When Phinney Was Funky

Thirty years ago in Seattle Weekly.

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This is one of a series looking back at Seattle Weekly's first year.

30th Anniversary

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Summer is proverbially the slow season for newspapers, and upstart weekly newspapers aren't immune. Issue 13 of the Weekly (June 23, 1976) eked out the news drought with articles revealing that Spokane is a highly conservative city (e.g.: the director of its ACLU chapter was antiabortion); that with Dan Evans and Scoop Jackson out of office, the state's political future was murky (still is, for that matter); and that (kid you not) "Tennis can be a very slow game."

There was one novelty in the paper, though nobody realized just how enduring it was to be. The cover story was titled "Sex and the Single Parent" and surveyed the complications of getting it on when encumbered with nippers curious about who that man/woman was sharing the breakfast cornflakes with you. The author was Jane Adams, who parlayed a series of such semi-sensational investigations into national prominence as a pioneer of what came to be known as "lifestyle journalism."

Also visible that week: Jean Smart, long before fame as one of TV's Designing Women, playing a bang-up Beatrice in the Ashland Shakespearean Festival's production of Much Ado About Nothing; the debut of the Philadelphia String Quartet's annual chamber music festival at Fort Worden in Port Townsend; and "Funky Phinney Ridge" (first appearance of that already dated adjective in these pages), a walking and shopping tour of the Phinney Ridge–Greenwood neighborhood.


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