The sun slowly rose over the horizon along the south-side of Kruzof Island off Sitka, Alaska, back in late July of 2003 as I bobbed in the gentle ocean swells with my late grandfather George Yuasa and great-uncle Shun Yuasa along with two of my dad’s brothers.
Gray whales splashed nearby before disappearing into the briny deep, birds dived after huge schools of herring and waves of migrating summer salmon were cruising beneath us as we fished for them using an old-style technique called “mooching.”
It was one of those remarkable moments in my life that solidified a career as the fishing and outdoors reporter for The Seattle Times, which dates back to 1992. I was there on a boat, in southeast Alaska, to witness and write about my experience during a three-day salmon fishing adventure.
“You’re the luckiest person and have the greatest job in the world,” are what people have often told me. And they were right.
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Rewind to 1984, when a soft-spoken lady named “Edie” at The Seattle Times human resources department and I had a heart-to-heart discussion after the mailroom clerk said I was unqualified for a job sorting mail.
“I like your very nice and neat handwriting, and I’m going to find you a job at the newspaper,” she said to me.
Little did I know as an 18-year-old student at the University of Washington that those words would eventually lead to an exciting 33 year career at the state’s largest newspaper.
It was March 6, 1984 when I walked into Fairview Fanny’s front door as a newly-hired employee.
Reminiscing, I still remember the hey-days of the old-school newspaper industry when writers and desk editors commonly smoked cigarettes and cigars at their desks with air purifiers humming near…