Former spy nun to put Vancouvers history in a word search book

first_imgPuzzle maker Patricia Proctor has been working to solve the puzzle of her own life for as long as she can remember.“I keep trying to fit all the pieces together,” she said — with some falling firmly into place even as new ones keep arriving to enlarge the picture.The earlier pieces are her ups and downs as a Navy codebreaker, a Catholic nun, an addiction-rehabilitation graduate and an irrepressible, do-it-yourself promoter and publicist. The newest ones are falling in love, relocating to Hazel Dell and educating herself about this area’s personality and history over the past couple of years.Proctor, 61, has assembled those latter pieces into a surprisingly detailed word-search puzzle book and published it through her own startup business, Hazel Dell Press. “Exploring Vancouver Washington” is a collection of 45 different word-search grids that aim to educate the ambitious word sleuth about local history, institutions and contemporary life here in Clark County.To supply 45 puzzles with at least 22 words apiece, Proctor made a point of mining local minutia pretty deeply. Alongside the obvious stars of our local show — words such as “Old Apple Tree,” “Fruit Valley,” “Esther Short,” “Rosie the Riveter” and other key landmarks, characters and events — Proctor’s book includes far more challenging and obscure trivia.For example, did you know that “cheechako” is Chinook jargon for “newcomer” and “skakwal” is the word for canoe? You’ll have to hunt down these words on the first puzzle page, which focuses on the earliest inhabitants here. Later puzzles range all the way from the names of historical inhabitants of Vancouver Barracks (“Benjamin Bonneville,” “Oliver O. Howard”) to current industries, retail businesses and even natural flora and fauna (“Great Western Malt,” “I Like Comics,” “Thirsty Sasquatch,” “American Wigeon”).last_img

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