The wit, the Walt

Over the past couple of editions, we’ve enjoyed sharing with readers the musings of our revered editorial forebear Walt Woodward.

The opportunity, of which we should probably avail ourselves more often, has given the regular editorialist some respite for other pursuits, mostly the consumption of holiday cookies. (It’s not too late; donations are still being accepted.)

We’ll close out 2003 with two more Woodward commentaries of yesteryear, both of which appeared in this space in 1949; they offer yet another

glimpse into our Bainbridge Island heritage; the gentle,

self-deprecating wit of a marvelous man, and the endlessly lively relationship ‘twixt newspaper and readership; and a time when, with just one-third the population, Bainbridge seems

to have boasted quite a night life. Who knew?

* * * * *

We Said, ‘Ouch!’:

“That was a purely involuntary ‘ouch’ we appended to the amusing letter which Maurice McMicken, the distinguished Wing Point barrister, sent us last week on the tender subject of the Review’s subscription price.

“You may recall he chided us for snarling at the telephone company’s proposed rate increase, all the while keeping our own subscription price at a figure which, as Mr. McMicken so correctly pointed out, is double what it was several years ago.

“We said, ‘Ouch!’

“What we should have said is that only until we achieved a $3 subscription price nearly two years ago, did the Review charge the correct price. Inflation has had little to do with the Review’s rising subscription price. We’ve only been getting it up where it belongs.

“After all, where else can you buy as cheaply such wonderful material for starting fires?”

* * * * *

On Pleasing Everybody:

“He doesn’t realize we know it, but one of our better islanders was sounding off about the Review the other day. Among other things he said:

“‘I can’t stand that guy’s editorials. What’s more, it isn’t the same old community newspaper it used to be.’

“We have absolutely no defense to raise relative to our editorials. What defense could we possibly make? Heck, we can hardly stand to write ‘em, much less read the darn things.

“But we are interested in jotting down a comment or two on the well-taken charge that the Review is not, indeed, the ‘same old community newspaper it used to be.’

“Perhaps the answer to that indictment is that Bainbridge Island isn’t the same old sleepy place it once was. We have no trouble in joining old-timers in wishing we could go back to the quiet existence they enjoyed when the island population was something in the neighborhood of 2,000 persons in winter and perhaps triple that in summertime. Those were wonderful years and it was a charming, peaceful life.

“There are now 7,000 residents here in the dead of winter, and the ferry landing looks like Fourth Avenue and Pike Street when the boat is in during the summer months. More people mean a lot of things. They mean auto accidents and police court hearings; beer taverns; Strawberry Festivals and carnivals; street lights in Winslow and the necessity of a

25-mile (per hour) zone at busy Lynwood Center; four dances instead of the usual one on a Saturday night.

“What’s more, all these additional people who have come

to share our Gem of Puget Sound mean a keener interest in ferries and bridges to link us with metropolitan areas.

“We believe we must report on all these activities if we are to continue to enjoy the support and confidence of a majority of islanders. Of necessity, then, we have had to forego the

journalism of another year. We at the Review are attempting to keep pace with Bainbridge Island.”

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