We received a fine comment from the mildly anonymous Phil D. today in response to a blog post we made some time ago about the killer whale Namu’s time at Pier 56. The link is http://pauldorpat.com/ivar/pier-56-aquarium-in-the-1960s-very-big-sharks-and-namu/
Phil’s comment follows.
“2013, and 1966 was a long time ago…but what an outstanding experience in my life. I was privileged to be hired by Ted Griffin to work with Namu at Smith Cove in the early part of 1966 until Namu was brought to Seattle. Then, I was given a wireless microphone and said to present demonstrations of Namu to the public…which I did many times that summer.
“I really came to love Namu with the closeness of feeding, petting, scratching his back, sides and belly. Many times I was able to get very close to Namu while feeding him with a slice of salmon. I was 21 at the time, and really enjoyed the people who came to see the show.
“At times, Namu, when demonstrating a high jump, would go back into the water without hardly a splash. Other times, however, he would come down kinda falling over so as to completely soak the ones in the way of the huge wave & spray! One incident in the evening took place with no one there, but two men and a lady who were dressed to the hilt for a night on the town. For them, I’m sure it was as memorable an evening as it was for me. When I cautioned them they’d be safer from getting wet if they went up the ramp and observed from there, they decided to take a chance and see at float level. You guessed it…it was the greatest of Namu’s jokes on the crowd…the got entirely drenched. Their reaction??? They all, after catching their breath from the cold water drench, broke out laughing, and even grateful for this fantastic memory…seeing the huge body of Namu nearly leap completely out of the water (after having carefully popped his head out of the water prior to the jump, scoped out the situation…including the three observers and the ball held out high above the water by yours truly). Then, with no time to react, they saw Namu falling toward them! You can well imagine the rest…as I see it still clearly in my minds eye.
“Thanks for the memories, Namu and Seattle”
We learn in this issue that it is the last of our bi-weekly offerings. After this we went weekly until the end. We surely felt confident. Here again, although thousands of miles apart, Bill White and I read an issue together with the generous help of Skype. These edited versions are shorter than the time we took and recorded, but still even with Bill’s pruning we do ramble and sometimes stumble. Each trip (issue) we discuss is, however, certainly instructive, and considerably more than smoldering nostalgia for our lost youth. Well I should speak for myself, for Bill, much my junior, is still living lucky and in his prime. Thanks – repeated – to Ron Edge for doing the scanning. It certainly suites his assiduous side, and boundless love for old publications. [If you have any old regional papers - really old - please consider sharing them with Ron. He'll make a disk for you, Id' bet.]
B.White and P. Dorpat
In our last Sunday feature I shared with Berangere and Jean the hope that some reader would respond with explanations for the largely mysterious – for us – submarines that we included there. We were blessed with just such from Bill Hoeller. Now we will print out his explanations beneath the subs they apply to. And we will introduce this with the introduction to his first letter to us. Thanks much Bill.
Having been born and raised in Seattle I always look forward to your Seattle Now & Then feature every Sunday. In 1940 when I was born I lived in the Rainier Valley. My wife and I currently live in Wallingford. I saw you had some questions concerning submarines, which I know a little about, so I thought I would respond. I’m also anxious to see additional posts about submarines.
All the best,
HOPEFULLY – if we can find it – we intend to return to this SUBMARINE SECTION of our blog with something on THE PRINCESS ANGELINE, the “first atomic submarine built for Puget Sound commuter service.” We doubt that it was ever built. Were we not quoting we would have preferred to write “planned for Puget Sound commuter service.” Please check for it later.
We were not very good about getting every issue of Helix properly noted for its number and date. This was the first issue printed after the first (of 3) Sky River Rock Festivals gathered together over Labor Day. So this is from 1968. Without any confidence in the internal evidence of this tabloid itself, we have dated it above “early September, 1968. It occurs to me that this negligence or uncertainly is, in part or from one prospect, a sign that we were then living in eternity. (This week – for the next Helix and hopefully within a week or two – we will look for other photos taken at the first Sky River. An google search will certainly show others.)
B.White and P. Dorpat
Our old friend (who yet does not seem to age), rock-n-roller, bluesman, front-stage photographer, party-thrower, columnist, incessant wit and politico, Jef Jaisun sends this press-photo and clipping – his creations from a 1979 concert at the Capitol Hill Masonic Temple on Pine Street, the site of the Link Lingenbrink’s Artist League balls covered here earlier this week. Thanks to Jef.
This most recent record of the old Helix was record last Oct. 29, and may be compared to one below it from 2008, and then another from the 1970s. At the bottom the door is open, but to the first Helix office, which was in the University District on Roosevelt Way and a half-block north of 45th Street..
Below: While I recall the faces and beards of the two on the left at the Helix front door on Harvard Ave., I no longer remember their names. But to the right are Pat Churchill and Tim Harvey. Both contributed to the paper. Tim handled the UPS and LNS selections and edits and also did some of the best reporting for the paper, as well as drama reviews. In our recorded remarks Bill White and I have referred to Tim’s writing often enough. Rereading Tim I wish that I could indicated somehow my admiration. He may still be in Maine but I’ve not found him as yet. I remember that both Pat and Tim often had a cup of coffee in one hand and sometimes a smoke in the other. As did I and almost everybody in the smoke-filled office. But at that time we were eternal.