Seattle Now & Then Postscripts: Hendrix at Sicks, and preservation wins — and a big loss

Here are two of what The Seattle Times calls “postscripts” — items that follow up stories (including “Now & Then” columns) printed in in its PacificNW magazine.


(Click and click again to enlarge photos)

THEN: Wyatt recalls using a Nikkormat SLR with a 50mm lens and Tri-X black-and-white film. “I was just figuring out how to use it,” he says. “Looking over the negatives, I had a long way to go.” Upon further reflection, he adds, “It was grungy… in 1970. The quintessential Seattle concert.” (Scott Wyatt)
NOW: At the Kurt Cobain Memorial Bench in Seattle’s Viretta Park, Wyatt holds a sheaf of the photos he took of Jimi Hendrix at Sicks Stadium. Tragically and coincidentally, both rockers died at 27. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Dec. 19, 2021
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Dec. 19, 2021)

The bigger picture: More rare photos of
Jimi Hendrix’s last Seattle concert emerge
By Jean Sherrard

Last summer, I naively thought it would be easy to visually verify Jimi Hendrix’s final appearance in Seattle and in the continental United States.

After all, the date was only a half-century ago, July 26, 1970, just a few weeks before the legendary guitarist died. The venue was the city’s prominent but fading baseball cathedral, Sicks Stadium. And thousands besides my early teenage self were there. Surely many were clicking away.

How wrong I was.

All the usual sources came up goose eggs. To my relief, however, Dave DePartee’s name popped up on a rock ’n’ roll fan site. DePartee, just 16, had used a point-and-shoot camera to snap two color pictures, one of which we showcased in our July 25 “Now & Then.” Grainy and distant, DePartee’s were seemingly the only stills of a major event in music history.

Wrong again!

After the column was published, an email from Scott Wyatt landed in my inbox. He had stood next to the stage on that soggy Sunday, wielding his Nikkormat camera. Proof was attached: a stunning, close-in black-and-white of Hendrix.

“I was just getting into photography,” Wyatt says, “but Hendrix’s was the only concert I ever shot. And it was like no other I’d ever attended.”

While studying architecture in New York, Wyatt held a summer job at a Longview sawmill. He and friends often trekked to Seattle for weekend shows. The Sicks gig was “uniquely intimate,” he recalls. “To me, Hendrix was a god, and I was right up front kissing his feet.”

In the early 1970s, Wyatt and his wife joined the Peace Corps and traveled to Iran, where his camera granted him special access in a country on the verge of revolution.

Back stateside, he worked as an architect, rising to become CEO of NBBJ, a Seattle-based global architectural firm. Retired after 30 years, he now attends Gage Academy, engaging a new passion: oil painting.


Here is the original “Now & Then” column on Hendrix at Sicks, published July 25, 2021 — click it to see the column and its own “web extras”:

July 25, 2021, “Now & Then” column on Hendrix at Sicks.

Here are additional “Then” photos of Hendrix from Scott Wyatt:

THEN 2: A cop prowls the Sicks bleachers, on the lookout for gatecrashers. Denizens of Cheapskate Hill watch the concert for free. (Scott Wyatt)
THEN 3: Another shot from the front of the stage. Paul Dorpat, a backstage guest at the concert, believes that his forehead appears just below the tuning pegs of Hendrix’s guitar. (Scott Wyatt)







For a photo essay by Scott Wyatt about his Peace Corps stint in Iran and Afghanistan, click here.

A street photographer in Teheran, one of Scott Wyatt’s many portraits of daily life in Iran


(click and click again to enlarge photos)

THEN1: An undated mid-20th-century view of the west-entry face of East Seattle School, built in 1914. (Mercer Island Historical Society)
THEN2: A total of 109 East Seattle School alumni assemble before the west entry face of East Seattle School on June 8, 2019, to support preservation of the edifice. (Jean Sherrard)
NOW: With the East Seattle School demolition site behind them on Nov. 7, 2021, are (from left) Kit Malmfeldt, who organized a 2019 gathering of alums for a group photo that she is holding, along with Mercer Island Historical Society board members Susan Blake, Einer Handeland, Judy Ginn, co-presidents Terry Moreman and Jane Meyer Brahm, and, displaying a throw depicting the school, Nancy Gould Hilliard. They surround a replica of the school’s entry archway that Malmfeldt built as a Little Free Library near her home in Everett. (Clay Eals)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Dec. 19, 2021
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Dec. 19, 2021)

Good and grief, Charlie Brown: The razing of Mercer Island’s
former East Seattle School signifies a mixed preservation year
By Clay Eals

Undergirding this Postscript is one of the more charming homilies in comic-strip history.

Sept. 17, 1973, Peanuts cartoon

“Life is rarely all one way,” says Linus in a Peanuts installment from Sept. 17, 1973. “You win a few, and you lose a few!” Charlie Brown replies, “Really? Gee, that’d be neat!!”

Two “Now & Then”-related preservation wins emerged in 2021:

  • The La Quinta Apartments on Capitol Hill became a city landmark March 22, and its new owner signed a controls agreement Sept. 27. Tenants and Historic Seattle, whose quest to save the U-shaped structure we explored last Jan. 31, breathed a collective sigh of relief.
  • The stunning, south-facing view of tiny Ursula Judkins Park in Magnolia was protected by a city hearing examiner’s ruling Oct. 19 that blocked proposed mega-mansions on the steep slope nearby. We featured a downtown skyline view from the park on Jan. 5, 2020.

But we were not spared the loss of the former East Seattle School on Mercer Island, near Interstate 90, at the turn of the New Year.

As we noted in “Now & Then” on July 28, 2019, the 1914 building had anchored the island’s first community hub, operating as a public school until 1982 and as a Boys & Girls Club until 2008.

Filling the 2.9-acre parcel will be 14 single-family homes. But the Mercer Island Historical Society is somewhat cheered that the city will require inclusion of a physical reminder of what came before.

Jane Meyer Brahm

“We have identified 200 square feet by the northeast corner of the property,” says Jane Meyer Brahm, co-president of the historical society. “We’ve talked about a paved area with an interpretive sign and hopefully a miniature representation of the archway that faced west, with information not just about the school but the entire East Seattle neighborhood.”

The extrapolated lesson becomes a Charlie Brown corollary: In preservation, often something irreplaceable has to fall for us to make sure that others remain standing.


Here are the original “Now & Then” columns on La Quinta Apartments from Jan. 31, 2021, and the view from Ursula Judkins Park from Jan. 5, 2020, along with the July 28, 2019, column on East Seattle School. Click on each to see each column and its own “web extras”:

Jan. 31, 2021, “Now & Then” column on La Quinta Apartments.
Jan. 5, 2020, “Now & Then” column on the skyline view from Ursula Judkins Park
July 28, 2019, “Now & Then” column on East Seattle School.

Here are an additional photo and a video on East Seattle School:

On Nov. 7, 2021, Mercer Island Historical Society members and Kit Malmfeldt (center) examine a Roanoke Inn throw that includes a depiction of East Seattle School. (Clay Eals)
Video, 1:20. Click on the photo of Jane Meyer Brahm above to hear her speak of the historical interpretation anticipated for the East Seattle School site. (Clay Eals)

4 thoughts on “Seattle Now & Then Postscripts: Hendrix at Sicks, and preservation wins — and a big loss”

  1. Experienced

    Jimi Hendrix played
    The electric guitar
    Upside down
    And backwards.

    When his strong fingers
    Stroked the strings
    The sound was like no other
    Anyone has heard
    Before or since.

    After Jimi greeted the dawn
    And awakened a generation
    With the National Anthem
    As a postscript to Woodstock,
    America was never the same.

    James Nystrom

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