I always have had the feeling that my community of Forks is the Rodney Dangerfield of towns, regardless of what happens good, we only seem to be acknowledged when something bad happens, you know, in the words of the late Dangerfield, “We just don’t get no respect.”
It started long before I was born I am sure, Forks was known for its hardworking, hard-living loggers, it was known as a dangerous place, when actually in addition to those wild and crazy loggers there were families raising children and voting for new schools.
When television discovered us we were the first story on KING-5 it was a story of tragedy a fire that burned acres of forest and it was bad, as far as I know they never came back and did a story of how the town rebuilt and then grew from that terrible fire and got better.
Then those terrible tree cutting loggers got together and decided that the kids in town needed a wonderful toy, a bigger than life artifact that could be for the children of the town for years to come and they worked together to get a train for the newly created Tillicum Park, the land having been donated by one of those loggers, any TV crews, I don’t think so.
As time went on every time there was something negative about logging in came the reporters and by the time of the spotted owl it didn’t matter what your profession if you lived in Forks you were guilty of something and the entire community was vilified. It was a difficult time to be from Forks.
But it didn’t matter to the people that lived here — they kept donating to the scholarship auction, voting for school levies and continuing to make Forks a better place to live.
I remember a census worker that came to Forks from Tacoma — her family and friends feared for her life because she was coming here? Tacoma? She admitted this story at a chamber of commerce meeting, everyone laughed, but she was serious. Those at the chamber meeting didn’t fear that because she was from Tacoma she was a “drive by shooter” but for some reason we were all labeled dangerous.
Just before Twilight happened a travel writer came through Forks. He didn’t stop to chat with the fine people of Forks, he just chose to write in his book about travel that Forks was a festering boil. If he didn’t care for our architecture that is one thing, but did he take two minutes to see how nice we were?
Then Twilight arrived and people liked us, they really liked us, for no reason other than we were who we were and we liked most of them back. Then a few years ago a man moved here to open a dog sanctuary and something went wrong and again we were all guilty, a woman recently shared a story that she had gone to an event out of town and when the other people found out she was from Forks, they wouldn’t leave her alone and wanted to know about the dog sanctuary she told them she didn’t know the man that had it or anything about it but they wouldn’t let it drop, again guilty because she lived in Forks.
The dog controversy had finally settled down and one of our finest hours was upon us the scholarship auction it was a new record, what an amazing giving bunch of people, and no TV crews came to do a story, but that’s OK for about a day we basked in the glory of the giving of this little town.
Then, some poor excuse for a human being killed two eagles and it was in all the papers and on the Seattle TV stations and beyond and the negative comments were flowing, should we care what the media says? I don’t know, should we care that possibly someone we know killed two eagles, yes we should, not because it gives our entire community a black eye but because it is truly not who we are. Somebody knows something, we are not all eagle killers, but we are all going to be guilty until the person or persons are identified, well we will still be guilty, but that doesn’t matter, and even though the president has a hard time spelling it this community really deserves it. RESPECT.
If you know something about the shooting of the two eagles, please contact WDFW Sgt. Eric Anderson at 360-640-0493 or the department enforcement hotline toll-free at 877-933-9847, or can text a tip to 847411.