Terry Mosher 3




A small bunch of revolutionary reporters rose up and voted in a small union in the Bremerton Sun newsroom in 1973. I was among the leaders of those rebels. We used to meet in a home of one of the reporters or in a Bremerton motel during our rebellion.  I still remember the exact vote of 15-6 for the union. It’s the vote I had accurately predicted.

I benefited the most from the ensuing negotiated contact. It tripled my salary so that now I was making as much as I did as estimator/business manager with my old firm in Seattle. No longer would I have to walk around with my soles on my shoes flapping.

The contract made a huge difference now just in wagers, but in morale and made for a better relationship with management. In the following contract years the Union became dominant until the day that the company hired a tough ex-marine from California to help the company with negotiations. Things started to even out after he arrived. Then when a new editor/publisher arrived from headquarters in Cincinnati the company got the upper hand and things went from back to where they were before we brought the union into the newsroom.

But before that happened, we in the newsroom, especially in the sports department, were sailing along as if our feet didn’t touch the ground. Reporters in other regional newspapers were having a devil of a time and I can remember often thinking we had it good at the Bremerton Sun.

And we did. I believe we did our best stuff in sports from about 1976 to 86. Nobody bothered us and we did pretty much what we wanted from covering pee wee sports to professional sports, which were getting a foothold in the Pacific Northwest through the Sonics, Seahawks and Mariners.

During this time I was covering the Mariners and the Washington Huskies in football and men’s and women’s basketball as well as doing most of the local high school statistics as well as covering their games when I could.

In 1982 my wife Mary went to work at the University of Washington and we eventually rented a nice apartment in the Montlake district which afforded me a resting place while I covered the Mariners and Huskies. I was on a constant go and there were many times when I woke up and it would take me several seconds to figure out where I was – Bremerton or in our apartment.  There were also times I would be driving on I-5 while trying to figure out exactly where I was supposed to be going.

During this period, which lasted several years, I used to hang out at the Graves Building next to Hec  Edmondson Pavilion. The coaching staff, sports information office and the athletic tutoring center were all in the Graves building. I got to be pretty familiar among coaches and staff at Graves, that’s for sure.

One day I walked with then sports information director Chuck Niemi  down to the crew house from the Graves Building. As we walked, Niemi  steadied himself with a golf club, a two-iron I believe. When I asked him what was going on with that, he brushed me off. It wasn’t until much later I discovered Niemi had Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Even when he got real bad, he came to work. I would go into his office and talk to him while he sipped his food from a straw. His mind was still great. His body was nearly gone.

Niemi died in 1989 at the age of 43 and the Huskies named the Big Hit Award after him. He was a great guy. I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since his death. He’d be 68, which makes me about 107.

The story about him that I always tell is the time in the mid 1980s when the Huskies instituted a new security system. Reporters then were given color coded press passes for each home game and for one game I passed through security at Husky Stadium without a problem. I was so familiar to the ushers and security guards that I could have passed security without a press pass.

I was walking around the Husky press box while SI people prepared for the press. I was always an hour or two early because of the crazy ferry schedule from Bremerton. As I walked about, Chuck spotted me and said, “Mosher, how did you get in here?” I walked, I said in sarcastically. “You have the wrong press pass,” Chuck responded in frustration.

I had a pass for next week’s game secured around my neck. I had wrecked the best laid security plans all by myself.

I loved covering the Huskies. Marv Harshman was then the basketball coach and Don James coached football. Cale Campbell, who came out of South Kitsap and coached there (as well as one year for Olympic College football) was the head usher at both basketball and football games, and also ran the press elevator at the Kingdome when I covered the Mariners.  You could not dislike Cale. He was a very positive person who always seemed to smile and had a kind word for everybody. I miss him, Harsh and James. They were all good people. And they have all passed on, which makes me feel like 110 now.

Those were very good times for me. I was rarely in the Sun office, which was fine with me. I was getting used to using those old Radio Shack computers, and writing in addition for the sun for Pro Sports Exchange out of San Francisco and for a baseball magazine for its spring edition.

Some days when I had nothing to do and woke up at the apartment in Montlake, I would take a long walk in the Washington Park Arboretum that started behind the apartment. I grew up in southern New York State in the foothills of the Alleghenies and was used to being alone in the quiet of a forest and the Arboretum gave me that, allowing me to relax and enjoy the beauty.

Man, those times, as I recall them just now, was incredibly good. When possible those experiences were enhanced by me and Mary going to all the nice restaurants we could and by going to live theater. We had season tickets to the Seattle Rep, but also went to other theaters, including Empty Space, ACT and the Bathhouse at Green Lake.

That is another place I used to hang out – Green Lake.  Walking about Green Lake and the Arboretum, you couldn’t beat that. There was a short time, when I was working in Seattle, that we lived right above Green Lake, so I spent a lot of time there. The Fourth of July fireworks at the lake were something to see.

I could go on for hours, but I’m going to quit here. I’ll be back at a later day.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.