Seattle Now & Then: A Little Snow

Werner Lenggenhager recorded the tracery of the Pacific Science Center’s Gothic arches through the promenade that leads to them, marked by the snow of Nov. 19, 1978. (Courtesy Seattle Public Library)
Holding my little camera high I took this snapshot repeat of Lenggenhager’s romantic snowscape at this year’s crowded & hot Folklife Festival.
Jack Hansen far left, ca. 1970
Stan James at the 2004 Folklife Festival

Werner Lenggenhager, Seattle’s splendidly active post-war photographer of streets and landmarks, whom I have used in this feature several times, recorded the historical Seattle Center scene during the ‘little snow” of November 19, 1978.  I took the “now” while wandering through the generally happy press of humanity at Folklife this past Sunday May 24.  It felt like the first nearly hot day of 2009.

I had just left helping MC a Folklife tribute to a friend, the Seattle folk artist Stan James, who died last October. Since Stan’s survivors both loved him and like to sing together, it was the third wake or tribute for Stan many of us had attended. Soon after gently pushing through the press of “folkies’ I learned that only hours earlier another old friend and musician had died.  The day before at Folklife Jack Hansen led another sing along as a member of The Seatles, “Seattle’s Premier Fab-4 Sing-Along Band.”  It was the last “gig” of a creative life that I remember well already in the mid-60s when Jack played lead guitar in the blues and psychedelic band Fat Jack, a name Jack later shed.

Jack Hansen could play and teach anything: blues, jazz, folk, Hawaiian, strait rock, and again psychedelic.  Stan James kept to singing folk music with his wonderful baritone (or second tenor, for he had range) and creating “folk opportunities,” beginning in the early 60s with the Corroboree, one of the area’s first espresso cafes with live music – folk music.  He performed at Century 21 in 1962 and after that his contributions go on and on.

Both Jack and Stan were also known for their humor and story telling.  Although neither died young, they still passed too early. They played for the forces of happiness.

7 thoughts on “Seattle Now & Then: A Little Snow”

  1. The picture shows Jack with fellow band members Bill Tootell, Hal Wright and Ken Cantrell. The “club” was in the Music Hall Theater building. It was called The 13th House. The money man was Joe Koester, Fat Jack’s manager. (BTW- Jack always corrected people when they called him “Fat Jack.” “My name is Jack Hansen; ‘Fat Jack’ is the name of the band.” He wasn’t particularly touchy about it. He just wanted to set the record straight.) Although somewhat corpulent, he could play a friendly game of basketball which would leave more “buff” guys gasping for breath. The place was mainly a venue for music, but we had to sell something edible, and non- alcoholic beverages, to get a club license. We served weird ice cream sundaes with bright colored syrup,coffee and milk shakes. As a “roady/ groupie’ who tagged along I was “hired” to be a kind of assistant manager/ waiter/ soda jerk. I think I was paid in thc or psilocybin caps. I didn’t last long. Neither did the club. I think it was 1967. No one was ever really sure.

  2. I was reading your “Then and Now” in the July 5 Times, and I was saddened to hear that Stan James died last year. Somehow I had missed it at the time, and it came as a complete, and unhappy, surprise.

    In my alter ego as an attorney, I represented Vic Franck’s Boat Co. on Northlake for a couple of decades, and Stan worked there for several years. He was a master shipwright — I watched for a while nearly every day for months as he built and installed an enclosed “flying bridge” on a classic, early-twentieth-century yacht. He spent several days taking careful measurements, then built the whole thing in a big open space in Vic Franck’s shop. When he was done, they just lifted it on to the yacht and if fit absolutely perfectly. When it had been fastened down and the interior finished off (which Stan also did), you could not tell that his addition was, in fact, a new addition. It looked like original equipment. Even the owners, who were really stuffy and fussy nouveau riche types, couldn’t find anything to bitch about, other than the cost.

    I sold Stan a friendship sloop in the late 1990s, too, and we had a lot of fun talking boats, the Blue Moon, and other things. He wrote a song that was either about the Moon or featured it prominently, but I never got to hear it. Now I never will.

  3. Much thanks to both the tiny doctor and ripley’s reply too. I too watched Stan do his wood work – in the captain’s quarters of the wonderful Wawona. That was in the 70s. I think with that vessel’s recent crushing Stan’s paneling was one of the few parts removed and so preserved. It could make a fine start on a club house for a Blue Moon Yacht Club. As for me, I’d rather be sailing – or down at the old Red Robin playing that jukebox. That would be the pre-remodel Red Robin of the late 60s, run by Sam and Saul and owned – we did not know at the time – by Ivar Haglund. It was in those moments at least, Sam and or Saul behind the bar and Sam and Dave in the box. And I have seen Jack Hansen do his wood magic as well on old instruments. Indeed he – or rather someone – still has an old garage-sale Sitar of mine. Give it to the poor. Wait – that’s me!

  4. Looking for Robert Lambert. He was about 19 years old in 1968. He worked at 13th House Club in Seattle.

    Anyone remember him? Anyone know how to get in touch with him?

  5. Sonja

    I used to be the drummer for Fat Jack and went to high school wth Bob Lampaert. Sadly he passed away many years ago. The 13th House was our club.

    All the best

  6. Hi Richard,

    I knew Bob Lampaert in Junior High then following our 20th year Lake Washington Reunion………please provide background on when and how he passed……if you don’t mind! Thank You!

  7. Sonja and Lisa,
    I am Bobs sister, only sibling.
    I remember the 13th house well.
    Bob owned a bicycle shop in Puerto Vallarta,Mexico. Called “Bobby’s Vallarta Bikes” He was married to Laura Cardenas, who still resides in Vallarta. No autopsy done or legally required in Mexico, Bob passed (found dead on floor, near his chair) early one morning, in April of 2001, he did not live to see the terrorist attacks in NYC, I am grateful for that, as he spent many years in New York. He was 52 and a half yrs. at his death, post-partim physician’s view wrote it as heart failure, this same physican knew Bobby.
    I suspect heart failure, stimulated with adrenaline from an enhaler he used for exercise induced asthma, he did bicycle tours in the mountains for a living.
    His funeral was HUGE and BEAUTIFUL!, candles covering the town, almost!, he was amazing and
    VERY LOVED by all who knew him!

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