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Saturday, March 11, 2006 - Page updated at 12:46 AM

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Sherry Grindeland

"Grey's" has more than 1 tie to area

Seattle Times staff columnist

Sandy Thomas now has two reasons to watch "Grey's Anatomy" on ABC Television.

The Kirkland woman has been a fan since the show hit the airways. With her favorite actor, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, now on the show, she never misses it. Morgan portrays a man waiting for a heart transplant who has developed a love interest with one of show's interns.

Morgan also happens to be Thomas' son.

In addition to the "Grey's Anatomy" role, her son has a recurring part in another television show, "Supernatural."

Morgan went to Ben Franklin Elementary School, Rose Hill Junior High and was a 1984 graduate of Lake Washington High School.

"He didn't grow up wanting to be an actor," Thomas said. "He wanted to be a basketball star."

Instead, he went into acting and has a long list of television and movie credits. And the sure sign of success in his chosen field?

"I haven't had to send him a check in years," Thomas said.

He's a self-supporting actor — the benchmark for anyone who wants to make a career out of the business.

Common ground

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Shari and Doug Eglington recently returned to Casa Grande, Ariz. The Sammamish couple met there in 1973 when both worked for VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) in a project called Arizona Job Colleges.

The project served poor families in rural, central Arizona. Shari tutored kids; Doug was the public-information officer on the project. She's a Washington State University grad; he's from Whitman College.

"I joke that our relationship began because in our first conversation, we both realized we'd been through Washtucna [Adams County], Washington," Doug said.

At the reunion, the Eglingtons figured that five couples out of the 40 or so people in the VISTA program married and are still together more than 30 years later.

"We're now in our 50s, and we're government civil servants, teachers, college faculty or employed by nonprofit programs," Doug said.

The Eglingtons match that profile.

He works as a senior policy analyst for County Executive Ron Sims and is president of the Lake Washington School Board; Shari teaches at Issaquah's Cougar Ridge Elementary.

Signs of spring

If the storms this week make you wonder about spring, consider this: The Triple XXX Drive-In in Issaquah will host a VW Club Car Show March 19. It's an outdoor show, and collectors do not display their prize cars during inclement weather.

Local idol

If you catch Tony Bridges' Metro Transit bus, ask him to sing.

The driver, who works out of the East Base in Bellevue, recently competed for a spot on the "American Idol" television show.

His wife gave him a ticket to the Las Vegas auditions, where he went up against 97,000 competitors. Bridges made it to the final 40 before being cut.

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or sgrindeland@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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