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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
The rolling farmland of Eastern Washington signals that Pullman must be in the vicinity.
Nourishing setting reigns on at Washington State University
daughter to her dorm, I wondered if it
was the same welcoming place that could
pproaching from the west, you
be trusted to nourish her mind and allow
emerge from the rock-scarred
her to grow into her ambitions. I worried,
desert of central Washington and
too, that I emphasized WSU too much. I
slowly start seeing red-barned postcard
told the girls that even if they decide to
farms. Soon you’re surrounded by wheat
go to college someplace else, I wouldn’t
ranches with steep rolling hills of fer-
tile soil that define the area known as the
Yet, with Lindsay’s interest in agri-
culture and food science, it was hard to
imagine a school better suited for her.
Alfalfa green and golden wheat, chick-
peas, lentils and barley mark some of the
She’s visited WSU several summers
richest farmland to be found anywhere.
now for 4-H conferences, so she is more
Invisible settlements like Lacrosse,
familiar with its culture and campus than
Hooper, Windust, Dusty and Hay are
most freshman arriving this week.
noted only by green signs pointing out
I have nothing but confidence in her.
over the hills.
Yet, I’m a dad, so I wonder and worry.
Through it all is an undulating two-
My ride to WSU was a rough one.
lane road. On that mid-August day it is
Growing up in the tiny town of Lyle,
alive with a procession of cars.
Washington, we didn’t have much in
Crawl up the road from Colfax on
the way to help deciding which school
the final climb to Pullman and you real-
to attend. The school guidance coun-
selor was out after a bad car accident, so
ize many of these cars have Washing-
ton State University
I took it upon myself
license plates —
to research colleges
MY RIDE AT WSU
alumni like us, I sus-
for my classmates.
pect, returning to our
As a high school
alma mater. The term
senior, I organized
is Latin for “nour-
tours of the Univer-
A ROUGH ONE.
sity of Oregon, West-
ishing mother,” for
ern Washington Uni-
this university must
have provided each
of Puget Sound and
of us with some-
AND PERFECT. BUT
the University of
that causes us to
I MET SOME OF THE Washington.
return now with our
I didn’t even
fresh-faced sons and
KINDEST PEOPLE IN know about WSU
until the parents of
MY LIFE — SOME OF one of my friends
them to its care.
— Bill and Wendy
MY BEST FRIENDS.
School of friends
Hamm — suggested
My ride at WSU
I apply to the school
was a bit of a rough one. Things weren’t
where they had met. It had a good broad-
cast journalism program, they said. I was
always smooth and perfect. But I met
already working as a DJ in high school.
some of the kindest people in my life —
So without much more research than that,
some of my best friends.
I submitted an application.
It was at WSU that I learned that I
Years ago, the old knock against WSU
could write — a career that carried me
is that you only went there if you couldn’t
for a dozen successful years. I bought my
get into a better school. However, I got
first motorcycle, made some of my big-
gest mistakes and learned that I loved
accepted to Rutgers, Tulane and the Uni-
versity of Oregon. By then, however, I
realized how much private and out-of-
It was at WSU that I met my wife —
state colleges would cost to attend.
which is the best thing that ever happened
WSU was the least expensive and so I
went there. I knew barely anything about
People who know me know I’m a
fan of Washington State University. Not
In this age of the internet, it is hard
just a fan of the football team; for most
to emphasize how difficult information
of my life they have never been all that
was to come by 30 years ago. Research
good, and I worked on game days and
amounted to reading the glossy brochures
missed most of the home games while I
that arrived in the mail. I had to pick out
was there. I’m a fan of the university and
my dorm based on a map and a written
the generous camaraderie that came with
attending the cow college on the far side
I had never seen the Palouse before
of the state — a university that most Seat-
tle city folks looked down upon.
that hot summer day when I loaded up my
Things have changed in the past 30
car and drove out of the Gorge into the
desert guided only by an atlas and driven
by a desire to leave my little town behind.
By ED HUNT
With her interest in agriculture and 4-H experience, Lindsay Hunt found Washington
State University’s Pullman campus a natural choice.
Wazzu, or else?
The Bryan clock tower is the “freshman compass” and the iconic center of WSU in Pullman.
On that long drive up to deliver my
See Pullman, Page B2