Friday, February 24, 2006

Where's your sign?

For people who don’t know about Capital Press, our name can be a bit hard to figure out.

Why would a newspaper that covers agriculture be called Capital Press? It sound like we should be covering politics and government. We do often have stories about government when it relates to agriculture in Western states, but the emphasis is on farming and ranching, not government.

We cover the boots-and-coveralls set not the suit-and-tie crowd.

Since coming to work here, I’ve heard the story of where the name came from several times. Capital Press was established in 78 years ago this month, in 1928, as a neighborhood newspaper in the Hollywood district of Salem, Ore. The original name of the paper was the Hollywood Press.

Former publisher Mike Forrester wrote about the history of the paper in a special 75th anniversary section published three years ago. He certainly can tell the story better than I can. You can read the story for yourself

In my youth, my dad was a Capital Press subscriber. So long before I pondered a working for a newspaper I knew Capital Press as an ag publication. But Capital Press has since expanded into Idaho and California and with the Internet, people around the world can read stories from Capital Press, but may find the name confusing.

A while back I noticed something that finally helped the name make sense for me. I discovered something that tied Capital Press and agriculture together at their very roots.

One day while driving down Interstate 5, I received a sign. Well, actually I read a sign posted along the side of the road. As I crossed the line into Linn County, Ore., there is was. The sign proudly stated that I was entering Linn County, the grass seed capital of the world.


Capital Press, covering the agriculture capitals of the West.

I got it.

But then I promptly lost it again. Life went on and I forget the epiphany.

Then last week I was driving up Highway 99 in Fresno County, Calif. with Denita Wallace, major account representative for the Capital Press, when we came upon the billboard that proclaimed Selma as the raisin capital of the world.

Deja bingo.

There are dozens of capitals like that all over the West.

So I want to start a collection of photos of signs and billboards from all the different commodity capitals around the West. And for that I need your help. If you see a photo of one of these capital signs, snap off a picture and send it to me. You can e-mail them to me at
gwest[at]capitalpress[dot]com. Let me know your name and details about where you found the sign and I will post them here on the website.

What do you think? Does that sound like a capital idea?

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