Alert: Don’t look at this post if you don’t want to see dead fish
With purpose, I didn’t allow the photo at your right to be emphasized as you look at the Small Plates opening page. It’s a picture of two of my sons and their father from a fishing trip to Yakutat, Alaska, earlier this month. The dead fish are halibut, a spiny little guy and ling cod. They also caught sockeye salmon.
I’m sensitive to the picture because of an experience at the American Press Institute in Washington, D.C., years ago. The Columbian sent me to a seminar on newspaper design. API is a great place for journalists to fine-tune their craft and share ideas with one another. It took weeks of preparation before the five-day session. We had to design pages, critique other newspapers and then bring back ideas that could be put to use in our jobs.
A journalist in my discussion group was from a small town in Michigan. One of his front pages displayed about five dangling deer that had been shot on the first day of hunting season. I went nuts over the picture, all offended at the sight of the poor animals. Other people did, too, but he explained that deer hunting is a big deal in his part of the country and that the picture reflected the culture of the town and the interests of the paper’s readers. Regardless, I never forgot the picture and the discussion.
So now we come to my husband’s fishing trip and the dangling fish that are displayed in front of the Glacier Bear Lodge. I am happy with the freezer of fish they brought home. I am glad they had fun fishing and visiting with one another. From time to time, I’ll blog about how I prepared the fish.
Two other things to note about that API trip so many years ago: Also attending was a journalist from Boise. Since we were from the same region, we exchanged pleasantries and that was that. In 1998, however, we began working together and later became close friends. She’s one of my Seattle pals on the annual Christmas shopping trip that 10 of us take. The other thing to note was the time of this conference. It was held in January 1994, just as Nancy Kerrigan got her knee whacked and therefore couldn’t skate against her biggest rival: our Tonya Harding.