This last week I was able to contact and the arrange with a girlfriend I actually met for the first time at Kirkland Junior High School (now only a memory) and enjoy a quick mini-reunion with a fellow alumnus of a Lake Washington High School in the charming lakefront community of Kirkland, Washington named after a Peter Kirk who once had a dream to transform the area into the "Pittsburgh of the West".
While Kirk's vision of Pittsburgh never materialized, the town bearing his name has emerged from the sleepy little backwater suburb my classmate and I were more familiar (remember an eatery called The Happy Clam?) in the early seventies to a most lively destination spot and definitely more posh.
Although my classmate and I (who still remembers when J.C. Penny's had a spot downtown?) chose to get-together at the annual Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival at the Seattle Center on Sunday, our memories of those teen years on the other side of the lake were as close to our hearts as the billowing blossoms shown in the pictures that accompany this blog!
Above: Fully-loaded blooms such as this one made it very easy for visitors on foot to imagine they've just been swept off their feet and whisked away to a far off place. Photo copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura.
Above: Flowering trees provided a perfect frame for visitors heading to the Seattle Center last weekend to attend the annual Seatle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival. Photo copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura.
Above: Martial arts demonstrations entertained a crowd during last Sunday's festivities. Photo copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura.
Above: This beautifully dressed Japanese emperor doll eyed passersby from behind the security of his own glass wall. Photo copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura.
Above: Festival visitors took time to view a potpourri of colorful booths, exhibits and vendors including this display of bold calligraphy. Photo copyright 2009 by Mizu Sugimura.
Above: Other beautiful flowers graced the grounds at the Seattle Center and along with the cherry blossoms underscored a cheerful greeting that spring is at last upon us!