Dan Jackson — Can Playday play nice? Please?


Am I really writing about the Loggers Playday T-shirt — again?

Really?

Last year about this time, I lamented about the misguided T-shirt for Hoquiam’s revered and storied logging show, and how it did nothing but give the Harbor a black eye — and, sadly, sell a bunch of T-shirts. This year’s shirt may not be as regionally damning, but, well …

Here we go again.

It’s been well-publicized that the Loggers Playday organizers are no fans of the post-Simpson Avenue Bridge closure parade route. They have expressed their displeasure verbally — at Hoquiam council meetings — and with their pocketbooks — by denying funding for the parade, which is put on by the Hoquiam Elks.

Everyone understands, fellas, you don’t like the route. We got it. But it’s a parade — you know, full of happiness, clowns and balloons, candy and marching bands, flag waving and, in this case, scads of log trucks in honor of Playday. It’s a community event and a tradition — just as much as the annual logging show. And, it’s still running through Hoquiam.

I remember thinking at the time that, hey, it’s not like they moved it to Aberdeen for Heaven’s sake. We’re talking about a difference of a few blocks. But, they’re entitled to their opinion.

The Playday folks could have left things right there, and seemed, at worse, a bit petty, but generally just opinionated.

Enter the Loggers Playday T-shirt.

The reference to Wild Olympics on this year’s shirt is what it is. Heck, at least that subject is squarely in the logging industry’s wheelhouse. They have every right to lampoon a proposal that many in the industry fear could have an adverse effect on logging.

A burly logger on the shirt is depicted plunging a “Wild Olympics” Hippie out of a toilet. After seeing it for the first time, the shirt got a snicker and a head shake from me. Then it made me double take.

Because, inside the toilet are the words “Parade Route.”

The shirt, themed “Uncloggin’ the Loggin’ 2012” makes sense until that point. After that, I’m a little lost.

Did Wild Olympics “Hippies” manipulate the Elks club behind the scenes to change the parade route as part of some larger, grand liberal scheme?

Doubt it …

Are Congressman Norm Dicks and Sen. Patty Murray — the sponsors of the Wild Olympics bill — members of the Hoquiam Elks?

Not likely …

Did the Wild Olympics Campaign endorse the parade route as eco-friendly? Or are the parade organizers actively seeking “Wild and Scenic” designation for the route?

Not sure either of those would happen …

Will there be a Hippie commune at the end of the parade route I need to avoid?

Hm … possible I suppose …

Or, are you just taking a pot shot — pun intended — simply because you can?

Yup, that’s it.

Sometimes there’s a fine line between political advocacy and straight-up bullying. But this clearly crosses it.

I may not be a lifelong Harborite, but I have been here for more than a decade now, and am a proud Hoquiamite through and through. I absolutely love telling people about Loggers Playday, because it’s ours and ours alone.

There’s almost nothing like it left in the country, and anything we can do to promote it, encourage it and celebrate it is a good thing.

So, once again … why is the parade route this big of a deal?

Really … I don’t get it. Granted, I don’t own a downtown business, nor am I an organizer for Playday or the parade, so maybe I’m missing something. But I am a community member. My kids and my friends’ kids are in the parade. My reporters and photographers look forward to covering Playday all year long.

The entire Hoquiam community and the greater Twin Harbors look forward to it, too.

How does a difference of opinion that, in the grand scheme of things amounts to a few square blocks, turn into this kind of nastiness?

It shouldn’t, because it cheapens it for all of us, no matter what side you’re on.

As for the T-shirt, will it become an annual bully pulpit?

For what it’s worth, here’s hoping we don’t meet here again next year.

Dan Jackson, The Daily World’s city editor, can be reached at 537-3929, or by email at djackson@thedailyworld.com