An Extraordinary Time » How We Got to Where We Are and How We Are Shaping Our Future

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Riding the Duck

The Seattle Waterfront – “Changes” is a poem recited by Daniel Quinn, now 48, on May 12, 2005 at Highliner’s Tavern in Fishermen’s Terminal which won first place during the “Stories of the Sea” competition.

He says “”Changes” is merely a lament of a fading way of life; the independent seamen (and here in Seattle that means fishermen) and the businesses and places that catered to them.”

Some of the most noted (largest and oldest) businesses on the waterfront which closed shop recently include:

Doc Freemans’ Marine 1947- Sept. 2003
Seattle Ship Supply 1936-1999
Marco 1953-2005
Hendrick’s Electric1971-2002
Alaska Fisherman’s JournalDec. 1978- Jan 2006
Ward’s Cove Packing Co. (salmon) 1928 – 2002
Western Pioneer 1972- 2005

This year’s Stories of the Sea competition sponsored by the Port of Seattle will be held at Highliner’s in Fishermen’s Terminal on May 4, 2006.


Daniel Quinn

I took a walk the other day, on the waterfront and docks.
The changes there are thick and fast; it’s a real Pandora’s Box.
The folks that thought the fleet so quaint when they moved into the ‘hood,
Now want those rusty hulks to move; “It’s for the common good!”

There’s twenty different restaurants, and lots of little shops,
But no place to get your welding done or fix a dinged-up prop.
I thought I saw a little place where I could buy some bait,
But it’s just too damned expensive when it’s called a sushi plate.

“Aha!” I said, when I saw the sign that said “Fishnets Sold Here!”
“At last I’ve found a working shop where I can get some gear.”
I ran right in but got a shock, ‘cuz it weren’t that kind of store;
The fishnets there were stockings! And I slunk back out the door.

If Doc Freeman knew the Secret, he’d have sold some lingerie;
And then just like Victoria’s, he’d be in the pink today.
But Doc & Vic & Marco have all cashed in their chips,
And Seattle’s working waterfront has slowly been eclipsed.

Goodbye to the Kalakala! To Wawona bid adieu!
Let’s get them old hulks off the lake; it’s time to start anew.
Just make it all homogenized and chase the greenback bucks;
If folks want to taste the waterfront, they can go and “Ride the Ducks.”

But we’re losing local flavor when we ban the funky stuff;
When the city tastes vanilla, and nothing’s odd or rough;
I know that change is constant, but it won’t feel right to me,
When they build a sleek new monorail where the boatyard used to be.

D i s c l a i m e r
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