Publisher’s note: We continue our profiles aimed at helping readers get to know the people behind the names you see in our publications. Here’s the background on reporter Bob Throndsen.
I called Teresa Wippel last February; introduced myself and asked if she might be willing to take on a part-time writer. We met for coffee. She said OK. My first story for My Edmonds News was Feb. 29, 2020. I was looking to do some feature stuff, maybe a little history, human interest — nothing too heavy.
After all, I had retired from “serious” journalism in 2012. My 43-year career had taken me from Portland, to Seattle, to Philadelphia and back to Seattle.
I started in Portland just out of college, with a degree in history and three years of college radio under my belt and the naïve idea that the world was ready for me. It wasn’t. And I wasn’t ready for it.
But, my managers and colleagues in Portland radio and then TV news were kind and patient, and I started to figure out that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I was learning — to listen, to really hear peoples’ stories, learning how to tell those stories, learning how to write so others could “hear” them too.
Sonja and I met in Seattle. Clever me, I unwittingly moved into the apartment next to hers. We’re 48 years into our journey with two grown and married daughters and five grandchildren, so it’s working out well (… when I listen to her…). We’ve been Edmonds residents for more than 40 years. Our daughters went to school here; now one of our granddaughters is an Edmonds second grader with her little sister about to start kindergarten. The rest of the clan live in Twisp, which is a little slice of heaven!
Salmon fishing, trout fishing and crabbing help me relax and remind me why I live here. Golf is a pleasure – sometimes. I like gardening. I’m a struggling genealogist. Love HO scale trains. And I’m dabbling in writing children’s stories. But the big passion Sonja and I share is the miracle of our grandchildren! Being grandparents is the best job ever!
I’ve been lucky — in life, in love, and in my work. News assignments have taken me to what was the Soviet Union, on the first sister-city trip from Seattle to Tashkent, in Uzbekistan; to Cape Canaveral for the first shuttle launch after the Challenger disaster; to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to report on Seattle’s crab fishing crews; to Mount St. Helens just before its first eruption and for years after. The people I’ve met, the stories they have shared, the joy and the heartache of their lives, the wonders and the crises of our world… have all shaped my life.
Now, about that first reporting gig for My Edmonds News and the two sister publications in Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace. That story came out just as the COVID pandemic surged into the U.S. So much for the “lighter” stuff. It’s been 12 months of coronavirus stories, a heavy dose of Edmonds politics and the police chief search. Turns out I’ve loved every minute of being back on the “news beat.”
Thanks so much for letting me be a part of your My Edmonds News world. There is a lot more to come.
— By Bob Throndsen