My connection to the Seattle Mariners and the spotted owl

In the early 1990’s I sat down for an interview. The camera was a few feet away, the interviewer to the cameras left, and two bright lights, one to his left and one to cameras right, stood with bright intensity and radiating heat. I was nervous and embarrassed. It was not an interview I wanted to do. At the time I had a closed my bookstore due to the spotted owl. 

My bookstore was in a logging community in the Pacific Northwest and when the front page article indicating logging would be severely curtailed because the spotted owl needed protection, my stores income dropped 60% the first month and never recovered. I was being interviewed because of the economic calamity that occurred. I knew loggers with million dollar operations who ended up on welfare within in a year. It was that bad.

Fortunately I was cut from the documentary. There were people far worse than me. I mention this because it was not unknown for me to end up on the cutting room floor. It previously happened in 1977 after the Seattle Mariners first game in history.

I still have my First Nighter certificate and my Kingdome ticket (section 319-row 6-seat 10, cost $5.00), both framed on my bedroom wall. Frank Tanana and the California Angels beat Seattle’s Diego Segui, the ancient Mariner, by a 7-0 score. Danny Kaye, Hollywood icon, was one of the owners sitting in his box seat along with other big wigs like Washington Senator Scoop Jackson. He was a political senator, not a baseball one.

After the game I was walking down a  winding Kingdome ramp and I saw Harry Sloan of KOMO news interviewing people, but most just walked by him. I liked Harry, he was a good sports reporter. Because I just hated to see dear harry ignored, I walked back up the ramp fighting the incoming tide of thousands of fans. I then turned and walked towards harry and smiled. Then I stopped right in front of him. I gave him no choice. With a bright light in my face I let Harry interview me about the game. I said the usual; I did not mind the loss, though it would have been fun to cheer if we had scored a run or two, but it was great to see major league baseball in Seattle. Little did I know we would not really see major league baseball again until Ken Griffey Junior arrived many years later. But it was still fun to go to games.

After the interview my friend and I raced back to his apartment to watch the news.  The things I said were actually quoted by lead sportscaster Bruce King. However, he attributed the quotes to what ‘many fans said’ and there were no interviews of any fans. None, zippo, a goose egg on my scoreboard. This was the first time I ended up on the cutting room floor.

I would have liked to have seen my interview about the game. As for my interview about the spotted owl, frankly I don’t give a hoot.




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