This is a retelling of the story I blogged in 2014 Skittering Along The Great Curiosity Engine — to Baker Bill
It started with seeing this photo:
that led me to learn about Baker Bill. The Amazingness was in the string of comments that have come on over the years from his daughters, co-workers, and just in 2023, a guy named Dave who fondly remembers the taste of one of Bill’s treats, a Bismark.
Since I used this example in my presentation for the 2023 Open Education Conference, I feel obliged to make sure a story version is here too.
On revisiting the post, I realized I forgot to include a Google Streetview image, that clearly shows the W.F. Schumacher sign, right between a pizza shop and a bagel shop.
If you open the location in Google Maps, you will see my blog post shows up first in Web Mentions for the location.
Well, this is Alan.
I guess I got to tell another story because I use this one and it’s got to be on the site.
So it’s all started in, I think it was 2014.
I was visiting my friend Nancy White in Seattle in her neighborhood.
The Ravenna area, 65th Street has a bunch of great little stores on it.
And I think she had recommended that I go eat breakfast at this place called Oasis Bagel.
And so walking down the street, and I look up at this building right next to Oasis Bagel, and there’s this really interesting architectural artifact.
It’s an old door and an old building front.
And it’s got the letters WF Schumacher, kind of built in like a little tile mosaic above the door.
So, I took a photo of it just ’cause that’s kind of like what I do when I’m wandering out.
take pictures of things that just connect, connect, connect, connect, that grab my eye.
So it didn’t look like it was any kind of building now and I just wondered who is WF Schumacher.
And so I did the same course and so I Googled on it.
I got Seattle into the name and then I found a newspaper ad from 1947 that basically identified address, they called Tasty Home Bakery, W.
Schumacher and son.
So that was the name of the building, what was a bakery.
And so I went more looking for Tasty Home Bakery.
I found an image, I found a comment, you know, in this post from people who lived in the field.
And then I found a reference there to this, I think through an obituary for this guy named Baker Bill Schumacher who died in 1999.
And it was really bright.
This was his bakery.
And that began a whole story of finding out about this legendary baker in Seattle named W.
Schumacher, William, or Bill.
And so I wrote this blog post with my findings.
Kind of there was more to him than just baking.
He was a water ski racer and they would do things like water skiing by just tying boards to their feet and being pulled by a plane.
And so I wrote this blog post and just like the fun thing that I do, I find a picture, I do a little internet research.
And then comments started coming in, I think years later, several from his daughters, one from someone he used to work in his bakery, and people just really expressing their love and joy for knowing Baker Bill, and also how amazing his baking really was.
I have to take their word for it.
First of all, I’m diabetic, but also I can’t really have his stuff anymore.
And one came just this year from someone who mentioned that, you know, he finally remembers Baker, Bill’s Pastries and Mrs.
And so that kind of brought it back.
That was almost nine years later.
And then I decided to add this or include it in the open ed presentation that I’m doing for 14 years since my amazing stories.
And so I actually hadn’t recorded this.
So I’m doing it right now to get it into the mix.
But you know, the thing I left out is I forgot to go back and look at the address that was in that newspaper, ’cause Google Street View will show it to me.
And sure enough, I’m looking right now at the picture of that same building I took and posted on Flickr, of that same building, W.
Schumacher sandwiched between Zeke’s Pizza and Bagel Oasis.
And the funny thing is when I pull up the link for W.
Schumacher as a location, it says permanently closed, sad face.
But there’s web results for there and right below it.
First thing that comes up is my blog post about finding Baker bills.
So that’s my amazing story for 2023.
And that’s how they still roll for me.