Often, a look at Seattle 30 years ago reminds us how little has really changed. The big news in Seattle Weekly‘s25th issue (Sept. 15, 1976) provides a different and rather dismal perspective on the past. Back then, the Bullitt family’s KING-TV was a tough, imaginative, and liberal voice in the land. KING News commentator Charles Royer (later Seattle’s mayor for 11 years) paid the price when state Insurance Commissioner Karl Herrmann sued Royer and KING for $1.3 million in damages over a series of broadcast reports on Herrmann’s financial dealings. The fourth and final report ran for 20 minutes of prime news time.
The week’s cover featured photogenic mop top Pete Neuschwander of the teachers’ union on the picket line and asked the perennial and pointless question: Do teacher strikes hurt or help students and the school system? More interesting was Jane Adams’ profile of Joan Mondale as a new breed of candidate’s wife: a woman living her own life, not her husband’s. Since Mondale never made the presidency, we’ll never know if feisty Joanie would have been tamed by office or pioneered a new role for First Lady.
The back of the book featured a preview of Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men, receiving its world premiere at Seattle Opera. (The show went on to become one of American opera’s more successful standards.) Novelist Alan Furst surveyed the Seahawks as they began to jell into a reliable pro team, and Gordon Bowker (writing as Lars Henry Ringseth) cast a wondering eye at the menu of the Turbulent Turtle, one of the region’s (and the nation’s) first gourmet humongaburger palaces.