Every year, Grace King attends the Coupeville Lions Club’s salmon barbecue at Town Park.
As a longtime member of the group, it’s an annual pastime she looks forward to every year.
This past September was no exception, but what she didn’t know at the time is that 2012 would prove particularly memorable.
Unlike past barbecues, last year’s lunch came with a free ride.
“Everything just went like it was choreographed,” King said, chuckling with the memory.
“They all stood up and down I went.”
King was sitting at one of the many picnic tables at the park when those on the other side all decided to get up at once.
Because of the table’s design, King, her lunch, and just about everything else on the table went sailing over backwards.
She walked away largely unscathed and isn’t bitter for the experience.
In fact, holding true to her easy and fun sense of humor, she said she escaped from harm largely for one reason.
“I’m hard-headed,” she laughed. “It’s saved me a lot of times.”
Just the same, the potential for injury was there and fellow club members decided not to take any more chances.
All of the town’s tables – totaling 14 – were designed the same way and each needed to be fixed.
Fortunately for the town, and the club, one Coupeville Lion was perfectly suited for the job – Julian Sayers.
A retired city planner with a degree in architecture, Sayers recently wrapped up a multi-year project building his home overlooking Snakelum Point just east of Coupeville.
“I grew up with a hammer and saw in my hands… and I have the scars to prove it,” Sayers said.
Holding true to his nature, he approached the project with all the detail of an experienced engineer.
He not only came up with a new design for the legs, one he says is just about “impossible” to tip over, but he also drew up intricate blueprints and did most of the work in his garage.
Sayers said all the hours he personally spent on the project didn’t really feel like work.
Being a Lion and helping with projects like this are a chance to give back and have fun with friends.
That’s what the club is all about, he said.
“When a lot of people get together and do stuff like that, it makes for a better community,” Sayers said.
He and crew of fellow club members, including King, spent Tuesday afternoon installing the new legs on the tables at town park.
There are a few other tables scattered around town and they were going to be fixed later in the week.