Reporter’s Notebook: First time for everything

On a recent excursion around town for the Sequim Sunshine Festival, my boys and I met Megan Sias, a server at Sunshine Café, during a scavenger hunt. As custom, I got a picture of my boys at all the landmarks and Megan was happy to step in for a photo with them. She tells me it would be the first time she’s appeared in a newspaper.

A few people recently told me it’s the first time they’ve been interviewed for a story, too. It’s always been a goal to get as many people in the paper as possible.

Yes, there are the figureheads who reappear and alleged and convicted criminals, but we strive to focus on those shining lights of Sequim. Example one: Isobel Johnston growing her giant agave plant along Fifth Avenue; example two: Jennifer Jabs, and her brother Jeff sending Polly Pocket, a chicken with two deformed legs, to the Best Friends Animal Society animal sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Those are some of the cool things we feel people want to read alongside the hard news.

If you have a unique story or photo-op, keep us in mind and email and or call 360-683-3311.

• One of my favorite things I’ve seen and taken part in was community photos for the city’s centennial and when the Seahawks made the Super Bowl in back-to-back years. It brought fans and community members together in fun ways. I feel we should do something like that again in a post-pandemic, back-to-normal world. I say we go for a world record.

Sequim is known for all these great things, but let’s go for another foot note in the Guinness Book of World Records. Shooting from the hip: 1) Gather the most amount of people together with lavender in their teeth, 2) largest lavender bundle fight (think pillow fight with lavender), 3) longest amount of time consecutively standing in an irrigation ditch, 4) most amount of people consecutively spitting on the Dungeness Spit. I could spitball a few more …

Whatever it is, I’d be willing try. It’s something to plan for and could be an opportunity to bring in visitors. I’ll keep it in mind and speak with leaders at the city, chamber, and other agencies and go from there. I’ll let you know how it goes.

• Many moons ago, I made the joke that the Gazette holds the world record for the most references to Sequim in one single publication.

Today, I’m guessing that’s not likely because I’ve seen some of the Sequim history books, and I’m guessing a high school yearbook might beat that claim, too. However, I’ve made it a goal to tabulate all the unique names of people each edition and share the number at some point in 2022. Despite the pandemic, you’d be surprised how many people make it in each week. Again, I’ll keep you posted.

I liken the idea similarly to Ricky Gervais’ newspaper writer character in the Netflix show “After Life” where he says everyone should be in their small town paper at least once. There’s much more to this character and its meaning, but I imagine we’re looking to find the slice of life kind of stuff.

• When I was in kindergarten, I appeared in a print ad for the Northwest burger chain Burgerville. My grandmother and aunt both worked for it at one point, and I appeared in a store as my smiling grandmother handed me a balloon. My parents still have a copy of it somewhere while I still have an affinity for Burgerville’s food. Advertising works!

That was my earliest appearance in a paper. Have you been in a newspaper or publication before?

It’s not uncommon for people to say “no” when asked for a picture in a lavender field or around town. But that doesn’t mean people can’t be a part of their local newspaper in some capacity. There are milestones, letters to the editor, community news/business briefs,Rants and Raves in the Peninsula Daily News, countless activities to read about and participate in, and so much more. If you think it could be interesting, let us know.

Our team wouldn’t have been here so long without your ideas, tips, and general support. We are a community newspaper after all.

• Lastly, this month marks my editor and friend Mike Dashiell’s 20th year at the Gazette. He’s written about and photographed thousands of people and helped highlight the best of Sequim. Mike is honest and hard working, and it’s obvious he cares about Sequim. Plus, we can work at least one nerdy reference into our conversations every day. Kudos to Mike! Here’s to another Star Wars trilogy and the return of the SuperSonics.

Matthew Nash is a reporter at the Sequim Gazette. Reach him at