A ‘vision’ brought Bruce Cook to Lakebay and possibly a political position


Rick Sorrels

Bruce Cook has only lived in Lakebay for three years, but he is already running for public office.

Cook was born in Little Rock, Ark. and remained there until he graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1977 with degrees in English and journalism. He had his first work published while he was in the sixth grade.

Cook’s aunt was a librarian and read him stories, which may have contributed to his life long love of books and writing.

Cook’s first job was as a runner for a bank where he carried very large checks to the Federal Reserve for deposit after hours to ensure the bank received that extra day’s of interest. Between 1972 and 1977, Cook advanced to assistant manager of the largest bank in Arkansas, which later merged with Bank of America.

Cook continued his education, obtaining an MBA and a doctorate from the University of Texas, with his dissertation on “fundraising theory.”He has been a business and financial consultant since 2000, conducting frequent seminars across the country for various corporations and organizations.

In 2000, Cook was invited by a Vancouver man to conduct a seminar in Olalla, which became his first visit to the Northwest. Cook said that he “immediately fell in love with the place, the people and the climate.”

When he returned to Austin, he no longer felt that he belonged in Texas, where he had lived for 26 years. He felt out of place. His wife of 20 years, a lifelong Southern Texas gal, also no longer felt her roots.

On Oct.1, 2011, Cook’s wife had what she called a “vision,”describing a house that, for some reason, she believed was in Washington, somewhere.

One of the Olalla seminar members, who was a real estate broker, sent some unsolicited listings with photographs to Cook in Texas out of the blue. The pictures were exactly as his wife had described weeks earlier.

About this same time, a man walked in off the street wanting to purchase their home, which was not for sale.

Cook and his wife thought “a deity may be involved.”They picked up the phone and bought a house in Lakebay that they had never seen. Nor had they ever been on the Key Peninsula, nor closer than Cook’s single quick visit to Olalla.

The Cooks’ moved to the KP in 2012. They said they love it here, with “absolutely no regrets.”

Cook still does consulting work, with a number of websites. But the peace and quiet of Lakebay has allowed him to develop his true life love of books.

Cook has a small-scale publishing business that has published more than 100 books, both authored by him and others. The subjects range from biographies and history, to novels and science fiction, and, of course, finance and investments.

Cook’s other love is helping people, which he does through his seminars.

After moving here, he tried to learn all he could of the area. The newspapers were discussing the partial merger between the maritime portions of the Port of Tacoma and the Port of Seattle.

He studied the matter and learned that nobody on either commission had any financial background, that both ports had huge debt and financial problems, and he saw a place that he could help his new community.

Cook’s name will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot for a position as a Port of Tacoma commissioner. He has never run for public office before. There may be a higher influence in play again, he suggested.

Cook can be reached at 858-8929 or wbcook@centurylink.net.