They come, every year early in August, for a five-day vacation to the same motor-inn in Olympia, Washington, an easy day’s drive from Vancouver. Two women, Karen and Jean Anderson. They’ve been doing this for thirteen years and the hotel staff have come to know them quite well. They’re now in their late thirties and in recent years they’ve always turned up in a classic Austin-Healey sports car. Attractive, vivacious, and obviously in the holiday spirit, they turn a lot of heads. Karen is slim with shoulder length blonde hair and is slightly taller than her companion. Jean is bigger-boned, but with small hips. She has shiny light brown hair which she wears down her back to her waist, except sometimes when they go out for the evening, when she pins it up on her head. “Just like Audrey Hepburn”, she said once to one of the hotel employees. “And that’s as feminine as I can possibly get” she added, smiling across at Karen.
When they first came, hotel people thought they were sisters but it quickly became apparent they were more probably lovers, what is today called a same-sex couple, coming to Olympia because they would be unlikely to run into anyone from Vancouver. Neither of them show interest in men, other than being naturally friendly. They obviously revel in each other’s company. They bring a lot of clothes with them and will sometimes change several times in a day, especially Jean, apparently just for the fun of it, like two little girls. Karen is more casual, less dressy. She sometimes wears slacks but Jean never does. Daytime or evening, Jean always wears a dress, or a blouse and skirt, usually short, always with expensive-looking stockings and heels. And she always wears make-up. In the evening they dance a lot, but only with each other, Karen taking the lead, Jean’s hair swinging gloriously behind her. At least two evenings are spent at the hotel’s lively club, and it has become a tradition that they end up on the stage with the band, Karen on keyboard, Jean playing a mean clarinet. Usually, sometime during the evening, they take over the microphone for a duet, Karen a soprano, Jean a husky contralto. Two girls out on the town together. As Karen once explained to a desk-clerk, “This is when we relive our little girl days. And renew a special, special friendship”.