SEASIDE - First-time author Ky Jennings has turned her memories of growing up in Seaside into a book of photos and reminiscences. "Seaside Through My Window" made its debut Aug. 1, featuring 350 pictures taken during the 1940s through '60s.
The hardcover book includes some early beach and hotel scenes, local events, people, parades and downtown views in its 148 pages. A logging chapter shows the construction of the Fort Clatsop replica in 1955, and some color pictures illustrate Seaside "then and now."
"I don't know of anyone who grew up in a more unique setting," Jennings said. "We went to our grandmother's for dinner every Sunday afternoon on the Prom, right next door to the Natatorium off the Turnaround. My brother and I would walk to the Times, where the movie changed from Friday night to the Sunday matinee, putting our 20 cents on the outside windowsill when we were no more than 5 and 6.
"Some out-of-town people saw Seaside as a honky-tonk town, a party place," she said, "but we saw it a different way, accepting the tourists, who only came in the summer months then. When we were teenagers, the big cars would go around the Turnaround, over and over, and there were always big groups of kids on the beach where anyone could join in, and someone was usually playing a ukulele."
Jennings' grandfather was mayor of Seaside for eight years during the 1940s; many of her photos came from him and from her father, who took pictures all the time, including overhead shots from his small plane. "Going through the pictures three years ago, I thought, 'What am I going to do with all these pictures?'" Jennings explained. "So I decided to share them with the people who were in them, of that era. I spent more than two and a half years redoing them in Photoshop, enlarging some, scanning all, borrowing from friends and buying a few on eBay."
Jennings lives in Portland with her husband, Harold. Her roots are to a Finnish Deep River family, also connected to Astoria, through her great-grandmother, Catherine (Kaisa) Puskala. She still has a home in Seaside, and retired from a long real estate career to work on this book.
A "meet the author" open house is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at Jan's Gifts, 609 Broadway. For information, visit the Web site www.seasidebook.com