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everything listed with the possible exception of tiddlywinks and button button, who's got the button, the Seattle squad is expected to take the totem pole emblematic of the championship." And take it they did. That year, and the next … and the next. In fact, before the final meet held on Saturday, April 12, 1941, the WAC had won three times, Multnomah had won just once, and the two clubs had tied twice. During the last competition, the WAC won 20 out of 24 total events, taking the contest—and the totem pole—with a score of 65 to 25. During World War II, the interclub meets were postponed "for the duration," although intercity matches for individual sports, such as swimming, handball and boxing, continued to take place. No further totem pole matches were held, however, and the trophy's whereabouts remain a mystery—even to the WAC's history committee. A local expert has provided a clue to the pole's origins, though. After viewing a photograph, Dr. Robin Wright, curator of Native American art at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, said she believes it was carved by Sam Williams, a Nuu-chah-nulth carver who worked for Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. "This is based on the style of carving and the shape of the eyes and the teeth which are quite distinctive," she said. YE OLDE CURIOSITY CONNECTION But Joe James, retired owner of Ye Olde Curiosity Shop and a WAC past president (1986), said he believes it was actually carved by one of Sam's sons. "This could be Sam's pole, but the teeth are different from Sam's later poles," he said. "I would guess that it was carved by Wilson, one of Sam's oldest sons, who also was a very fine carver." Although Wright believes the pole should be easy to identify because of the distinctive details (such as the man in the canoe holding a harpoon), long-time Seattle antique dealer George Hunter said there's a chance the pole may never be found. "People do have a tendency to put these outside," said the owner of Hunter's Antiques. "If it's cedar it can last 50 to 100 years, but a lot of the cedar pieces start rotting after a while. If it's inside or under a cover or has been painted, it could still be recognizable. But if somebody has put it in their yard, that's enough time that it wouldn't be recognizable. They just crumble away." All may not be lost, however. "I'm not saying your pole won't turn up," Hunter added. "People in this area have a lot of things in their attic." Both Hunter and Wright have promised to keep an eye out for the artifact. We hope you will, too! —If you know anything about the WAC totem pole, please email magazine@wac.net. FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 | Washington Athletic Club Magazine | 19

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