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Northwest Salmon




Hello from the other side... (of the wall)

by Janelle Harms

They finally let me out of my cage! I am a literary jungle cat out on the prowl and I feel free. Sure, I’ve made a couple cameos before (see Amanda’s New Year’s Resolutions article in previous issue) but for the first time, I decide where the topic goes. And I’ve decided it’s, going...nowhere?

That’s not right, let me try again.

I... You should... We...

This is not so easy.

How am I supposed to sound thoughtful, witty, charming, super intelligent, sarcastic AND funny all in this tiny space they’ve decided to give me this week?

Let’s try this again.

I’m Janelle, I’m the graphic designer here at the Reporter & Farmer and I live behind the wall.

Okay, I don’t live there, it’s simply where my desk is located.

When you walk into the R&F and are greeted by the sweet smile of our very own Pat Sass, what you don’t know is that I’m hard at work behind that wall. I’m creating the ads for the paper, making various documents for businesses, printing endless amounts of copies off the printer and listening to everything around me.

It’s a great place to be.

I know people by voice and personality, so chan­ces are, if you’re a regular, I can’t put a face to your voice, but I can recognize it and I’ve created an image of you in my head.

For example, a frequent advertiser of ours came in this summer, and with me never having seen him before, I pictured him as a cross between Pacha from The Emperor’s New Groove and the “big summer blowout” guy from Frozen. Upon actually seeing this man by chance at a later visit, I realized I was WAY off. But how cool is my job that I can do that?

That also puts me at a disadvantage.

I don’t know people by name or face like my coworkers do. I often have to ask them what company the person is from, or what ad they did to identify with who and what they are talking about.

But, I love that I get to paint a picture of you before I see you.

As you walk in you become another contestant on my version of The Voice. So don’t be afraid if I poke my head around the corner or above the partition wall to sneak a peek at you. I’m just trying to see how my painting matches up to the real deal (that’s you).

So the next time you come into the R&F just know that I’m painting a picture of you to get to know you, and I’m using all of my best colors.



Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work

by Amanda Fanger

When I really get into a project, pushing up my sleeves helps me concentrate. But in the middle of January – especially during the recent cold snap – it’s too chilly to do that.

Hopefully you’re reading this issue per usual and there aren’t any major defects; as you may have noticed from the lack of his usual editorial content, publisher John Suhr is gone this week – thankfully our graphic artist is a multi-talented individual who volunteered to write something to fill the space. Apparently, John had enough of the cold and went some place warmer for a week’s vacation on a big ship with his family.

Can’t say as I blame him any, though.

In the meantime, the news doesn’t stand still and a newspaper still needs to be produced. As if putting out the regular paper without one key player wasn’t ambitious enough, I decided for the team that we should do the 2016 Year In Review special section this week too.

Then the realization hit that fellow writer Emre “Ray” Erku would be taking off for the weekend a day early. He tried pretending he didn’t want to go to New York to visit family but I think we all know better.

Wait, is it warmer in New York?

On top of all that, this week is the deadline for the annual Better Newspaper Contest. While the Reporter & Farmer is an award winning newspaper, working in the shadow of that reputation can be intimidating at times. But each of us here take pride in the outstanding work we do every week.

Because, as stressful as this week has been, ad sales were finished before John left, Ray worked his tail off to get his work done too, designer Janelle Harms stepped up to the plate, Pat Sass typed her fingers off with that special section and Danette Evenson did her best to catch what the rest of us missed.

This publication would be nothing if not for the dedication of her employees.




I’m bitin’ the Big Apple this weekend

by Emre K. Erku

My Turkish cousin’s husband doesn’t know too much English. Enough beers I’ll get him to speak English alright, and a weekend in New York City should do the trick.

They’re in-country visiting. Wish us and the poor barkeepers of Greenwich Village luck.

If you’ve ever walked the streets of Manhattan before you’ve likely encountered such a saturation of upscale bistros and seedy dive bars, to differentiate between the lavender aura of a pristine porcelain washroom and the foul puke palace of a door-less unisex trough is almost impossible.

However, you can distinguish all the walks of life strolling these sleepless streets. Look closely and see zombie winos from every continent filling their veins with industrialized ethanol near Central Park. And with the right type of liquor, you’ll find yourself giggling at the penguins in the park zoo. Maybe I’ll take my cousin, her husband and their three-year-old daughter there. Yes, that’s when I’ll plead my case.

What do I mean by this?

What once was a safe country with their own bars and freaks, my mother roots of Turkey is now under a state of psychological and physical duress. Night clubs, soccer stadiums and airports... A heavy and volatile concoction of ISIS, Kurdish PKK and a dictatorial, non-secular president in Recep Tayyip Erdo gan has infiltrated the Old Turkey – a once civilized culture of romantic Scotch drinkers, exotic belly dancers and free speaking phil­osophers: considered Infidels to Barbarians of the Eastern World.

Now it’s one gigantic coliseum of assassination and fear. Fifteen attacks since June of 2015, more than 415 innocent people dead, no wonder every single family member of mine now stays in most nights. Even a New Year’s Eve massacre at an Istanbul nightclub had to remind us that dead people don’t dance. I guess Orlando wasn’t enough, eh?

Nevertheless, no Day County for me this weekend. Instead I journey to the Big Apple on a quest to convince my visiting cousin – an English fluent scholar and young mother – to escape the grips of a foreign blood burst spitting every which way from the war torn Middle East. To hell with the wise person who once said: “You can’t escape the tyranny of geography.”

Even I have personally encountered the byproducts of this geographical catastrophe which has taken the lives of so many, both dead and alive.

I remember I was on my way back to the States, walking behind a refugee woman veiled head to toe in black Hijab garb at the Atatürk Airport. It was clear, unfortunately, she hadn’t bathed in what smelled like weeks, the poor woman. Even more chilling were her subtleties. It was almost as if she smelled of death and limped with destruction, if I know such a thing. I hope she found peace, wherever she was headed.

Anyway, I’ll teach my cousin’s husband to speak English alright. With more than 1,500 bars in Manhattan alone, I’ll turn him into Shakespeare. I’ll turn him into Dirty Harry.


Fiksdal Funeral Home

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