Emmett Montgomery selects Capitol Hill for Secret Grandpa Subscription Service headquarters

Montgomery on stage, surely thinking about his Secret Grandpa responsibilities

Creepy grandpas, chihuahua ice cream cones, and spatulas with insect legs.

These are the things that Emmett Montgomery is thinking about when he wakes up in the morning.

A self-proclaimed weirdo, Montgomery has been a standup comedian, storyteller, and artist on Capitol Hill for years. Recently he unveiled his latest creation — the Secret Grandpa Subscription Service.

“This was kind of a wonderful experiment,” he said. “Now it’s a significant part of my day. I wake up thinking about what weird grandpa thing I’m gonna do.”

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CHS Pics | The Skipping Jestress of Capitol Hill

Photographer Tim Durkan sees everything on Broadway -- Of course he has captured a photo of the Skipping Jestress (Image: Tim Durkan)

Photographer Tim Durkan sees everything on Broadway — of course he has captured a photo of the Skipping Jestress (Image: Tim Durkan)

April Fools’ Day, the posters went up. She has a name. CHS had been watching Raven Scott do her thing around Capitol Hill since last year. Like many things weird and wonderful we see on Capitol Hill, we thought a little bit about her as she passed and then went about our own weird business. UPDATE: We have been informed that we should refer to her as a jestress — a female jester. Continue reading

The Goat Man of Capitol Hill wants to save the planet

Erick Rock Club and his goat Deer would very much like you to come to the Earth Day festival he has been planning for months Friday afternoon in Cal Anderson. But he’s pretty sure you won’t. And not just because of short notice.

“I’ve been walking around with this goat trying to tell them about this Earth Day festival,” Erick told CHS earlier today. “People are too busy. They keep walking.”

With a threat of rain, Erick said Cal Anderson might not work out and maybe he’ll need to move the music and gathering he hopes comes together to someplace out of the drizzle — maybe the entrance to Capitol Hill Station, he says.

It turns out the man with the goat has a lot of vision and a lot to say about the way the world works and the people who are too busy to talk to him about Earth Day. CHS walked by plenty of times — We should have asked him about the Earth Day festival earlier.

Over the past six months, Erick and Deer have been come part of the Capitol Hill legend. Drunken packs of bros and woo girls pay a buck to pet Deer in the midst of crowded nights in Pike/Pine. The money is mostly inconsequential. Erick says he received regular government support because of his disability from a brain injury as a child. Erick and Deer live in his van, moving around the neighborhood and city as needed. He puts what money he can and all of his energy into an organization he formed called the Rock Club Foundation, “created to empower the people by encouraging creativity, igniting passion and spreading love.”

Erick and Deer's "goat fun me" page

Erick and Deer’s “goat fun me” page

Erick hoped things like the Earth Day festival and a Free Day Market he works on every Sunday with Food Not Bombs down near the Cascade Playground would help him start to make the changes he wants to see so badly in the world. The Bernie Sanders campaign, he says, also offers hope.

But it probably won’t be enough to keep him on Capitol Hill and in Seattle.

“I’m leaving Seattle. Because Seattle doesn’t care,” Erick said Friday. “What do I have to do? Climb a tree?”

Erick said he is making plans for moving on now that April 22nd has come and almost gone.

“The whole reason I have this goat is to tell people about my organization to try to make the world a better place. All I’m trying to do is save the planet.”

You can learn more and connect with Erick on the Rock Club Foundation Facebook page. There is also a “goat fun me” fundraising page if you’d like to give him a few bucks without bugging Deer.

Capitol Hill — plus booze and ‘auto-bio’ admissions — at center of cartoonist’s work

Autobiographical cartoonist Tatiana Gill spent a large chunk of her life drunk — the unhealthy, embarrassing, blackout kind of drunk that you don’t remember in the morning.

“My drink of choice was two drinks: whiskey with a beer back,” Hill resident and occasional CHS contributor Gill said. Alcohol fueled her creative pursuits — and also became her subject matter.

Gill grew up on Capitol Hill and has been here on and off her whole life. She grew up reading TinTin and Archie comics and was influenced and inspired by comics from a young age. In middle school she became interested in Marvel comics like X-Men; in high-school she started reading comics from Fantagraphics and other underground publishers. It was around that time that Gill set her sights on a career as a cartoonist, a focus that continued through her years at Evergreen State College.

This month, things come full circle for Gill as the Capitol Hill artist is slated to appear at Georgetown’s Fantagraphics store on November 14 to promote her latest work.

Gill launched her career as a cartoonist in the mid-1990s, doing mostly illustration. She simultaneously consumed copious quantities of alcohol. She didn’t consider her drinking a problem — her sweet spot for drawing came after a drink or two. From there it often felt like the drinks were helping, though after three or four she acknowledges that was probably an alcohol-fueled delusion. Continue reading

Hillebrity | Joey Veltkamp

 Joey Veltkamp — Artist

photo1 (3)How did you start making quilts? How long does it take to make just one?

I started making the quilts at a point in my life where I needed to be comforted and quilts were a great way to do that..a big bear hug for myself! Each quilt can take somewhere between 40-60+ hours. After that I quit tracking. Plus I start a bunch, get sidetracked, then come back 6 months later to finish it. I worked on my debut quilt show for about a year and a half, but at fairly leisurely pace (at least compared to how much I usually work).

Joey’s quilt show “It’s A Celebration” opens at Cupcake Royale June 12th.

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Hillebrity | Reilly Sinanan

 Reilly Sinanan — Artist

IMG_4952Now that you are graduating, what advice would you give to incoming Cornish freshman?

I would tell incoming freshman two things: Earn the respect of your professors and the fume room in the senior studios is the best place to get high.

Reilly will be showing at the Cornish’s Art BFA Exhibition EXPO 14 Friday, May 9th.

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Hillebrity | Stephen Anunson

 Stephen Anunson — Volunteer

IMG_5630One of the perks of volunteering at the Film Forum must be all the movies you get to see. What was the last movie you loved and a upcoming movie you are excited to see?

The last movie I loved was “Vic and Flo Saw a Bear.” Two charismatic lesbians aim for a fresh life in the back woods of Quebec while being haunted by a mysterious past and the deadly traps of love. Eerily beautiful.

There are a lot of great programs in the coming weeks. I would check out Red Renewal, a series which analyzes Seattle’s labor movement within the national conversation on some of our most pressing issues of today. Some of Seattle’s most passionate activists will present.

Check out the Northwest Film Forum’s calendar for more information on upcoming films.

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Hillebrity | Ben DeLaCreme

 Ben DeLaCreme — Drag Queen

IMG_1135What is it like watching yourself on Drag Race each week along with hundreds of fans at Century Ballroom?

It’s amazing! It’s the first time I see any of it. It’s super surreal and weird to see this really intense thing you went through whittled down to a TV sized nugget, but it’s also incredibly exciting. And I LOVE doing the viewing parties. I think it would be a lot harder to watch on my own. I feel such an intense love for Seattle and I really feel supported by this community. Its a very vulnerable thing to be on reality TV- but at the Ballroom I know I’m in a room full of people who have got my back.

Watch Ben DeLaCreme on Rupaul’s Drag Race every Monday at Century Ballroom. You can also enjoy DeLaCreme’s introductions on every episode of the Capitol Hill web series.

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Hillebrity | Dillon Sturtevant & Lindsay Powers

 Dillon Sturtevant & Lindsay Powers — Camp Directors

IMG_7578What can campers expect to experience during the best of the northwest week at your Music and Movement camp?

Local Seattle Artists Week/Best of the Northwest is one of our favorite weeks because we get to teach kids about the city they are growing up in and the rich musical history right here in their town! The movement portion focuses on martial arts to honor local legends Bruce and Brandon Lee, making a real life connection by visiting their grave sites.  All week long we talk about Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam, and of course Nirvana as well as other local legends. We take a trip to Volunteer Park to visit the infamous donut shaped sculpture that Soundgarden named their hit “Black Hole Sun” after. The kids really get into the music the same way we got into the same music as kids, it’s simply a good time.

For more information and summer camp enrollment check out the Music and Movements website.

Previously on Hillebrity


Hillebrity | Natalie A. Martínez

 Natalie A. Martínez – Writer

IMG_3933Where do you like to write on and off the Hill?

I like being surrounded by people, objects. White noise and chaos. The smell of coffee and warmth. But I also need a view. A window. I have a few favorite spots in the city. Arabica. Cintli because it feels like I’m in the desert again. The historical Panama Tea House and Hotel in the International District. My room and desk that faces out onto Washington Hall and The Juvenile Detention Center. I love knowing that W.E.B DuBois and Billie Holiday performed there. The Detention Center reminds me of why I teach and write: ongoing injustice.

Place is extremely important to me, because I believe we reactivate spaces’ and their memories. Even objects accumulate resonance. Traffic. Wear and tear. Our affections. Like a coffee cup. Or a table. Or the graffiti marks on cafe window. A storefront’s broken door lock.We have relationships to places because they have memories. And those memories are larger parts of our imaginations. Something incredibly important to a writer. Any artist really. Maybe not everyone thinks about this consciously when they pick a space to work in or write from, but I do. My close friend Henry Quintero once told me I should learn to write uncomfortably. In the most literal sense. Write standing up. On a toilet. Anywhere. He’s probably right. Then you’d feel like you can produce writing under any condition. But, I’m not there yet.

Natalie A. Martínez will be reading with Molly Mac, Jed Murr, Kort Havens, and Brandon Herrell in “reiterations: an intertextual event” at Arabica Lounge at 7pm, March 1st.

Previously on Hillebrity