Your dreams do come true | Editor’s Note

That Thursday night in 1969 was the beginning of my "bright" future. I think of last Friday as the ending of that career, grateful that I could share it with other Bulldogs, too.

Many of you saw the bright happy faces of 172 seniors and heard the hopeful speeches filled with dreams for the future at Foster’s 101st commencement last Friday.

I am here to say that those dreams do come true.

I was wearing my cap and gown 47 years ago, almost to the day in 1969 with 147 other Foster seniors – at the time Foster’s largest graduating class.

The Growler the week before published its “senior” edition, which today reads more like a sociological examination of teenagers in the 1960s. And the editorial page featured a congratulatory letter from President Richard Nixon, when he was still in favor.

That Thursday night in 1969 was the beginning of my “bright” future. I think of last Friday as the ending of that career, grateful that I could share it with other Bulldogs, too.

I am retiring on June 30, after 43 years as a journalist. I like to think of my journalism career as spanning almost 50 years, because I count those two years working for The Growler, including as editor my senior year, as professional experience.

Grace Gylling, our newspaper adviser and longtime Foster teacher, instilled in me journalistic traditions that stayed with me my entire career. I really do owe a lot to her. And, most importantly, that experience that would help shape my life happened at Foster.

I went on to WSU, at a time when student radicalism was fueled by war and by the shooting deaths of four unarmed students at Kent State University in 1970 at an anti-war protest. I kept my journalistic moorings during that time, which included a semester as editor of the WSU student newspaper, the Daily Evergreen, and the only outward sign of my radicalism (at least by today’s standards) was my long hair.

But I learned the power that students hold if they speak out, even when they are at risk, to change something they think is wrong. Those acts of courage need to continue today, so, graduates, speak up.

Marriage to Chris and three children followed, along with a reporting and editing career in Idaho Falls, Walla Walla, Port Angeles, Kent, Renton and finally, again, Tukwila.

I am looking through that senior issue today. Each graduate offered a fondest memory, prize possession, future ambition and favorite song. This was my future ambition: “To own a newspaper.”

I’ve never owned a newspaper. But I like to flip that on its head. I’ve been “owned” by newspapers in a career that I never thought for a minute of changing.

So my dream came true, in big part because Foster offered me the chance to dream it.


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