Letter to the editor: Tom Robbins has been a longtime inspiration


September 13, 2023

Thank you for printing the Tom Robbins graduation address article. I graduated at about the same time and spent my formative years in the Skagit Valley. Although I experienced a traditional high school commencement speech, not a word of which I can remember, I clearly recall soaking up Tom’s books.

I moved away from the Valley for graduate school and a satisfying career studying insects that eat trees. I’ve never tired of asking questions of the natural world, a fascination I attribute to having spent so much of my youth pondering the limitless mysteries of Pacific Northwest forests.

Luckily, I found my way back home for frequent work trips and cherish my re-connection to the Valley. Settling into La Conner during work trips I discovered the Weekly News and smile when it arrives in the mailbox. I haven’t read Tom’s books in decades, but when I read the article, memories of my youthful explorations came flooding back.

I realize now how important those early years in the Valley have been in my life, and especially the wonder and awe that reading Tom’s books inspired.

Thank you, Tom, and thank you, La Conner Weekly News. Now I’m going to re-read some of those books!

Mark Whitmore

Ithaca, New York


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