Small Town Feels

Written By: Jena Blanchard, EDA Intern 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Deanna Bangs for this blog post. Deanna and I met in an Interview Techniques class at CWU spring quarter of 2017. We worked on several class projects together, and I was excited to have the opportunity to hear about her experience growing up in Ellensburg.

Growing up in Ellensburg

Deanna was born in Arizona, and her family moved up to Ellensburg when she was only a year old. One of her favorite summer memories included going to the Ellensburg Memorial Pool. During the summer, the city pool used to release gold fish and let kids catch them to take home; if I grew up in Ellensburg that would have been a favorite memory for me as well.

Growing up Deanna also loved riding bikes with friends to a place called Mr. G’s for sodas, and the old Winegar’s for ice cream. Her sister loved taking her to the Four Winds Diner for breakfast. This place had great food and was also a book store which was a favorite reading location of theirs. They also loved going to the Liberty Theater for movies.

Another highlight of Deanna’s summer memories is going to the Ellensburg Rodeo and Fair. She loved attending the fair with her family and going on rides with her cousin. She remembers getting sick on the octopus ride and the workers having to hose down the ride after. It sounds like the Ellensburg Rodeo and Fair weekend gave her a lot of special family memories.

Working for a Local Business

Deanna just finished her Communications degree at CWU. She currently works in the D&M office, located in the Cornerstone Pie headquarters. This January will mark her two-year anniversary with D&M. When I asked what her favorite part of working for D&M is, she said she loves that it is a local business, born in her hometown Ellensburg. She loves the opportunity to connect with the community. Deanna said her job provides a lot of learning opportunities and is always fun, never boring.

I asked how D&M is involved in the community. She told me D&M employs over 50 people, and Cornerstone employs over 30. They offer free events to the community such as their live music. Cornerstone also partners with CWU to provide events, such as their Cinco de Mayo party where they provided an evening of culture and education. They also support local causes such as the Fish Food Bank and other non-profits, through takeovers, where a portion of their sales goes towards a local cause. Deanna said she feels a great sense of community working with D&M.

This local business started out of an air-stream trailer in 1990, serving coffee at The Gorge during concerts and to students along University Way. Their customers feel like family, and have an appreciation for their history and quality product. Cornerstone Pie, and the D&M located on Water Street are also made up of reclaimed materials from all over the community. Which just goes to show these two business owners are dedicated to their community pride.

What’s not to love?

I asked Deanna what she enjoys about the community of Ellensburg. She said she appreciates the support local businesses have for one another and their customers. She loves seeing locals support each other and come to be successful, which is a rare thing. During the holidays, it is exciting to see businesses get involved, her favorite is the Downtown Trick-Or-Treat. All the merchants hand out goodies to trick-or-treaters and give them a safe way to celebrate Halloween.

On her days off, Deanna enjoys going to Reed Park with a good book. Reed Park over-looks Ellensburg and sounds to me like the perfect place to relax. One of her favorite places to eat in town is at The Tav, their garlic cheddar burger specifically. She has also enjoyed going to the Starlight Lounge for martinis, and their tangerine dream.

Living in Ellensburg myself, I can appreciate many factors of this charming town. Being able to hear what it was like to grow up here was an enriching experience. I really value Ellensburg’s community feel, especially around the holidays.

To learn more about our exciting community events coming up, visit our events pages. Thank you, Deanna, for sharing your story with us!