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A window on the world - and a fistfight
As you pass by the Snoqualmie Valley Record office on Falls Avenue Southeast in Snoqualmie these days, you may notice something new.
You can see us - and we can see you!
One of the many highlights of our building's remodel has been the restoration of large windows facing Falls Avenue.
Valley Record lore suggests that one of the previous owners of the building bricked the windows up, afraid the bustling activities of Snoqualmie would distract employees from getting their work done.
The end result was a cozy, yet bunker-like aesthetic that, in all honesty, did lend itself to fixing one's eyes on work since there was really no other place to put them.
When we heard the building was being remodeled, I was glad to hear the windows would be restored. Being able to see outside is something every employee needs.
I am also glad to report that the windows have also allowed us to gaze on news as it happens.
Last week, as I was staying late one night, what my father would describe as a "carrying on" started outside my new window.
I looked outside to see two men, right in front of me on the street, yelling at each other in the way that usually proceeds a fistfight.
When it became apparent they couldn't settle their differences through conversation, they went after each other. One of the men even put up his fists like a vaudevillian pugilist.
Afraid somebody's head may go through a car window soon, I dialed 911.
The operator asked me to describe what was going on and I realized I was giving her a sort of play by play analysis of the fight, all from the box seats that had just been installed in our building:
"OK, the one guy without the shirt just punched the other guy and he is down on the ground. He doesn't look phased but, uh, wait, the guy without the shirt now has the other guy in a headlock."
The fight eventually petered out the way all fights do when fatigue and boredom start to outweigh the anger over whatever mundane issue had caused the it in the first place.
The men eventually went on their own way and there were even some handshakes at the end.
I saw the police cruiser pass by going after the truck driven by one of the fighters, but no manhunt ensued. I gave a statement to one of the police officers who told me I may have been the only one not involved in the fight who saw the whole thing.
All from the comfort of the Valley Record newsroom.
As I peruse the Snoqualmie police reports from the past weeks, I expect to see the call I put in about the fight.
The fight was small news but it made me wonder what I'll see next from the window: a parade down the street, floodwaters from the Snoqualmie River rising or maybe the construction of a building.
Perhaps I'll see nothing newsworthy, but the ability to look outside is good news to me.
I should send a note to the boss: "The windows work!"
Ben Cape is the reporter for the Valley Record. You can reach him at (425) 888-2311, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.