Twenty-five years ago, the Keck family of newspapers expanded our "node of operation" to include Seattle, Washington, the jewel of the Pacific Northwest. I'm not quite sure who made the decision, but it certainly wasn't a "Keck-level decision," as we call them.

I made it to the paper we have out here a few months after launch. The staff was a "strange" collection even for a newspaper, especially in those days. We had a nice-looking hippie lady who could sing pretty good. A "theater-type person" who had, as I remember, a pretty bad temper. A funny fellow with red hair, and a lady from Persia. Anyway, I was not impressed and was going to sell the typewriters for scrap and call it a day.

But then I met with what passed in those days for the media families in that Northwest town and I was even less impressed. One outfit had a nice globe on their building but was letting another outfit sell their ads or some grab-ass nonsense like that. The outfit that was selling the ads was all inbred, from sister Sarah to brother Mark! There was a rocky-roll sock-hop magazine that looked like a project from a decoupage class in a laughing academy. And the once-a-weeker was run by a fellow who looked like a tweedy academic and was a big talker who affected an Eastern Seaboard air that fooled the rubes, but I could tell he never went farther east than Tacoma.

Now is a different time. Most of those outfits are distributing their papers in God's acre. The Kecks, on the other hand, don't suffer "future shock" kindly. I visualize a time when we will write every word on robots and every paper will be delivered by the contraptions! And I embrace it!

Finally. And this is the last time I will say this: THE KECK FAMILY OF NEWSPAPERS DOES NOT PAY RANSOMS. Go ahead and kill him. After 25 years, we don't even remember what the lad looked like. Anyway, I can get a hot-typesetter anywhere.

A very warm congratulations to the Seattle, Washington, Stranger newspaper! And Shoo Ga Loo! recommended