Reviews - What do customers think about On the Harbor: From Black Friday to Nirvana?
A grand history Oct 20, 2005
John C. Hughes is one of the most well-respected publishers in the history of journalism.
He started out his career as a paper carrier more than 50 years ago. His story is one of myths -- rising from a boy to a cub reporter to the publisher of the newspaper which covers Pacific and Grays Harbor counties in Washington state.
He's seen it all -- and helped coin a couple phrases. In 1983 the Washington Public Power Supply System attempted to build two nuclear reactors on Fuller Hill in Satsop, Wash. Hughes famously nicknamed the agency WHOOPS -- a term that caught on.
The book famously tells that tale, as well as how Simpsons creator Matt Groening probably based the Simpsons' nuclear reactors on the Satsop plant. (A revelation for any Simpsons fan!)
Chalk full of unsolved crimes and popular tales -- the bank robbery in Oakville, Wash., the very last of its kind on horseback is one of many.
The book contains mysteries, too. Who killed Laura Law in 1940? It's a question Hughes tries to answer. Law was a well-respecter mother. She allegedly did no harm. The 65-year-old murder still remains unsolved to this day.
Hughes also famously recounts the tale of Nirvana's rise to Aberdeen and how the throngs of fans continue to flock to the logging town looking for the bridge Cobain allegedly slept under, the house he lived in and how Aberdeen has yet to come to grips with the tourism appeal of the untapped Cobain fans.
Hughes has won more than 50 SPJ awards, a C.B. Blethen Memorial Award for investigative reporting, and he was recently honored with the June Anderson Almquist Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism from the Western Washington Chapter of SPJ.
But probably more important than anything else in his career, Hughes has been a guiding light for generations of young reporters.
His book is a brilliant testimony to the history of his hometown.
Aberdeen, Grays Harbor and all of Washington state should be proud.