Every community has stories. Some are notorious, such as those about Billy Gohl. Others are splashy-tragic, such as tales of Kurt Cobain. The most common every-day stories, however, are about unsung people – noble because of who they are, the challenges they have overcome, the barriers they are breaking, and how they contribute to community.

     This collection of poetry, essays, oral histories and photographs is a modest attempt to fill in some of the chorus of voices that make up the Grays Harbor community. The anthology you are viewing is the tangible result of writing, editing, photographing, designing, and publication management by a small group of residents from Grays Harbor and surrounding areas who were students in The Evergreen State College program, “Telling Our Stories: What Makes Communities Work.”

     For the 2011-2012 academic year, these working adult students committed to themselves and each other that they would make time in their busy lives laced with family and work, and come together in good faith to explore, wrestle with and revel in community. In the process, we all learned that community is both the geographic area we live in and the relational communities we choose or happen to find ourselves in. We also learned that a community can, and does, reach new heights and depths of collaboration, dignity and courage through shared vision and the heart, commitment and belief in ourselves and each other to bring that vision to fruition.

     The pleasures of sharing and receiving stories are essential ingredients of community, and of life. Hooray to the anthology students! Hooray to this gift they bring to the Harbor, their community.

~ Stephen Buxbaum, Carolyn Prouty, Suzanne Simons
Faculty, Telling Our Stories: What Makes Communities Work
The Evergreen State College @ Grays Harbor College campus
May 2012