OfftheWall-catNow that you’re not here

I am considering writing an e-book containing humor columns I have written for the Methow Valley News, golf magazines, Grist and The Goat Wall Street Journal.  (Well, I think they are humorous.)

As some of the columns go back 30 years or more, I asked Ms. Gloria to ferret out a book titled Now That You Are Here. It was published in 1986 by Robert Hult, former owner of The Last Trading Post, and John (now Jack) Holden, a geologist and paleontologist and superb illustrator who founded the International Stop Continental Drift Society.

The book is filled with ads illustrated in a usually comic light by Holden. I had him design the trademark of The Goat Wall Street Journal which I was then publishing. It depicted a guy, cigarette hanging from his lips, wearing an old-fashioned editor’s eyeshade. He is sitting on the throne in an outhouse that has a crooked sign that reads “Editorial Office” and from an old-fashioned typewriter on his knees, pages are flying into the air. His pants are at his ankles. He, of course, was my own self. I plan to use that as my book cover illustration.

Hult eventually moved out of the valley to Florida, I believe, and Holden got himself married and lives off the grid in the lowlands of the Okanogan Highlands.

Opening the book, one cannot put it down, especially if you were around here in those pre- and post highway-opening days. Subtitled A Guide to the Methow Valley, it is the ads that had me guffawing from the first page, even though I have read it many times. Not politically correct, the ad for the Tenderfoot depicts three old cowboys inside drinking coffee and ogling a shapely young woman walking past. Parts of her anatomy are, er, depicted as being in motion.

Before going any further, my wife thinks that the only place this book can be found is at the Tenderfoot. Apparently it is out of print, but has a Library of Congress card number 86-7110, ISBN# 0939075-00-8 should that be of help.

Looking at the ads, telling what businesses are still around would be an easy task. Not many. Granted, lawyers Ebenger and Borgerson are still here, but no longer partnered. The bank is still around, as is Sun Mountain Lodge.  Ira’s, “The Best Vittles in Winthrop” buffalo burger place, is gone. The Sourdough Baking and Candy Company is no more, nor is The Workshop, “Dedicated to the Overthrow of the Industrial Revolution.” Gone too are The Orehouse and The Buttery. Winthrop Motors is still around, now in its fifth ownership since I arrived in 1968.  Claude Miller advertised the North Cascades Safari, and Pardners sold Polaris snowmobiles.

“In Twisp, It’s The Merc,” an ad suggested for the man-cave of guns and ammo, plumbing and hardware supplies in bins – and not in un-operable plastic containers as hardware is today.

You could buy a Pasayten Burger at the Texaco that is now a B&B next to the current antique store in Winthrop. And not to be left out of the action, in Carlton, Jim Kreider was “The Flying Contractor.”

We’re out of space here, but will periodically return to those thrilling days of yesteryear. Before purple Pontiacs welcomed one to “The Old West.”