Florence “Flossie” Wager ’54

Flossie was my aunt, and looking for a name of a park I couldn’t recall, I Googled her and found your article. It was so fantastic and really captured her essence; your description of her smile brought a vivid image to my mind. It’s been very sad without her. She was my role model and encouraged me to go back to school (WSUV 2006–2008 English) and to pursue my master degree at Antioch University in creative writing. I graduated in December. Flossie lived long enough to know I’d be graduating, but passed before I actually did. I was one of those kids she “borrowed,” and there was never a dull moment when she was around. Her mother, Amy, who lived to be 105, had the same attitude and genes; all us Wager women hope we get the same luck. I’m not sure I’ll be floating on an inner tube down the Lewis River in my 60’s like Flossie, but I hope to continue on with some of her great work.

Thanks for reminding me how amazing Aunt Flossie was.

Chris Geraci, Vancouver

Flossie Wager’s work with Vancouver parks was featured in the Winter 2009 issue of Washington State Magazine, “Florence Wager ’54Vancouver park activist without par.”

How Washington Tastes

Enjoyed your article on “How Washington Tastes” re apples and cheese. One note: the Granny Smith apple was originally from New South Wales, Australia. [cf.] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granny_Smith

The Australians will tell you about it quickly. Actually, they raise some nice apples there too. We lived in Sydney for seven years and enjoyed it. Fresh fruits and veggies are absolutely the best. Worth your time sending some horticulturalists to Australia to see the fruit and veggie stands all over the place.

Mark Welch ’62 BS

My two daughters are graduates of WSU. They give me their Washington State Magazine and I look forward to reading it. The Spring 2013 issue has an article called “The Apple meets Cougar Gold” by Tim Steury that interests me greatly. I am a Big fan of Apples and Cougar Gold.

I believe the Gravenstein to be the best apple out there so that gives you an idea of where my tastes lie. Of course it is not a great keeper so it is rarely found at the local stores. For decades I ate an apple with lunch every day starting with the Granny Smith, then Pink Lady, and Braeburn most recently.

The Pink Lady was good for a few years before the flavor dropped off and I switched over to the Braeburn, which was also good for a few years until its flavor dropped off. I tried a few other apples that were along the tart side of the fence but they had a blandness to them so I quit buying apples. One of those bland trial apples was the Jonagold.

Recently I discovered an apple orchard nearby that is on recently acquired State Land that is being allowed to revert back to forest. There are at least 45 varieties of apples (most have tags) and I have tried all of them. One stands out way above the others. It’s the Jonagold! So this is what a Jonagold is supposed to taste like! What the hell are they doing to those poor apples in the supermarkets? I picked several boxes of Jonagolds around the end of October and finished off the last one in mid January. They tasted the same till the end. The texture of the flesh had softened a bit but who cares with flavor like that.

My theory was that when the apple industry comes out with the so called “Next Big Thing” it sends the apple out to the world in its fresh picked state to get us hooked. Then the storage scenario begins. By that I mean fresh apples never get to the store again. I think they are picked too early as the Jonagolds I pick are not so good when picked early. Only apples out of prolonged storage are supplied until no one buys them anymore.

I wonder how long before the Honeycrisp goes bland?

This fall I will be tripling the boxes of Jonagolds I store.

I hope they fix this someday. Meanwhile I am planting Braeburns and Jonagolds.

Robert Walker,Seabeck


Due to mistaken information, WSM erroneously printed in the Spring 2013 issue that retired history professor O. Gene Clanton had died. He has written to let us know he is alive and enjoying retirement.

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