In celebration of our 200th episode, this week’s Sound Effect theme is “Suite 200,” where all of the stories connect to a place with Suite 200 in their address. First, two sisters follow up their brush with scientific fame by tackling homelessness in Seattle. Then, we meet a mom who helped raise money for childhood cancer research with help from some special athletes. We learn about a population boom in Bremerton that puts 21st century Seattle to shame. Finally, we meet one of Tacoma’s biggest advocates who has taken up residence in a city that’s, well, not Tacoma.
BUILDING A TINY HOUSE
By the time they were 10 and 12, the Yeung sisters had been on national TV, gotten a personal tour of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and had a face-to-face meeting with President Barack Obama.
So what do you do as a follow-up to success like that? In their case, it involved spending summer vacation hammering, hanging windows and learning their way around a miter saw. Listen to this story to hear about the setbacks, triumphs and lessons learned building a tiny house for someone in need.
Christine O’Connell is a graphic designer who made friends with Sounders players before the Sounders were a part of Major League Soccer. When now-retired defender Zach Scott decided to retire, she wanted to do something special to celebrate his career. So she designed scarves in honor of Zach to sell at his last match.
The scarves sold out. Zach Scott had family friends at the time whose 10-year-old daughter was fighting brain cancer. So Zach donated the scarf money to Seattle Children’s Hospital. Listen to the story to hear how Christine's daughter was also stricken with a life-threatening illness, and how Christine decided she needed to do something to raise money for childhood cancer research — with some help from some special athletes.
Seattle was the nation’s fastest-growing big city over the past decade, having swelled by over 20 percent. But that pales — proportionately, at least — in comparison with Bremerton in the 1940s.
Bremerton’s population was 15,134. Five years later it had more than quintupled, to more than 82,000. That growth was the result of the rapid ramp-up of work at Bremerton’s Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. With the outbreak of World War II, small-town local officials suddenly had to absorb and house tens of thousands of workers.
The solution came in the form of the Bremerton Housing Authority. By 1943, the agency had constructed temporary housing projects, including a noteworthy one called Sinclair Park. What set that one apart: racial segregation. Listen to the full story now.
MOVE FROM TACOMA
If you know someone who lives in Tacoma, it’s likely they have made one thing clear to you: they love Tacoma, and are very territorial about it.
And make no mistake, Marguerite Martin loves, and probably always will love, Tacoma.
But eventually, Marguerite says, it became a struggle when she started to feel like she was “Marguerite, the thing, rather than Marguerite, the person.” Listen to the story to hear how and why one of Tacoma’s biggest advocates ended up leaving town.