Cover of book The Evergreen Collection

Edited by Larry Clark ’94 Comm. & Asian Stu. and Adriana Janovich

WSU Press: 2023


This volume brings together some of the best stories published over the last 20 years in Washington State Magazine. As a regular reader and occasional contributor, I found essays that I had missed when originally published and enjoyed revisiting pieces I had read but forgotten.

The stories are arranged geographically and thematically under the following headings: across the state, around the sound, along the river, in the mountains, and on the plateau. Beautiful photographs highlight the distinct qualities of these regions. One common theme across all the writing is the profound impact that WSU’s faculty and alumni have had across the state. The style of writing is approachable with short, stand-alone pieces that are perfect for reading aloud to a partner or for those with limited blocks of spare time.

The book answers key WSU questions, such as, why does Cougar Gold taste so good? It’s the discovery by Professor Norman Shirley Golding that adding a second starter culture (WSU-19) to the cheese before being canned reduced the carbon dioxide and, as a happy by-product, created a softer and creamier finish to the taste.

What is it about the loess soil in Whitman County that produces such bountiful crops and the diverse soil types along the Columbia River that produce distinctive and delicious wines? Profiles of WSU soil scientists answer these questions as they share their expertise in describing the geological creation of these unique soils, mapping them, and efforts to conserve them.

We learn along the way the stories of key figures in Washington history such as Chief Kamiakin, who observed during treaty negotiations in 1855 that “the White men are not speaking straight,” and the eccentric Virgil McCroskey, who we have to thank for the preservation of Steptoe Butte as a state park and the creation of McCroskey Park in Latah County.

This is a lovely book for WSU alumni or any reader curious about the state of Washington. Even with a generous-sized book (261 pages), the editors had to make difficult decisions about what to include and what was left out, so this single volume will not replace your 20 years of saved issues. Luckily, the magazine maintains a complete archive of its contents online.


Purchase The Evergreen Collection at WSU Press