Off The Press

February 2, 2010

Bob Taylor Press sports editor

I remember meeting my first celebrity several years ago. The occasion was in Al & Ernie’s Grocery Store, which had just gone through a massive remodeling. To celebrate the renovation, the owners, Mssrs. Al and Ernie, held a grand opening.

In hopes of attracting customers, the owners hired Kirby Grant, known to television viewers in the 1950s and 1960s as Sky King, to sign autographs.

The problem Al and Ernie soon discovered was that Grant was no longer a big attraction, even in the small southwest Washington community of Battle Ground. Families were flocking to the store but not to Sky King. Read more

Bob Blackburn, longtime voice of the SuperSonics, dies

January 12, 2010

Issaquah resident Bob Blackburn was the announcer for the Seattle SuperSonics. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah resident Bob Blackburn was the announcer for the Seattle SuperSonics. By Greg Farrar

Long before he was the Voice of the Seattle SuperSonics, Bob Blackburn was the voice for many people in the Vancouver-Portland area.

The Voice will be missed.

Blackburn, 85, died Jan. 8 of pneumonia. The Issaquah resident left a great legacy as a sportscaster. He spent 60 years on the air, calling more than 7,000 sports events, including 2,359 National Basketball Association games.

He is survived by wife Pat, six children, 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A private memorial service will be held Jan. 23. The family will hold a public service at 3 p.m. Jan. 24 at First University Methodist Church in Bellevue. Read more