Jan 26 2016

Hello from the History Department.

Here's a cool story from one of our new artists, Carol Meckling, who was brought aboard to assist with the artwork at Anderson School.

"I wanted to share with you all the lovely experience I had with Mary Sligh, the widow of Willie Sligh whose portrait I did for the project. She saw that I had done a painting of her husband and sent me an email to thank me and tell me how much it meant to her and her family to remember Willie in this way. We exchanged emails and I gave her a print of the painting, then she sent me this picture of Willie's son standing in front of his Dad's painting at McMenamins! What a great validation of how the Bothell project (as well as all McMenamins) has and will continue to touch so many people!" 

The smile on the kid's face is just great.

Carol's studio is based in Shoreline, WA, where she does fine art animal portraits, crafts ceramic jewelry and works on commissions like the wonderful ones she did for the Bothell project. See more examples of her work at carolmeckling.com.

And here's the bio that hangs in Willie Sligh's room at the Anderson School:

Willie Sligh

The Seattle area enjoys a reputation for igniting ground-breaking musical explosions, and the new funk sound of the 1970s was no exception.

While attending high school in Seattle in the late 1960s, future Bothell resident Willie Sligh and some of his classmates formed the band Acapulco Gold - the inspiration for the name coming from a particularly good strain of Mexican marijuana. The band created a truly original sound that Seattle had never before experienced, a blend of soul, rhythm and blues, rock, jazz, and gospel. Willie played bass, and his brother Thomas played guitar. This innovative group of high school kids initially performed on a continual circuit of school dances, senior proms and local events.

As the Emerald City embraced the evolving psychedelic funk sound, Acapulco Gold's star soared. By the early '70s, the band was a tour de force throughout the Pacific Northwest. The 10-piece ensemble kicked out the jams at many of Seattle's thirty-some music venues, like The Golden Tides and Pier 70. As the decade progressed, Acapulco Gold continued to grow and experiment, infusing their soul, funk and R&B with disco, creating a groovy subgenre that was a hit with Seattle club-goers.

The cornerstone of any amazing band is its bass player, and for Acapulco Gold, Willie was the man. Listen to songs like "You and Me" and "My Funky Feeling" to hear him bridge the percussion and melodic sounds of his bandmates with a steady bass pulse. At their height, Acapulco Gold opened for some of the biggest musical groups of the decade - Santana, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang and others. Wheedle's Groove, a 2009 documentary about Seattle's thriving soul music scene of the 1970s, spotlights Acapulco Gold and features their music on a special vinyl soundtrack.

After starting a family, Willie made their new home in Bothell and gave up the band for a steady nine-to-five job. While music was his passion, he was also into photography, fancy automobiles, birds of prey and sports - especially the Seattle Seahawks. And he enjoyed spending time with his wife, children and eventually grandchildren at their vacation home north of Bothell in Lake Tyee.

Today, a new incarnation of Acapulco Gold continues to play locally and throughout the state, introducing a soulful sound to a whole new crowd.

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