Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Seattle Memories - The Kingdome

This post is part of the Slice of Life March Challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.
Check it out and join us.

I am sure I am not alone in this phenomenon. You're scrolling through your Facebook feed and someone posts something that brings memories flooding back, something you haven't thought of in ages.

This is where I was taken - Seattle's Kingdome. It wasn't a story of the grandeur that she brought it to mind, it was the occasion of the Kingdome's implosion. I am guessing that it was this local news story that reminded her. (She is a very busy woman and I am certain she is not keeping track of things like this in her spare time.) So now I'm pondering this Seattle icon.

Besides seeing it dominate the skyline, my earliest memories of the Kingdom were of the paper airplane contests that were held inside. (You can read articles from the 1970s & 1980s here and here.) What a great idea! Take a humongous, inside area with a huge open space in the middle. Place circles on the ground with different prizes to be won if your plane lands inside particular spaces, line people up around the upper decks, make sure they put their name and phone number on the paper, and let them fly.

I have very fuzzy memories of being taken to an NFL game, but have no true memories of it myself.

I have spent hours and hours and hours in the Kingdome in the 90s, though. I am a 1995 "Refuse To Lose" convert to the game of baseball and a diehard Mariner fan ever since. I bought tickets to tons of single games for the duration of the Kingdome and continued those first years at Safeco Field and finally also purchasing partial season tickets. (Living overseas has changed how I experience baseball, but that's another post.) I have been fortunate to be a most of the major moments in Mariner history and the Kingdome was a part of those.

This was the fate of the icon...

Back then photos were taken with film. I have one, from that morning. It was a Sunday. I was riding up to Crystal Mountain to teach skiing with what is now Outdoors For All. As we drove by, at sunrise, I realized it was the last time I would see the Kingdome mostly intact and I snapped a picture. The colors are pink, there is a full moon hanging above. Prior to the actual implosion they had some work to do in deconstructing some of the monolith to ensure it would actually implode when they pushed the button (or flipped the switch, or whatever they did to make the implosion happen). The picture is at my other house so I can't share it with you here. I titled it "Full Moon, Half Dome".

Seventeen years the Seattle skyline has been without this icon. That was the point of my friend's post. How has it been that long? Yet the life I lived then seemed more than 17 years and 8,000 miles away. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

(Random Kingdome trivia and memories here.)


  1. How amazing, I was just in Seattle last week and your post makes me wish I went there 17 years ago!

  2. Interesting post. The "Dome" in Indianapolis had the same fate, but I don't remember many details. The paper airplane contest sounds like fun. And I agree about the passage of time. We marvel that something was so long ago, but then think of how different our life is and it make it seem even longer.

  3. We moved to the Seattle area 20 years ago I remember the day of the implosion. I love your memory of the paper airplane contests. FB is a great tool for triggering our memories. Thanks for sharing yours of the Kingdome.

  4. Kristi,
    I enjoyed reading about the Kingdome in your post. It brought back a Kingdome memory for me. I took a budget vacation once with my college roommate. We were young and dumb and had little money. We managed to get to Anchorage to spend time with her brother and his family. When we came home we flew to Juneau and then took the "cruise" to Seattle. (For college students that meant the Inside Passage ferry boat.) When the ship arrived in Seattle, a small group of passengers without cars were left at 2:00 in the morning without a place to stay. We walked over to the Kingdome parking lot and found a place to roll out our sleeping bags under a protected area. Early the next morning, we were up and on our way before causing a scene.

    It's a tiny slice of life about the Kingdome, but it's a sweet memory for me.