Superior Court judges paint the town red

Pierce County’s Superior Court judges and commissioners painted the town red this summer. Well, not the whole town, just one house. And it was sand point rather than red. But participating in Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful for the second consecutive year was rewarding for the jurists as well as the homeowners.

“Working with colleagues outside the courthouse and getting the entire project finished within two weeks made it especially satisfying,” said Judge Ron Culpepper.

Commissioner Mark Gelman agreed. “Gorgeous weather, good friends, good food, a great house color and a good time had by all, even at 6 a.m.,” he said.

Headed by Judge Stephanie Arend, a majority of the 21 judges and six commissioners participated in three work parties during July to paint the East Tacoma home of Elaine and Loren Hancock.

“I love it. They did such a nice job,” said Mrs. Hancock. “They were wonderful, so down to earth and kind. It is humbling to have the Superior Court working on your house. It was hard for Loren, because he volunteers so much helping others. He felt he should be out working with them, but he couldn’t do it because of his health.”

The house at East 53rd and McKinley has been the Hancocks’ home for 12 years and has been in the Hancock family’s ownership since 1964.
“This was grandma’s house,” she said.

Loren Hancock went to a local seminary late in life and serves as an interim minister when congregations are without a regular preacher. He previously worked as a truck driver and butcher. Illness forced him to sell his truck. Elaine Hancock retired on a disability.

The judges were assigned the Hancock home after responding to Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful’s annual call for volunteers to paint homes of low-income senior and disabled citizens.

Sallie Shawl, the project’s director, said more than 100 homes are being painted this year by crews from churches, service clubs, unions, businesses, local government and military agencies and individuals. By the end of summer, a total of 1,485 homes will have been painted since the program started in 1985.

“We should all be proud of our response to the call for crews to paint homes. Giving back to the community is everyone’s civic duty,” Judge Sergio Armijo said.

Judge Vicki Hogan assisted Arend with project coordination. “The Hancocks are a delightful couple who have given much to Pierce County. It was a privilege to be able to help such wonderful people by painting their home,” she said.

While almost all of the judges and commissioners helped by pressure washing, scraping, priming or painting, others participated by providing food and beverages for the work crews.

“This is a win-win for everyone. The homeowner gets a newly painted house and we have fun too,” said Judge Bev Grant.

Mrs. Hancock purchased a “Thank You” card for the judges but was having a difficult time determining what to write. “There are no words that can adequately express what we feel about all their work. What they gave means so much to us,” she said.

Not everyone was speechless after the paint had dried, however. David Moore, husband of Judge Hogan, had this to say about his experience painting with the judges:
“To work with the Judges was such a thrill,
But of painting a house, I got my fill.
I painted diligently, without a flaw,
Now I hope I never again run afoul of the law!”