Mom tried to explain that Seattle was not a big city, and was not well known in our own country, much less the world. In fact, Seattle was so insignificant a city that it had been mispronounced on the national news! “See -tle! That’s what he said! I could hardly believe my ears, but it just shows-to-go-ya what a small town we really are.” She continued talking. I was mostly listening, and maybe even nodding my head, but inside I was thinking, “Wrong-wrong-wrong.” To a kid my age, 8 yrs old, Seattle was a huge metropolis with all the power and possibility you could imagine. Seattle was going to be the site of a World’s Fair, after all! That is why Seattle was in the news at the national level. The country had to pay attention now to the Emerald City situated on Puget Sound in the Great Northwest of the United States. A World’s Fair was coming in less than two years! It was to be called The 1962 Century 21 Exposition. Yes, the focus of this World’s Fair was the future – no looking back for us Seattle-ites. Plans were in the works for ultra-modern buildings, fountains,and plazas (these words I understood), a mono-rail and a Space Needle (these words I had never heard before.) The fair was so futuristic they had to make up new words to describe the structures it would feature. Take that, New York! HA! It was a very exciting time to be a kid. And I believe it probably was the World’s Fair that helped to move Seattle out from underneath her cumbersome, rain-soaked umbrella image, and into the streamlined, fast-paced, future focused spotlight… correct pronunciation and all.
Well, how do you pronounce it? Surely you know it’s not Settle.
It’s not? I recall a friend who grew up in Mpls telling me that she had relatives in Seattle. Every summer, one of her cousins would brag to Marilyn that she was going to Seattle. Finally, Marilyn cornered her mother and asked, ” Please Mom, tell me! Who is this Attle my cousins go to see???” Yes, a true story.