Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Spokane Mourns the Loss of a Landmark

posted by Karen Hood
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle, a beloved restaurant and landmark in Spokane’s Garland District, burned to the ground on the night of September 25. The fire also destroyed Ferguson’s Café next door, and was so large and difficult to contain that it took 50 firemen almost two hours to put it out. Both restaurants were featured in the 1993 movie Benny and Joon, and the Milk Bottle in particular has come to be nationally known as an iconic location in Spokane.

The Milk Bottle was built in 1935 as a retail store for the Benewah Dairy. At 38 feet tall and 15 feet wide, it is one of a handful of giant milk bottle buildings scattered around the United States—and one of the most famous. The dairy closed down in the early 70’s, leaving the Milk Bottle unused until 1994, when it reopened as Mary Lou’s restaurant, serving some of the best local burgers, thick-cut fries, and delicious homemade ice cream. Mary Lou’s has been a favorite among North Spokane residents ever since, and their ice cream became so popular that it was served in other local restaurants around town. The restaurant had an old-fashioned charm to its décor, with black and white checkered tile floor, historic photos displayed on the walls, and 50’s style bar stools at the front counter. At first, the Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle was open only for lunch, but the past two summers their hours were extended into the mid-evening so that locals could grab an ice cream cone to cool down on a hot summer night. Many people around Spokane have fond memories of both the Milk Bottle and Ferguson’s Café and have been devastated to learn that they are gone, describing it as a heartbreaking loss for the city.

Update: Although the Ferguson’s building has been deemed a total loss, the Milk Bottle is still structurally intact. The owners of both restaurants state that they have plans to rebuild. The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.


posted by Karen Hood
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Karen’s Collectors Cottage, Inc. & Art Gallery is at the Spokane County Interstate Fair! We invite you to visit our booth (Bay 1, Booth 269 – west end, center section) for a fantastic selection of fiction and nonfiction books, cookbooks, poetry, cards, bookmarks, custom art, gift baskets and more!

Mention that you saw this post on the KCC Blog and receive 10% off anything in our booth.

Whispering Pine Press celebrates GetLit!

posted by Karen Hood
Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This week is the 13th annual Get Lit! literary festival sponsored by Eastern Washington University. Events run from April 13-17, and include poetry slams, book readings, panel discussions, writing contests, and workshops. For a full calendar of this year’s events, click here. Over 40 nationally acclaimed and local authors will be in Spokane for Get Lit!; past guests have included such luminaries as Kurt Vonnegut, Salman Rushdie, and David Sedaris. Prominent authors for GetLit! 2011 are Tim O’Brien, Sena Jeter Naslund, Maude Barlow, Sam Kean, Matthew Dickman, Louise Borden, Michael Harmon, Suzanne Morgan Williams, and Ani DiFranco. For a full list of authors attending this year’s festival, click here.

The Big Read is an event created by the National Endowment for the Arts with the goal of restoring reading to the center of a community’s culture by “[drawing] communities together around a single book through a month long series of related literary events.” For Spokane County’s third Big Read event, the book chosen is The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, a collection of stories about soldiers who served in the Vietnam War. The Things They Carried was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Award. The Big Read will culminate on April 16 at the Bing Crosby Theater, when Tim O’Brien and veteran/poet Brian Turner will discuss their experiences in war and their resulting creative works. This event is also part of GetLit!.

To celebrate GetLit!, Whispering Pine Press is offering a 10% discount on all books from April 13-17. Please visit our website to see our list of children’s and adult fiction, cookbooks, poetry collections, and more. If you have any difficulty getting the 10% discount on our website, feel free to call us at (509) 928-8700.

In honor of GetLit!, we are also giving away one free copy of Frost of Spring Green, Karen Hood’s widely-acclaimed first poetry collection. Click here to read a review of the book, then leave a comment on this post to be entered into the giveaway. Don’t forget to include your e-mail address so that we can contact you if you win! Entries will be accepted through April 23 to give everyone time to participate.