Ross: Peace and quiet as Seafair show noise ends

Aug 8, 2022, 6:37 AM | Updated: 6:57 am
(Photo by Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)...
(Photo by Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)
(Photo by Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

Seafair is over, the noise has stopped, and the noise discussion can be mothballed until next year.

But before we pack it away, I have a few observations.

First, just to establish my street cred on the subject of Seafair noise, this is actual audio of my spouse and I discussing a book yesterday on our front porch, which is on Mercer Island but well away from the water.

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I was multi-tasking, recording bird calls for my Merlin bird call app, and I had just identified a Chestnut-backed Chickadee at about 1:14 in the afternoon when suddenly…

The roar of airplanes, which can be heard in the clip from the show.

That actually was not the Blue Angels, that was the F-35 lightning. Then came the EA 18G Growlers… the Boeing Flyover, and then the Blue Angels. So basically, a good three hours of audio turbulence. But of course, the thunder is part of the arsenal. It tells the enemy “if you think this is loud, just wait.” And I’ll bet it works. I was ready to surrender after about five minutes.

But what I also appreciate is the perspective it provides.

We all value peace and quiet, but those of us in the leafy Seattle suburbs tend to get a little fussy. Even me.

I wasn’t always this fussy. As a kid I would visit my grandparents who lived in the Bronx, a half block from the train yards. And each night when the subway cars came home, all you heard was the wheels screeching, and the couplings banging. But once I got used to it was almost like a lullaby – and the silence of the suburbs became boring.

So, I look at the Seafair noise as a reminder that we don’t all get to live in quiet places.

There are people who live near airports who get the airshow year-round.

Harley riders are going to open it up in the Interstate 90 tunnels, the fireworks will persist long after the fourth, there are leaf blowers, power washers, garbage trucks, two-cycle lawnmowers and the neighbor’s heat pump.

So, I’m not going to complain about the Seafair noise … in fact now that everybody’s ears are warmed up, I don’t feel quite so guilty about firing up my two-horsepower Patriot yard waste chipper.

Compared to the F-35, it’s like a lullaby.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
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Ross: Peace and quiet as Seafair show noise ends