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Summer 2014

Posts for Summer 2014

Recollecting Washington’s landscapes

Tim Steury’s article “Mountains and Rivers and Prairies Without End—Recollecting Washington’s Landscapes” is a great read for this student of all he writes about.

But the narration also brought back fond memories of places and people significant to me. As a WSC freshman in 1956 I hitched a ride with Ed Claplanhoo, who was a senior at that time, from our farm near Port Ludlow back to Pullman after the between semester’s break.

Then in 1988 my wife Louise (Morse), WSC ’59, and I took a class in anthropology of the North Cascades taught by Bob Mierendorf. To get to Stehekin, … » More …

Northside Residence Hall, WSU
Winter 2013

Posts for Winter 2013

Water to the Promised Land

I thoroughly enjoyed the article on the Columbia Basin Irrigation project in the recent issue of WSM. It brought back so many memories. I farmed for a year (1953) with a partner, Vern Divers, a bit south of Quincy. Subsequently, while a research associate in the Agricultural Economics department, I did research on the economics of different systems of irrigation in the Basin.

Interesting to read of the research by Whittlesey and Butcher. I was a member of the Agricultural Economics faculty with them and always respected them, professionally and personally. I retired in 1986.

Ralph A. Loomis


WSU Vancouver building
Fall 2013

Posts for Fall 2013

The story behind the sign

Many signs display Cougar pride on the way to Pullman, but only one stands 27 feet high and 400 feet long. The “Go Cougs” shed 12 miles east of Othello on Highway 26 was created in 1998 by Coug brothers Orman and Gavin Johnson.

“We needed to build a potato storage,” Orman says.

It was that simple.

“We’d drive to football games and we’d see small signs,” he says. “We thought, ‘we should do that’.”

And so the process began. Orman and Gavin say they knew they wanted to use sheet metal so there wouldn’t be any upkeep, but they … » More …

Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Display Garden
Summer 2013

Posts for Summer 2013

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 … » More …

WSU West
Spring 2013

Posts for Spring 2013

Patrick Siler

I was thrilled to see the feature on Patrick Siler in your fall 2012 issue. I am a proud fine arts graduate from WSU and as a former professor of mine, Patrick Siler had (and continues to have), a huge influence on me.

I never considered myself a natural artist. I was drawn toward computer arts, that is until I took Patrick Siler’s drawing class. My advisor warned me that he was hard, but I am so glad that I took it. During the class he not only gave me invaluable feedback, but he, in his quirky way, encouraged me toward a … » More …

WSU Nursing Building
Winter 2012

Posts for Winter 2012

William Julius Wilson

We were thrilled to read the article “Race, Class, and William Julius Wilson’s World of Opportunity” in the Fall 2012 issue of Washington State Magazine. Many may not realize that Dr. Wilson got his start at Washington State University and to hear him describe his choice to attend WSU as “the greatest decision he ever made” is an inspiration.

Unfortunately, the article did not mention that the university has named a national award after Dr. Wilson. The William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement for Social Justice is bestowed upon those who follow in Dr. Wilson’s footsteps by making innovative contributions … » More …

Fall 2011

Letters in the Fall 2011 issue

Moral capital

I, too, enjoyed Jennifer Sherman’s interesting and authoritative piece on Golden Valley in the spring edition. I winced a bit, however, at the “in large part due to the 1992 spotted owl ruling” but, because her story seemed directed toward effects of economic collapse, not causes, I did not write. Then came the summer issue with Gordon Pilcher’s leap from “in large part” to apparently placing all blame for employment loss on owl protection.

The issue was not that simple. As a reporter for The Oregonian in Washington, D.C., from 1989 to 1993 I had a close-up view at what we dubbed “the … » More …

Spring 2011

Letters in the Spring 2011 issue


Professor Cornell Clayton’s article in the winter issue, “Understanding the Civility Crisis” is thought-provoking. However, he betrays the liberal bias common to the majority of today’s college professors. All of the examples he mentions depicting “incivility” in political discourse are attributed to conservative commentators or politicians, as if the right had a monopoly on it.

Hardly. He fails to mention, for example, the current king of media incivility, MSNBC’s character assassin Keith Olbermann, who regularly violently trashes anything conservative and has in the past called President Bush a liar and told him to shut up. The current climate of political discourse was created … » More …

Winter 2010

Letters for Winter 2010

Walla Walla Sweets

I really enjoyed your article on Walla Walla Sweet Onions in the Fall 2010 Washington State Magazine. It brought back a lot of memories of working at the Walla Walla Produce Company, a wholesale fruit and produce company that my Dad ran, as I was growing up in the 1940s and 50s. I spent a lot of summers loading 50-pound bags of Walla Walla Sweet Onions delivered by the growers to our warehouse into rail cars that were being sent to the midwest and east coast. But your article stated that the onions were “not called Walla Walla Sweets until 1960.” As … » More …