Knowing Your Town

When we launched The Great Mystery, we listed learning about Bellingham as one benefit of the experience.  Some clues, for example, involve Bellingham history — so some folks will need to get to know an old-timer as a resource.  Well, as one of the shadowed figures crafting The Great Mystery, I just learned some of our town’s history too! 

Steve Stimson is an artist and the creator of the original City of Subdued Excitement mural.  In fact, he came up with the nickname himself, choosing something alliterative in keeping with his name.  He called us after discovering people poking around his building in search of clues.  Steve was intrigued to learn about The Great Mystery, and we ended up chatting for a good while about Bellingham history, mutual friends, local arts and politics, etc.

Steve is a great storyteller.  Among other things, I learned that he was delivered by an obstetrician that had the same last name, that he actually lives in the building where the mural is painted, that he used to have an antique shop but that it has been closed for many years, and that his father was a college professor.

Steve is amused when people assume that “City of Subdued Excitement” is a moniker dating from the 1960’s or earlier.  In fact, he originated the idea for the mural — and nickname — in 1994, after his mother suggested doing something artistic with the wall of his building.  Clearly this was a meme whose time had come, and the City of Subdued Excitement was born!

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