Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lighting the DHT in Langley

Lighting the Dog House tree, First and Anthes, and why.

DHT as seen from Langley Whale Bell Park
photo by Janet Ploof

In the lovely town of Langley, at the corner of Anthes and First was once the center of town, back when the Dog House Tavern was up and running.  It's amazing how one business can change the look, feel and culture of an entire town.

Fran Abel, last year in a bucket installing some lights on the tree.
Langley has been years in recovering from this loss and finally other businesses are filling the void.  If you want to hear music you can go to Moe's; if you want to watch baseball you can go to the Village Pizzaria; if you want to just hang out you can go to the Commons; and if you want coffee you can go to Useless Bay Coffee Co.  We now have more options than we once did when the Dog House thrived.

Janet Ploof shows off her skills with a zip strip.
But there is still no true replacement for the community after the huge hole left by the death of Pete and the closure of the Dog House.

Upon lighting the tree, many more people are using the park and walkway to the waterfront.  
The new businesses in town are all good, but they can't totally replace the vibrance and the diversity that the Dog House provided.  Perhaps it was the alternative home provided for the youth of Langley, hanging out on the bench or working for Pete.  Perhaps it was the nostalgia of a business that had been around for many decades.  Perhaps it was the old historic building, mysteriously perched on a steep bank, linking first street to the Water.  Or perhaps it was the huge Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Pete at the Dog House for the entire village.  Come one; come all!  If you can bring a pie,  please do, but come no matter what.

Janet Ploof picking up garbage behind the Dog House Tavern.
Whatever it was, Langley misses the Dog House!  It's gone from the center of town to a big dark hole.

dbBrad doing a little dead limb removal at the same time.
But there are people who are trying to remedy this, who understand community and commerce.  The Dog House no longer looks vacant and empty, thanks to the wonderful revolving displays provided by Langley Main Street.  Through their volunteer efforts the windows are washed and lit and displays change depending on the season and the town's activities.

Ashley Taylor of WOW (Wander on Whidbey) on Belay

Despite the closure of the Dog House, remedies are at work.  One way to fill the dark corner is to light the  magnificent Oak Tree in the park, right next to the Dog.  As you come down Anthes this winter, you will surely see the hundreds of lights.  It is fun, it brightens a dark spot, it serves as a focus for the eye and it makes walking down to the water fun rather than scary.

dbBrad goes out on a limb for Langley!

These wonderful winter lights are good for Langley,  good for business and its thanks to Main Street.  For the past two years of lights we owe thanks to Janet Ploof,  Fran Abel, Yessi Ye,  Ashley Taylor,  dbBrad and Cato Company.

Ashley Taylor of Wander on Whidbey and the Braeburn ascending the tree to install lights.

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