Seattle Now & Then: Horse Meat Anytime

(click to enlarge photos)

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THEN: Eating a horse was considered less disturbing during the Second World War when beef was rationed. (Courtesy of Lawton Gowey)
Horse-Meat
NOW: Mr. D’s Greek Deli now holds the Pike Place address where Montana – and perhaps other – horse meat was sold for many years. (Photo by Jean Sherrard)

In these United States of America, eating horse meat is just not done by most people these days. Yet in this week’s historical view we see three grown men boldly confronting that taboo and raising another sign announcing in big letters “horse meat.” They promise to have it by Monday — inspected by the government and not rationed, so always available as long as there are Montana horses to slaughter.

While the name of the Pike Place Market business offering the equine steaks is the “Montana Horse Meat Market,” the buyer could not know for certain that all this promised horse meat would actually come from the Big Sky Country. They may have wished it were so. In 1942, the likely year for this sign-lifting, much of the Montana range was still open.

Partners Lewis Butchart and Andrew Larson were already selling beef and pork at 1518 Pike Place in the late 1930s, but then with the war and the rationing, they brought out the horses. In a 1951 Seattle Times advertisement, they used the Montana name and offered specialties like “young colt meat, tender delicious like fine veal.” “Montana” is still used in the 1954 City Directory, but not long after.

In the mid-1960s (and perhaps later) one could still find a smaller selection of cheval cuts (the French name for the meat the French often eat) at 1518 Pike Place. Market resident Paul Dunn remembers buying horse kidneys there for his cat. Those humans who have tried it commonly describe the meat as “tender, slightly sweet and closer to beef than venison.” Those who promote the meat might note that it is lower in fat and higher in protein than beef. That is not likely to change the average modern American’s view about eating an animal most view as a pet.

WEB EXTRA

Jean writes: A Mr. D’s employee led me down narrow steps into a basement storage area.  She recalled large iron hooks, hanging from the pipes, which had, Mr. D himself asserted, been used for hanging horse carcasses.  The hooks were recently removed.

Horse-meat-hooks
Where hooks once hung...
Behind the counter at Mr. D's
Behind the counter at Mr. D's

Anything to add, Paul?

Yes Jean but most of it uncertain, and more cheese than horse meat. I’ll caption what I know about the pixs below within their frames.   [May we remind our readers to click twice and sometimes three times to enlarge these images.]

This is surely an earlier vendor of viande de cheval (and have I got the French right Jean?).  It appears with a collection of Pike Market images, but it is not identified.  I looked up both "Range" and "Horse Meat" in Polk City Directories for 1915, 1920 and 1925, but got no citations.  So until some reader joins a more complete truth to this, we leave it here or there.
This is surely an earlier vendor of viande de cheval (and have I got the French right Jean?). It appears with a collection of Pike Market images, but it is not otherwise identified. I looked up both "Range" and "Horse Meat" in Polk City Directories for 1915, 1920 and 1925, but got no citations. So until some reader joins a more complete truth to this, we leave it here or there.
More meat at the Pike Place Market, but none of it horses who previously spent their happy lives running on the range.  This one is dated - 1963.  So some readers will remember this Pure Foods Shop.  The photographer was Bob Bradley.
More meat at the Pike Place Market, but none of it from horses who previously spent their happy lives running on the range. This one is dated - 1963. So some readers will remember this Pure Foods Shop. The photographer was Bob Bradley.
Some really big cheese headed for the Pike Place Market - but I don't know when, only that it was really really big.  I also do not know if this photo was taken first, or the one that follows of our really big cheese on a wagon was first.  I'm inclinded to thing this big cheese is here waiting for the wagon, but I am prepared to be corrected by someone who knows better how to "read" this photograph.
Some really big cheese headed for the Pike Place Market - but I don't know when, only that it was really really big. I also do not know if this photo was taken first, or the one that follows of our really big cheese on a wagon was first. I'm inclinded to think this big cheese is here waiting for the wagon, but I am prepared to be corrected by someone who knows better how to "read" this photograph.
Our really big cheese pauses to pose for the photographer on Railroad Avenue before heading up Western Avenue, most likely, to the Pike Place Market, its final resting place as one big piece of cheese.
Our really big cheese pauses to pose for the photographer on Railroad Avenue before heading up Western Avenue, most likely, to the Pike Place Market, its final resting place as one big piece of cheese.
Here's the ruins of what was once the largest structure in Seattle: the Pike Street coal wharf and bunkers.  It was photographed from the King Street Coal Wharf that replaced it in 1878.  This is but a detail of a pan of the city.  (This also appears in our Waterfront History Part 5, with a more detail description and in context too of more waterfront history.)  Note the south summit of Denny Hill on the right, and Queen Anne Hill on the left.  In between them is the north summit of Denny Hill, and running between the two "humps" of Denny Hill is Virginia Street.  The original for this is at the University of Washington's Special Collections.Finally, neither meat nor cheese Jean.  We are looking here into what will be the heart of the future Pike Place Market – a quarter-century later.  Rising  above the tides and off shore you can see the ruins of what was once the largest structure in Seattle: the Pike Street coal wharf and bunkers. It was photographed ca. 1881 from the King Street Coal Wharf that replaced it in 1878. This is but a detail of a pan of the city. (This also appears in our Waterfront History Part 5, with a more detailed description and in context too of more, yes,  waterfront history.) Note the south summit of Denny Hill on the right, and Queen Anne Hill on the left. In between them is the north summit of Denny Hill, and running between the two “humps” of Denny Hill is Virginia Street. The original for this is at the University of Washington’s Special Collections.

A QUEEN ANNE MISSION – An Edge Clipping as Blogaddendum

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Ron Edge is sorting through his collections and finding forgotten things.  One of these we print below as an “Edge Clipping”. (Whenever you see the ALKI logo above  you can depend that there will be an Edge Cllipping below it.)  We use the term “Edge Clipping” for Ron’s offerings as wide as  they range, and here it  is an old photo postcard he has lifted from his really well-ordered horde.  And it is yet another early 20th local subject by Oakes, who has appeared “in these pages” many  times past.  The  text below Ron’s “clipping” is from a Times “Now and Then” feature I wrote for Pacific, and it appeared on August  15, 1989.  The “now” photo printed beside a different photograph of the fire station #8 (I mean, not this one) shows that a tennis court replaced the station – or was in its place in 1989.  Perhaps Jean will return to the site again and find out what is there now – if it is something other than the grand new Queen Anne standpipe that we featured here last January 3, when Pacific also ran a sidebar explaining my tongue-in-cheek part in a local hoax. Happy reading and Keep Clam and My oh My.

Another early 20th Century "Real Photo Postcard" by Oakes.  This on of both the Queen Anne standpipe (two of them) and Fire Station No. 8.
Another early 20th Century "Real Photo Postcard" by Oakes. This on of both the Queen Anne standpipe (two of them) and Fire Station No. 8.

(Click to Enlarge)

A QUEEN ANNE MISSION – is the title The Times gave to the story below.

Of the fanciful fire stations built in Seattle in the 20  years or so following the city’s Great  Fire of 1889, Queen Anne Hill’s Engine House No. 8 was a unique creation – although it had its double.  The Mission-style building featured curvilinear gables on the front-center wall over a small balcony  (with flower pots), and to either side (of the gables) there were low-pitch roofs with wide eaves and exposed supporting rafters.  The bell tower with its arched windows also fits the style, although this tower is for hanging hoses, not bells.  It stands next to another “imposter”, the Queen Anne water tower, which is decorated with battlements at its top.   The standpipe was built in 1900 as part of the city’s then-new Cedar River gravity system.  The bleaker steel “beaker” (without pouring spout) was soon added by a water department that  in between No. 1 and No.2 lost its urge for elegance.

Engine House No. 8 was not alone. It had is doppelganger at Minor Avenue and Virginia Street. Engine House No. 15 was its mirror image, with a reverse floor plan and  the hose-drying tower on the opposite side of its otherwise symmetrical presentation.  No. 15 was destroyed in 1951.  Built  in 1908, Engine House No. 8 survived a dozen years more until it was razed in 1963 and replaced by a tennis court.  Engine Company No. 8 then moved into its simple and modern station a few yards south of this its old “Mission.”

Seattle Now & Then: Queen Anne Theatre

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Long thought to be an early footprint for West Seattle’s Admiral Theatre, this charming brick corner was actually far away on another Seattle Hill.  Courtesy, Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
THEN: Long thought to be an early footprint for West Seattle’s Admiral Theatre, this charming brick corner was actually far away on another Seattle Hill. Courtesy, Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
NOW:Although in Jean Sherrard’s December-last recording of it, the Peet’s sign still adorns the old Queen Anne Theatre building, the Coffee shop has recently closed.  The neighborhood has seen a recent proliferation of coffee servers and Peet’s, the Berkeley, California brand that first taught and supplied Starbucks, decided to escape.
NOW: Although in Jean Sherrard’s December-last recording of it, the Peet’s sign still adorns the old Queen Anne Theatre building, the Coffee shop has recently closed. The neighborhood has seen a recent proliferation of coffee servers and Peet’s, the Berkeley, California brand that first taught and supplied Starbucks, decided to escape.

Here’s a lesson in the sleeping befuddlements that may nestle for long naps with mistaken captions.

In this instance we return a quarter-century to the mid-1980s when Clay Eals, then the editor of the West Seattle Herald, was busy assembling the West Side Story, the very big and revealing book of West Seattle History written and illustrated by volunteers, (myself included) with Eals our guiding hand and kind support.

But then briefly and undetected something bad happened in the editor’s office. Clay made a mistake, or rather he repeated one. Eals, who led the neighborhood’s forces of preservation in a successful save of its threatened landmark theatre, The Admiral, received the print shown here from a credible and even venerable West Seattle source and so felt confident enough to include it in the big book as the Portola Theatre, the predecessor of the Admiral. After all, “Portola” is how it was identified with a label stuck to flip side of the print originally loaned to him.

Here, and recently, enters one of Seattle’s silent film era experts David Jeffers who was not convinced. First, there is no “Portola Marquee” showing for what is still obviously a motion picture theatre with film posters pasted to it. With a sharp enlargement – and no deadline – Jeffers studied the scene in detail. Knowing where Seattle’s now “missing theatres” were once located he soon determined that this was not West Seattle’s Portola but Queen Anne’s own neighborhood theatre at the northwest corner of Queen Anne Avenue and Boston Street.

Jeffers reflects, “Much of our history is forgotten, not lost, and only awaits re-discovery. Just as every neighborhood has a branch of the Public Library, in the years before television they all had a movie house, typically within easy walking distance.  One of these forgotten theaters stood on the Northwest corner of Queen Anne Avenue North and West Boston Street.  The Queen Anne Theatre opened for business in 1912 and closed, as did many, with the advent of sound in the late 1920s.”

WEB EXTRAS

Jean writes: Just a couple of extras from my end this week, Paul. The first is a sweet pair of perpendicular shoes across the street from the now-horizontal Peets:

shoeart

And the second, Clay Eals himself, about to slurp from the water fountain at the base of the Queen Anne water tower. Some may note his Cubbies hat and recall that Clay recently authored a masterful biography of Steve Goodman, songwriter/musician known for writing ‘The City of New Orleans’ but also the immortal “A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request’ (amongst many others). For more about Clay and Goodman, click here.

clay-at-fountain

Observant readers may recall that Clay appeared in a previous SN&T column at the beginning of the year.

Anything to add, Paul?

Yes Jean, I have some more “web extras” or as we sometimes call them “blogaddendums.”    Many years ago – in the 1980s – I was given Lawton Gowey’s slides of Queen Anne Hill where he had lived all his life.  Previous to his death by heart attack Lawton was a collector-student of local history.  He especially liked trolley history.  He died suddenly on a Sunday morning while preparing to go once more to play the organ at his Queen Anne church (Presbyterian).  His collection was quite large and most of the prints in it were directed by his family to the University of Washington’s Northwest Collection.  All of the below are pulled from about 300 (or more) slides of Queen Anne he left.  Some others have been sorted into “programs” (carousels) that were not examined for this selection.  Among those are others scenes for our intersection of Queen Anne Avenue and Boston Street, but I have not as  yet found them.  I’ll come upon them most likely when preparing a slide lecture – later.   Jean, if you like, you may wish to take some repeats for these when you have time, for instance, on your way downtown.  They are all of Queen Anne and  easily found.  I will give short captions for each with location and date.  All of the colored slides were photographed by Lawton.

Les Hamilton's old house at 1607 10th Ave. West. Les was another Queen Anne historian and a good friend of Lawton's.  His collection also wound up at the University of Washington.  Les dates this ca. 1910.
Les Hamilton's old house at 1607 10th Ave. West. Les was another Queen Anne historian and a good friend of Lawton's. His collection also wound up at the University of Washington. Les dates this ca. 1910.
The same house on 10th on Feb. 7, 1981.  Someone sold the owners a covering of "war brick" probably in the 1940s, and it is still in place here in '81.
The same house on 10th on Feb. 7, 1981. Someone sold the owners a covering of "war brick" probably in the 1940s, and it is still in place here in '81.
Looking east on Boston St. through Queen Anne Ave. on Aug. 25, 1971.
Looking east on Boston St. through Queen Anne Ave. on Aug. 25, 1971.
Looking east on Boston from its intersection with Queen Anne Ave. on March 8, 1981.
Looking east on Boston from its intersection with Queen Anne Ave. on March 8, 1981.
The coin laundry at Queen Anne Ave. & Republican on Feb. 8, 1974.  I was still cleaning my clothes at such vibrating places at this time and it was always a real pleasure to sit readings in the midst of those working machines.
The coin laundry at Queen Anne Ave. & Republican on Feb. 8, 1974. I was still cleaning my clothes at such vibrating places then and it was always a real pleasure to sit reading in the midst of those hard working machines.
Galer Street looking west from near Queen Anne Avenue, 6/22/1927.
Galer Street looking west from near Queen Anne Avenue, 6/22/1927.
Galer Street looking west from Queen Anne Ave., March 8,1981.
Galer Street looking west from Queen Anne Ave., March 8,1981.
Queen Anne Avenue North from Galer Street, March 10, 1979.
Queen Anne Avenue North from Galer Street, March 10, 1979.
Looking northwest through the intersection of Thomas Street and Queen Ave. to the Uptown Theatre on March 24, 1966.
Looking northwest through the intersection of Thomas Street and Queen Anne Ave. to the Uptown Theatre on March 24, 1966.
Tony's and the Uptown on "lower" Queen Anne Avenue July 11, 1974.
Tony's and the Uptown on "lower" Queen Anne Avenue, July 11, 1974.

Pan Africa to Paris

On Monday, Feb. 8th (Boy Scout’s Day) Jean and I visited Steve Sampson in Belltown as he fidgeted with his office-studio.  I took the first view below of the two of them.   The place is a-funk because Steve was at the time closing it down before returning this coming Sunday to his new home in Paris with Cynthia Rose, another good friend.

Next we came upon the stables or livery door in the alley that Jean put up on this blog a ways below this contribution.  We were on the way to the Pike Market where we shared lunch at the Pan Africa.  Jean used his “Ethiopian utensils” for the Ethiopian dish prepared.  I have often enjoyed Jean’s many good stories of his trips to Ethiopia and he will include below some highlights and illustrate a few of them too.

This evening we met with Steve again – for the last time during this visit to Seattle – in Fremont at Brad’s Swingside Cafe.  Next time Jean will see him in Paris this summer. There we found Brad revived from a long and risky stay in hospital (last fall) but now back again behind the stove where he is famous for his delicious concoctions.  The carved angel on the front porch of the Swingside was placed there in a vigil for Brad’s recovery.  The gracious guardian did well, enjoyed the stay and has decided to abide a while longer.

Jean Sherrard and Steve Sampson pose on moving day in Steve's Belltown studio.
Jean Sherrard and Steve Sampson pose on moving day in Steve's Belltown studio.
Jean to the sides handling the Ethiopian repast served to him by the hands, which have just closed the "take home" portion of Pan Africa's generous serving.
Jean to the sides handling the Ethiopian repast served to him by the hands, which have just closed the "take home" portion of Pan Africa's generous serving.
Except for what remains of the wine the Swingside table has been cleared.  Jean and Steve pose below the kitchen window where Swingside owner-shef Brad appears half-bent over his "stove."
Except for what remains of the wine the Swingside table has been cleared. Jean and Steve pose below the kitchen window where Swingside owner-chef Brad appears half-bent over his "stove."
Brad's Guardian Angel at  Brad's Swingside Cafe on Fremont Avenue.
Brad's Guardian Angel at Brad's Swingside Cafe on Fremont Avenue.

Jean writes:

As Paul suggested above, I’ll revisit a few highlights of my last trip to Ethiopia, which was, Paul neglects to mention, a number of years ago. The photos I took are pre-digital – a compact Canon point-and-shoot – scanned much later.

I last went to Ethiopia in Nov 1999, missing the Battle in Seattle, the progress of which I watched on a flickering hotel TV in Lalibela, (arguably an eighth wonder of the world – which begs the question, is there a single eighth wonder or is that a category?).

Carved out of solid rock in the 12 C. - effectively, this church stands in a pit, its roofline at ground level. Note the cut ground at bottom right and left corners.
Carved out of solid rock in the 12 C. - the Church of St. George stands in a pit, its roofline at ground level. Note the precipitous cliff edge at bottom right and left corners.

It was a little shocking after a month of travel to see images of Seattle on CNN Asia, which was the only channel available. Of course, it being CNN, the images were stock – a ferry approaching the docks with the space needle in the background.  But I’d gone to Ethiopia on a bit of a lark, hardly imagining the serendipities that would grace my trip.

Addis tannery
Addis tannery

On the plane from Rome, I sat in front of, and carried on a long sore-necked conversation with, Hussein Feyissa, who’d studied engineering in the midwest and ran his family’s burgeoning tannery in Addis.  Amazing man of industry who sent me to friends and associates all over the country.

Within my first couple of days, I booked an in-country series of flights on Ethiopian airlines, and standing at the counter, met Firew Bulbula who, it turned out, was returning to Ethiopia for the first time since 1974 when Mengistu overthrew Haile Selassie and became an Ethiopian Stalin.  We were flying the same routes and became traveling companions.  Amazingly, in 1974, Firew was a freshman at the University of Washington, ended up studying economics and teaching it at Seattle Community College by the early 80s.  We actually had friends in common, in particular, Gassim, an Oromo prince and PhD, with whom I’d spent long hours chewing the fat at the Last Exit.

Another tej bar. Firew drinks at right.
Yet another tej bar. Firew drinks at right. Tej comes either sweet or dry, but is always drunk out of flasks that look like laboratory beakers.

Firew and I toured the north together, visiting Bahir Dar and Lake Tana,

On Lake Tana
On Lake Tana

Gondar, and Lalibela. Each one deserves a short novella.  In Bahir Dar, accompanying Firew to a tej bar, where country men came of an evening to drink honey beer and sing improvised poems to the lyre.  The old man who sang of his fallen friends on the battlefield (translated in whispers by Firew) and overcome with emotion had to step outside to recover.

Gondar vista
Gondar vista

In Gondar, meeting a Japanese woman traveling alone across Ethiopia by bus, staying in roadside hotel/brothels to save money, her arms and neck covered with bites from bed bugs. Brave beyond measure, but she was the nail who refused to be pounded down.

Gondar's earliest castles date from the 15th C., and were designed and built by Portuguese architects for the emperors of Gondar (see one of them mummified below)
Gondar's earliest castles date from the 17th C., and were designed and built by Portuguese architects for the emperors of Gondar (see one of them mummified below)

The hyena man of Harar, who made a show each evening of feeding a pack of hyenas outside the walls of this medieval town (once host to the greatest of Victorian travelers and linguist/translators Richard Burton,

Rambo's house
Rambo's house

as well as Arthur Rimbaud, whose putative house is labeled ‘Rambo’s house’ and was built long decades after his death).

hyenas-lr
Harar hyenas

Heart pounding after feeding the hyenas and being plunged into unexpected darkness, I tipped him a month’s rather than a day’s wages and an Ethiopian friend told me that the hyena man said he would pray for me and my family as long as he had the good fortune of surviving the hyenas.

Dinner
Dinner

Near the stone meeting bell of an island monastery,

Meteorite?
Meteorite?

I stumbled over an unusually heavy and seemingly once-molten stone, unlike any other in the area.  After returning to the states, I sent a picture and a description of it to a geologist at Harvard, who also thought it likely to be a meteorite.

emperor-mummy1
Mummy king

Or the 4 hour trip crossing Lake Tana to reach another island monastery where the mummified remains of Ethiopian emperors are enshrined, and where the monks, pissed off at my belligerent young guide, threatened to beat us up.  One of the monks had an infected ulcer on his shin and I gave him a tube of antibiotic cream as a gift, which mollified him and the others.

King's sword
King's sword

The night before I flew home, Hussein Feyissa brought me a bucket filled with fresh honeycombs as a parting gift.  I was sure that raw honey would certainly be impounded by customs and insisted that he take the bulk of it home to his wife, who loved honey, he said.  But the two of us slurped through several handful of golden brown comb before Hussein took it away.  In the middle of the night, I felt my stomach begin to roil in protest.  By the time I boarded the plane the next morning, I was munching on fistfuls of anti-diarrheal pills, just to allow me to stay seated through take off.  A month wandering Ethiopia, eating virtually everything that came my way, and it was honeycomb that leveled me.

An Ethiopian fern on the shores of Lake Tana
An Ethiopian fern looms

A PRESIDENTS DAY LESSON

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A FORWARD to what FOLLOWS

On PRESIDENTS DAY, February, 15, 2010 we at Dorpatsherrardlomont are distressed at how poorly Americans – generally – know the chronology of their so-far FORTY-FOUR PRESIDENTS.  To do our modest something to correct this puzzling withdrawal from the history of our nation’s leaders we mean below to teach with rhymes for children.  Certainly, many readers will find it easier to memorize verse than mere lists, and that is what you get below: honest poetry for honest ends and not as difficult as many poems used in accelerated reading programs to help primary school children’s chances for entering one or more of the best universities.  When possible the rhymes have also been chosen for added patriotic meanings, which are also suitable for children. (Anyone who has picked up a book of rhyming words knows that there certainly are plenty of competing choices that are also proper ones.)

One final precaution: the poem begins with Warren G. Harding rather than George Washington.  As you will soon discover, we needed a rhyme for “spouse’s bidding”.

44 IMPERFECT PATRIOTIC RHYMES for 44 ALMOST PERFECT PRESIDENTS
Set in Chronological Order for Easier Instruction for Minors & Their Parents in the History of the American Presidency.

In the name of Warren G. Harding
Give us this day to play
And do our spouse’s bidding.
First we fetch a key to the pantheon
From the owner George Washington.

Now all together we will holler at the Talibans
From behind the shoulders of John Adams,
And then fix some things in the Constitution.
(All the changes will be signed by Thomas Jefferson.)
We may arouse the distracted James Madison
With a Stereopticon and a little canon,
And then play “Friend or Foe”
With the doctrinal James Monroe.
Let us laugh again at the Talibans
With the son, John Quincy Adams.

Now let us put some steaks on
For Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren?
Invest in a panopticon and another little canon
With William Henry Harrison,
Who died of a cold
When but 32 days old.
Let’s Run a quarter-miler
With John Tyler,
Do a somersault
With James K Polk
Whose manifest destiny
Lassoed Oregon territory,
Followed by a nap in the trailer
With Zachary Taylor.

May we please eat some more
With Millard Fillmore
And dip the chin and eyes lower
For Franklin Pierce
Who died of cirrhosis.

We will play hide and seek in the White House
With bachelor James Buchanan dressed as a mouse,
And perhaps little bo peep – such fun!
Then turn the vacuum on and run
To excite Abraham Lincoln.
Now put a chop on,
For the impeached Andrew Johnson.
Let us now dance ‘till we pant
With Ulysses S. Grant
And then press his pants.
Take in two or three costume plays
With the unpopular Rutherford B. Hayes,

But now stand far-a-field
From James Garfield,

Discuss ding an sich and things obscure
With No. 21 Chester A Arthur,
Show our pictures of Disneyland
To Grover Cleveland,
And count again the budget and  the bison
With “Billion Dollar” Benjamin Harrison.

Now Cleveland more -
He get’s his encore,
Which we break with a litany
For William McKinley.
Next get up and run about
With Theodore Roosevelt,
And this time ignore the fat
Of William Howard Taft.
Share some pheromones
With a Parisian Freudian
And Woodrow Wilson,
And pray for the pardoning
Of William G. Harding.

We open the fridge
For a thin Calvin Coolidge.
We may visit the Louvre
With Herbert Hoover,
And then fish in the West for smelt
With Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Or with Eleanor and him
And Harry S. Truman.
Yes, we do feel the military-industrial power
Of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Yet another litany
This for John F. Kennedy.
Now that’s no fun
So stuffed bears for everyone!
We’ll Visit Saigon
With Lyndon B. Johnson
And put a fix on
With Richard M. Nixon.
Next we may either continue
With west wing bourbon & shuffleboard
Or share a cheeseboard
With Betty and Gerald R. Ford.

Let us also share Coke and his brother
With James Carter.
And then entertain a gregarious vegan,
While White House guests of Ronald Reagan.
We are pleased to sit on our tooshies
Between the two Bushies
(George on the left, George on the right))
And in between them
Carve a soapstone billikin
With the handy Bill Clinton?

At last we will sit in our pajamas
With the Barack Obamas?

Seattle Now & Then: Fox Garage

THEN: With her or his back to the Medical-Dental Building an unidentified photographer took this look northeast through the intersection of 6th and Olive Way about five years after the Olive Way Garage first opened in 1925.  (Courtesy, Mark Ambler)
THEN: With her or his back to the Medical-Dental Building an unidentified photographer took this look northeast through the intersection of 6th and Olive Way about five years after the Olive Way Garage first opened in 1925. (Courtesy, Mark Ambler)
NOW:  Jean Sherrard repeated the Fox Garage shot on a cold sun-lit January afternoon.  Besides the irregularity of the windows on the west (left) façade (and the signs) that some of the industrial-fitted windows in both the “then and now” are open suggests that this could be a garage. (Now photo by Jean Sherrard)
NOW: Jean Sherrard repeated the Fox Garage shot on a cold sun-lit January afternoon. Besides the irregularity of the windows on the west (left) façade (and the signs) that some of the industrial-fitted windows in both the “then and now” are open suggests that this could be a garage. (Jean Sherrard)

How had this lovely Gothic Revival garage escaped me for half of its life? I have driven by it a few hundred times since my first pass in 1966.   It was built in 1925 at the northeast corner of 6th Avenue and Olive Way. Perhaps I was a good driver and kept my eyes on Olive Way. But by such prudence I missed much including the slender corner tower that reaches seven stories to the Gothic parapet, which runs the length of the building’s public facades on both Olive and Sixth.

This photo of the Fox Garage was one of several Mark Ambler showed me in hopes that I could help him locate it and the others.  I recognized the Tower Building (at 7th and Olive) behind the garage, but remained puzzled about the garage itself.

Thanks to the “historical sites” section of the city’s Department of Neighborhoods website I found Karin Link’s summary of Fox Garage history.  The historic preservation consultant writes, “This is a very early and unique attempt at creating a tall parking garage, which could accommodate many cars, and still engage the neighborhood of well-designed city buildings.”  There is much more in this “Link report”, which you can read here.

The Fox Garage signs hanging here from the parapet are improvisations. The landmark first got its glamorous tie to the Fox Theatre/Music Hall when that lavish Spanish Revival theatre opened in 1929 at 7th Avenue, a block east on Olive Way.

George Wellington Stoddard, the architect, had a long and productive career in Seattle.  It may not surprise you to learn that he was also responsible for the concrete Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center (1947) and the concrete Green Lake Aqua Theatre (1950).

A VALENTINE MESSAGE (Somewhat Naughty)

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Jonathan Swift, 1667 to 1745, was one of the greatest of English satirist.  Some think him the greatest.  He is best known for Gulliver’s Travels, A Modest Proposal, And Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, A Tale of a Tub, but not so much for THE LADY’S DRESSING ROOM as such. This wonderful description of a woman’s boudoir is widely known as the Celia Shits Poem for its most memorable line.  I remember it from Dr.Clarence Simpson’s class in Enlightenment English Literature at Whitworth College in 1960.  Jean also “had” Clem nearly 20 years later when he attended Whitworth for fewer years than I.  Jean finished at the U.W..

When the opportunity of dedicating our book Washington Then and Now came up, we agreed that Clem would be a wise choice for he was often wise and we both liked him for it and his unfailing kindness.

I have learned that the Swift poem is new to Jean.  He remembers Clem for teaching medieval literature not Swift.  Not so long after our dedicatory lecture to Dr. Simpson and some other residents at the Des Moines retirement home where he then lived with his wife, Clem died, and she not long after he.  We print these valentines, the Swift poem and a much lesser verse by myself written a moment ago, all in honor of Professor Clem and his teaching, and also in thanks for the Irish-English satirist Swift and his exuberant example – the thoughtful or prudent use of a few naughty and/or bad words.

Reading the entire Swift poem is a delight – so go to it!  And please read it aloud.  Or will you instead surrender to the continuing decline of the West and return to the comforts of your home entertainment center, perhaps a Television choice that you agree is half-witted but sensationally so?

How so satire?!  What follows is a poem done in parody of those many verses that glory in the beauty of their own Celias – safely out of . . .

THE LADY’S DRESSING ROOM

By Johnathan Swift

Five hours, (and who can do it less in?)

By haughty Celia spent in dressing;

The goddess from her chamber issues,

Arrayed in lace, brocades, and tissues.

Strephon, who found the room was void

And Betty otherwise employed,

Stole in and took a strict survey

Of all the litter as it lay;

Whereof, to make the matter clear,

An inventory follows here.

And first a dirty smock appeared,

Beneath the arm-pits well besmeared.

Strephon, the rogue, displayed it wide

And turned it round on every side.

On such a point few words are best,

And Strephon bids us guess the rest;

And swears how damnably the men lie

In calling Celia sweet and cleanly.

Now listen while he next produces

The various combs for various uses,

Filled up with dirt so closely fixt,

No brush could force a way betwixt.

A paste of composition rare,

Sweat, dandruff, powder, lead and hair;

A forehead cloth with oil upon’t

To smooth the wrinkles on her front.

Here alum flower to stop the steams

Exhaled from sour unsavory streams;

There night-gloves made of Tripsy’s hide,

Bequeath’d by Tripsy when she died,

With puppy water, beauty’s help,

Distilled from Tripsy’s darling whelp;

Here gallypots and vials placed,

Some filled with washes, some with paste,

Some with pomatum, paints and slops,

And ointments good for scabby chops.

Hard by a filthy basin stands,

Fouled with the scouring of her hands;

The basin takes whatever comes,

The scrapings of her teeth and gums,

A nasty compound of all hues,

For here she spits, and here she spews.

But oh! it turned poor Strephon’s bowels,

When he beheld and smelt the towels,

Begummed, besmattered, and beslimed

With dirt, and sweat, and ear-wax grimed.

No object Strephon’s eye escapes:

Here petticoats in frowzy heaps;

Nor be the handkerchiefs forgot

All varnished o’er with snuff and snot.

The stockings, why should I expose,

Stained with the marks of stinking toes;

Or greasy coifs and pinners reeking,

Which Celia slept at least a week in?

A pair of tweezers next he found

To pluck her brows in arches round,

Or hairs that sink the forehead low,

Or on her chin like bristles grow.

The virtues we must not let pass,

Of Celia’s magnifying glass.

When frighted Strephon cast his eye on’t

It shewed the visage of a giant.

A glass that can to sight disclose

The smallest worm in Celia’s nose,

And faithfully direct her nail

To squeeze it out from head to tail;

(For catch it nicely by the head,

It must come out alive or dead.)

Why Strephon will you tell the rest?

And must you needs describe the chest?

That careless wench! no creature warn her

To move it out from yonder corner;

But leave it standing full in sight

For you to exercise your spite.

In vain, the workman shewed his wit

With rings and hinges counterfeit

To make it seem in this disguise

A cabinet to vulgar eyes;

For Strephon ventured to look in,

Resolved to go through thick and thin;

He lifts the lid, there needs no more:

He smelt it all the time before.

As from within Pandora’s box,

When Epimetheus oped the locks,

A sudden universal crew

Of humane evils upwards flew,

He still was comforted to find

That Hope at last remained behind;

So Strephon lifting up the lid

To view what in the chest was hid,

The vapours flew from out the vent.

But Strephon cautious never meant

The bottom of the pan to grope

And foul his hands in search of Hope.

O never may such vile machine

Be once in Celia’s chamber seen!

O may she better learn to keep

“Those secrets of the hoary deep”!

As mutton cutlets, prime of meat,

Which, though with art you salt and beat

As laws of cookery require

And toast them at the clearest fire,

If from adown the hopeful chops

The fat upon the cinder drops,

To stinking smoke it turns the flame

Poisoning the flesh from whence it came;

And up exhales a greasy stench

For which you curse the careless wench;

So things which must not be exprest,

When plumpt into the reeking chest,

Send up an excremental smell

To taint the parts from whence they fell,

The petticoats and gown perfume,

Which waft a stink round every room.

Thus finishing his grand survey,

Disgusted Strephon stole away

Repeating in his amorous fits,

Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia shits!

But vengeance, Goddess never sleeping,

Soon punished Strephon for his peeping:

His foul Imagination links

Each dame he see with all her stinks;

And, if unsavory odors fly,

Conceives a lady standing by.

All women his description fits,

And both ideas jump like wits

By vicious fancy coupled fast,

And still appearing in contrast.

I pity wretched Strephon blind

To all the charms of female kind.

Should I the Queen of Love refuse

Because she rose from stinking ooze?

To him that looks behind the scene

Satira’s but some pocky queen.

When Celia in her glory shows,

If Strephon would but stop his nose

(Who now so impiously blasphemes

Her ointments, daubs, and paints and creams,

Her washes, slops, and every clout

With which he makes so foul a rout),

He soon would learn to think like me

And bless his ravished sight to see

Such order from confusion sprung,

Such gaudy tulips raised from dung.

Cecelia, We Presume
Celia, We Presume

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(What follows was composed in nearly effortless admiration of Jonathan Swift and his Lady’s Dressing Room, but then it much shorter.)

I CANNOT READ YOUR HEART

I cannot read your heart

And that is just the start.

I cannot read your books at all

Your taste is so abominable.

I cannot read your eyes

As if my own had styes.

I cannot read your fashions

Your clothes should be on ration.

I cannot read your lips

Nor can I read your hips

(A horse seen from a cart)

I cannot read your knees

But my how you do sneeze!

Well!! And now I hear your fart!!!

Yet I cannot read your heart.

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“Hello Ednah Dear 7/28/14 Nothing like what is on the other side of this card in Albany for I have not seen any one here that would have the nerve to do such. Well dear we made our 11500 test [?] and no one hurt but I was just a little timid in making some of the moves but all over now. Gee I wish you were here now for this AM was trying on your family and everyone is so strang [sic] to me but my (W) B.B. [Top of card] Dear this is one lonesome day for me. How I wish I could see you to talk to you. Your’s forever B.B.”[If we have read it correctly . . .]  Hello Ednah Dear 7/28/14  Nothin like what is on the other side of this card in Albany for I have not seen any one here that would have the nerve to do such.  Well dear we made our 11500 test [?] and no one hurt but I was just a little timid in making some of the moved but all over now.  Gee I wish you were here no for this AM was trying on your family and everyone is so strang [sic] to me but my (W) B.B.  [Top of card] Dear this is one lonesome day for me.  How I wish I could see you  to talk to you.  Your's forever B.B."
If we have read it correctly . . .the message above is faithfully typed out atop the card too.
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An EDGE CLIPPING as BLOGADDENDUM – a Belated Valentine sans hearts but with fit sentiment and fit timing from February, 1908.

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