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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

April 25, 2014 at 7:15 PM

In the land of the proud WSU cougar, first-time visitor finds a lot to root for

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Sketched April 19 and 20, 2014

It took me eight years, but I finally set foot in Eastern Washington. That part of the state felt like a peaceful and beautiful place to live, though not “evergreen” at all.

From the campus of Washington State University atop College Hill in Pullman, I admired an expansive view of rolling hills and vast blue skies that reminded me a bit of southwestern Spain.

While the landscape was unfamiliar to me, Seattle residents who studied in this college town will quickly relate to the landmarks I sketched. The “Cougar Pride” statue standing 15-feet tall outside Martin Stadium was dedicated in 2008 and preserves the tradition of Butch, once the school’s live mascot. The Cougar Cottage bar (also known as “The Coug”) may bring back memories of “open-to-close” drinking marathons, as it’s been the watering hole of choice for many WSU students since the 1930s.

Now that I’ve been to Pullman, that Huskies versus Cougs rivalry I’ve heard about for years is making more sense. I wouldn’t want to take sides, but one thing is true: The Cougs have the bigger statue.

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The walls and tables inside The Coug double as a giant scrapbook of sketched and written memories. Owner Bob Cady said the graffiti is a tradition that predates Sharpies, when students used their pocket knives to etch their names onto the walls.

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Comments | More in History, Statues | Topics: Pullman


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