Interview With Annette Bailey

From the interview with Annette Bailey of Sun City, AZ conducted by phone by John Clise on April 7, 2004 from the Fort Worden History Center.  Mrs. Bailey’s late husband, L. Leslie Bailey, was Group Life Director at the Juvenile Diagnostic and Treatment Center.  The Bailey family lived on Officers row at Fort Worden from 1965 to 1971.  Here she describes life at Fort Worden:

“The Fort Worden group at that time was sort of a party bunch.  They had parties of one kind or another going all the time, regular staff parties, and individual parties. We went to the Methodist church in town as a way of getting acquainted.  We made friends that way, several other people from the Fort also went to that church.  We were involved in our kids’ education, going to the PTA’s and attending whatever open houses they had.  We went to everything the kids were involved in, so we got to know people that way.  My husband was one of the first from the Fort to join a downtown service club.  Up until then, the people at the Fort were a pretty self-contained little bunch.  We were pretty gregarious, so it was only natural to get into the community.  It hadn’t been a close relationship between the Fort and the town, but things started to change as different people moved into the Fort. I thought Port Townsend was the ideal place to live.  I felt I had come home.  I’d moved into this darling little community and wonderful downtown.  People responded to me that way because I felt I belonged there and I never felt any sense of not belonging.  The kids just settled right in.  Karen, the oldest was into everything at school.  She and Kathy Richmond are friends to this day. There were children of every age available to be friends with on that row where we lived.  Bryan, who is two years younger, would go down to the beach with his friends.  They made a camp for themselves over the bank at the end of the row.  They took driftwood and built a living room and a sleeping room.  The Koschnick kids and the Warfield kids were involved.  They’d ride their bikes down there and do all this building.  They’d go off on bike rides and we’d get calls from Whidbey Island, ’Can you come and get us?’                I never felt any stress, I was living in this wonderful big house.  The rent was dirt cheap—it was $75 a month and they raised it to $125.  We had to mow our own lawn.  The state paid for phones in our home. I cried for two years after we left.”

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