The Story Of Olympia, Washington … A Very Special Woman, Katherine Draham

The Story of Olympia began at the headwaters of Budd Inlet

The Story of Olympia begins at the headwaters of Budd Inlet

Many women of accomplishment have called Olympia home. Katherine Draham was one of them. Born in 1898, ‘Katie’ came to Olympia at age 10 with her father Dr. H.W. Partlow. After listening to her personal story and all the extraordinary things she did, I’m sure you’ll agree … Katie Draham was a very special woman.

A few decades ago, I tried to add a short page or two to the history of Olympia, Washington. At the time I counted among my friends many of the people from Olympia, and Thurston County, who’d been important to the area’s history. This was at the same time a new medium appeared in the county called community television which allowed for countless innovative ways ordinary people could display their various talents and interests. It was a hit and miss affair, but it was also a lot of fun. It presented an irresistible opportunity for enthusiastic lay historians to give voice to a part of Olympia’s history, straight from those who’d made it. What a perfect way to do something more than a dry chronology of events. We thought, here’s an opportunity to add warm flesh and a beating heart to what would otherwise be a calcified skeleton of past events and personalities.

Although we had between little and no experience in such things, we were given the keys to the studio and resources of Thurston County Television (TCTV), and off we went. I invited some of my more elderly friends who’d accomplished so much, and who have now sadly passed, to join me in the studio for conversations about their part in the region’s affairs over the past half-century or more.

We called it “The Story of Olympia”and TCTV cablecast it as a series. Dick Pust, hall-of-fame radio personality, provided voice-over for the intro script; a film of early twentieth century Olympia was given us by local entrepreneur Hob Zabel; and the incomparable, irrepressible Andy Crow added an original soundtrack recorded on an old pipe organ. We’re proud of what we did, and sincerely hope you enjoy listening in on talks with some of the great people who cared about their city and left it a better place because they were here. Please, feel free to share.

Have a listen here:

About Joe Illing

I hope you'll find my posts entertaining, occasionally edifying and worth whatever time you can spend with them ... Joe
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