Before the Discovery

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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It's surprising how many of today's hot political and social issues were already simmering 30 years ago when Seattle Weekly began laying down the law to our community. But 30 years can also seem a very long time. Case in point: the cover illustration on issue No. 18 (dated July 28, 1976). Floating in a rubber canoe among the lilypads of Portage Bay, we see a romantic young couple lazing away the summer afternoon with nibbles and champagne, served by a tuxedoed waiter waist deep in the water. It's a striking shot, capturing the simultaneously snobby and sarcastic tone of those early issues, but to old-timers the primary kick comes from recognizing the models: Then–Seattle City Council member Bruce Chapman and his new bride Cynthia play the lovers, while the damp-loined yet imperturbable waiter is none other than François Kissel, proprietor of the Brasserie Pittsbourgh, the lunch-wheel-and-deal spot for the new generation of Seattle power brokers represented by Chapman. Younger readers will recognize Chapman's name only in his role as the founder-leader of the Discovery Institute, best known for its campaign to demolish Charles Darwin's hegemony over American high-school science classrooms.

Other resonant topics in the issue: coverage of the first round between high-rise developers and residents of Queen Anne Hill's scenic south slope; three weeks with the fledgling Seahawks as they try to pull together an NFL-worthy team on the hot dry stubble of a field in sizzling Cheney, Wash., and film critic Richard T. Jameson's presciently recognizing Nicholas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth as a film that would last.

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