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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 17, 2019)
THE ASTORIAN • SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2019
Photos by Ed Hunt
A bronze cougar greets alumni and students at Washington State University’s Pullman campus.
Pullman: WSU’s earliest years were all plucky perseverance
Continued from Page B1
In the decades since, WSU has
doubled in size and gained in aca-
demic prestige. The costs have
gone up as well.
When I attended, however,
Pullman seemed like a big small
town. Unpretentious and friendly
in the Eastern Washington way. I
got lost and found my way. I got
embarrassed, and learned that the
only cure is to be the ﬁ rst one who
laughs. I changed my major and
changed it again. I dropped out for
a semester and then found myself
welcomed back with open arms.
At 18, you are technically an
adult but your head is heavy with
unearned conﬁ dence.
I worked my way through —
with sometimes three or four jobs
— but you could do that back
then. One of my side jobs was
writing articles about the his-
tory of the school for state cen-
tennial celebrations. Researching
and writing stories of the early
days at a tiny agricultural college
cemented my appreciation for this
The university was a land grant
school built on a cabbage patch.
WSU’s earliest years were all
plucky perseverance. The writ-
ings of the 13 students in that ﬁ rst
class are infused with a can-do
attitude and a spirit of “we are all
in this together.” It was a spirit
that still survived a century later
when I was there.
These days WSU has campuses
all over the state and a brand-new
medical school that will be turn-
ing out its ﬁ rst class of doctors
soon. You can be a city Coug and
never set foot on the Palouse.
Yet there is something about
this landscape, this brick-built
underdog campus far away from
anything except endless exam-
ples of bountiful agriculture, that
I love. It is a place that helped me
become the person I am today.
Nexus of adult life
Each time I visit, I hate to leave
it behind, for it is the nexus point
of my adult life.
Alma mater, I am entrusting
you now with my eldest daughter.
On the ride home, we stop to
pick a few sunﬂ owers growing on
the side of the road. I ask Grace,
my 15-year-old daughter, if she
thinks she’ll go to WSU, too.
“I don’t know, Dad!” she said.
“I just want someplace I can take
Ed Hunt is a writer and regis-
tered nurse as well as the author
of “The Huckleberry Hajj,” a
collection of essays available on
Amazon.com. He lives in Grays
Ed Hunt strikes a pose with a sculpture at Washington State University, which
he attended and where one of his daughters is starting her freshman year.
Waiting for commitment Need health
Dear Annie: I have been with my boy- ties that I used to really enjoy. I’m known
friend for six years. He is still legally mar- in my friend group as a beer snob, and for
ried to his wife, and his children are grown. I my birthday, a bunch of them wanted to
have a great relationship with his family and take me to my favorite brewery. I also had
children. The problem is that, for whatever plans with a woman I’m seeing to go on a
reason, he keeps putting off ofﬁ cially get- wine-tasting trip. They understand about my
ting a divorce. He gives excuse after excuse. stomach issues, and are open to resched-
I love this man and his children and want a uling these events for when I’m healed. A
home together with him. I have put it
few have made jokes about I’m not
all on the line: I’ve told him that if he
fun anymore and how they can wait
doesn’t get the divorce, then I can’t
for me to get back to normal. How-
be with him. I don’t want to live out
ever, I’m not sure that I want to drink
my older years knowing that if, God
again. After a couple of weeks with-
forbid, something should happen
out alcohol, I ﬁ nd that I don’t need
to him, I am pretty much left in the
or want it. However, drinking is so
dust, with no say and no rights as far
ingrained in my social circle that I
as he goes. I am desperate for help
don’t know what else to do with my
here. What do I do? — Losing Hope ANNIE LANE friends, or how to let them know that
Dear Losing Hope: You put the
I’m not interested in drinking. Annie,
ultimatum out there — get a divorce
how do I cut out alcohol without cut-
or you’ll leave — and with very good
ting out my friends? — Sick to My
reason. At this point, all that’s left to do is Stomach
follow through. Break things off. Either he’ll
Dear Sick to my Stomach: Alcohol is
take this as the kick in the pants he needed to indeed ingrained in our society (pun only
ﬁ nally get a divorce and come to you ready partly intended). When it comes to planning
to fully commit — or he’ll let you go, and social activities, many adults have a hard
you’ll be free to meet someone who’s more time thinking outside the bottle. Help jog
ready to commit. Both outcomes leave you their imaginations: Take the lead on planning
far better off than you are now.
creative outings, such as hiking, recreational
Dear Annie: I’m a 30-year-old man, sports, daytime picnics, and movie nights.
and recently I suffered from a minor ulcer. Some of your friends might want to drink at
Because of this, I’ve cut down on a lot of these activities, and that’s ﬁ ne, too; the point
things that I once loved so that it wouldn’t be is that the whole activity doesn’t center on
as painful — spicy foods, coffee, red meat, drinking. And be upfront with them. Let them
soda and alcohol. I’ve been really surprised know you’ve noticed you feel better when
over the last month or so with how easy it’s you’re not drinking, and you’ve decided to
been for me to follow this new diet.
keep it up. I wouldn’t be surprised if some
However, by cutting out alcohol, I friends ﬁ nd the change of pace inspiring and
also seem to be cutting out a lot of activi- decide to cut back on drinking, too.
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