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Back to Twin Peaks: Fans of shows reunite in North Bend, Aug. 3 to 5
No one warned her about the pie. If they had, Pat Cokewell might have been better prepared for the rush of business her little Mar-T Cafe (now Twede’s) in North Bend enjoyed when “Twin Peaks” came out. Then again, maybe not.
“The influx of people was just amazing,” said the 81-year-old North Bend resident. Soon after “Twin Peaks” went on the air Thursday nights, customers began pouring into the cafe, all wanting a slice of pie and “a damn fine cup of coffee” as ordered by Kyle MacLachlan in the show. Most of them had to put their names on a waiting list and come back later, when another batch of pies was ready.
“On Saturdays and Sundays, I had two crews of people making pies — everything was made in-house,” Cokewell said, “and they’d run out! … I had to hire a cashier, because the waitresses couldn’t keep up, and I remember one Sunday when I just stood in one place and sliced pie all day.”
Fans of the show weren’t the only ones going through the pie, either. Cokewell fed a lot of pie to the crew — chocolate peanut butter was co-creator David Lynch’s favorite — and eventually left them a key for snack runs after the cafe was closed.
“I told them to just write it down (what they ate) on a piece of paper,” she said, laughing, “and one morning I came in, and there were 17 slices of pie on the list!”
Cokewell has fond memories of the Twin Peaks craze of 1990 and 1991, and not just because of the boost it gave to her business and her community. While the show was filming here, and in other locations throughout the Valley for about six weeks in early 1989, she met many of the actors and crew, and became close friends with Frank Silva, who played Bob. When the Twin Peaks movie premiered in 1992, she enjoyed meeting the fans of the show just as much, and looked forward every year to the gathering inspired by the movie, the Twin Peaks Fest. Today, she still corresponds with at least a dozen people she’s met from the festival, and has boxes of memorabilia given to her and created by the fans, like a can of creamed corn labeled “Garmonbozia.”
“It’s like a family,” she says.
That is exactly how Twin Peaks Fest organizer Jared Lyon, 33, describes the event, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
“It becomes sort of like a family reunion,” he said.
At first, he explains, people “loved the show because of its quirkiness. I think that’s why people first come to the festival.”
There, they met creative people with similar interests, in the beautiful natural setting of the Valley, and they had reason enough to come back, again and again.
This year, Twin Peaks Fest is August 3 to 5, and, for the first time, it is sold out. More than 200 people are expected to take part in three days of indulgence in all things Twin Peaks, including a Blu-Ray screening of “Fire Walk with Me” at the North Bend Theatre, bus tours of the filming locations, and a celebrity dinner featuring former cast members. Confirmed guests include Michael Horse (Deputy Hawk), Charlotte Stewart (Betty Briggs), Phoebe Augustine (Ronette Pulaski) and Al Strobel (the one-armed man), with others possible.
Only 200 people, and only three days, Twin Peaks Fest could very well be the smallest international (some regular attendants come from England and Japan) festival in the world. That’s fine with Lyon and his co-organizer Amanda Hicks, both former festival attendants who volunteered to keep it going nine years ago when their predecessors stepped down.
“We wanted to keep everything manageable, and make sure everyone has a good time,” said Lyon.
In other words, the festival, like the show that inspired it, is short-lived, obscure, and the treasured secret of those who know about it.
The secret seems to be out, though, since attendance has been steadily increasing for the past five years.
Learn more about the Twin Peaks Fest at http://twinpeaksfest.com/
Frank Silva, who played Killer Bob, left, shares a coffee and smoke break with Mar-T Cafe owner Pat Cokewell on the ferry ride to Bainbridge Island for a Twin Peaks Fest many years ago.