The Pacific Northwest Forum
Volume 4, Number 3, Pages 31-32
Summer, 1979

A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way Through the Forum

By Joe J. Locati

Here is an excerpt of a letter dated August 4, 1979 written to the editors of
The Forum. We print it here to give credit to Joe J. Locati's excellent wit
and to correct the pesky matter of our typographical errors with his middle initial.

Dear Professor (I presume) Olafson:

First of all, I wish to thank The Pacific Northwest Forum for featuring my article with pictures in the Spring, 1979 issue just distributed, and for the six copies, two of which have been placed in library archives.

On a more important (to me) personal note: Paraphrastically speaking, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To (through) The Forum; first, in the 1978 Spring-Summer issue, Vol. III, Nos. 2-3., I, Joel. Locati, in the short, last article titled "The Walla Walla Sweet Onion and its French Connection," came out in the table of contents, the by-line and the lead-in as Joe E. Locati - and there is no Joe E.

Perhaps the error in initial was an editorial mistake, perhaps the printer's. At any rate, when Bill Youngs wrote inviting me to submit another, lengthier article, he said he was sorry for the mistake.

Now, in the latest issue just received, a funnier thing happened on the way through The Forum: the table of contents credits Joe T. Locati (a new dimension); the by-line and lead-in insist on crediting Joe E. Locati again; but the sign-off position was correctly given - Joe J. Locati. In the parlance of baseball "six muffs outa seven is awful fieldin'," particularly after last year's apology. And this adds to a problem of identification that has existed here for years...

There are 34 Locatis listed in the Walla Walla phone and city directories. Four are "Joseph types", let us say: I, Joe J. Locati, 71 (we are all old duffers) am "the horticulture expert"; then there is Joe Locati, Jr., 72, who is not a junior at all - simply a matter of distinguishing - and is a non-agriculture type; and Joseph C. Locati, 79, retired truck gardener; and last, at 88, is Uncle Joe to me, one of the last remaining Italian-immigrant gardeners alive and retired. He goes by Giuseppe Locati simply as a matter of self-defense against confused phone calls. And confusion there has been.

As an example of many confusions, I can cite one instance over three decades ago when "Nellie" Nelson, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin "roving reporter" of the time, did a substantial article on the difficulty of tracking me down. And I have since been kidded frequently about this identity situation.

In view of the above-outlined facts, how readily do you suppose a Forum reader somewhere, could correctly identify the author? Or how often be frustrated by not finding a non-existent Joe E. or Joe T. listed in a maze of Locatis in a directory somewhere?

I would hope some note might be added to your next issue of The Forum clearing up the errors in middle initial - for the record...

Sincerely, Joe J. Locati
District Horticultural Inspector Retired
228 Cruthers Street Walla Walla, WA 99362

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the last time we will let Windy Jack and Silent Bill do our proofreading.

ERRATA NOTE: Joe J. Locati has contributed two articles to The Pacific Northwest Forum. They are:

Joe J. Locati, "The Walla Walla Sweet Onion and its French Connection," in Vol. III, Nos. 2-3, Spring-Summer 1978 double issue, pp. 51-52.

Joe J. Locati, "Walla Walla County: A Cradle of Horticulture," Vol. IV, No.2, Spring 1979, pp. 2-15.