‘Story Pole’ installed at Normandy Park Cove


A new ‘Story Pole’ was installed at the Normandy Park Cove last week:

Photos courtesy Normandy Park Community Club

Bill Vilonza and a team of volunteers designed, carved and painted this Story Pole, which tells the story of the Cove with the following images:

  • At the bottom of the pole is the Bear-Dog. Northwest Indian culture has bears and wolves in their carvings, but the Cove pole recognizes the many dogs that enjoy the property. The bear-dog is Bill’s creation.
  • Salmon. Recognizes the volunteers who work to restore salmon habitat to the streams and wetlands at the Cove.
  • Clarinda Miller. An early settler who, with her husband William (Uncle Billy), enjoyed camping and picnics at Miller (Cove) Beach and shared the beach with other homesteaders in the area. Miller Creek is named for them.
  • Orca. One of the most magnificent creatures of the Pacific Northwest that occasionally swims by the Cove.
  • NW Native American. Recognizes the first people that visited the Cove Beach to harvest clams and fish for salmon in Miller Creek. Visiting tribes called the beach “SLGWA LIT TCU” which means a large open space.
  • In between these figures are Mt. Rainier, the Olympic Mountains, a sunburst, the 2017 eclipse, the moon, clam shells and the letters C-O-V-E.
  • At the top of the pole is a stainless steel Blue Heron (Cove mascot) designed and fabricated by Normandy Park artist Denny Thomas. The Sacred Blue Heron encourages us to follow our intuition and take the empowering journey into self-realization.

The Cove Story Pole is a 2017 capital project funded by NPCC members and created by the following volunteers:

  • Head Carver- Bill Vilonza
  • Assistant Carvers/Woodworkers – Denise Smith, Louise Hones, John Laakso, Perry Miller, Dick Kent
  • Painters – Denise Smith, Bonnie Beyer, Eileen Hess, Georgia Batcho, Louise Hones, Elaine Cassarino, Chuck Beyer, Andy Batcho
  • Foundation Workers – Tom Munslow, Clarke Brant, Zach Tallar
  • Photographers – Stephen Benzon, Jim Davis
  • Pole Consultant – Jim Ploegman
  • Project Manager – Tony Cassarino, NPCC Stream & Wetland Chair


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