Summit Up 9-24-10: Living on our own private island-ho! |

Summit Up 9-24-10: Living on our own private island-ho!

Summit Up
Bags of blood, used livers or giant kidney beans? What is the meaning of this 'National Velvet" sculpture?

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that’s trying to figure out what to do with this private island we’re thinking of buying. OK, full disclosure: First we have to win the lottery or find a treasure chest of gold doubloons or something, but then, assuming we’ve got a boatload of cash on hand, we’re interested in this island for sale we heard about in yet another random e-mail we received (and it’s enough to make us wonder how in hell we ever wrote this column pre-1996 or so, before the days of random e-mails). Anyway, listen:

“This might be a once in a lifetime opportunity – your very own private island! On September 30, J.P. King will auction a 216-acre island with six beaches and 13,000 feet of shoreline off the coast of Washington. The island is completely self-sustaining with a home, a well and a 19,000-gallon water tower, four generators, a septic tank, 500-gallon fuel trailer tank, two 500-gallon fuel storage tanks, and 500-gallon and 100-gallon propane tanks. It even has a sawmill and a treehouse.”

It even has a sawmill and a treehouse! That’s what sold us! If there’s one thing we love, it’s a truly unique and unexpected selling point like that. Other possibilities that would have mega-piqued our interest:

• It even has a whiskey distillery and a full-sized replica of The Shire

• Hey – it’s also home to a small tribe of albino Ukranians who fled here during WWII

• BTW: This island home has 17 Bosch dishwashers and an en suite outhouse

• LOL – The island has a funny name: Winifred Q. Flippinger, named after its first owner, a write of children’s books who went mad alone on the island and hanged herself with a particularly sturdy piece of fettuccine.

• It even has a tannery and an abbatoir for that old-timey colonial feel. And since it’s your private island, feel free to walk around in leather underwear and a tri-cornered hat.

Anyway, the best thing about your own private island, in addition to being able to walk around nekkid or in leather underwear if that’s your kind of thing, is that you don’t have to worry about pesky planning and zoning commissions or other rule-makers telling you can’t have …

• A modest herd of zebras in your front yard

• A 47-foot-tall sculpture of John Elway on the roof

• A 2-mile oval stock car track out back

• A modest herd of Swedish swimsuit models (male and/or female, depending on your persuasion) playing old Bruce Springsteen songs on zithers and glockenspiels on the front porch 24/7.

All that could be yours with your private island. Check it the auction for this juicy piece of real estate at


OK, recently we were wondering about the meaning of the National Velvet dry cleaning logo, but after three columns devoted to the topic, we struck out on a true answer. And we moved on, didn’t we? We wanted to move on, but like the Mafia pulling Al Pacino back in, we just can’t escape the National Velvet Logo Condundrum! We received another e-mail on the matter from Cheri Freeman, who writes thusly:

“Not to ‘beat a dead horse, (sound of laughter, whinnying) but I thought you would find this public art in Denver interesting. It has nothing, at least I presume, to do with National Velvet dry cleaners, but why is it labeled National Velvet? It looks like bags of blood, but isn’t that a bit dark for normally upbeat public art? I saw it Sunday while down in Denver so your column was fresh on my mind. What is it with people and National Velvet? By the way, my take on the cleaners is that they are just horse people who have always loved that book/movie. This artwork is another thing altogether. Enjoy your columns!”

Dang, Cheri, that’s the damndest piece of art we’ve ever seen! It looks like the aftermath of a zombie feeding (assuming zombies don’t relish livers or kidneys) or maybe a heap of mutant pinto beans or something.

If anyone can explain this sculpture, the National Velvet Logo Conundrum or, really, anything at all under the sun, e-mail

Operators are standing by.

We out.

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