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Christmas lights put up for Samish Island woman

November 29, 2018

Roger Philip and Julia Phillip of Bow add lights to a wreath Sunday while decorating Dorothy Urbick’s Samish Island home.

BOW — In his work as a local landscaper, Charlie Heflin noticed people stressing out about current events and he asked himself what he could do about it.

“Why not instead of complaining about what the government is doing or what’s not going right, we make it the ‘good old days,’” he said.

In an effort to do just that, he posted on the Bow community Facebook page that he wanted to “pay it forward” to a person who can no longer put up their outside Christmas lights.

Community member Leanne Maskell suggested 99-year-old Dorothy Urbick, a former Bow postmaster.

On Sunday, Heflin and a group of helpers headed out to Urbick’s Samish Island home to hang rows of white and multicolored lights while holiday music played in the background.

To Urbick, the gesture “means there are wonderful people in this world that care for other people,” she said. “They show up by giving to people that need it and appreciate it.”

In the process of hanging the lights, Heflin said he learned of Urbick’s history in the area.

From 1948 to 1976, Urbick and her husband owned Bluhm’s Grocery in Edison, which is now the site of The Old Edison, Urbick said.

The post office was in the back of the store, and Urbick’s husband serviced as postmaster until he suffered a stroke.

Dorothy Urbick was then appointed postmaster and continued in the position at the Bow Post Office after the Edison Post Office was closed.

Encouraged by how much fun he and the others had decorating Urbick’s house, Heflin said he plans to get more community members involved in paying it forward.

“The entire point is to bring the whole community together and create the ‘old times’ like everyone talks about,” he said. “Let’s bring them back. People are no different than 50 years ago. It’s about daily habits.”

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