We had Steph Farber in for an interview last month to talk about his family's Jewelry Store LeRoy Jewelers that has been in Downtown Tacoma since the 1930s. Now he's back to tell us more stories about Tacoma's past. Our delightful and meandering conversation explores topics such as "Why is it called the Murray Morgan Bridge?" and "Where did Tollefson Plaza come from and who is it named after?" "Who was that guy that held the Tacoma Elk's building hostage forever and why did he do that?" As a lifelong Tacoman Steph has a wonderful historic perspective on Tacoma's attitude, angst, and perceived struggles. Seen through Steph's lens, Tacoma is a place with tons of history where many of our mistakes have been made before, and many of our struggles have been felt before. Steph has a theory about Tacoma. "In Greek Mythology Sisyphus was a guy who did something to anger the gods, and his punishment was that he would need to push this big rock up a hill and then it would roll down and he would have to go down and get it and push it back up again. I have the theory that there is much of Sisyphus in Tacoma." Did we anger the gods? "Well, there are reasons to think that we did. The treatment of the natives who lived here. The treatment of the Japanese during World War 2. The Chinese workers, especially. "In Tacoma it's a little bit different than Sisyphus. In Tacoma you push the rock up the hill and it's hard, and it's steep. In Tacoma you get to the top of the hill- you get to the very top and you look over the edge and you see a golden valley. And you see commerce, and you see industry, and you see education, and you see frolicking children and you see families having picnics... You see the golden land right before you. And just as you're about to push that rock that last half a millimeter to finish it up the rock rolls back down the hill. But first it rolls over you. But that's not the worst part of it. The worst part of it is you finally get yourself up and you turn around and you look at the rock and you say, 'Huh! It's not as far down as it used to be. It's gonna be easier this time!' Then you start pushing it back up. And you get to the top, and the same thing will happen."
What is Steph's advice to people rolling their rock up the hill? "Keep pushing!"To hear Steph's first interview with MoveToTacoma.com "The Best of Times and the Worst of Times in Tacoma" click here. Show Notes: An picture of the drawing of the Tacoma Civic Center Steph describes in the interview. (Thanks, Julie Anderson!) Sisyphus - Greek Mythology