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Aberdeen: Come as you are

Grays Harbor’s largest city grew up around the confluence of the Chehalis and Wishkah rivers. The city’s “timber-town” heritage is apparent as one enters town: the former log yards of The Weyerhaeuser Co. are vacant on the far bank of the Chehalis opposite the The Rotary Club’s Log Pavilion — a popular meeting and reception hall — dominates the entrance to East Aberdeen and Morrison Riverfront Park.

Logging has taken a hit in recent years and decades, as numerous mills and related businesses have closed. However, the area is resilient. Predominantly an industrial town, Aberdeen has seen extensive growth at the Port of Grays Harbor in recent years.

Aberdeen is a great place to get geared up for your Grays Harbor get-away, with grocery and outdoor supply stores galore, plus many restaurants. There’s also ample opportunity for visitors to stick around and explore the parks, museum, theaters, college and trails located in Aberdeen.

The D&R theater recently was refurbished and hosts nationwide touring acts. The Driftwood Theatre and Grays Harbor College’s Bishop Center for the Performing Arts each present several plays throughout the year. For information on show dates and times refer to www.dandrtheater.com, http://users.techline.com/driftwood and http://www.ghc.edu/bishop.

The city also hosts several popular festivals and events throughout the year.

Sidebar:

A long time ago, in a theater not so far away, Don Sucher saw the movie that changed his life: Star Wars. Decades later, he and his sons started a business selling Star Wars merchandise in downtown Aberdeen. It’s one of the more unique shops on the city’s main drag.

He was blown away from the opening scene, but at 34, felt he was too old to buy the toys.

Numerous fans flock to the store from near and far, Sucher said.

“It’s amazing how many tourists from all over the world stop in here,” he said.

Sucher says he loves reliving the fantasy every day and visiting with others who share his passion.

The shelves and walls are packed with Star Wars paraphernalia: toys even hang from the ceiling. Televisions play Star Wars movies and related television shows and films all day. In short, it’s a Star Wars lover’s paradise.

Sucher estimates he has about 10 percent of the approximately 70,000 different Star Wars-themed items ever made in his constantly rotating inventory. He’s also got other toys picked up by chance: Star Trek, X-men and the like. There’s also his collection of LP albums on the wall and a section of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain memorabilia.

“People kept coming in here wanting to know (about Cobain),” Sucher said. “And hey, it’s Aberdeen’s claim to fame, what can I say?”

His store is open noon to 5 p.m. every day.