The Parkins Report

Events of 2003

It's been a busy year in the Bitterroot: visits, travels, quilt show, quilts and more quilts. Roof repairs, expanding the quilt studio office, etc. We had a wet late winter and spring, in which we endured a major roof leak, involving shoveling snow off the roof as well as the walks until it dried enough to mount a major repair effort. Larye even got involved in the quilting activities, making a quilt (which Judy quilted) for the summer quilt show.

The big news: we started Weight Watchers in October 2002, and lost a combined total of 185 pounds in one year! We feel great, and look more like our former selves, although a little more shopworn. We celebrated with a new portrait--in the same clothes we wore 19 years ago (at right).

December 1984 - October 2003


This year has been mostly family-oriented: Judy made several solo trips to Lakewood, Washington before, during, and after the birth of our newest grandson. Together, we did a whirlwind tour, hitting Las Cruces and Lakewood in one week, then a trip to Wisconsin to babysit, during which Larye got in a day's canoeing and a trip to Oshkosh; another weekend trip to Lakewood.

Vacations and getaways included weekends at our cabin, of course, plus at nearby resorts: one at Lake Coeur d' Alene, ID and two at Columbia Falls, MT. We spent a week in Odgen, Utah, touring the Salt Lake area, returning via Spokane, where we took in the fall quilt show, getting a great fall color tour of western Idaho and up the Clark Fork and Bitteroot valleys of Montana. Nice scenery, but the best place to be is home.

On the Internet

Check our family web site for details:

This file:



Amazingly, we are still doing the same things, which we both enjoy.

Judy's quilting business, Realizations, continues to keep her busy: the 200th customer quilt came off the longarm machine in early November. Spring and early summer were busy with preparations for the biennial Bitterroot Quilt Guild show. Out of 250 quilts on display, Judy had quilted more than 50. Of the 11 of her own quilts entered, she took several ribbons, including first place in the machine-pieced, machine-quilted category. Fall started with the annual Innovations Machine Quilting Conference, in Tacoma.

Larye continues to work on contract at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, National Institutes of Health, although with a new logo on the paycheck: Soza, Ltd. was sold to Perot Systems early in the year, becoming part of Perot Systems Government Services. Luckily, the new dress code coincided with the need for new clothes to match his slimmer size. The lab itself has come under attack from citizen's groups in response to the planned expansion and upgrade to Bio-Safety Level 4, making for some lively community meetings.

Larye's home-based consulting business, Information Engineering Services,still mainly supports Judy's, keeping busy updating her quilting web site. After the loss of his hardware distributor at the end of 2002, he is researching a possible market for custom small form-factor computers, and has built a "portable desktop" system for evaluation, running Linux, of course, with Cross-over Office to run the inevitable Windows applications.


Larye & Judy Parkins

PMB 435, 610 1st St., Ste. 5

Hamilton, MT 59840

(406) 375-6139 (406) 240-3328 (406) 240-3328

Much more on the web. Quilts, trips, etc., plus an expanded version of this report with links.


Additions: grandson Ethan Nicolas Bock, to Mark and Candice, May 2. We were present for his birth and Judy stayed a couple weeks.

Marriages: the day before Ethan's birth, we were in Las Cruces, for Sheri and Jose's wedding reception.

Zylania visited in July: this year, we took in the Arlee PowWow, Bitterroot Bluegrass Festival and Miller's Castle: Judy and Zylania went horseback riding up Lost Horse Creek.

Judy also spent a few days at Mark's midwinter and this fall, and we were on hand for Ethan's baptism in October. We also spent a week in Wisconsin, looking after Ashley, Travis, and CJ while Matt and Patricia took a long-overdue vacation...

Local family include Judy's sister in Polson (during the summer) and son Larye in Clinton.


The welcome mat is still out: we're in a friendly small town with great scenery, come on down.

No visitors this year, but we did see a few old friends briefly--during all-too short and entirely too busy trips back to western Washington. Hopefully, we'll find more time for touring in the coming years.

Environmental Notice

No Microsoft products were used in the production of this newsletter.

Composition: Sun StarOffice 5.2 on a Sun Blade 100 running Solaris 8. Graphics and print rendering: the GIMP and ghostscript. Web servers: Linux.

Dramatis Personae

House of Parkins:

LARYE, the Elder, son of Donald and Hilda: a tinker and scrivener in the cybernetic arts. A resident of Hamilton, in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana.

JUDY, daughter of George (Guy) and Rose BINGHAM, wife to LARYE: a former nurse, now a fabric artist and maker of fine quilts.

LARYE the Younger, son of LARYE: a practitioner of the mechanical arts and automotive sciences in the nearby city of Missoula.

SHAWNA, daughter of LARYE and wife to Steve Santacroce: mother of daughter ZYLANIA and sons ZANTHIAN and ZUNDRIAN, residents of the far city of Las Cruces.

JASON, son of LARYE: restaurant manager, also in Las Cruces: father of sons ALEX and CAGE.

SHERI, daughter of LARYE and wife to Jose Chapparo: maker of fine gold and silver jewelry in Las Cruces.

LISA, daughter of LARYE and also a resident of Las Cruces.

KRYSTI, daughter of LISA: wife to Marty Giron and mother of daughter CLAUDISSA and sons MARCIANO and D'ANGELO, in Las Cruces

KALEN, daughter of LISA: wife to Paul Lopez and mother of sons PAUL Jr and PATRICK, in Las Cruces.

House of Bock:

MATTHEW, son of JUDY: a surgical technician in the far city of Madison.


MARK, son of JUDY: a civil engineer in the far city of Tacoma.

CANDICE, wife to MARK and mother of ETHAN: an administrator in city government in Lakewood, a suburb of Tacoma.

House of Bingham:

HENRIETTA (BING), semi-retired nurse, wife to Bernard (Ben) Abrahamson and sister to JUDY; resident of rural Polson, in the Mission Valley of Montana, and of the far city of Anaheim.

THOMAS and HENRY, brothers to JUDY and BING, residents of the Puget Sound region.


Hamilton, a small town, seat of Ravalli County, Montana, an area known generally as the Bitterroot Valley. Hamilton lies along the river at its midpoint between its source in the southern Bitterroot Mountains and its confluence with Clark's Fork of the Columbia near Missoula to the north. The Bitterroot Valley averages over 1000metres above sea level and lies in a long, narrow (150 by 20 Kilometres) trough--once the southern bay of Glacial Lake Missoula--between the jagged peaks and cliff-lined canyons of the Bitterroot Mountains to the west and the more gently-sloping Sapphire Mountains to the east. The area was first visited by Europeans in late summer 1805 when the Corps of Discovery, led by Lewis and Clark, traversed the length of the valley on their way to the Pacific Coast.

Hamilton and the surrounding area was settled by lumbermen, ranchers, farmers, millers, and orchardists in the latter quarter of the 19th century, after the removal of the original residents to the Mission Valley. Today, the predominant industries still include wood products, in the form of log homes exported all over the world, and a growing biotech industry fostered by the century-old government laboratory in Hamilton.

Polson, seat of Lake County, is on the south shore of Flathead Lake, at the north end of the Mission Valley, and is the largest town on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Our small retreat, to the south on the slopes of the Mission Mountains, proves, that, after 200 years, the European settlers are still sneaking up on the indigenous peoples.

Pablo, the next town to the south of our cabin, is the seat of government, education, and culture for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, which shares jurisdiction with parts of Montana's Lake, Missoula, and Sanders Counties.

Missoula, the largest city in western Montana and home to the University of Montana, straddles the Clark Fork river between Hell's Gate, where the river squeezes between mounts Sentinel and Jumbo, and the confluence with the Bitterroot River. It is a city of diverse cultures, as much at odds with one another as the angled street plats between sections of the city. Economically, it is characterized by truck transport centers and a rapidly growing retail strip, which, with the challenging street layout, creates traffic jams of metropolitan proportions. It is also home to the worlds largest bicycle travel club and is a training ground for professional activists and protesters of every persuasion. When the Hell's Angels staged their summer rally here a few years ago, dozens of citizens were arrested in anti-police riots, at which the bikers were conspicuously absent.

Las Cruces, traditionally a wayside on the Rio Grande between Albuquerque and El Paso, is today a modern city, a university town with a primarily agricultural economy, enhanced by aerospace industry fostered by the 60-year-old government test range in the nearby Tularosa Basin. Home to most of the Parkins clan.

Lakewood, a relatively newly-incorporated southern suburb of Tacoma, home to Mark, Candice, and Ethan Bock: characterized by elegant lakeside homes, shopping strips, and overflow military housing from nearby McChord AFB and Fort Lewis, it is a city struggling for identity.

Madison, the capital city of Wisconsin, is also home to the largest campus of the University of Wisconsin and its world-class medical facilities, where Matt works. He lives with his family in the nearby rural suburb of Brooklyn, on the edge of Green County, where nearly all the villages are named after larger towns in New York State.

Ogden, now a college town separated from Salt Lake City by enough distance to remain a city in its own right, was originally the Utah stop on the Transcontinental Railway, garnering a reputation as the most "sinful" city in an area which was originally settled by a religious community. It was also the closest city to the outdoor sports locales for the 2002 Winter Olympics, located in a small mountain valley nestled in the Wasatch Range to the east of the city, where we stayed while in the Ogden area. It is the home of the Hill AFB Museum and the most direct route to the causeway to Antelope Island, a state park in the middle of the Great Salt Lake.

Couer d'Alene is a city in the Idaho panhandle at the head of its namesake lake, one of several deep glacial lakes in the region formed by scouring of the rivers dammed by the tongue of the Columbia Glacier during the last Ice Age. Steep, forested slopes surround the clear waters of the many bays and inlets of the lake.

Columbia Falls is the gateway to Glacier National Park and occupies the northeast corner of the sprawling commercial and economic center of Flathead County, Montana, the other corners occupied by (in clockwise order), artsy Bigfork, bustling Kalispell, and trendy Whitefish, a popular skiing destination served by overnight Amtrak trains from Seattle.