My earliest memories from the Pike Place Market are from my high school days, when I’d go downtown to buy bell bottoms from the Army Navy Surplus Store, and everything smelled of patchouli.
Years later when I worked downtown, I’d visit the Market on my lunch hour.
I’d grab something portable to eat and maybe pick up some fruit or flowers.
Mostly I enjoyed the walk and the sounds and smells of the lively, rough and tumble place.
Sometimes I stood on the corner and paused, near the same spot my great grandfather stood 100 years before,
when he took this picture.
O.T. Frasch was an early Seattle photographer, and my mother’s grandfather.
He took hundreds of photographs documenting Seattle’s history, and I’m pleased when I see them posted around town or referenced in the local paper and museums.
I don’t know whether he ever photographed the Showbox across the street, where my mom worked in the fifties before I was born.
I love her stories from that era and need to hear more of them while I can.
Of Guy Mitchell, who arrived drunk but sobered up enough to perform and bring the house down. I remember him myself from a record we had; I thought ‘Pretty Little Black-eyed Susie,’ was about me, though my eyes were blue not black.
Of Jack Smith, a friendly crooner who told her his life story; and another crooner named Eddie Fisher. There was Ginny Sims, Joni James, Woody Herman, and the Mills Brothers, who invited her to a party after hours where she visited with their wives. Many of these names are fading from history but are still alive in her memory and now mine as well.
The Showbox itself was nearly torn down a few years ago but was saved from the wrecking ball, just like the Market 50 years earlier.
For the history of the Showbox, click here.
For more about the Pike Place Market click here.
Inspired by my mom and Sunday Stills #Urban Focus.