15-year-old Alexina Slater, in cap and swimsuit, was the only female entrant in the first organized channel swim from the Tahlequah Ferry Terminal on Vashon Island to Point Defiance held on September 26, 1926. She finished fourth with a time of 1 hr. 20 minutes, outracing nine other swimmers. The Stadium High School student was only 18 minutes behind Gerhard Bahr's winning time of 1 hr. 2 minutes. While Bahr received the roars befitting the champion, Miss Slater was also heavily applauded by the crowd of 10,000. Her picture appeared on the front page of the News Tribune and the headline actually read " Girl Given Cheer as She Swims Point Defiance Channel." Miss Slater, of 5517 N. 45th St., began swimming at age 4 under the direction of her father. (Tacoma Sunday Ledger, 9-26-26, p. 1, TNT 9-27-26, p. 1)
Alexina Slater, showing the vitality of youth, shrugs off her grueling 2-mile swim across the Point Defiance channel and dances the Charleston in front of a movie camera on September 26, 1926. The 15-year-old Stadium High School student was the only female entry in the race from Talequah to Point Defiance but she outswam nine others to finish fourth. Her time of 1 hr. 20 minutes was only 18 minutes slower than the winner, Gerhard Bahr. The massive crowd of 10,000 heartily cheered and applauded her efforts. Miss Slater, of 5517 N. 45th St., was presented a trophy from Mahncke & Co. in honor of her accomplishment. (Tacoma Sunday Ledger, 9-26-26, p. 1, TNT 9-27-26, p. 1)
ca. 1937. Frozen in time in the middle of a windup is Floyd "Lefty" Isekite of the Tacoma Tigers. "Lefty," a southpaw, pitched in the Western International League in the 1930's. He had a blazing fastball and pitched a no-hitter in 1937 against the Wenatchee Chiefs. "Lefty" last pitched for the Tigers in 1940. He was named to the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame in 1972. Floyd Gill "Lefty" Isekite passed away in April, 1992. TPL-150. (TNT 11-14-39, p. 20, TNT 8-28-49, B-9)
ca. 1938. Members of the Tacoma Tigers baseball club pose for a 1938 team picture prior to their game with Yakima. William "Hack" Wilson was the Tigers' playing catcher and also their manager. He is believed to be in the back row, third from the right. TPL-4747.
Bowling has long been popular in Tacoma, producing such greats as Earl Anthony. The Tryfon Hatters bowled for John Tryfon whose hat store was located at 944 1/2 Commerce Street beginning in 1921. Greek-born Tryfon, affectionately known as "the Madhatter of Commerce Street", retired in 1973.
Cue wizard George H. Sutton visited Tacoma's Naubert & Manning billiard academy in October of 1925 where he defeated George Latshaw 250-78, running off 147 in a row. Nicknamed "Handless," Mr. Sutton toured the country and amazed spectators with his skills for almost 35 years. He had lost his arms below the elbows at age 8 in a sawmill accident. This did not prevent him from studying medicine and graduating from the University of Milwaukee. He learned to play billiards during his college years and later set a Balkline world record. Mr. Sutton would pass away in 1938, at the age of 68. (TDL 10-9-25, p. 7-article & alternate photograph; www.cuecare.com)
ca. 1930s. Rev. Jokatsu Yukawa, pastor of the Tacoma Hongwanji Buddhist Church, has donned protective gear and prepares to engage in kendo, a form of Japanese fencing. Rev. Yukawa is to the right in this sepia 1930's photograph; his masked opponent is not identified. The pair are practicing at the site of the Japanese Language School on Tacoma Avenue South, which had opened in 1921. Rev. Yukawa spent five years as the temple's minister, from 1928-1933. During his tenure, a $40,000 fund drive was initiated which culminated in the construction of the present church and junior members were organized in active Young Buddhist Association groups. He was promoted to serve a larger congregation in California and was replaced by Rev. Sensho Sasaki. (History of Pierce County, Vol. 1, p. 16) TPL-2008.
A large crowd of baseball fans gathered outside the Tribune Publishing Company building to watch the box score of the World Series game between the Philadelphia Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals on October 5, 1930. The News Tribune had a large scoreboard mounted on the front of their building which allowed fans to follow the game play-by-play. Although Cardinals pitcher Jesse Haines outdueled Lefty Grove 3-1 to tie the Series up at 2 wins apiece, the Athletics would ultimately prevail, winning the World Series 4 games to 2. BU-12852, TPL-2115