom of Seattle

By on May 30, 2018 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments


By Annette Byrd

Once upon a Time — in 1965 — my father decided he needed to spend some quality time with his middle daughter — me.

There were four of us girls and alone time with Daddy was at a premium.

Annette and Robert Byrd, in 1950: Holding a princess in his arms.

We had been living in Stehekin at the head of Lake Chelan but moved downlake in the fall so we could go to school. I was 15 that year and became a sophomore at Chelan High School.

Some friends of Dad’s invited him to visit them in Seattle. He decided to take me with him as I had never been to Seattle before.

The problem was, it was a weekday and I was supposed to be in school. No matter. Daddy felt it was an excusable absence. It would be educational and I would only miss one day of school.

His friends took us to a festival at the Greek Orthodox Church. There was a bazaar and other activities. In the central section of the beautiful domed building all kinds of booths were set up. We wandered through the colorful stalls, looking at all the interesting things displayed.

What all was for sale I don’t remember — because one thing eclipsed all others. Here I was introduced to Baklava! Not just any baklava. This was the genuine mouth-watering original recipe made fresh by local Greeks who knew what they were doing.

OMG! Multitudes of thin filo pastry sheets saturated in honey and filled with nutmeats melted in my mouth as the honey dripped down my chin. I didn’t know there was such a taste. It was sooo rich and sweet. After one piece your stomach said enough! But your tongue begged for more.

The festival was the highlight of the trip for me. We spent the night in Seattle and returned home the next day, visiting and enjoying the drive back.

Monday came. I needed a parental excuse for the missed school day. When I read the note Daddy wrote, I wondered how I was going to get the courage to take it to school. It said:

Once upon a time, a beautiful princess needed to travel with her father to the faraway kingdom of Seattle. Her father needed to spend time with her and she needed to spend time with her father and learn many things about the faraway kingdom. Therefore, please excuse this princess for missing school last Friday. Signed, Robert Byrd.

The little girl in me was thrilled with the obvious message of love but the teenager in me was terribly embarrassed.

With my face bright red I presented it to the office clerk. She looked at it and went into the principal’s office. He came out with the note in his hand. He looked at me, then back down at the note. He read it again.

Up to that point the princess had a perfect attendance record. Now her record showed an unexcused absence.

The princess, however, felt it was worth it — for the special time with her father and for the baklava.

Annette Byrd went to Chelan High School, lived in Stehekin, worked for KYSN radio in the early years, and was the East Wenatchee librarian for six years until she married and moved to Elgin, OR.

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