A collection that’s true to our chronology, our collaborations and the importance of our shared past.
WITHOUT SEEMING TOO VAIN, I think I can describe “Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred” as a splendid book.
Besides the title, there are two names on the cover. The top one is mine, for the old reason: “D” comes earlier in the alphabet than “S.” But frankly, this fourth volume bearing the title “Seattle Now & Then” is very much about “S” for Jean Sherrard.
Please study the color, both the city’s and Jean’s. For the book’s 100 selected features, Jean, with his smart eye, had more than 1,800 to choose from. He chose to be true to the chronology of those he picked. The first feature, then, is the one that first appeared in The Sunday Seattle Times on Jan. 17, 1982; among the last is one from July 15 of this year.
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For aid in editing and updating the original text, we thank John Siscoe. And we thank HistoryLink’s Marie McCaffrey for leading us to Petyr Beck of Documentary Media, with his crack team of editors and designers. We also want to thank Clay Eals for his yeomanly work as editor-in-chief and general whip-cracker. (In his introduction to the book, Eals will have more on the book’s production.)
Jean first worked with me when he was 22 years old. For the past dozen years or more, he has given me birthday subscriptions to The New York Review of Books. In a recent issue, I found a quote by novelist-essayist Martin Amis that is wonderfully fitting for our lengthening partnership. Its wisdom of time and aging is excerpted from the Sept. 27 issue, and reads, “ … Then fifty comes and goes, and fifty-one, and fifty-two, and life thickens out again. Because there is now an enormous and unsuspected presence within your being, like an undiscovered continent. This is the past.”
This might encourage us to write memoirs. Until then, please search Seattle’s past by repeating it with the touchstones featured in “Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred.”