Fifth-grade students tell Sequim's tales on KSQM
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
KSQM personality Dorothy Zapata, host of “Dorothy’s Doo-Wop Drive-in,” helps Hellen Haller Elementary fifth-grader Victoria Lelle introduce a Louis Armstrong tune.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

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SEQUIM –– The swinging sounds of the Jazz Age are being piped out to listeners of KSQM 91.5 FM this week thanks to a group of fifth-grade students enlisted to help tell the story of the century of Sequim.

Helen Haller Elementary student Daisy Ryan told the tale of Susan B. Anthony and her fight for the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

“Wow, that's pretty important,” she said off-mic to her mother Thursday.

With Dorothy Zapata, host of “Dorothy's Doo-Wop Drive-In,” recording, Ryan and 10 other fifth-graders hit KSQM as disc jockeys Thursday and Friday to record radio spots about the history of sounds, society and Sequim during
the 1920s.

Each month has been dedicated to represent a decade of the city's history during this centennial year. February marks the Roaring '20s. The spots are airing on the volunteer-run radio station at 7:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. through Friday.

Tales of the era

The students read into the radio station's microphones tales from the era about the city, nation and the music that set the beat. Their stories cover the establishment of Prohibition, the construction of Sequim's first brick schoolhouse and gymnasium, and the construction of the first highway through town, now called Old Olympic Highway.

As she introduced a pair of Louis Armstrong tunes, Victoria Lelle told soon-to-be listeners how jazz exploded during the nation's celebration over the end of World War I.

The scripts were prepared by Patsene Dashiell, community liaison for the Sequim School District, and Al Freiss, a volunteer at Greywolf Elementary who is one of the three nominees for the Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year award, which will be awarded today.

Centennial events continue throughout the year, highlighted by an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration and street dance, and culminating with the centennial finale at 7 Cedars Casino on Nov. 2.

Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at

Last modified: February 25. 2013 6:13PM
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