Posted 7/29/17


Reading the Leader has been part of my weekly routine for decades. It used to come out on Thursdays and the cost was only a dime. The articles that caught my attention have changed as I’ve …

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Reading the Leader has been part of my weekly routine for decades. It used to come out on Thursdays and the cost was only a dime. The articles that caught my attention have changed as I’ve aged, and I suppose that’s to be expected.  As a teenager, I’d go into the high school library during study hall and see if I could find the school copy free.  Always looked at the sports pictures and stats first, just to see whose name was printed. There was a column about high school activities which I always stopped to read, but I also found interest in car accidents, fires fought, burglaries, bar fights, police activity, marriage licenses, birth announcements, divorces granted, and wedding pictures.

As the years passed, the names and faces became unknown but I still looked forward to my hometown paper anyway. You never knew when somebody familiar might show up. On Tuesday nights I lay in bed thinking about the events of tomorrow.  ‘Leader Day’ is always noted. I don’t follow the sports pages much anymore because I don’t know any of the athletes, but I still glance at births, if only to see who the grandparents are. I also read about car accidents and house fires but not getting to read the names is a major irritant.  Even if I don’t know them! I miss seeing wedding pictures, and can’t for the life of me figure out why there are seldom any to be seen.  I know people aren’t getting married as quickly as they used to these days but still…..

I look over every photo published as many bring back memories. Often times I’ll send them on via email to some of my classmates who don’t live in town anymore but still have an interest in how it’s changing.  I always study the obituaries. These days that’s the only section where I can usually recognize somebody I know.  I don’t like it but it is what it is and I know I’m going to end up on that page myself someday.  Hopefully, not for a while but I know there’s no guarantee to that.

I always read the blogs.  I understand Tom’s point of view, but I only skim his columns now as I get upset having to read the outrageous behavior that the blond bully continues to stun us with. I never read those people replying to him, especially those who don’t have the guts to sign their name. Their opinion is of no interest whatsoever.  I cancelled my cable TV service, partly because of the continued greed the owners exhibited with raising prices every year, but also because I was sick to death of listening to the never-ending garbage about the blond guy and his cronies. I’m embarrassed for our country.  But enough on that subject.  I meant to talk about this weeks’ issue and the articles I did stop to read.

The fact that candidates for the county library are coming from places around the world didn’t  surprise me one bit.  A few years ago I applied for an office job at the Port Angeles dump.  You wouldn’t believe the number of applicants, and some had PhDs.  I’m ever so thankful I’m not job-hunting in this day and age. I’m sure nobody would want me.

I loved the story on painting the Memorial Field fence. Too bad they can’t paint part of it with scenes of Port Townsend. There are certainly enough artists around who could make it look terrific.  A wrought-iron fence sounds like a good idea too –if they don’t hang advertising signs on it.

Always interesting to see how the town is growing.  Roundabouts can be a blessing if they aren’t messed up with too much shrubbery and trees like one of those entering into town. I love driving around town and looking at all the new homes and new roads that have appeared since my days of cruising the streets with my dad’s station wagon.  Man!  So many houses that are beautiful and BIG!  Does make me sad, though, that the wealthy seem to have the advantage of being able to afford a place in town.  I’d love to move back home but I know that I’m out of luck unless my numbers hit on the lotto.

I’m not giving up hope, though. It could happen.

               I looked at the picture of the Sweet Laurette restaurant changing hands and remembered that my first job was at a small place right next door. It was 1961 and I worked at a little newspaper office that wanted to give the Leader a run for its money.  I laugh about it now. It was a mimeographed paper and the owner didn’t seem that concerned with typos.  Even at age 17, I knew that couldn’t be a good thing. It didn’t last long, but it gave me a thrill to imagine that I was on the way to being another Lois Lane.

               I only knew one guy in the obits this week, but that isn’t always the case, sadly. The only other familiar face was Robin Bergstrom dancing at the Concert on the Docks.  I wonder if I would dance down there if I lived in town. Probably not.  But I’d go listen to the tunes.  Amazes me every time I drive down Water Street – always slow so I can take in the people and the sights – to see the changes at the City Hall end of town. It’s nicer.

               I often look over the political campaign ads to see whose name is listed supporting a particular candidate. If lived in town and could vote, I’d definitely mark my X for Bruce McComas.  I knew him from my old working days at the mill. He came on board after I’d been there a while. Sometimes you meet certain people and you just plain like them and respect their intellect right off the bat. Bruce was one of those.  A nice guy.

               The Looking Back column and the picture chosen for that week has always been a favorite. Especially if a certain event is discussed that I was a part of or remember well – like swim lessons at Adelma Beach. I came across one old newspaper clipping in 1978 when I appeared in the paper of the Leader so I decided to share it with this blog posting. My name has only appeared in the Leader a few times over the years but I’m always on the lookout in ‘Looking Back’ to see if I’m mentioned.  What an ego!




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