The marvelous martian museum
Enter Marvin the Martian. This character was created by the mind of one Chuck Jones on the 24th day of July in 1948.
He’s small in stature, black, with no visible mouth and wears a Roman helmet and skirt — perhaps a depiction of Mars, the god of war. He made his movie debut in a “Haredevil Hare” for Looney Tunes, co-starring with Bugs Bunny.
Marvin’s sidekick was his dog, pet commander K-9, and together they flew their spaceship known as the Martian Maggot. In this and other cartoon epics, he has portrayed adversarial relationships with such stars as gun advocate Yosemite Sam, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and other Warner Brothers entities.
Meet Chris Copeland, Earthling. At age 5 she collected her first Marvin the Martian memorabilia. She liked Marvin best over other cartoon characters because of his plan to blow up the Earth, but not because he was evil — planet Earth was blocking his view of Venus. He planned to accomplish Earth’s destruction by using his Illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator.
Copeland’s been collecting Marvin memorabilia ever since. Her extensive collection includes such Martian tokens as T-shirts, hats, lamps, salt and pepper shakers, a telephone, cookie jar, tea pots, key chains and jackets. Copeland also has candles, magnets, bumper stickers, bobble head figures, clocks, wrist watches and pillows.
In addition, Copeland has Martian headbands, a popcorn bowl, journals, a Marvin basketball game, hand creme, stuffed dolls and even Christmas ornaments. Everything to date is thoroughly Marvin. Copeland drinks from her Martian mug, writes with her Martian pen, saves money in her Marvin spaceship bank, blows bubbles from a spaceship filled with Martian soap and gets a Band-Aid from her Marvin Band-Aid box.
Perhaps her rarest specimen is a Marvin the Martian Pez dispenser. In her spare time, Copeland watches vintage Marvin videos and checks her internet Looney Tunes calendar, which keeps her informed of important dates. For example, Marvin’s birthday is July 24 and in 2004 he turned 56, measured in Earth years.
Fortunately, just like Marvin, Copeland has a dog commander. Unfortunately, her commander chewed up and completely destroyed her Martian slippers. But Copeland’s collection is quite extensive and will continue to grow.
Copeland has been a Key Peninsula resident since 2009. She’s a retired telephone technician and a Vietnam veteran. These days, she can be found volunteering at the Bischoff Food Bank, where she’s in charge of maintenance operations.
She also drives a large truck for picking up donations. She even furnished the food bank with the truck.
Future plans include a cross-country trip in her ‘39 Desoto, an odyssey she plans to record in her journal and hopefully publish in print on a later date.
At a recent conference on suicide prevention I heard one of the best analogies for depression. Understanding depression and isolation is like looking at a spider’s web; each strand of the web represents our social support system.
For the spider to survive it must build a web with many support strands. This allows for a wider catchment area and increases the chances of catching a fly and being able to eat, live and grow. Our lives are much like this; as we expand our support system we develop a catchment area for ideas, experience and growth. Each relationship we develop and reinforce –– such as work, community involvement, volunteering, clubs and activities –– strengthens our web.
Spiders that build webs with only a few strands are more aggressive. They understand that they have to protect the few strands they have and if a strand is broken its chances of falling increase exponentially. It must become angry and mean to keep from being mashed.
People have the same tendencies. If we build our support system with minimal strands we must be hyper-vigilant and stressed in protecting our smaller systems. When our entire system consists of only work and family and we have conflict at work the displeasure often carries over to family, and vice versa.
By expanding the webbing and adding more supports the spider is able to simply move to a more secure area of netting if one of his strands is broken. By expanding our support system we are able to refocus our mindset, focus our efforts on something other than the frustrations we are experiencing, and increase our resources to ultimately increase our chances of evolving beyond our stress.
Simple changes in our daily routines can improve our support system. Find your local resources and find those in need in your community. Socializing at local senior centers or volunteering to pick up litter can be useful ways to improve your weekly routines and improve your community.
In children, an especially important aspect of focus is the distinction between our social media outlets and our social support system.
Often in today’s society, children develop very limited social support systems.
A series of questions I often ask in practice goes like this: “How many friends do you have on Facebook?” Often I get answers in the hundreds to thousands. “What is your neighbor’s name?” Often I’m asked why they would want to know this? “If you have a fire in the night, will you blog about it or run to the nearest house for help? Wouldn’t it be good to know their name?” Often times this is followed by a look of comprehension.
Parents, by showing our children how to build a strong community we not only show them how to build their social web but we build a community that is strong and supportive.
Adding one community activity per week to your family’s routines can have significant impact on the mental health and social mindedness for generations to come. Local community resources include: Key Center Library, the Mustard Seed Project, Key Peninsula Free Clinic, Peninsula Youth Wrestling and many others in our area.
Guest column by Scott Gallacher
This year began on a great note for Key Pen Parks with the passing of our audit at the end of December. For those of you unfamiliar with audits, this is a multi-day process of reviewing all financial statements, policies and other business practices and documents by the Washington State Auditor’s Office.
Our auditor said there were “no findings, exceptions or notes,” which is very good. This means Key Pen Parks is conducting business in a lawful and ethical manner consistent with high standards.
With the audit complete, we were able to focus our attention on a more exciting project: The new Gateway Park.
Key Pen Parks strategically purchased the 39-acre Gateway Park property in 2012 because of its relatively flat terrain and its ability to provide better public access to 360 Trails. It also meets a strong need to have a developed park in the Key Peninsula’s most densely-populated north area.
Since the land acquisition was finalized, ample feedback on the future of Gateway Park was collected from local citizens through public workshops, emails and phone calls. We also queried attendees of KeyFest and the KP Farm Tour. Key Pen Parks and our board of directors felt it was critical that the public have opportunities to let their desires be heard.
Guest Column by Scott Gallacher
Ideas from the feedback were developed into three conceptual drawings which were presented at the last public workshop Dec. 6. More than 50 people attended to view the three concepts, which included features like a playground, splash pad, athletic fields, multi-use buildings and an equine arena. Attendees were then given the opportunity to discuss these concepts in smaller groups.
Park design landscape architect, Robert Droll, and I then analyzed and have applied the additional feedback from the final public workshop into a “Concept D.” This final concept will be presented to the public at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, March 4, at Minter Creek Elementary School.
During the presentation, Droll will discuss the technical background of the design, the future possibilities, and what the public can expect in terms of construction phases and timelines. For example, phase one will likely include improving access from State Route 302, parking and restroom facilities. We will also touch on how the environment and site constraints play a role in the current design and potential future adjustments.
The name “Gateway Park” reflects the future this park will have as a gateway to the Key Peninsula and a showcase of our wonderful community. It will be a destination to be enjoyed by multiple interests and multiple generations.
This is an exciting time for Key Peninsula and the greater Gig Harbor area. We hope to see you on March 4.
Next month: Are you looking for an Earth Day project? Parks Appreciation Day is April 25. I’ll tell you about it – and how you and your family can make this event an annual tradition.