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Around Del Norte: 'Test driving the military'

Members of the Sea Cadets carry flowers to a waiting vessel during a recent Memorial Day service at Crescent City Harbor.
Members of the Sea Cadets carry flowers to a waiting vessel during a recent Memorial Day service at Crescent City Harbor. Del Norte Triplicate file/ Bryant Anderson
A chance to train with the Coast Guard; Gasquet author wins two literary awards 

The Sea Cadets are looking for a few good boys and girls, ages 11–17.

It’s a chance to train with the U.S. Coast Guard, ride in a Coast Guard helicopter and wear U.S. Navy uniforms while presenting the colors at public events. Lately the Sea Cadets turned up at local Memorial Day and Flag Day events, and soon they’ll be marching in the Fourth of July parade.

Cadets train for about six hours two Saturdays a month.

The non-profit youth organization develops young adults through partnership with the U.S. military. Cadets are provided a drug-, alcohol-, and gang-free environment to develop independence, self reliance and leadership skills.

Sea Cadets get a chance to “test drive” quite a few military jobs, from “culinary cooking to Navy Seals to aircraft mechanics,” said Robert Griffin, commanding officer of the Nathan Bruckenthal Division, the local chapter Sea Cadets.

And while there’s no obligation to ultimately go into the military, Sea Cadets who choose to will get bumped up a couple of pay grades, Robert says.

For more information, call Robert Griffin at 951-5227, or go to seacadets.org. 

Wendy Bertrand knitting at her summer home in Gasquet.
Wendy Bertrand knitting at her summer home in Gasquet. Del Norte Triplicate file / Bryant Anderson
If it’s summer, author must be in Gasquet

It’s summer, so Wendy Bertrand is back in Gasquet. And she brought some awards with her.

Last September, Wendy unveiled her beautifully designed hard-bound book titled “Enamored with Place: As Woman + As Architect” at the North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference.

“It’s a combination of architecture, social history and memoir,” she says. And now it’s an award-winner as well, having recently garnered the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Award (miscellaneous category) and named a 2013 Paris Book Festival runner-up (biography category).

Her book touches on her early years in La Jolla, her travels in Europe and subsequent trip as a young adult around the world, her marriage to a Frenchman, how she finally found a field of study she loved, the birth and raising of her daughter, her experiences as a single mother working in the field during a time when very few women were architects, and finally, architecture itself: what it is and does, the way it works, its beauties and practicalities, as well as its challenges and shortcomings.

Wendy lives in San Francisco most of the year, but enjoys her summers in Gasquet, where her main activity is spinning her own yarn and weaving rugs. “It’s a very nice seasonal thing,” she says.

Wendy loves attending each year’s North Coast Redwoods Writers’ Conference and plans to be back this year as well.

In addition to being available at Jefferson State Books and Made By US 101, Bertrand’s book can be ordered online at wendybertrand.com/enamored-with-place. If you’re lucky, you might also find it at the Del Norte County Library, where Wendy plans to give a talk soon — date and time to be announced. 

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