SI Vault
Edited by Martin Kane
January 18, 1971
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January 18, 1971


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Cost: �110, 15 shillings ($265.80) for two nights and three days in New York, to �125($300) for four nights, five days.


Business experts in Seattle are puzzled by the economic paradox suggested by the continuing success of the Seattle Super-Sonics in a city where the unemployment rate hovers between 10% and 12%, about twice the national average. The Sonics' 20-game home attendance total, 185,422, is almost 50,000 over last year's.

One reason could be that the Sonics are enjoying their best winning record so far. But it's easier to accept Yogi Berra's explanation of the ups and downs of attendance figures: "If the people don't want to come out to the park, nobody's gonna stop them."


If the James G. Blaine Society had its way, travel brochures describing the state of Oregon would read:

"Oregon—small, crowded, polluted. Freeways lousy. Economy failing. Crime rate and cost of living soaring. Natives hostile. State flower: poison ivy. State song: Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head."

All of which is a pack of lies, except that there really are some hostile natives—the Blaine Society—who would like to build barbed-wire fences along the state borders, keep tourists and industry out and let Oregon go its own lovely way.

The society was founded by the late Stewart Holbrook, author and historian, who chose Blaine as mythical leader for no better reason than that he is now an obscure figure and was dubbed The Plumed Knight at the 1876 Republican National Convention.

Holbrook mailed postcards around the U.S., claiming that the picture on them—showing a dirty steel mill pumping black smoke into the sky—was symbolic of Oregon industry. No matter that the steel mill depicted was in Pittsburgh. He also declared that tourists and newcomers should beware of the Atomic Energy Commission nuclear plant across the northeast border in Washington because it was emitting fumes that sterilized males.

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