Back-breaking work

Truly outstanding work on the asparagus story by Adriana Janovich. I was heartened to see her acknowledge the back-breaking nature of the harvest. Back in 1985, as a young reporter at the Tri-City Herald, I spent two days in the fields cutting asparagus with a migrant farm family, the Acevedos. When I say “family,” it means everyone⁠—mom, dad, three kids ages approximately 14-18, and grandma bringing food to the field for a quick lunch at around 10:30. The back pain lasted more than a week but, more notably, my admiration for the people who bring asparagus to our grocery stores and restaurants has lasted a lifetime. Earnings are based 100 percent on the amount cut and the size, shape and condition of the spears. As I recall, my poor production equated to about 40 cents per hour. Thanks for bringing the story to Coug Nation.

Greg Witter (’84 Comm.)


Finally in the bag

Thanks for telling me the Burgerville story. I didn’t know what it was until reading the article. I was at WSU 1970–72 and never heard of the place, but always wondered about it because there’s a quote in the 1970–71 blue WSU yearbook that speaks of the place. Early in the yearbook there’s a full-page color picture of a student trudging through the campus snow with the caption: “Burgerville, I am going to murder you … I am going to take a wool muffler & choke your cold weather …”

By the way, when did Burgerville close up shop? What were the circumstances, and what is in that spot now?

Tim Mellin (’72 Comm.)


Editor’s Note: We looked up the 1970–71 Chinook and it does indeed start with a poem featuring Burgerville and accompanying photos over 15 pages. Burgerville closed in 1975 as times had changed and drive-ins began offering more inside dining. Burgerville didn’t have the space. By 1979, the building became the distribution center for the Spokesman-Review and Spokane Chronicle. In 1995, coffee place Daily Grind opened there but closed its doors in 2005. The old Burgerville building was demolished in November 2008 and today is the site of an exhibit welcoming Pullman visitors in many languages.


Memories of Johnson Hall

Johnson Hall at Washington State University Pullman opened in 1961 and is scheduled to be torn down in 2022. A new agricultural research and USDA building will be constructed in its place. We asked alumni, faculty, staff, and friends to share memories of Johnson Hall. We had a great response and you can read all the memories and add your own

Johnson HallJohnson Hall (from 1962 WSU Chinook)