True and False

Thirty years ago in Seattle Weekly.

Seattle Weekly 30th Anniversary.

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This is one of a series looking back at Seattle Weekly‘s first year.

30th Anniversary

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Under founding editor David Brewster, Seattle Weekly specialized in stories that looked years, even decades down the road, picking up on current trends and extrapolating courageously; considering how foolhardy such futurology is, it’s remarkable how often its trend-spotting proved prescient. Take the cover on June 2, 1976, our 10th issue: A tank-topped subteen with a sullen expression stares directly at the camera, an oval slab of fiberglass as long as he is tall slung negligently over his shoulder like a mercenary’s submachinegun. Yes, Seattle Weekly was all over the second coming of skateboarding (the first peaked in the mid-1960s) and predicted that this time the sport/pastime/lifestyle was here to stay.

Also prescient was Bill Cushing’s essay on Seattle First National Bank’s first fumbling steps toward the electronification of consumer banking. SeaFirst is long gone, absorbed and digested in Bank of America, but Seattle’s own Washington Mutual was also an early adopter of electronic technology, and remains so today.

Alas, not all our venturesome predictions turned out so accurate. In the same issue, editor Pat Douglas wrote about how a threatened school boycott by Central Area (read “black”) parents seemed to offer promise of a solution to the school-integration dilemma more rational than brute busing. Well, as Oscar Wilde’s Lady Bracknell remarked in another context: “I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to.” But two out of three, in the futurology business, is not bad at all.

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