Who’s on Second?

Hi. If you’ve come to this blog following a link from Paul Dorpat’s weekly Now & Then column in the Sunday Seattle Times supplement, Pacific Northwest magazine, or from Paul’s own website, welcome.

Even though Paul and I connected around old (or no longer existing) buildings downtown, I write about a lot of other things here. Feel free to browse — all my posts are listed on the right. But if you came looking for things having to do with the city and its buildings and its people and other treasures, you’ll be best served by the Categories drop-down menu at right. Select “In my city” and you’ll filter out all my parental musings, my Tristram Shandyesque reveries, and my anguished handwringing over the ills of modern Western life and find all my posts about down- and around town.

The rest of you — the other nine or so — friends and acquaintances of both my actual and virtual lives, already know that what I’m about here is telling long-winded stories for the sake of preserving the art of long-winded storytelling. But you may not yet know that I have a little cameo part in Paul’s Now & Then article this week. That’s a little story in itself.

I’ve gotten to know Paul a little through our mutual interest in the history of Seattle’s built environment, especially as it involves photography. The weekly repeat photographs and history lesson in his column were always one of my regular reading stops since he began doing them in the early ’80s or so. I bought my dad volume one of Paul’s Seattle Now and Then book series, and bought myself the second volume, read it cover to cover and studied each photo and caption, enthralled by the connection of places in my world to the corresponding places in historical photographs and amused by the wit and humor in Paul’s writing.

I enlisted Paul’s help in solving a mystery of missing floors last summer, which resulted not only in my getting to meet him at Ivar’s for a bowl of chowder on him, but also in his asking me to stand as the “now” figure in a repeat photo for his own treatment of the Hotel Savoy. I am beside myself with delight at being involved in one of Paul’s articles. Jean Sherrard risked his life standing in the middle of Seneca Street in busy weekday traffic to get the photo.

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6 Responses to “Who’s on Second?”


  1. 1 Kip January 2, 2011 at 12:28

    That’s pretty darned cool, Old Bean! Congratulations and a Happy New Year to you and The Girls!

  2. 3 Kip January 2, 2011 at 12:29

    Oh, and I love the Who’s On Second reference….a litte slow, but I got it!

  3. 5 Louis January 4, 2011 at 06:48

    This is so cool! But where´s your derby in the color pic? On Seattle Now & Then, there´s a picture of bicyclists, that I remember from one of Paul Dorpat´s books. The fellow with the beard closest to the camera on the bike, who Paul points out as Frank Cameron – wasn´t he a teacher at BHS? Why am I thinking that? Am I insane? You don´t have to answer the latter….

    • 6 jstwndrng January 4, 2011 at 09:42

      Louis,
      I don’t remember the teacher Frank Cameron, but you might be right. You could ask Paul by commenting at the end of that article. I haven’t yet even finished reading it. One of his photos there of the Brooklyn roughly matches a “now” that you took while you were waiting for the bus up here, no?

      When Jean Sherrard took the “now” photo of me, I asked him if he wanted me to try to pose like the derbied guy in the original and he said no. I had no hat, but I had prepared my stance and brought my jacket to stand in for the umbrella.


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