Attached here is the cover to the second issue – from April 1969 – of the Northwest Passage, the splendid and long-lived (although no longer) tabloid that was Bellingham’s contribution to the “underground press” of the late 1960s and after.  Many of those connected at one time or another with the paper – and there were through its life many hundreds – meet irregularly as members of the Old Fools Society or Old Fools Salon or Old Fools Forces or some other Old Fools.  Now this far-flung membership is using the web to ween about a 40th anniversary of the NWP founding and, perhaps, to “repeat” the historical group pose that appears below.  This is an extended call for help in naming those captured here in the Spring of 1969 on some enchanted old porch in Bellingham or near it. (Mouse it to enlarge it.)

31 thoughts on “Old Fools Explore NORTHWEST PASSAGE”

  1. Well, I answered this call last year through Carol Hamel. Perhaps the info never got to you.
    Bottom row is Jerry Tsutakawa (I believe) then Vicki Phillips, Mac Jepsen, Sheila Gilda is sitting on the ground on the left with two people I don’t know. Back up, after Mac I don’t know that blond guy, but next is Bob Sommers, Tina Berntsen, Jerry Chunn, Rick Lotz.
    Can’t be certain of the folks on the porch.
    Hope this helps,
    Tina Berntsen

  2. Oh yeah, and Paul took pictures of some of us behind the Kulshan tavern one day, long long ago.
    Still a fool,

  3. Paul and Jean, I helped Bob Summers ID this photo, so here is what I’ll add for you. Trying my best to remember that balcony. I think Fairhaven, but the bell doesn’t ring good enough. Cancer takes away your bells sometimes, but I’m trying to recover them in my recuperation.

    Cover, Northwest Passage 1969
    You have some unidentifieds
    Top row on balcony. Second from left, Jerry Burns. Blond next to him. We both “courted” her at the same time. Wish I could remember her name. She was mega-bright, with the most beautiful green eyes you’ve ever seen.
    Sheila Gilda, sitting bottom row, wish I could find her again. A dear, dear friend, sweetest person alive.
    No, that is not Bernie Weiner on the far right, second row standing below balcony, as Bob indicated. I talk with him often. Pretty sure that is Rick Lotz.
    Trying to remember the black guy in the top row. At first I thought Jerry Dawson, but no. Jerry was one funny guy. And as we used to joke, hard to not know every black at Western at the time. There were a handful as upperclassmen. And then the wise and witty Thad Spratlen, professor extraordinaire

    Everyone agree? Not? Let me know
    Noel V. Bourasaw, editor

    Do you think your readers would be interested in the story of the very Jim Crow Coon Chicken Inn and Cotton Club on the old Bothell Way.

    P.S. Tina, if you liked the Kulshan, would you like to read our profile and obit of “Mayor” Bobby Burns of Fairhaven, denizen of the Kulshan?

    1. Closest I came to working at the Passage was one time, strapped for cash (wasn’t everyone?), I got a bunch of papers and started hawking them on a downtown corner. After a while, my inner carnival barker emerged and I was shouting the headlines. At one point, a local came up to me. I expected a ”Get a haircut!”, but instead he said ”let’s see what kind of crap is in here this week”, and bought a paper. I was relieved and happy to get the 25 cents. I think this was in 1972.

  4. Oops, Paul, after the line where I ID Jerry Burns (top row), add Frank Kathman, long hair, second from right on balcony. Founding genius of Northwest Passage, does anyone know his current address of any kind? Many of us have tried to find him. He showed up one day at the old Free University we founded, took a course I taught on how to produce a tabloid seditious newspaper on your kitchen table, and the Passage resulted. What a long strange trip it’s been

  5. Here’s an identification from the photo added by the sculptor Gerald Tsutakawa to me in a letter. It confirms the above.
    “By the way . . . I look at your website and you asked if anyone can identify people in the Northwest Passage photo circa
    1969. That spaced out asian kid on the end was me.”

  6. Does anyone realize that the lovely dog in the front of the picture is Papa, Frank Kathman’s dog?

  7. Also, I thought that was my sister-in-law Janice Soderberg on the right, up on the porch balcony, but she says it’s not her.

    And that guy on the far right, on the ground, used to have a rooster, but I can’t remember his name.

  8. I was back at the Passage office, working on this issue when this photo shoot happened, so I missed the picture. Bottom center next to Shiela Gilda (photo taken at her house in ‘Happy Valley’) is Michael Carlson (now Harmon, after his birth father), our Art/Graphics Director & designer of the Passage logo; next to him is Trina ? (from Spokane), Michael’s lady friend at the time. I concur with the other I.D.’s – the guy with the rooster worked for the railroad in B’ham – his name can be found in one of the first issues of the paper somewhere – I think he wrote a story. Damn if I can remember it now… the blonde lady on the balcony was named Sue, I think… I didn’t know everyone in the photo, & regret not being able to remember more about the people I did know back then. Frank Kathman is rumored way off somewhere where he can’t be found, after a big coke deal gone bad back in the 80’s, I believe… I sure wish I could see him again. Michael Carlson I saw a few years ago — he was living in Santa Rosa, CA, but I’ve lost touch with him. I’m glad to see that Paul & Noel are going strong. I wonder if Paul has any film left from footage shot at the Passage office on Yew Rd. in Bellingham in the Spring or Summber of ’69? I’d love to see it, if it exists.

    1. I can’t see the person who is identified as having a rooster, but the guy I remember who worked for the railroad was Bill Small. Peace – Paul Ponton

  9. I can Identify a few more for you…top row, third guy with beard in profile is Phil Jenkins. Fifth person from left leaning on the railing is Miss Kitty. She was a pool shark and spent hours in the pool hall at the WWSU student center. The girl on the far right looking down with the flower in her hair and leg of the railing is Sunny Phillips and she lives in Maui. This photo was also in the 1970 Klipson (?) the WWSU yearbook.

  10. i just checked out the photo from the 1970 Klipsun that was another shot from that day’s photoshoot and people were in different positions. Phil Jenkins is actually not in the shot above but in the Klipsun shot he’s at the far right next to Sunny Phillips who he dated for sometime during those days. Next to Phil is Chris Condon (not seen above) who had two younger brothers around WWSU. Can’t recall their names…The Klipsun 1970 yearbook shot is credited to Greg Gable.

  11. I’m pretty certain that the black couple on the balcony were Elon and Leesa who graduated from Garfield HS in Seattle in 1968. I haven’t seen them in 42 years but recognised them instantly. I do not recall their surnames. Would love to see some more group photographs from this era!

  12. FYI to those wondering where Frank Kathman is; I last saw him in Seattle in maybe ’79 or ’80, received mail from him in the mid 80’s when he had an antique business in Santa Barbara, where he grew up, and received an email from him in about 2002 or 2003.

  13. Margaret Mars who was from Tracy Ca. And I (Daniel Sirolly) followed Frank Kathman up to Bellingham summer of 68. We were all English and creative writing majors at San Francisco state college in 65 66: by this pont we were no longer students but had transformedi into
    Flotsam and jetsamy hippy drifters from the Haight Asbury in San Francisco. We were planning to try to aquire a fishing boat for the salmon season up in Alaska which ‘plan never ,of course,
    got off the ground. I left in August very ill ( was Serium Hep which I got diagnosed at Freebclinic in the Haight), I never recomunicated with Frank again I was sure had left jjhim down and out or high and dry ; it’s good to know he had made another fresh start which worked so well initially at least .
    DjS siroliveoil@gmail.com

  14. Michael Berwick took this photo. I have some originals I am standing behind/next to Frank. Both Michael and Frank have passed on.
    Catherine Berwick

    1. I f you have originals, there are a few of us old guys who would love an nice big blow up for our wall. Perhaps a super high def via e-mail. Would be great!

  15. Frank is somewhere, for sure. I found his last reported address in San Jose, 2007, and they reported he passed away July 2007.
    I knew him in Santa Barbara, 1984. He was refinishing furniture and had a spot in the antique store in Summerland. He was quite the writer.

    1. Diane
      Someone sent me a few photos of Frank busy betting at some California race track. I got them some months after he passed. 2007 seems about right. Last time I saw Frank was long before. He was parked on University Ave. with a station wagon stuffed with oil paintings he’d picked up somewhere. They were all by the same artist, a woman whose name I neither caught nor held. I had no digital camera yet and so made no easy copy of an example, but I honored his joy in having the mass of them and he indicated that he thought that they could be marketed. He was, as ever, free-lancing, with something gained from his picking. Here’s one of the pixs of Frank, if I can figure out a way to load it. (Well I can’t. He is wearing a Hawaiian shirt.)

      1. Did he have a Moped? I’d like to find it but it’s long since gone. I’ve been going through my belongings and found a few of his poems that I’ve kept. Who is the artist? Have you found anything online about her? His mother had a house in Ventura that was quite nice; I’m surprised he didn’t move there. It wasn’t exactly where all the action was.

      2. I’d like to see the photos. I was just reading through his poems again. The moped I talked about below was mine; it sounded like I was asking for it but originally, Frank had borrowed it. I’m sure it vanished after decades but I paid $900 for it when it was new!!

  16. I can add a bit of information here, the guy on the balcony with the hat is me, Ron Mason, the girl with the scarf is Sue Lofgren, my girlfriend at the time. I completely agree with Barry about Phil Jenkins. I was good friends with Phil and knew him quite well.

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