Both Portland and Seattle lost icons in the last few days.
Tom Peterson owned a furniture, appliance, audio and video store in Portland for decades. He was probably most known for his TV commercials (most of them played during late night hours and during Portland Wrestling, where I remember them). If you grew up watching him, you’ll never forget the phrase “Free is a very good price,” or remembering him banging on the camera and shouting, “Wake up! Wake up!” What I remember most about Tom was something I heard him say in an interview: because he owned a business, he said that he had an obligation to consider the well-being of his employees when he made decisions (they had bills to pay and families to feed, too), instead of simply making money. Tom, and his attitude will be missed.
J.P. Patches (Chris Wedes) was the clown on a daily TV show that aired on KIRO-TV in Seattle for over thirty years. If we hadn’t lived in Longview, Washington for three years, we never would have discovered him (Longview received both Portland and Seattle television stations on cable). As the mayor of the city dump, he was fantastic. Characters like Esmerelda, the Second Meanest Man in the World, and the Ooga Shugga Singers, and the ICU2 TV set all made his show unforgettable. Mostly, I remember the silliness and fun with which he conducted himself and his show. He was funny but never mean or insulting (which we could learn a lot from). J.P. and his attitude will be missed, too.