Chris Phillips

In the Margins | Spring has sprung: Rely on a guide when entering gardening purgatory

May 08, 2024

How Mike Gatto and Raft Island Roses helped Chris Phillips find a sunnier disposition toward gardening — just in time for Mother’s Day.

In the Margins | Crew School provides a reality sea trial for commercial fishing wanabees

Apr 10, 2024

During decades as a desk-jockey, I moved words and numbers around on various glowing screens. I often longed for work beyond the confines of the cubicle. You know — honest, hard work that allows for physical achievements, hand-made results, and liberal use of Advil. After weekends of amateur landscaping, crude carpentry, or bloody-knuckled attempts at

In the Margins | Amid our booze bonanza, let’s get sober on drunk driving

Feb 21, 2024

I was arrested for drunk driving about 35 years ago. True story: A Gig Harbor police officer ran me through the curbside test for sobriety — I failed. He handcuffed me in front of W.B. Scotts restaurant (now Bella Femmina) on Harborview Drive and invited me to the back seat of his patrol car. I

In the Margins | New Year tastes bittersweet without Fredda’s deli sandwiches

Jan 03, 2024

With each new year, many of us awake with renewed ambitions involving fitness, food, family or finances. The calendar jump-starts our intentions for another year in which the garage — or maybe our arteries — will get cleaned up for a better or longer life ahead. Or, if you’re like me, you spend the midnight

In the Margins: It’s time for humanity to take off its training wheels

Nov 15, 2023

In October, my phone buzzed with an incoming message from my son-in-law. He proudly shared a video of my spunky 3-year-old granddaughter pedaling her new “big kid” bike, complete with hot-pink paint and fresh training wheels. She was grinding away on her pedals, then cautiously coaster-braking to a stop, much to the amusement of her

In the Margins: Back to school in a classroom of river, sky and maybe even some fish

Sep 27, 2023

As our summer yielded to fall, I took myself back to school. My classroom was a quiet stretch of the Jefferson River in Montana, nestled between the Continental Divide to the west and the Tobacco Root Mountains to the east. Our annual eastward pilgrimage to this region is disguised as a family obligation to help

In the Margins: Not your father’s real estate market, nor your mother’s

Aug 23, 2023

Nearly 40 years ago, my wife and I purchased our first home. For what seemed like a staggering sum of $75,850 ($221,000 in today’s dollars), we moved into a 1,350 square-foot, three-bedroom home in a small subdivision just north of the Harbor. We vacuumed our sofa cushions for the down-payment and borrowed the balance at

In the Margins: Can’t we find better ways to celebrate a birthday?

Jul 19, 2023

We returned to Gig Harbor at the end of June after a family vacation in the north woods of Canada’s Great Lakes region. Unfortunately, this year the typically fresh lake air and photogenic views were compromised by a gray layer of noxious wildfire smoke from northern Ontario. It reminded us of Puget Sound’s summer of