Sunday, December 27, 2009
Dick and Julie Swenson made a delightful discovery during an extensive renovation of a cottage on their Craig Street property. They found five vintage newspapers that had been rolled up and stuffed in the sides of the cottage's windows as insulation against drafts.
Dick has happily sifted through the old papers, noting the broadsheets had an immense number of articles and advertisements, including separate help-wanted ad classifications for men and women and low prices for food and other goods.
One such issue, the April 7, 1950, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, advertises eggs for 37 cents per dozen and liquid starch for 27 cents.
Easter-related ads abound, including Lovely New Easter Dresses for $7.99 to $12.99 from The Rosana Shop at 20 W. Main St., phone 749. You could get a "dependable 18-inch Craftsman-brand power lawn mower for $99.95 from Sears, when it was at 102 E. Main St., phone 4242.
The Walla Walla Baking Co. advertised Adams Master White Sliced Bread in a Happy Easter ad.
The Liberty Theater was showing Betty Grable at her "bubbling, bumptious, be-dazzling best" in "Wabash Avenue." And you could catch Joan Davis and Andy Devine in "The Traveling Saleswoman" at the Capitol Theater or "Zamba, Terror of the Jungle" at the Roxy. None of the theaters saw the need to include street addresses in their ads.
Gardners, the "oldest department store in the state," had a grocery and market that offered boned or rolled hams for 55 cents per pound, asparagus for 19 cents per pound and "swell yams to go with your Easter Ham," 2 pounds for 25 cents.
There was skating at the Star Roller Rink at the City-County Airport in the former Air Force Gym. And a public dance "every Saturday Nite at the Nat" (the Natatorium, which was on Wilbur Avenue by Mill Creek) with music by Cootie CutUps, sponsored by Military Order of Cooties. (I admit to raised eyebrows at the Cooties reference.)
A.M. Jensen's department store, at Main and Colville streets, listed a Kelvinator refrigerator for $199.99, with "far more food space." Comedienne Lucille Ball touted the virtues of MJB coffee, saying "You can't make a bad cup of MJB."
At the Prophetic Light Auditorium on the corner of Birch Street and Fourth Avenue, an ad invites readers to hear a presentation at 7:30 p.m. April 9 on "The Mystery Woman and Her Wicked Daughters (of Rev. 17). This sermon will remove the blindfold so that you will be permitted to see the truth!"
Then that Tuesday night in the same venue, readers could hear a talk that asks, "Shall we drive them from the dining room table? Should Women Smoke? Not a dry moment in this lecture."
The ads in this edition are more fun than the little articles, which are intermingled with wire stories.
A number of businesses sponsored a public service ad run in the interest of safety and calling the public's attention to responsible driving.
"At the present traffic accident rate, every other living person in this state will either be killed or terribly injured in a traffic accident that can be prevented," the ad copy declares. It describes the horsemen of the apocalypse as death, destruction, famine and pestilence and an illustration shows the "modern four horsemen as arrogance, recklessness, carelessness and drunkenness."
The Swensons expect to have a page from the vintage paper framed to put in the cottage, which they plan to use for guests and possibly for out-of-towners during special events.
Seattle Times staff columnist Brier Dudley recently blogged about Whitman College grad John W. Stanton. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton presented the Seattle native, now of Bellevue and chairman of Trilogy Equity Partners, with the Award for Corporate Excellence on Dec. 9 in Washington, D.C.
The ACE award recognizes the important role U.S. businesses play abroad as good corporate citizens, according to the U.S. Department of State Web site.
Stanton, in a phone interview with Brier, credited his Trilogy team for its work in Haiti over the past decade.
"They didn't do this for recognition," he said. "The group's been doing the great work for about 10 years in Haiti and years before that in other markets, and worked hard because it's the right thing to do."
The company's Voila-brand phone service employs more than 500 Haitians and creates jobs indirectly for more than 15,000 through a micro-enterprise venture in which local entrepreneurs sell time on customized phones, Brier reported.
The company provides scholarships to more than 5,000 elementary schoolchildren in partnership with musician Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti foundation.
Additionally, Trilogy is a strong supporter of education in the impoverished nation.
John's business partner, Bradley J. Horwitz, president and CEO of Trilogy International Partners, said at the award ceremony that giving back to the communities goes back years for the company. They've been involved in many community improvements, such as Habitat for Humanity. They took their efforts to a broader scale to potentially change the economic structure of a country. Communication is an important aspect of that, Bradley said. He added that as their business grew, they committed a lot of capital to social development programs. Their product has a large job-creation program that reaches all the way into little villages in Haiti and Bolivia, and directly supports thousands of families who resell Trilogy's services.
John, wife Theresa Gillespie and Bradley acquired the Haiti business and networks in other international markets that were left from their sale of Bellevue-based Western Wireless to Alltel. In addition to Haiti, the company now operates wireless networks in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and New Zealand.
U.S. ambassadors worldwide nominated 42 companies for the award program, which was started in 1999. The list was narrowed to 11 finalists in October, including Chevron for work in the Philippines, Cisco Systems for work in Lebanon, Intel in Costa Rica and Oracle in Romania.
Finalists "are businesses that recognize the critical role our companies play globally in advancing good corporate citizenship, innovation and democratic principles," the October release said.
Wikipedia notes that John was No. 82 in the Forbes 2001 Richest People study.
"It is estimated his net worth is $1.1 billion. It also said John serves on the Board of Trustees of Whitman College, where he earned his bachelor's in political science. He earned his master's of business administration from Harvard Business School.
He runs Western Wireless, the cell-phone company he started with Theresa in 1992 as Pacific Northwest Cellular. He started in the cell business with Craig McCaw in 1982. He bought into the local sports scene with minority stakes in NBA SuperSonics and baseball's Mariners.
The UW's Foster School of Business notes that Western Wireless was the nation's seventh-largest independent cellular company when it merged with Alltel Corp. in August 2005.
In 2006 John and several colleagues formed Trilogy Equity Partners, which invests in small wireless related companies, and Trilogy International Partners, which operates wireless systems in south and central America.
John Nicholas "Nick" Drumheller Hunter graduated in November from Harvard University with a Ph.D. in neurobiology.
Nick's parents, John and Laurie Drumheller Hunter of Woodinville, Wash., grew up in Walla Walla. Both graduated from Walla Walla High School, Laurie in 1969 and John a few years earlier.
Nick grew up in Woodinville, but until he started working summer jobs he spent most of his summer vacations in Walla Walla. He graduated from Inglemoor High School and earned a bachelor's from the University of Washington in biochemistry and neurobiology. Work for Nick's Ph.D. involved research into how the brain processes information.
"I recorded the activity of individual neurons in the visual part of the brain and studied how they encode information about moving objects," Nick wrote via e-mail.
"For now I'm continuing to work in the laboratory (where) I did my Ph.D. research as well as working as a teaching fellow at Harvard." He will begin looking for a postdoctoral research position after the holidays. He and wife Helen live in Boston.
He is the grandson of Joanne Drumheller of Walla Walla and the late John Drumheller and William and Margaret Hunter.
Mike Hammond, owner of Melody Muffler, is holding a contest to name a new addition to the metal family that greets motorists and passersby at his shop on the corner of Chestnut Street and Ninth Avenue.
Muffler Man, Muffy, Muffler Boy and Spot Weld the dog have been cheerful greeters for 25 years, Mike said. But someone took a fancy to Muffy and now she had a new home in Redding, Calif.
Never one to leave his welding torch idle, Mike created a new Muffler Woman. But she's currently without a name and Mike needs suggestions for a new name.
In addition, the whole family has had a makeover, Mike said, although not extreme. Man and boy are sporting bright blue pants. Boy also has a bright yellow shirt while Man's is green with red accents.
The new Muffler Woman has black leggings and a red top and even Spot Weld's spots are spiffed up.
Melody Muffler often customizes sculptures for buyers of their art, which is nationally recognized and distributed, Mike said.
To suggest names for the new Muffler Woman, submit them to Melody Muffler, 429 S. Ninth Ave., e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 509-525-8600.
The winner will receive a small art sculpture. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 31, 2010.