After the last issue yesterday, the Seattle Post Intellignecer, our city's oldest newspaper, joined the ranks of the Kalakala, the Twin Teepees, Frederick and Nelson, the Rainier Brewery, the Supersonics, and countless other entities and landmarks which are now just part of our city's history.
Now, it will exist as an online-only news source.
Those local folks who found themselves unemployed after the last run on Monday night can in all fairness lash out at me for even mentioning this, let alone go on and on as I'm about to. Lash away guys. Sure, I can wax nostalgic about the daily newspaper as an institution, about the smell of the ink and tactile quality of rough newsprint, with a sudden unexpected fondness for the grubby black smudges on my hands and clothes, or even that little jerk who used to manage to crush at least one blooming bulb every time he blindly tossed a paper over my fence. I can ramble annoyingly about a world where co-workers would gather around a crossword puzzle during a break or strangers in a coffee-house or on the bus would share sections of the paper rather than avoiding all human contact by texting or web-surfing.
I could go on and on...but I'm one of the guiltiest parties in the decline of the daily news printed on a piece of paper. Like many others, I learned the news about the PI's last day online.
Who am I to wax nostalgic over something I did nothing to support when it most needed me? Well, I'm just a serial nostalgia-waxer...I can't help it. I still turn my head trying to focus quickly as I drive past, hoping to catch a glimpse of the skinny-house in Montlake or the weird-white-lump "building" on lower Queen Anne, only to see shiny perfect boxes that look the same as everything else built in the last decade; I feel a painful little tug from deep inside when I realize I'll never again eat a greasily delicious after-hours feast at The Doghouse, where the fluorescent orange gooey goodness oozing from my grilled sandwich is rivaled in cheesiness only by the drunken sing-along led by Dick Dickerson and his organ that wafts from the dark bar along thick clouds of cigarette smoke.
Yeah, I'm the girl who actually paid money for a carload of stinky old chairs and tables from the Music Hall before it was torn down, who dragged my nephew to the imploded carcass of the Kingdome the day they opened the site to the public to gather armloads of broken concrete, small pieces that had once been our big round stadium. So it seemed only natural that I would actually make the effort to buy that final issue of the PI yesterday (again, the former employees can all shout "where were you last month, last year...?" while throwing things at me, I'll take it). But I was too late anyway. Boxes all over the city were empty by the time we started looking at noon. My own jaded guess was that before the sun even came up, armloads were taken all at once after dropping in the first few quarters to open a box, and that they would all show up today on eBay. I'm afraid I was right.
I'm nostalgic but I'm not crazy.
Stuff changes, and I guess that's ok.
But something that will remain unchanged is that I will always speak fondly of things I remember from our city's past, with little stars...or are those little kitschy neon signs...in my eyes. Those of you with JP Patches episodes on DVD tucked away in the back of your media cabinet, who, try as you might, can't help but crack a smile when you hear the words keep clam, you will understand what I mean.