The folks at Turner Publishing Co. in Nashville have a new project for me, Historic Photos of Seattle in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. It’s the same format at the book I did a year ago, Historic Photos of Puget Sound which “did quite well” according to Turner. As with the first book, Turner started with readily available digitized images of the era and asked for captions, chapter introductions, etc. Having been through the process before it was easy to get my arms around what was needed. Then the next day the people publishing my history of Seattle City Light notified me that they are going forward with the book and please review the manuscript within a week.
All this came down when I was in the process of selling the house, finding another place, and caring for my grandson one day a week (three days next week). I had a one-month turnaround to do it all. Preparing this four-bedroom, full basement home was far more work than in any other deal, but more on that later. I had to hump it to meet the deadline.
The decades selected for the coffee-table book are interesting ones and they bridge important eras in Seattle. I have already written about many of the events depicted so it was a small task to retrieve my research and pluck out the relevant facts. Also, I was here for half that time and had personal knowledge of what was going on. They selected many shots of the University of Washington and the U-District and I was able to offer some personal perspective.
These books are not intended as a comprehensive narrative rather as a collection of images with explanatory text each of which has a story. Some of the stories are big, such as the 1962 World’s Fair. But many are small like air raid drills, traffic, and a series of businesses. That’s the way history is. How many times do we say, “I’ll never forget seeing…”
Based on the last book this one will be out in August or September, in time to compete with my other titles.