I grew up in Gig Harbor, Washington and still make my home. It is 35 miles southwest of Seattle. I know it is a weird name. It was named by explorer Wilkes. He was going through Puget Sound and a storm came about, so he wanted to come into the harbor but the mouth of the harbor was too small for the ship to enter. He anchored the ship outside the harbor and took some smaller boats called gigs into the harbor. Many places in Puget Sound he named, and this harbor he decided to call Gig Harbor after the boats.
During my childhood Gig Harbor was a fishing town; a lot of fishing boats went to Alaska and coast of Washington to fish. There is still fishing happening the fleet is only a fraction of it was in those days. In those days they had the first weekend of June called Harbor Holidays where a parade happened along with blessing the fleet. Still happens but no longer is called Harbor Holiday. The parade is now called Maritime Parade. Takes place in the morning, and the blessing of the fleet happens in the afternoon. The parade goes through downtown, and there is always a large crowd attending. Gig Harbor now is more known for tourism.
I really enjoyed growing up in Gig Harbor even though I had to deal with bullying and teasing at times. Most of the kids I grew up with were actually pretty good; it is amazing how I could be affected by a few. At four years of age I was burned; I was trying to cook eggs and my pajamas caught on fire. I was in Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma for six weeks. Fortunately I was not burned on my face. At the same time I had a problem with my hearing which they found out I had wax in my ears. After removing the wax I went to speech therapist to help out my speaking. I believe the problem of hearing was only short lived it was major part of my difficulties, but now after years of adult much healing, and forgiveness I remember the good times only. Though it is still considered a small town it is more than twice as big as when I was growing up. We spent a lot of time outdoors; it was before home computers, cable tv, and cell phones. Our family had waterfront property so we had several sail boats since my dad was really into sailing along with row boats. Often we would row to the spit at the mouth of the harbor, or to one of the marinas. Also, there was only one high school and junior high school while now there are two high schools and four middle schools. So everyone pretty well new each other to some degree. I lived only about a mile-and a half from our city park. In junior high would play pickup football after school in the fall; also, was my little league home field. Now there are more parks as well along with walking trails. So again despite some trouble growing up I could not have lived in a better place. In the future I will expand some thoughts about Gig Harbor.