I miss it already, just anticipating the day when I'll look out The Herald's newsroom window and won't see the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Since the Lincoln became our carrier -- it came to Naval Station Everett in 1997 -- its arrivals and departures have sometimes been met with great fanfare. Other times, the gigantic ship has somehow slipped away with little notice.
We have watched it come and go so many times. Thursday will be the last time. The Navy has announced that Thursday will be departure day for the carrier. It will be based in Norfolk, Va., after an expected deployment to the Middle East.
In this week of Navy nostalgia and farewells, let's not forget how lucky Snohomish County is to have another carrier on the horizon. Early next year, the USS Nimitz will arrive at its new Everett homeport.
At one Everett business, the Nimitz already is a big part of the scenery.
A new mural at Bad Dog Espresso, in the Delta neighborhood on East Marine View Drive, includes Everett's new carrier -- No. 68 -- in a colorful tableau that also depicts a BNSF train, Mount Baker, and an eye-catching woman painted in the style of a 1940s pinup.
"They called them 'victory girls,' " said painter David Hose of Monroe, whose mural covers the outside wall of a building next to the Everett espresso stand. He said he borrowed the style from nose art painted on many World War II fighting planes.
Bad Dog Espresso owner Bob Taylor, who hired Hose to paint the mural, said he first planned to include the USS Abraham Lincoln in the artwork. When he called Naval Station Everett for permission, he said, it was suggested that he feature the USS Nimitz instead.
"We get a lot of Navy guys here. We wanted to show a little appreciation," Taylor said. The mural's train is a nod to the BNSF Delta Yard, near the espresso business.
Bad Dog Espresso, which in 2009 won a city of Everett Monte Cristo Award for its landscaping and curb appeal, is named for a real dog. The pit bull, named Booker and now deceased, was owned by a partner in the business, Taylor said.
The face of the pooch is not only part of the stand's decor, it's part of the mural, along with a bald eagle, an American flag and the phrase, "Make it a good day." Bad Dog Espresso has a second location at Everett's AquaSox stadium.
For quite a time, the mural was half finished due to a health scare suffered by Hose.
Hose, 67, was diagnosed in May with atrial fibrillation and sleep apnea after the painting was well under way. "I was three or four weeks into the mural when my heart almost stopped," said Hose, who owns a Monroe painting business called American Light Studio. He took two months off before returning to work on the mural in August. "He completed it a week and a half ago," Taylor said.
In thanks to the USS Abraham Lincoln before its departure, Bad Dog Espresso will offer free 12-ounce beverages Monday. The business is at 1602 E. Marine View Dr.
"We get a lot of Navy people," Taylor said. "And we're family friendly, lots of women with kids."
Taylor said he hoped to counter the impression of espresso stands as places where servers are scantily clad and customers aren't always just looking for coffee.
Barista Jessica Glasgow was wearing a sweatshirt and jeans on a chilly Friday morning. "I get to wear what I want -- usually a sweatshirt," she said.
"For people around Everett, this will be a feel-good thing," Taylor said of the mural.
As we prepare to wave final goodbyes to the Lincoln, catching a first glimpse of the USS Nimitz -- even painted on a wall -- is sure to boost spirits.
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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