Fifty-five years ago, senior editor Leonard Gross of Look magazine launched a 50-page spread with this sentence: “The one great mystery of the Pacific Northwest is why all of us aren’t living there.”
The March 27, 1962, issue of Look, which cost 25 cents, has been hiding in a desk drawer at Huckleberries Central for years.
At the time, the four-state Pacific Northwest (Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana) had 5.5 million inhabitants spread out over 300,000 square miles. Life in the Northwest, Gross tells his readers of long ago, is “exuberant, carefree, bountiful, accomplished with style amidst the indisputably richest endowment of natural beauty in the United States.”
Senior editor Gross considered the Pacific Northwest to be “a realized ideal of the American dream.” Many of us living here today would still agree with him. Another thing that hasn’t changed is the region’s attitude toward growth. Again, Gross: “A majority of the residents of the Pacific Northwest welcome growth about as eagerly as radiation.”
And: “The true Pacific Northwesterner considers himself a resident of paradise. He wishes only that the door had been slammed shut behind him.”