Your co-worker might become famous

Seeing a recent Seattle Times book review reminds me that a popular author worked here at PEMCO for a few years long ago. How many of us have colleagues who, perhaps unknown to us, go on to fame?
   Debbie Macomber is a Yakima native who lives in Port Orchard. She’s written more than 100 novels, including New York Times No. 1 bestseller “Starting Now,” and she authored three Hallmark Channel TV movies as well as the series “Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove.”
   I stumbled across Macomber’s holiday movie “Mrs. Miracle” last year around Christmas, and though it’s likely characterized as a “chick flick,” I was drawn to the storyline. Figuring my wife would enjoy it, I even bought the DVD.
   How many of Macomber’s PEMCO colleagues suspected that she would gain fame, I wonder? It brings to mind my time in a French night class at Bellevue Community College in fall 1981, working on my foreign-language requirement to transfer to the University of Washington. A young guy named Geoff sat next to me, and we shared an interest in rock music. He later told me he was a singer in a band that aspired to make its mark.
   Years later, I saw his photo in a Rolling Stone article. Sure enough, lead singer Geoff Tate and his band, Queensryche, hit the big time!
   In another small-world twist, Queensryche’s manager was Kim Harris, who gave me an “A” in his inaugural “History of Rock ‘n Roll” class (5 humanities credits, baby!) at BCC in fall 1972. Harris shared my love for the British rock band Free and its stirring guitarist, Paul Kossoff.
   Have you worked with someone who later gained fame, in the arts or elsewhere? Share your story.

by  Jon Osterberg

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