Flashes in the Pan

Thirty years ago in Seattle Weekly.

The cover of Seattle Weekly‘s 29th issue (Oct. 13, 1976) was devoted to gubernatorial candidate John Spellman, hailed by Editor-Publisher David Brewster as an exemplar of “a dramatic, emerging shift in American governance.” But Brewster also acknowledged that as a campaigner, Spellman was “about as exciting as a lightning bug,” which no doubt explained his defeat by the utterly undistinguished but colorful Dixy Lee Ray.

More interesting a generation later is Bill Cushing’s coverage of the raging controversy over high-rise apartment building on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill, noting that the area might be unsuited, but that the city badly needed such housing to keep its healthy middle class. (Belltown was not even a distant developer’s dream back then.) News editor Pat Douglas took his brown-bag lunch to newly christened Freeway Park and discovered, as we all have since, that Jim Ellis’ admirable idea of a highway lid as urban oasis didn’t work out so well in practice.

In the “back of the book,” supercook Judie Geise published the first of the series of seasonal recipes (for stuffed savoy cabbage with ground pork, apple, and fennel) which would later be collected in The Northwest Kitchen, still one of the best regional cookbooks ever published. And the center spread was devoted to Christopher Makos’ imaginative gallery of portraits of the cast and crew of the Rep’s world premiere musical based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Music Is. (Despite the contributions of Grease choreographer Patricia Birch, Pajama Game composer Richard Adler, and famed author-director George Abbott—just short of 90 years old at the time—the show lasted only a week when it opened two months later on Broadway.)


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