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Home: Exploring the places of the heart, new artwork by Jed Dorsey

Sunnyshore Studio is thrilled to announce the date is set for Jed Dorsey’s October show. Home: Exploring the places of the heart will open on Saturday, October 20th.

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The show will feature new artworks by Jed. In his paintings Jed will explore how places become symbolic of home and how the sense of “being home” is deeply rooted in place.

For Islanders, Jed’s painting of the “gateway” to Camano, used for the promotion for the show, evokes that sense of home. How many of us felt that we had “come home” as we drive on 522 over the Stillaguamish River and look north across the marshy waters lit by the sunset to the Skagit Bay and blue and purple hills beyond.

When The Sun Paints The Sky

Partly because Jed’s painting’s wonderfully evoke this sense of home, they are purchased by collectors all over the United States. His last show at Sunnyshore Studio all but sold out. To meet the growing nationwide demand for his art, Sunnyshore Studio will make Jed’s Home: Exploring the places of the heart show available online. So if you are not able to attend the show at our Gallery on Camano you will be able to purchase your Jed Dorsey original through Sunnyshore Studio’s web site.

We are very thankful that Jed’s good friend and teammate from his Stanwood High School Days, Russell Bumgarner, and his company, Rubumco Painting Inc. is sponsoring the show.  Rubumco does great work built on years of experience, and based on character and integrity all over the Stanwood-Camano area. Check them out here: http://rubumco.com

Russel Baumgarner

Russell has been a great friend and support to Jed, and to the entire Dorsey family. His friendship, patronage and sponsorship will help us with the promotion of the show and in hosting a big party worthy of the occasion.

 

 

 

The Story Behind the Making of We are Family, Part 4

I knew that Arsenal Tech’s basketball team’s coming together as family and winning the Indiana High School Basketball Championship as the inner-city school that no one thought could win it all would make a great story.

So I starting taking some baby steps towards making a documentary film about that season.

First Steps

The first step after the season was my son Julian filing all the footage. Julian was a real trooper, putting hours and hours into putting the footage into files where it could be found. It had been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Julian to be a part of that team, and he was motivated to see the project through.

I recruited my friend David Lichty, a film-lover and film-maker, to help me with the project.

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When David heard that the cumulative grade point average of the Championship team was over 3.0 he was intrigued. It blew away the stereotypes of an “ghetto school.” He directed me to go through all the footage and note what parts were good, what parts we should highlight, etc. It took me hours and hours to do this. Finally it was catalogued. I passed my notes on to David who started to compile it into a rough story-line of the season.

First musicians/composers recruited and first showing

I started to ask around for musicians/composers who could help with the sound track. Mrs. Marveda Saunders was a Police Officer who served at Tech. Her son, Eron Harris, was playing Division one basketball, first, I think at West Virginia. Then he transferred to Michigan State. Marveda told Eron about our project and he sent a great song that we are going to use on the sound track.

My friend Donteau Gladney Sr, whose son Donteau Jr. had played on the Championship team, recruited one of his nephews to lay down a few beats which were passed on to us too. We had the beginning of a sound track. But just the beginning.

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In October of 2014 we had a rough, and long, 2 hour movie of the season. We showed it to the Tech basketball team. Both David and I knew that we were far from done with the finished product, but we had a good start.

Then the project sat untouched. For almost four years.

My move to Washington State

In January of 2015 my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. That rocked my world. We had buried our roots deep in Indy, but now I felt a real desire to be closer to home to help my dad and mom out in mom’s battle with breast cancer.

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A pastor job opened up at a Presbyterian Church in Redmond, WA. I applied and got the job. In August of 2015 I drove a big Uhaul truck across the country with my friend Donteau. We had all kinds of adventures in our cross country trip. But that’s another story.

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An hour before we got to Redmond I started crying because I knew I was going to have to say goodbye to my friend Donteau, and because we had left our home and a big part of our heart in Indy, with the church and friends there, and with IPS.

I didn’t know that I would ever have a chance to complete the “We are Family Project.” It just wasn’t on my mind. And I couldn’t figure out a natural way to go back to Indy and work on project.

On the Shelf

I put the “We are Family” project on the shelf. I didn’t have the time and energy to work on it. Besides my regular work as a pastor in Redmond, WA I was also starting up my long dreamed of Sunnyshore Studio on Camano Island. David, however, did put some work into the project. Donna Griffin, who taught media at Tech at that time, was very encouraging to us to continue the project. She connected us to a bunch of old footage of players being interviewed, of Tech in the past, and other great material. We owe her a real debt for all of her help!

But besides David spending time with Donna, the project sat on the shelf, until May 2018.

Judah in Indy and Jacob graduating from Purdue

In January of 2018 my third son, Judah, had gone back to be Indy as part of a “gap year” after he graduated from High School. He wanted to have some time to be with his friends, and to have some closure. He lived with my brother Jed and sister-in-law Renae, in their home just a block from Tech high school. Judah had had a great time in Indy. By May he was ready to come home to Redmond.

In May, my oldest son, Jacob, graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree from Purdue. This was a huge accomplishment and my wife, Jenny, and I determined we would fly back to Indy to celebrate it with him.

Finally I had a reason to be in Indy. I took a week vacation and started scheduling interviews.

Our friends, Nathan and Sarah Partain, were on a sabbatical trip. They live one block east of Arsenal Tech, just a few houses away from my brother Jed. This gave us a “base camp” to operate from.

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Jacob’s graduation was on Sunday, May 13th. How awesome was that for Jenny! It was great for me too, but especially gratifying for Jenny.

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We attended Brian Parks graduation party too. Brian played football at Tech. He received a scholarship to play football at Wabash where he graduated with top honors. At the party I was able to interview Brian, and Ms. Garing, who had been a very popular English teacher at Tech about that Championship season.

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The next three days were busy!

Monday, May 14th

On Monday, May 14th, David and I went to work.

For me that morning started out at Peppy’s Grill in Fountain Square where I met two of my friends, Matt Aalsma And Paul Baumgarten.

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David had arranged for us to use the studio of his friend, artist Casey Roberts, which is in an old warehouse on Mass Ave, near Tech, to film in.

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Casey’s studio was big and artsy and quiet, with space for interviewees to hang out and relax. It was perfect! I am so thankful for his gracious hospitality to let us use it.

David met me at the door. And we got to work right away.

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We had some technical difficulties, no pun intended, and my friend Paul Baumgarten graciously stopped by and helped us get one of our cameras in order.

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Our first interview was with Dr. Eugene White, President of Martin University. He had been a past Superintendent of IPS and gave us great perspective on IPS and what the Tech victory had met.

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On Monday I also interviewed Bob King, who was a parent of a Tech student during the championship season, and who also was a reporter for the INDY Star, covering IPS. I also friend, fellow IPS dad and huge IPS sport fan, Josh interviewed Josh Bowling.

For lunch my friend, local icon, historian and artist, Kipp Normand, joined David and I at La Prada on New York Street. I was able to twist Kipp’s arm hard enough to get him to promise to come back on Tuesday for an interview.

On Monday evening I interviewed Donald Mosley who was a Tech Student in 2013-2014 and part of the student sport reporting team that covered the basketball team. He has a great voice and had a striking perspective on it all.

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Tuesday, 15th

Early on Tuesday morning my son Judah and I walked to Tech and took some great footage of the school in the morning and as students began to arrive on campus. What a beautiful campus Tech is!

On Tuesday morning I interviewed Kipp, who provided lots of insight about Indianapolis and IPS history. At 11:00 I interviewed Kyle Neddenriep who is an Indy Star Sports reporter and who had followed Tech closely their championship season. It was very interesting to hear his perspective.

At 1:00 David and I went to the impressive history center at the Tech to meet with Linda Hill, who was a sophomore at Tech when they went to the went to the final at Muncie Central and lost; she was at the Championship game in 2014, watching the clock, as the game got close and closer. When Tech won she cried. We had also scheduled and interview there with Ken Kenipe.

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Ken had met his wife Joan in the 3rd grade. He graduated from Tech in 1949 (after just three years); Joan went four years to Tech and graduated in 1950. They started going to games when they were freshmen in 1946. They haven’t missed any games apart from a few years when they lived away from Indy. Ken and his wife had been recently written up in an article in the Indy Star as Tech basketball fans. Finally, we had scheduled to interview Sarah Bogard, who was the principal at Tech for a number of years before they won the championship. She created the Arsenal Tech museum and is a wealth of information about Tech and IPS.

Unfortunately, we had our wires crossed. They had planned to meet with us on Wednesday. So David and I spent a couple of hours researching, and getting footage of the impressive array of historical artifacts in the Tech history rooms.

We also stopped and took video of the Championship Logo on the Tech gym floor.

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That evening I interviewed Coach Keith Dabney and Coach Jason Delaney. It was great to get their perspective on that historic season. Late that evening my son Julian Dorsey arrived from George Mason University in the Washington DC area on the beginning of summer break. He had just come off finals week, and hosting a major UNICEF event, and hadn’t slept much the last couple of days. But he was a good sport and would help us out on Wednesday.

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Wednesday, 16th

We interviewed Julian first thing in the morning. Then we went back to Tech and interviewed Linda, Ken and Sarah. Those were great interviews.

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In the afternoon I interviewed Coach K. Then my dear friend Donteau Sr. stopped by, bringing his son, Onnie Harlin, whose big brother, Donteau Jr. was a part of the team and who had basically been a “gym rat” who hung out with the championship team that whole season. Onnie was just a kid in 2013, and now he was a grown up man, heading off to college in the fall.

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I also interview Justin Parker, “JP”, who had been one of the star players on the team that season. It was great to here his perspective now four years after.

 

Over those three days, Monday through Wednesday, we were able to capture an wealth of incredible, diverse, thoughtful interviews. One theme was heard through each interview: Tech’s victory had mattered in significant ways.

We got most, not all however, of the interviews we wanted. A few days later, David interviewed Kevin and David Van Horn, twin brothers and Tech alumni, and their dad. They were huge fans that championships season. David said that the interview was absolutely delightful. At the end of their interview, the twins asked David if they could help us out financially and gave him some money. That was super encouraging.

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We are continuing to get interviews of coaches and players, family members and fans as we are able. As it stands we have an incredible amount of footage, and, what’s more important, an inspiring story.

Conclusion

There is an important story in Tech’s championship season. A story about players and coaches in an inner city school coming together as family. It is a story for all those urban kids who are told “you can’t do this.” It is a story about people coming together – black and white, rich and poor – around a team and as a team.

We have the video footage. Before us now is the hard work of recruiting a team of musicians and composers to write songs to make the film come to life. Before us is the hard technical work of video editing, hours and hours and hours of that. And before us is the great challenge of raising funds to pay our musicians and video editors. We are committed to see this story through, and to tell it to the best of our ability. We have come this far. We have confidence that we will carry on to tell this story.  We do this because:

WE ARE FAMILY

 

Jackie’s Tiny House Update

Last week Jenny, Jacob and Jackie worked on Jackie’s tiny house at Sunnyshore Studio. Being a conscientious “rule-follower” Jenny did a great job following directions; being an engineer Jacob did a great job consulting, hammering nails, and doing the heavy lifting; and being very motivated and inspired to get her long-dreamed of tiny house done, Jackie worked very hard too.

They made a great team and got a lot of work done.

Here they are building a wall.

And a second wall.

Stay tuned for the big “barn raising” when the walls and roof will all go up.

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How exciting to be one step closer to Jackie’s dream of building a tiny house where she can do creative work comes through.

Bravo Jenny, Jacob and Jackie!

The Story of the Making of the “We are Family” Documentary, Part 3

Hoosiers, arguably the greatest sports movie ever made, tells the story of a small-town Indiana high school basketball team that wins the state championship against a stacked urban school and against all odds. It is based in history. In 1954 the Milan basketball team from a tiny Indiana town won the Indiana  basketball championship.

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Like Hoosiers, Arsenal Tech High School’s Indiana basketball championship in 2014 was a victory-against-all-odds, though in reverse. It featured a basketball team from a gritty, downtrodden urban school beating the big township, suburban and rural schools and inspiring urban kids and eventually a whole city in doing so.

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But when my son Julian and started filming Tech’s 2013-2014 season none of this was a reality. It was just a dream. We had no idea how our filming project would sweep us up in Hoosier hysteria.

Don’t get me wrong. Tech’s team, led by Coach Jason Delaney and star player Trey Lyles surrounded by a cast of very gifted seniors, was good and they were motivated. The last two seasons they had suffered heartbreaking losses: two years before they lost to Lawrence Central at regionals by a last second buzzer beater shot by Jeremy Holloway. The previous year they had lost a hard-fought sectional game to Cathedral with Trey Lyles, who had hurt his knee in the game before, watching from the bench. Going into the 2013 season, Coach Delaney had said that this was an all-or-nothing season; anything short of a state championship was a failure.

Even with their strong team, Tech was an underdog to win it all. After all, Tech had never won an Indiana Basketball Championship since it had been established as a high school in 1912, though its teams had played in the championship game four times, losing in 1929, 1934, 1956 and 1966. And no Indianapolis Public School (IPS) team had won the state basketball championship since Broad Ripple did in 1980. The reputation of IPS basketball teams was that they had great athletes but they had low basketball IQ’s, little discipline, and didn’t play well as a team. IPS teams were routinely dismissed from the playoffs by the powerful township, suburban and parochial schools. Certainly, Tech’s program had been limping along for the last couple of decades. Up to a few years before this, no player at Tech really expected to have a chance to win the Indiana Basketball Championship. It was a distant, hazy dream held forth by Coach Delaney and bought into by his team.  The odds were stacked against them.

Nevertheless, after an impressive, in fact, a dominant season with only two losses, anticipation was building about Tech’s chance to go all the way. The school was abuzz. Something special was happening. It was.

The sectional games were held at Lawrence North. In the first sectional game Tech beat Lawrence North soundly. Then they clobbered Lawrence Central, wiping out some of the pain from two years before.

The sectional championship was against Roncalli, a team built on a program and disciplined to play as a team. Roncalli kept the game close by playing a zone, a box in one defense on Trey and hitting their shots from outside. But at the end of the day they were no match. The Tech team held high the sectional trophy, but their sight was set on higher goals.

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By this time, not only was there a buzz about the team on Tech’s campus, Tech alumni were coming out to the games in droves, filling the seats and cheering on their alma mater.

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The Regional finals were held at Southport: two games in one day. The first game was against Richmond. The stands were packed with Tech fans. It was a fun game, with Tech clearly superior. Between the games my wife, Jenny, and I hosted Tech players and coaches at our home for some “down time.” It was great to be able to support the team in that way.

IMG_0842The second game was against Pike. This is now known as the “pink jersey” game. It was quite a fiasco. Here is what happened. In support of the battle against breast cancer, and a couple of players on the team who had family members fighting that battle, Tech had gotten pink jerseys and worn them as their uniform at previous games throughout the season. Having the platform of the regional finals game, they chose to wear the pink jerseys. But one of the Pike coaches complained, the officials conferred, and Tech was ordered to wear their regular green jerseys. However, those were back at the school. And so the game was delayed while one of Tech’s coaches sped home to retrieve the green jerseys. I think Tech was charged a double technical. A Pike player made the free throws, and so Tech started the game down four to zero, or something like that. It didn’t matter. Despite the strong play of Tech player John Robert’s brother, a sophomore at Pike, Tech beat Pike soundly. After winning the game, Tech put back on the pink jerseys for the photos and for cutting down the net. Afterwards Coach Delaney had to write a letter to the Indiana High School Basketball Association apologizing, but I don’t think he minded doing that very much. They had made their statement in support of the battle against breast cancer quite well after all.

Semi-state was held in Richmond against Bloomington. Before the Bloomington North game I interviewed a bunch of Tech alumni and other fans who had gathered at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Richmond. They were confident in their team winning. But that victory was not as easy or straightforward as it should have been.

I’ll never forget walking into the Richmond gym. It was absolutely packed. Hearing the roaring crowd I felt goose bumps up and down my arms and back. It was “Hoosier Hysteria” at its best.

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Tech played a tough Bloomington North team and just dominated in the first three quarters. Tech was up by well over twenty points going into the last minutes of the game, so Coach Delaney sat his starters and brought in the bench. That was almost disastrous. Bloomington North kept fighting. They got shots and stops and breaks and calls. And before you knew it the game was well within their reach. Delaney put his starting five back in, and they barely held off the charging Bloomington team. The Regional Championship trophy was Techs, and their fans were ecstatic, if not a little shaken, after the dramatic ending. Tech was going to the State championship for the fifth time. Would they finally win it all?

Now not only was Tech’s students and alumni rallying around the Tech team, but hosts of Indianapolis Public Schools players, coaches, fans, alumni and supporters were cheering them on. Tech’s team represented them. “We are Family” had come to symbolize not only the team as family, but a whole school district as family.

The Indiana High School State Championship game was at Bankers fieldhouse vs. Lake Central, a team Tech had already beaten in the regular season. I was personally not feeling well at the time. In fact, about that time I had to have surgery to check my lymph nodes to check and make sure that I did not have cancer. Thankfully I didn’t; I just was under a great deal of stress due to a hard situation at work. So I wasn’t able to join in all of the festivities before the game, although I was in attendance. However, my son Julian was brought up with the team and so he was on the inside and able to shoot video. He got great video of the team’s first practice at Banker’s fieldhouse before the game, their walking out onto that court for the first time. It feels a lot like the scene from Hoosiers when the Milan team walks out onto the Butler Fieldhouse before their championship game.

In the locker room before the game quotes from Lake Central players were posted, just in case the Tech team needed added motivation.

What an awesome moment that was to walk into the Fieldhouse packed by fans, to have the players introduced under the lights, and to watch them finally play on that big stage.

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Julian, and other players, shot video from the bench before, during and after the game, capturing the magic of it all.

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Bankers Fieldhouse was packed with Tech fans who cheered their team on. Tech was in control of the game from the beginning, but Lake Central never gave up and kept it close all the way to the end. When the last seconds of the game came to a close and Trey threw the basketball into the air I think I was not alone among the fans in shedding a tear.

I know that Trey also cried in the joy of the victory. There is a great picture of him hugging his dad crying with I’m sure the joy of accomplishing the dream.

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What a thrilling culmination of hard work and family faithfulness for that team.

I doubt if Trey and that Tech team could know what their victory against-the-odds would come to mean for other kids in urban Indianapolis playing for IPS schools: a door had opened to the impossible dream that a team from IPS could win it all too.

Two snapshots gave premonitions of how much that victory meant to Tech and IPS. The first was a student assembly to celebrate the Tech team that finally brought the trophy home. That was a fun, relaxed, joyful, playful time for the teammates and their friends.

The second was a celebration in Tech’s gym on April 8th. The gym was filled with students and alumni and fans and news reporters. It was a party atmosphere. current and past cheerleaders danced and led cheers. One highlight for me was a cheering line for past Tech players. I caught every player coming through the line with big smiles and lots of back slapping and high-fives and handshakes.

At the end of the day, how much did Tech’s victory matter? How much of an impact would it make? It would only be years later that the full impact of their victory could be assessed.

And then could their story be captured and told?

A story about family.

A story about a team of young men and coaches who had a dream

A story of friends and family who came around them to support them in their dream

A story of an urban basketball program that wasn’t supposed to have a chance

A story “for all the inner city kids who are told” you can’t do this

A story about a team inspiring first an inner-city school, then its alumni, then a school district, then a city around their quest to win it all.

In the last article in this series I’ll share the steps that have gone into the making of the documentary We are Family that is due to come out in March of 2019, five years after that inspiring game at Bankers Fieldhouse.

Date for Grand Opening of Dorsey Fine Art Studio at Camano Commons is set

The date for the grand opening of the Dorsey Fine Art Studio at the Camano Commons, run by Jed and Renae Dorsey, has been set for Friday, August 10th, from 10:00am-5:00pm.

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The Dorsey Fine Art Studio will be the working art studio of Jed Dorsey. It will also showcase paintings by the Dorsey family of artists, as well as books, maps, coasters, fairy prints, and other merchandise by this creative family of artists.

It is located at the upstairs of the Marketplace of the Camano Commons, the closest thing to a hub that Camano has. Those who know how much Jed loves people and a good party, know that this is a perfect spot for him to do his creative work and show his art.

Jed has repurposed and old fence boards he got from his dad to create four walls to showcase the artworks. They tie the space together nicely.

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Come out and give Jed and Renae best wishes on this venture.  If you’re not able to stop by on Friday you can visit on Saturday, also from 10:00am – 5:00pm.

The Dorsey Fine Art Gallery hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00am-5:00pm.

Stay tuned for the specific time of on Friday the 10th and also on Saturday the 11th.

 

Explore the beautiful places and special people of Camano with Jason Dorsey (1)

On my summer break and in between many projects – working at my parent’s home on Camano, painting for my second children’s book, and working on my daughter’s tiny house (to name a few) – I’ve found time to explore some of the beautiful places and special people of Camano. Come with me and #Discoverbeautifulcamano.

Mabana Beach

For me, summer vacation begins with taking a dip in the sparkling waters of Mabana Beach. It was not so sunny and sparkly but my son Jacob and I jumped in nonetheless.

Dotti Burton’s Garden

A fellow artist of the Camano Arts Association, Dotti Burton, had invited me to tour her garden. One morning Jacob and I did, and it was truly amazing. It inspired me to add a new category to the Discover Beautiful Camano book and documentary project: the gardens of Camano. Dotti was gracious enough to be interviewed on the spot.

Touring the Island with Scott and Ashley Miller

A few days after our time with Dotti, my best friend from college, Scott Miller and his daughter Ashley came to Camano to spend time with us. One day I spontaneously decided to take them on a tour of “my island” and this is a record of that tour.

Our first stop was at my parent’s home. Where Dad’s studio, the original “Sunnyshore Studio” was. Ashley was a good sport to be in the video.

From Dad and Mom’s we headed south. Our next stop was at Tyee Corner Grocery where we enjoyed delicious hamburgers. Scott ate his without the bun because he was in a weight loss contest with his mom. I interviewed the store’s owner.

We continued south. Our plan was to stop at artists John and Vicki Ringen’s home, but they were driving out as we pulled in, so we pressed on to the south end of the Island. Looking over the high cliffs of Camano to the waters below is one of my favorite vistas of Camano.

After racing back from the south end to show some visitors who had come all the way from Illinois to see Sunnyshore Studio, we continued around the Island, now heading our north.

We stopped at the fabulous Matzke Gallery and Sculpture Park. A Raku firing event was taking place, but Karla was gracious enough to share a little bit about her Gallery and Park. She is one of the driving forces behind our “colony of artists” on Camano.

Our next stop was at Bill and Marilyn Christenson Wayland’s home. Bill was my pastor during my growing up years. He pastored Camano Chapel for 28 years, and he and his family are a landmark on Camano.

We continued our drive north along the west side of the Island. Our next stop was Huntington Grocery Store, which carries a remarkable amount of fishing and recreational gear as well as food and candy for its size.

After Huntington’s we stopped at Madrona Beach. A youngster who must have been bored came out of his modern style beach home and we had competitions of rock throwing accuracy. We took this video at the place where Dad used to launch his boat if we didn’t use the State Park’s ramp.

I had a birthday party to attend at my sister, April’s, farm on the north side of the Island, so Scott, Ashley, Jacob and I took a break from our tour. After the party I stopped at Scott’s aunt Linda and uncle Mike’s beautiful home overlooking the Camano Country Club. This is the view we saw. The video really doesn’t do it justice.

Scott and I are both pastors and on vacation, so we decided to have our own worship service on the lower deck at his aunt and uncle’s home the next morning. We had a sweet time of reading Scripture, singing, praying and sharing encouragement.

On Sunday afternoon Scott, who is a good golfer and I, who am a rather poor golfer, challenged my dad, who is a terrific golfer for his age, and Mike who is a solid golfer to a little competition at Camaloch Golf Course. It was a beautiful evening. Scott and I ended up… (I’ll leave you in suspense).

I said goodbye to Scott and Ashley the next morning. It was a sweet time of friendship. Scott brings out the fun, playful side of me like few people can.

Camano Commons and Naked City Brewery

The next couple of days Jacob and I worked hard at my parent’s home: cleaning off the old shake roof that Dad installed well over 30 years ago. We also dug out a drainage ditch on east foundation of their house. After working hard I was famished. I decided to treat Jacob to dinner at the Naked City Brewery, a gourmet hamburger restaurant, at the Camano Commons.

My old friend and classmate at Stanwood High School, Randi Robinson Armstrong, works there and it was fun to see her. She is one of the many special people that make Camano such a great place.

 Work Party and Iverson Beach

Jacob and I were working hard to prepare for a work party at Mom and Dad’s home that happened July 21st. One highlight of that work party was that an old friend of mine, John Kandel, was visiting with his wife April and four strapping sons. They joyfully joined in the work party with us, and afterwards we went to Iverson beach where they kids built a raft out of huge logs. It took some serious engineering to get the three logs into the water.

A number of us poled and pushed the raft to my sister April’s farm. Well, in reality, we ran aground over 100 yards from the beach and had to wade through thigh high mud and clay. I laughed and laughed at the site. Then we had to walk barefoot through the fields to the farmhouse. The trek was worth it. We enjoyed a delicious dinner.

In the midst of all that work and fun, I’ve found time to paint. I’m really excited about how my watercolor paintings for my second children’s book are coming together. I feel like I’m coming back to the freshness, looseness and spontaneity that I love most about watercolor.

One evening I painted Plein Air at Utsalady Beach. What a beautiful place that is.

This is the end of this exploration of the beautiful places and special people of Camano. I’m hoping to do at least one more video tour before my vacation is up. But even then I’ll only be scratching the surface of this place!

 

Work has begun on Jackie’s Tiny House

A couple of years ago Jackie Dorsey shared her dream to build a tiny house at Sunnyshore Studio where she could retreat, do creative work and get away from technology. (I’m going to hold her to that “no technology” phrase :).

We promised Jackie that we would build a tiny house for her. But that was a big commitment and I’m not that good at construction work. So it was all a bit overwhelming.

Until Jenny stumbled across a do-it-yourself shed at Costco that she thought would be a perfect tiny house for Jackie. Jackie agreed.

Two weeks ago it was delivered to Sunnyshore Studio. Today we started work on Jackie’s tiny house.

Jackie and Jacob did some excavation work.

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We laid the “cornerstone”. Not so much a stone, but the corner from which everything else is measured.

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Dad “just happened” the foundation blocks at his house and donated them to the cause. He came through for us again, and even lent a hand.

We have lots of work ahead of us. But we have a good start and it will be fun to see the tiny house take shape!

You’ll have to come visit Jackie’s tiny house someday. She wants it to be a place of rest and creativity.

Discover Beautiful Mabana Beach

By Jason Dorsey

I officially started my vacation with a dip at Mabana Beach.  My son Jacob and I had spent the morning and early afternoon working on some landscaping projects at the Studio, including putting in another bulkhead and planting hydrangea bushes Mom had given me.

We were hot and tired and decided to go for a swim.

Mabana is the closest public beach to Sunnyshore Studio and it’s the beach my mom had played at since 1947 when she was growing up on her family’s farm half-a-mile north of Mabana.

I have lots of memories of swimming at Mabana when I was a kid too.

Jacob and I parked Dad’s old Ford truck at the top of the hill because I wasn’t confident in its brakes working on the steep and narrow drive down to Mabana. Earlier in the day it had been sunny and warm. But by the time Jacob and I got there it was overcast and windy. No one else was there.

That didn’t dampen our spirits. We waded into the white-top waves. Jacob dove in first. I have to give him credit for that. The water wasn’t bad, in fact it was warm because the tide was high and the water had come up over the sand heated by the sun.

As we sat drying off, I told Jacob a little of the story of how my Uncle Robert and Aunt Sandy had fought to keep Mabana accessible to the public. I tell that story, and more of the history of Mabana here:

The Beaches of Camano: The Battle for Mabana

You can learn more about Mabana Beach here: Beaches of Camano: Mabana Beach

 

Help Me Discover Beautiful Camano Island

By Jason Dorsey

I grew up on Camano Island. But much of its history and many of its places and people are still unknown to me.

I’ve a project called Discover Beautiful Camano Island so that I can learn more about this place I love and so that I can sharing its stories, its people and its beauty with others.

This summer on my vacation I will be exploring the places, people and stories of Camano. I will share what I learn through a series of blog posts and videos. I will also begin to paint Camano’s “places”.

My dream is that this project will culminate in Sunnyshore Studio’s publication of the book Discover Beautiful Camano Island, the release of a documentary video about Camano, and a show featuring artworks of Camano Island artists selected to paint the places of Camano.

Stanwood-Camano friends, I need your help in deciding what places to feature and what people to interview.  The big categories that I’m working with are: Farms, Parks, Hikes, Public Beaches, Churches, Art Galleries/Studios, Stores/Markets/Shopping, Recreation venues (like Camaloch Golf course), and Historic Buildings.

But I’m also open to special places that don’t fit into these categories.

WHAT ARE THE PLACES AND WHO ARE THE PEOPLE I SHOULD FEATURE IN MY BOOK?

If you know of any special Camano places, people or stories please let me know at: sunnsyhorestudio@gmail.com.

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The Story Behind the Making of the Documentary “We are Family”, Part 2

By Jason Dorsey

Read Part 1 here: The story of the making of the “We are Family” documentary (Part 1)

Part 2

In August of 2013, I started taking video footage of the Arsenal Tech High School basketball team. I’m not trained in videography, but I was passionate about getting as much footage as possible and my job as a pastor was flexible, allowing me to be present at most of the games and many of the practices. More importantly, my son Julian was on the JV basketball team, and he was able to capture footage that I couldn’t get.

One of the first things Julian filmed was Coach Jason Delaney’s pre-season speech. He emphasized the conditioning that would start in the fall, the importance of the players character, the expectation that the players would volunteer in community service projects, the goal of building of a basketball “program” at Tech rather than just building a good team, and this being the “Final Act”, the senior’s last chance to win it all.

Julian filmed the team serving as volunteers at the Monumental Marathon. On the bus ried there he took footage of one of the players, Justin Parker “JP”, singing to a Drake song. The team had lots of fun with that.

Julian also interviewed Mikey and took other footage of the team having fun with the gals from Tech’s girl’s basketball team.

This is just a snapshot of all the behind-the-scenes footage we shot. It would probably be a surprise to a lot of people just how much community service the Tech Titans championship basketball team did!

One of the first things I did was to interview the coaches: Besides the head Coach Jason Delaney there was Coach Eric Klinefelt who was known as “Coach K”; Coach Jamal Smith, who worked for the government and also with the guards, Coach Raymond Batts who coached the JV team, Coach Dabney who led the freshman team and also helped out at the varsity level. And Coach Tom Lyles, Trey’s dad. I remember asking Coach Lyles if he had to choose between the team winning state or being a team-of-character which he would choose. After a pause, he answered that he would choose being a team of character. I also filmed parents and grandparents and got their perspective on the upcoming season.

We shot a lot of pre-season footage. I regularly filmed the 70+ student-athletes who were showing up for conditioning. Then the season officially began and the team could begin to practice together.

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I remember filming waking my son Julian up for the first practice. It was held at 6:00am, with a second practice later after school. I woke Julian up at 5:14am with the camera running.  Julian was not pleased that I was filming him waking up and all groggy and stuff and let me know it. The footage is pretty funny, but I doubt it will make its way into the documentary.  Maybe we’ll stick it in the Bloopers section though.

Here’s a couple of pictures from that first day of practice.

I filmed lots of the practices and captured some special moments like when Tech’s star player, Trey Lyles, talked about each of the other players on the team.

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Trey spoke highly of all of his teammates: Jeremie Tyler, a senior who could jump out of the gym, who was an exceptional outside shooter and who could get to the rim; Mikey Jones, a senior and gifted zone breaker who was clutch in big games; Justin Parker, a transfer from Northwest High School and another senior, who was a gifted two-way wing;  Rawshan Richardson, another senior who had great jumping ability, who ran the court well and who would end up getting lots of dunks that year; Demetrius Shaw, a senior and one of the toughest guys around, who played power forward; John Roberts, a senior and transfer from Pike High School, who had great handles and was a good shooter. There were two other seniors on this team who were brought along for their leadership, hard work, and as a tribute to their participation in the program: Jason Beck and Devin Mickens. CJ Walker, a sophomore, was a team captain and starter as point guard. He was the playmaker. Then there were the two juniors, Donteau Gladney, Jr. who was an amazing defensive stopper and whose dad is one of my best friends; and Eric Meeks, a left-handed shooting guard who was fast, athletic and played hard. Tech was stacked.

Then the season started. We filmed it all. Tech won their first game against Warren Central. Then lost their second to Bowman Academy, in a packed house in Gary, IN. My mom and dad were in town, and we had spent Thanksgiving with friends in Chicago. We caught the game on the way back from Indy from Chicago. It started at least 1.5 hours after the scheduled start time. I wonder if that had anything to do with Tech’s loss to Bowman. The next two games where at the Marshall County Hoop Fest where Tech beat the top ranked team in Kentucky, Louisville Ballard, and the third ranked team in the country, Huntington Prep. Beating Huntington Prep was a turning point of the season.

In game five of the season, Tech beat their nemesis Cathedral by a big margin. Then there was the Huntington Prep game at Tech that was broadcast live on ESPN. Actor Mike Epps, a Tech Alumni, was at that game. Lot’s of alumni came back for that game. The team was so pumped after they won. We got great video of them dancing in the locker room afterwards. They were hyped!

Next Tech beat Evansville North. Then at the Indianapolis Public Schools Athletic Conference (IPSAC) Showcase, Tech beat Marion High School, featuring James Blackmon Jr., who was a terrific player. Next they beat Evansville Bosse, then La Porte La Lumiere, a nationally ranked team, with junior Jalen Coleman, who my son Julian had played with on the eighth grade basketball team at Crispus Attucks.Their next victory came against Lake Central, who Tech would meet up with again in the State 4A Championship game. They beat them soundly.

Then there was the Indy Legacy Showcase game against Park Tudor. Trevon Bluitt of Park Tudor and Trey Lyles went back and forth, both having huge games. The game went into overtime with Tech eventually pulling ahead by Lyle’s free throw shooting. At the end of the season, Trey was named “Mr. Basketball” of Indiana just edging out Trevon. Lots of alumni were there for that game.

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Then Tech traveled to Paduca, KY, for the McCracken showcase and beat Cleveland St. Villa, the number one team in Ohio. Their fourteenth game of the season was against fellow IPS school Northwest which they handily won. Next came the Indianapolis City Tournament. Tech blew out Covenant Christian, won a hard-fought game against Howe, and then beat Cathedral in the championship game. That was a high another high point for the season. Tech was cruising, and overconfident.

Their second loss of the season came to Hamilton SE, who were ranked the number two team in Indiana. Tech came out flat, while Hamilton SE came out playing hard and firing on all pistons. The loss happened on Tech’s home court. It was a hard loss for the team, but good. It focused them on each upcoming game and strengthened their resolve to not lose again. They didn’t. The last three games of the season were victories against Pike, Zionsville on Senior night, and Ben Davis.

Julian and I not only took video footage at games, but we also captured pre-game speeches and fun, half-time footage, and locker room celebrations after the games. We talked to fans and family, coaches’ wives and their kids, players and students.

As we traveled with the team and talked with those who surrounded them and cheered them on through the season, one phrase was repeated again and again by the coaches and players: “We are family.”

“We are family” symbolized the season. It described how the coaches and players had each other’s backs, that they were going to stick together through thick and thin. But it came to symbolize more than just team-as-family. As the magical season unfolded, more and more Tech students and alumni, teachers and administrators, friends and family, started coming to the games. As the buzz about this team grew, the larger “Tech family” rallied around them. The stands were packed for their games.

Landon Turner was one of the Tech family who rallied to the team. Landon was a past Tech basket star who had played one season at Indiana University player before his back was broken in a car accident, derailing his basketball career. Coach Delaney arranged for Landon to meet with the players. He spoke to them about the importance of what they represented to their families, to Tech, and to the Indianapolis community. He called for them to be the team to finally lead Tech to the State Championship.

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The “Tech family” was excited about this Titan team. But no one foresaw how they would inspire the whole Indianapolis Public School family, and, eventually, the entire city.

 

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