The Story of Gossamer Wump<BR>

- The Gossamer Wump Institute -

In the fall of 1991 I spent my two week vacation in the small, isolated fishing village of Seldovia, Alaska visiting my brother Craig and his band of crazy friends. The night before my departure I was given a going away party. Even more notable than Malissa's fall off the pier (and breaking two ribs in the process) was a story about Gossamer Wump. Walley Sonen related this story to me about 4am that party morning and ended it with a request for me to try and find the entire story. Little did I know where this was to take me.

Here is the tale of this journey.

I took this research seriousily. Intitially going to the Arlington (Helen) and Everett libraries and finding nothing about Gossamer Wump. I did find as few items about wump but generally this involved someone sitting down hard, such as a baby in Dr. Suesse's Green Fish, Blue Fish (suggested by KIRO radio personality Jim French). I was a transit bus driver at the time and talked about my efforts with lots of my passengers (Dan, Ken, PJ, Reina, and Lessa) and co-workers (Jim W., Dave, Pat and Suzy). Other friends (Paul, Colleen, Allen, Sherwin and John) became caught up in the chase. And of course the Seldovia crowd (Walley, Monika, Wilma, Skookums, and Kirby) and relatives (Craig, Ginnie and Jill) began to pitch in with tons of information. So much so that I formed The Gossamer Wump Research Institute in order to take a more organized approach in trying to solve the riddle of Wump.

One rather fasinating, although ultimately worthless, piece of information I came across involved the Iroquois Indians. It seems that there was a branch tribe called the Quomps (hence wump) that were settled at the confluence of the St. Lawerence and Ottawa Rivers in Quebec, Canada (30 miles west of Montreal). Well, this is exactly where I grew up in the 50s. I must have been fated for this researcher role from my earliest days.

Eventually a prize of One Thousand Wump Bucks was offered to anyone with information leading up to the solution of the Wump puzzle.

On Christmas eve, 1991, I received a call from Jean Sonen (Wally's mother) and the first thing she spoke was "I have the record of Gossamer Wump and you can have it!". Needless to say I was astounded and the very next morning (after opening my presents of course) I was on my way to Seattle to meet Jean, pick up the record and present her with the prize.

It turned out that Jean was an elementry school teacher before retiring and used this record as a reward when her students had been particularily good.

Wally and his sister Skookums (real name) had forgotten all but the barest details of the story and had totally forgotten the record in their childhood. As I started making tape recordings of the record (a total of about 2 dozen in all) things started sounding familiar to me. Especially the part with the kid laughing. Finally it all fell in place. Craig and I had also had this record as children! So it just goes to show that if you keep on triangling everything falls into place.

Enjoy all the documentation that follows.

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