Terry Mosher 3



Bill Schey, who retired from the Tacoma News Tribune about a year ago, was the one who hired me at the Bremerton Sun on Feb. 2, 1970. I don’t know why he hired me; I was terrible. They got me at a cheap price, and that probably was the overriding factor.

Before hiring me, Bill asked me to write a story on a Metro League basketball game. I don’t remember now which teams were playing, but I think one of them was Bishop Blanchet and maybe the other was O’Dea. It doesn’t matter, through, because I wrote a horrible story, and then was hired. Go figure.

I believe now that I was destined to be a sportswriter. I gradually became better and now I’m acceptable – not great, not good, but acceptable. I do have a passion for writing, and can get deeply involved in them so that time seems to fly. I can remember many times at the old Bremerton Sun looking up at the clock as I started a story and then when I finally finish, looking up and discovering hours and hours after passed. I still am that way today. No story is too small to not grab my total attention.

When I first arrived at the Bremerton Sun, the sports department was walled off from the news department. We had mostly glass walls with an entrance without a door. It gave me the impression that we were somehow not good enough to be part of the news department, which is where the main hub and connection with the public was.

But I really enjoyed being walled off from the rest of the reporters at the paper. I’m not a person who enjoys being around a crowd. If there are more than two of us, I grow quiet and disappear from the conversation. It wasn’t until two years ago when I took a test that appeared in Time Magazine that I realized I was a severe introvert. I don’t even like family reunions, which will happen this weekend on Mason Lake. I’m trying to figure out how to escape it, but to no avail.

It sounds funny that a guy who has become a public figure – even on a small scale – as I have that I don’t enjoy being around more than two people at once. I do well one-on-one, but get three of us in a room, and I disappear emotionally and mentally.

In the early days – way before the strict DUI laws we have today – I was commanded by Schey to attend the monthly meetings of the Bremerton Athletic Roundtable (now the Kitsap Athletic Roundtable) that were then held at Bernie’s Char Broiler on Lower Wheaton Way in Bremerton.  Those meetings were something else. Most of the BAR leaders from that era are now gone. There was Ken Chase, the official tail twister, Dick Bearbower, Linc Perry, Don Lay Sr., and too many other businessmen from the community to count. And there were not many nights – or any nights – that anybody left sober. If the cops would just park outside and wait for the meeting to end most of the community’s leaders would have gone to jail if they dared get in their cars.

I remember that most of the famous guest speakers – this was before sports legends had agents and started to demand a large fee to show up, and way before teams like the Mariners got uppity and you had to go through many hoops to get anybody to come over – were startled to discover the group they were speaking to should have had the initials AAA instead of BAR, although BAR fitted the group, too.

Don’t get me wrong. The BAR membership were all good people who just relished meeting the famous in sports and were proud to belong to an organization that took an active part in making the local sports community better.

Linc Perry was a doozy. Linc was deeply imbedded in the local sports community from a very early age and always had ideas that he would like to see implemented. He was pushy beyond pushy and rubbed many people the wrong way. But he had a good heart and meant well.

I may have told this before, but I was, and still am, a grinder sportswriter. In the early years of my sports writing career I worked very hard in the office, and away from the office. I was in tune with just about anything sports and liked talking by phone to local coaches and kids in the sports community. In fact, I still enjoy talking to them on the phone‑ it’s that one-on-one thing again for me.

So when the rest of the sports department – and at one time there was seven of us (now the paper has three, and one works 30 hours) – were out in the field or elsewhere having a little R&R, I usually was alone in the office grinding away at all the things needed, including all the high school statistics for football, baseball and basketball.

As a result, I got to answer the sports phone. And I took a lot of calls from Linc. He had an office just up the street from the paper on Pacific and liked to dial our office with an idea he wanted us to act upon.

I would answer his calls and he always asked for the sports editor first and then go on down the line until he finally realized I was the only one in the office. With that, Linc would hang up. He didn’t want to talk to me and throw his ideas my way, and that was too painfully obvious.

This went on for nearly a year. Linc would call and start asking for all the people who were in the sports department besides me. Then he would hang up with he didn’t get anybody.

I fumed over this. Steam would be coming out of my ears. Finally, after about a year, I got up enough courage to confront Linc. Linc, I said, I’m here. I can’t remember what Linc said, but in the future if he didn’t get the pay grade above me, he would talk to me. It was only then that I realized I had asked for something I really didn’t need. I had work to do and didn’t have time to talk to Linc.

Of course, Linc died a long time ago, and now I wish I could talk to him. He had a lot of good ideas. His persistence just was too much for many people. He refused to take no for an answer. Now, I would love to hear his voice again.

Elling Simonsen was part of the sports department. Elling was our outdoor writer and a fun guy to be around, although he constantly was smoking (this was way before you couldn’t smoke inside a building). Elling was a retired fireman who worked on what was called a B-Low contract. I still don’t know what that is, although he certainly had plenty of time out of the office. He was always at some lake fishing or just driving around or visiting with a buddy somewhere.

He was not much of a writer. I think I was even better than he was. And that was saying something. And he seemed to have complete control of his job, which made me jealous.

I started helping negotiate union contracts once we got the union into the newsroom in 1973. It didn’t take me too long to be flippant during negotiations one day when I said, “I would love to have Elling’s job.”

Gene Gisley, then the editor of the paper, shocked me by quickly responding, “No, you don’t I want that job.”

Elling, too, is gone. Long gone. I think he smoked himself to death. I remember being at his house in east Bremerton one time and smoke hung over everything (his wife smoked too). I think I can still smell the smoke, and it’s been probably 35 years since I was there.

I’m running a little long on this. I’ll pick it up from here the next time I sit down in front of my computer. In the meantime, if your phone rings it’s probably Linc.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.