"It is doubtful that the popular sport in Seattle can survive,"
wrote a Seattle sportswriter in 1966, after three of unlimited hydroplane racing's most popular drivers were killed in one horrific day in Washington, D.C. Forty years later, what was once the most popular sport in Seattle
survives, if not thrives, and this weekend's Chevrolet Cup
will feature boats with safety improvements that trace directly back to the events of "Black Sunday
". But it's nothing like it used to be in the 60s and 70s, when "winning a hydro race was about the biggest thing a Seattle kid could do,"
and everyone in town, knew names like the boats Miss Bardahl
, Miss Budweiser
, and the drivers Bill Muncey
, Chip Hanauer
, and Dean Chenoweth
-- and no one, but no one would miss the Seafair hydro races
was open to the public for the first time this past weekend, with activities on the field for kids, concession stands open with video menus advertising $3.25 hot dogs, and tours of the private box seats and the media room. It's a large stadium with fantastic views of downtown Seattle from some seats and views overlooking Elliot Bay from the western railings, the best hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars can buy.
On Saturday, the first day of the public open house, a man jumped to his death from a northwest ramp of the stadium
Queen of the hardwood
A local Seattle sports radio station's grand prize is a trip for two to any sporting event in the world. In the spirit of the NCAA basketball tournament, your task is to take the field of sixty-four women and pick the winners until you wind up with the Queen of the Hardwood. Crass, perhaps, but not much more so than anything else. You still have time to enter.
Baseball player plans to start a forest.
Stan Javier, of the Seattle Mariners, is retiring after this year. He and two contributors plan to spend $31 million dollars toward a forest of mahogany and teak trees to take up between 15,000 and 20,000 acres by the year 2003. They plan to harvest the trees for lumber, but the article suggests that the trees would be as crops much like a farmer harvests wheat and then replants. The potential for this idea gives me a feeling as warm and fuzzy as a marmoset