A Lot to Live Up To!

Jun 16, 2016 | 1 comment

Sydney in Cate's ColumnIt’s not that I wasn’t forewarned.  When Cate Gable came over and spent an hour or so with me, asking questions and snapping pictures, I knew that she was planning to mention me and my new book in her column.  But… wow!

I was hardly prepared to see myself almost larger than life on page A5 of yesterday’s Chinook Observer!  And such a nice verbal snapshot of Jailhouse Stories from Early Pacific County!  “Well-told tales,” she said.

Cate chose to feature the story of Lum You (pronounced e-ow) – Chapter 8, about his hanging early in the last century.  His was the only legal hanging, ever, in Pacific County and involved a hung jury, a jail break, and printed invitations that began “You are cordially invited…”  It was the closest our county history ever came to operating like the “wild west” of story and song.

Invitation to Lum You's HangingSpeaking of which, leave it to Cate to compare the story with Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock!”  Pacific County’s Sheriff Tom Roney did indeed seem to be sympathetic to “the little Chinese” although, unlike Presley’s warden, Roney didn’t throw a party in the cell block.  There was no music being played in the county jail at South Bend jail at 9:00 a.m. on January 31, 1902.

As Cate’s article says, I’ll be talking about “The Hanging of Lum You” and other notable stories in the book on Saturday at the Oysterville Store.  “Book Talk: One O’Clock!”  And then I’ll be signing and schmoozing.  See you there!

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    I remember the evening of my history class from you when you talked about this case. I was horrified, thinking that was the sort of thing that happened in places like Seattle. I do know that around the same time the mayor of Tacoma rounded up the Chinese, put them on a train (for their own safety), allegedly to relocate them, had then taken outside of the city and shot. We certainly do have some horrifying incidents that have gone largely unremarked on. I am looking forward to your book!

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