The Mossback Guide to Giftgiving

We're not sure how nice he's been this year, but Mossback Knute Berger has a Christmas shopping list to make any heritage nut purr.

1. Filson gear. Nothing says the Northwest like Filson outdoor gear: Hunting vests, Tin cruisers and mackinaws. This stuff has kept us going since the Gold Rush through the DotCom boom (and bust) and beyond.

You want a wool cap that will keep your shaved head warm? Try Filson's knit cap made from genuine combed Bison down. And it won't make you sneeze like regular wool. $98.

Want to keep your family's feet warm and dry? You can't beat Filson's Merlino wool socks ($20-28). They even sell a Mackinaw wool Christmas stocking to hang in the lodge $64.

2. Vintage Rainiers sweatshirt. Now that the Rainier "R" is back atop the old brewery building, you can pay homage by getting some old Seattle Rainiers baseball gear. Before the Pilots, before the Mariners, the "Suds" captured our hearts at old Sick's Stadium in, where else, Rainier Valley. 

Here's what I want to go with my Sick's Stadium replica ground's crew jacket: an Ebbets Field Flannels Rainiers sweatshirt like the kind Rogers Hornsby probably wore. Or Emmett Watson. Or Freddie Hutchinson. It was so easy once upon a time: Your favorite team and your favorite beer were one and the same. $69

3. Coffee table Mossback. Novelist Jim Lynch wrote in "Truth Like the Sun" that Seattle was "A city so short on history it's mostly all future anyway." A new book that both proves and disproves the point is Rob Ketcherside's coffee table tome, "Lost Seattle" ($18.95, Pavilion Books, 2013), which gathers images of city architectural gems that are no more.

One reason Seattle is so short on history is that we tore so much of it down (and that includes some of the hills). But that history did exist, and Ketcherside's images of the Denny Hotel's Victorian gingerbread, Colman Dock's clock tower and the massive Carnegie Central Library give an intimate feel for the Seattle that was; that could have been if we'd stewarded our cultural resources better. Even the old Kingdome looks pretty good through the haze of mossy nostalgia. "Lost Seattle" will remind old and newcomers that we might be about the future, but we've got a past worth remembering too.

Knute Berger is Mossback, Crosscut's chief Northwest native. He also writes the monthly Grey Matters column for Seattle magazine and is a weekly Friday guest on Weekday on KUOW-FM (94.9). His newest book is Pugetopolis: A Mossback Takes On Growth Addicts, Weather Wimps, and the Myth of Seattle Nice, published by Sasquatch Books. In 2011, he was named Writer-in-Residence at the Space Needle and is author of Space Needle, The Spirit of Seattle (2012), the official 50th anniversary history of the tower. You can e-mail him at

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Posted Thu, Dec 19, 2:19 p.m. Inappropriate

Knute, some great ideas here, especially Rob Ketcherside's book. We just saw Rob Ketcherside's Lost Seattle presentation at the SPL - and he was excellent. His book will make a great Christmas gift for someone with an interest in Seattle history.

Take care,

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