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I never met Gene Emry and knew absolutely nothing about the barbecue catering service he opened around 1955 behind Herald’s Restaurant and Lounge (currently, a strip mall). In fact, I didn’t even realize the business was there until the mid-1960s. In 1990, Gene sold his enterprise to Frank Mickelson and, in 2005, Frank sold to Gary Shaw, who operates the place today.
Well, I can’t remember the exact day or week it started, but it was sometime last September. Initially, it was a handful of unemployed college grads, parading down Wall Street carrying novel protest signs: “We’re the 99 percent,” “Can I get bailed out?” and “Do you feel it trickle down?”
When most Americans think of gambling in Nevada, they think of the tourist-oriented Strip in Las Vegas. With more than a dozen huge casino-resorts – some of the largest in the world – and their gaudy, colorful walls of neon, water ballets and spectacular streetside theater, there’s good reason for the Strip’s fame and popularity.
Well, class, it's time for a little anthropology, a subject that's always been close to my heart.
I had a great uncle, Sylvester Gaydeski, who died in 1970 at the age of 96. This, in and of itself, may not seem especially mind-boggling until you realize that when he was 10 or 11 years old, he migrated to this region via a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail.
So, I found myself sitting in the office of ophthalmologist Robert Tester, M.D., while he held a model of the human eye in his lap and clarified my rather foreboding situation. He said my vision was going to hell because I had cataracts.
Contrary to what you may suspect, some aspects of the Republican party used to appeal to me. On occasion, I even voted for Republican candidates, especially in state elections.
Well, just in case you haven’t heard, the world is coming to an end this year. It’s the Mayan calendar, you know. On the 21st of December – which the Mayans surely realized was the first day of winter because they were really into astronomy – their 2000-year-old calendar comes to an end. And various cults, religions and prophets of one type or another attach a great deal of significance to this.
Ten years ago, Aaron Brenner came to town and opened a bakery in the alley behind Vinnie’s Deli and the Village Shop. Today, both those businesses have folded, but the bakery is still going strong.
As any worthwhile linguist will tell you, our queen’s English is in a constant state of flux; that is, the meaning of words change, new words are invented and the spelling of words change.
Sunday evening, Hol-lywood once again salutes the movie industry and its accomplishments. Though the event isn’t quite as popular as it was a few years ago, we can safely predict it will still attract one of the largest audiences and highest Neilson ratings of 2012.
When I was a little kid the long, narrow building beside Suburban Soul and across Cole Street from the senior center used to be a garage and Goodrich tire shop that my uncle, Joe Semanski, owned and managed. I’ve discussed this business in previous columns and have no desire to describe it again. Suffice to say, it was the noisiest place I’d ever been in and the loud clang of sledgehammers against iron wheels actually hurt my young ears and may have caused nerve damage – a condition that, years later, was further aggravated by several rock concerts. (At this stage of my life, it’s a wonder I’m not stone deaf.) But mostly there was the irritating odor of burnt rubber. Indeed, that terrible smell is permanently etched into the deeper recesses of my reptilian mind.
The first time I met Les Stehr I thought he was a rather grumpy fellow and, at least on a superficial level, my first impressions were correct. (But, as bartender Tamara Dedmon points out, most of his gruffness was just show.)
World War II was the most awesome and heinous event in the whole of human history. Though it lasted only six years, the carnage slaughtered 50 to 60 million people, 20 million in Russia alone. It created and nursed atrocities so hideous it’s difficult to believe human beings were actually reduced to such vile depths.
Once upon a time, I had a cute, 2003 Pontiac Sunfire that was a fun little car that hauled me back and forth across America a couple of times and recently turned over 93,000 miles. (As you may have guessed, “had” is the critical word here.)
Last week I offered a capsule review of three generations of the Morris family in Black Diamond. The patriarch, Jack Morris, beget Evan Morris who, along with his other business enterprises, founded TRM Lumber with his nephew in 1969. Today, TRM is owned and operated by Evan’s son, John Morris.
During the first few days of a new year, it’s customary for newspaper financial and editorial columnists to make fiscal and political predictions for the coming months.
Throughout my childhood, I was very aware that adults celebrated New Year’s Eve, even though I never witnessed the actual parties because, by the time they occurred, I was in bed and asleep.
T’was three days before Christmas and o’er the Plateau, Everyone was quite busy, everyone on the go;
Well, ready or not, it’s time to buy a few gifts. Despite the screwed up economy, most of us can scrape a couple of nickels together to buy special somethings for those special someones – and let’s hope there’s enough left for a contribution to local churches and food banks.
Well, the tree is up, it’s decorated, and perhaps a few brightly-wrapped gifts are scattered beneath it. Friends have dropped by and you may have served an eggnog or two. Impatient 5-year-olds don’t think they can possibly contain their excitement for another two weeks, while awaiting the arrival of the jolly fellow.
Thirty or 40 years ago, it was popular to divide the entire American population into two distinct and hostile camps: the hip and the square.
The most expensive war in U.S. history is not Afghan-istan or any other Mideast conflict. Neither is it Viet-nam or even World War II. Alas, not adjusted for inflation, our most costly war – more than a trillion dollars - is our war on drugs.
Well, gang, after at least 60 years of intensive, scientific research, there is still no evidence that marijuana is any more toxic than booze and, in fact, there’s considerable evidence it’s less toxic. Let’s take a moment to compare the two.
I had a difficult time coming up with this week’s subject. I wasted much of the afternoon making one start after another, none of which materialized into anything.
Monday evening, some strange creatures are apt to appear at your front door; scary witches and Frankensteins and green goblins. I suspect vampires will be especially popular. Then again, not all these weird beings will necessarily be frightful. There’ll surely be a few Spidermen and Captain Americas to take the demons to task and protect the fairy princesses.
Dear College fresh-man, I’m sorry to hear you couldn’t find employment last summer. This isn’t unusual. As you’re surely aware, America is currently suffering through a rather severe recession and most of our students couldn’t find work during the summer months.
Throughout the duration of this foolish column (more than 10 years now), my editors have always let me explore any damned topic I chose, which is certainly appreciated. I’ve even written about subjects that are generally reserved for other specialized columnists.
Well, I was about 4 years old when my father presented me with a cocker spaniel puppy. I was quite delighted by this, but really didn't know what to make of the animal; that is, to a greater or lesser degree, I regarded the dog as a toy, though I certainly realized it was alive. Dad told me to pick a name, so I selected Bob. He laughed and said it was a girl dog. So, quite logically, I decided to call her Girlie. He felt this was a rather silly name and offered other suggestions, but I stubbornly (perhaps a harbinger of a future personality trait) held my ground.
One of the best things about living in a metropolitan area is your ready access to a multitude of ethnic restaurants. That’s especially true in cities like San Francisco, New Orleans and New York, which have some of the finest cuisine on the planet.
I have rather mixed feelings about the importance and value of motion pictures; that is, whether comedy or drama, most films are enjoyable, yet remain pretty shallow, passionless and unimpressive. Just as we forget TV shows the moment the set is turned off, we frequently forget movies within the time it takes to walk to our cars.
Though I was never big enough nor rough enough to play it, I’ve always enjoyed watching football. Apparently, this is true of most Americans. The popularity of the game clearly indicates that football has begun to rival baseball as our “national pastime.”
One hundred years ago, give or take a few days, the only medicines available in most households were booze and aspirin. The booze was used to induce sleep, relieve pain, treat coughs and colds and to sterilize wounds. Aspirin was used for everything else.
America is the greatest nation on earth. This is true from almost any perspective you care to mention.
A few weeks ago when the national debt was being debated (if debated in the correct word for such camera-posturing and close-minded ideological sound bites) our elected jesters on the Republican side argued (again, if that’s the correct word) that raising taxes on businesses would increase unemployment, a tenet quickly dismissed by the Democrats. Since I lean towards the liberal side of politics, you may be surprised to learn that, in this particular case, I agree with the conservatives.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve examined various generations of American youth; i.e., the “Lost Generation,” the “Beat Generation” and the “Now Generation.” Today, the process whereby new generations are labeled and promoted may be over. Since the mid-1970s, the process has become rather muddled and transient in part because the mass media has become more diffused, especially owing to the Internet, so now it’s more difficult to dictate and control public opinion.
Last week this silly, little column discussed the various generations of American…
From time to time throughout the course of the 20th century, there was a tendency for the mass media – movies, radio, newspapers, TV, etc. – to label and describe the youth of a particular generation. Thus, we had the “Lost Generation,” the “Beat Generation,” the “Now Generation” and perhaps others.
The process whereby people, in various societies of the world, select a husband or wife has gone through a major revolution in relatively recent years. Noting important exceptions, like the Muslim culture and areas of Africa and the Far East, it’s a worldwide revolution that, to a large extent, originated in the U.S. and then spread to other countries. At least in this respect, one can say America was the cutting edge. Our influence has changed the world’s social and sexual norms more in the past 50 years than they’ve changed at any other time in the past 10,000 years.
Monkey Rides didn’t last long. The shop might have worked in some districts of Seattle – again, Belltown – but not in a suburban community like ours. The building stood empty for several months. Now I’m happy to report the place has been extensively remodeled, to say the least, and has opened as a restaurant.
It was early June 1776 and a group of elected representatives from up and down the Eastern Seaboard gathered in the Philadelphia Colonial Capital building – later to be known as Independence Hall and immortalized on the back of our $100 bill – for the express purpose of deciding whether they should declare war on England. They were, of course, all males because in those early days men were simply assumed, without any question, to be far more skilled in the “dirty” business of forging a nation.
Today I find myself in a philosophical mood. When this has happened in the past, it's frequently resulted in a philosophical column. This is no exception.
Traditionally, June is the month for weddings. Most marriages are conducted in a church. But during the past 30 years, an increasing number of nuptials are defying custom and are taking place outdoors.
You may not know Ann and Toby Larson unless you spend an occasional afternoon haunting the Lee lounge, in which case you probably know them quite well. And, if that’s the case, you might have played the pull tabs with them. Or joined them in the football pool. Perhaps the state lottery? You see, the Larsons are gamblin’ fools.
Well, if you go back far enough, there was a stable and/or blacksmith shop at the corner of Cole Street and Initial Avenue. Then along came retired flight attendant, Marilyn Nelson. She bought the building and planned to open another antique mall after, she said, “a little remodeling,” which was a slight understatement to be sure.
Today I’d like to address the younger set, if any of them happen to read these columns. Say, those men and women younger than 25 years of age.
Just in case you didn’t know – like, you’ve been living in a cave or something – we have a new hospital.
There’s a painting by an artist whose name escapes me, if I…
In the next few days, Enumclaw’s Radio Shack will close its doors. Permanently. And there you are. Another vacant building on Cole Street. Craig Gammon has been managing the business for the past 17 years. Most of you probably don’t know him in that capacity because you’ve never been in the store, which is precisely why the place is closing.
A couple of days ago, I was treated to the damnedest collection of taste sensations I’ve experienced in a long time. As mentioned in one of these columns a few weeks ago, I’ve experimented with a wide variety of wines and refined my preference accordingly, but I was completely unprepared for the vino I stumbled across that particular afternoon.