Between 1970 and 1973, when I worked as an announcer, producer, music & news director at Seattle's KRAB-FM radio, I fell in love with the Seattle PI. The main reasons were that I had the time to read it and a need to be newly informed in the morning.
My day would start off at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. I'd eat, shower, dress and get on my bicycle. For a while that was Capitol Hill, then Lake City. I'd ride the bike to the radio station, which was about 91st and Roosevelt Way, in an old, converted donut shop.
Part of my job was to turn the station transmitter on. Back then, radio station transmitters had huge footprints. They burnt a lot of electricity, and it took a long time to warm the unit up.
Once I turned the series of switches to the transmitter on it needed to warm up between 30 and 50 minutes, depending on the time of year. I'd either go across the street to a 7-11 store, or down the street to a little diner, and get a copy of the PI.
The early 70s were the end of our direct involvement in Vietnam. Although the PI was a Hearst paper, the local writers and editors were distinctly liberal. Compared to Seattle's other daily paper, the afternoon Times, they were also staunchly pro-union.
When the student unrest surrounding the Cambodian invasion and the Kent State murders hit Seattle, I covered them for KRAB. The PI was in the marches with the demonstrators, interviewing and taking notes. The Times was with the cops, interviewing and taking notes.
When crazed, off-duty Seattle police invaded two University of Washington dormitories, busting heads and breaking limbs, the PI interviewed students. The Times didn't show up, accepting the Seattle Police version of events that denied any of their officers could have been involved.
When rioting broke out in Seattle's Central and International districts, the PI interviewed many minority activists. The Times interviewed more police.
I have many other memories of the PI and of the Times, but today, I can remember sitting outside the KRAB radio shack, reading the PI, sipping black coffee, smoking a Lucky Strike, reading about the Watergate break-in.
Here are a couple of recent David Horsey cartoons: