Former sports editor now a published author

Nine years after his retirement from The Daily World, Rick Anderson is back with a well-researched piece.

But this time, it’s a book about movies — “Rewind: A Half-Century of Classics, Cult Hits and Other Must-See Movies,” which includes films released between 1945 and 1995.

Anderson is scheduled for a book signing on Saturday, from 6 to 7 p.m., at 7th Street Theatre, in Hoquiam.

The former sports editor’s book goes beyond the list of usual top-ranked films such as “Casablanca” or “Citizen Kane.” The only movie in his list to receive an Oscar for Best Picture was “The Sting,” with Robert Redford and Paul Newman. “Rear Window,” and “Goodfellas,” were the only two films on Anderson’s list to make the American Film Institute’s Top 100 list.

“Just to set the record straight, these are not what I think of the 50 greatest movies of all-time, nor are they necessarily my 50 favorite movies,” Anderson said. “It’s just 50 movies, some of which are classics, some of which are not that I just found interesting. It’s sort of a hobby of mine to dig into the backstory of movies and try to put these things in historical perspective. Hopefully I did that more than just give a standard movie review.”

One example of one of his “explorations” is how he addresses Ron Howard’s “Apollo 13,” which starred Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon and Gary Sinise. Anderson writes about the approval of the film’s accuracy from his late brother Jack, who worked for Boeing. Here’s an excerpt:

“A Boeing Co. aerospace engineer who was part of the ground crew for several unmanned space flights, Jack took strong exception to most cinematic portrayals of space exploration,” Anderson wrote. “He dismissed the majority of such movies as unrealistic and was offended by the cynical tone that pervaded the critically acclaimed 1983 blockbuster, ‘The Right Stuff.’ Jack acknowledged, however, that Apollo 13 did the subject justice. That was a remarkable endorsement, since the re-creation of the ill-fated 1970 moon mission was dotted with potential landmines.”

Anderson, who loves watching movies, explained why he chose to explore film.

“It was on my bucket list to do a book,” Anderson said. “I figured nobody outside the Harbor would really want to read anything that I wrote about sports. So, it’s been sort of a hobby of mine to follow classic movies. I figured maybe I can put together a book on classic movies.”

Anderson explained what makes his book different.

“What I tried to do is explain why I liked these movies — why some of them worked and some of them didn’t. There’s a couple in there that were promising films that fell short of greatness. I tried to explore why they fell short of greatness. A few of them are just guilty pleasures. Most of them are films that are just below blockbuster status. I figured so much has been written about Star Wars and The Godfather and movies like that where there was nothing I could really bring to the table that was original. So I tried to focus on movies that haven’t been dissected quite as thoroughly.”

After Anderson’s retirement in 2014, he started to work on the book in his spare time, but there was a significant issue. It’s a good thing Rick had friends, otherwise this project may not have finished.

“I realized I didn’t know the first thing about how to publish a book,” Anderson said. “So I aborted the project for another couple years. And then in 2020, they did The Daily World reunion up in Olympia. Jeff Burlingame was there. I shared with him my struggles as far as how to get the book published. He and his wife, Lisa Patterson, were starting a book publishing company — Gray Bear Publishing. They said ‘maybe we can publish yours.’ So I was able to restart the thing, … they were able to get the thing done.”

Anderson provided a brief preview of the sorts of interesting bits his book offers:

“Like ‘A League of their Own,’ I threw in the fact that was sort of a turning point in Tom Hanks’ career because his career was sort of on a slide at the time,” Anderson said. “And then Geena Davis, who was the star of the thing, it inspired her to take up archery and then she actually wound up making the Olympic semifinals in archery. So those things are in the book.”

While Davis fell just short of the Sydney Olympics team in 2000, she almost made it, and it’s similar facts like that, which make Anderson’s book unique.

One point Anderson made quite clear is how he wound up analyzing 50 films throughout the 50 years of filmmaking in which he’s most familiar.

“That’s strictly accidental,” Anderson said about 50 films in 50 years. “Originally I had like 70 movies and I figured that was too long. Nobody would wade through 70 movies. And so when I cut it down to 50, I realized it fit exactly within the 50-year time frame. People are going to think this is a big theme of mine, but it wasn’t. It was strictly a coincidence.”

While Anderson wrote the book and deserves the recognition for having done so, he knows he couldn’t have done it without the help of many of his friends, including a few other staffers from The Daily World.

“The one thing I really wanted to point out,” Anderson said, “… I don’t know if any first-time author has ever had more help from his former co-workers as I have. I’m not really high-tech literate. A lot of my past co-workers helped me set up a program where I could actually do it. And then I had a couple former co-workers proofread it. Jeff, of course, published it. Basically, the entire enterprise is basically composed of past and present Daily World staffers.”

Anderson effusively thanked Doug Barker, former editor of the paper, Kat Bryant, former arts and entertainment editor, and Janet Simmelink. He also thanked former editor and publisher John Hughes for helping him become a better writer during their shared time at the newspaper.

“Kat Bryant was the one who helped set-up my computer program,” Anderson said. “Doug Barker … former editor, he proofread it, as did a long-time former The Daily World staffer named Janet Simmelink, who lives in Montesano now. She’s been a friend of mine since she was an intern at the paper. Those three in particular, plus Jeff, who basically did all the heavy-lifting in terms of publishing the book.”

To buy the book, it’s sold on Amazon for $16.99, plus tax and shipping. It can also be bought on Amazon’s Kindle. To buy at the theater on Saturday, it’ll run $20, according to Burlingame.

Live music events happening this weekend around the Harbor:

Friday, Oct. 6

9 to 10:30 a.m.— Little City Songbirds — Nirvana Coffee Co., — 205 S. I St., in Aberdeen

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Adam Carter — Nirvana Coffee Co.

2:30 to 4 p.m. — Andy Kenyon — Nirvana Coffee Co.

6 to 9 p.m. — DJ by SR388 & JEN10, Mr. Imperfect, LIL AK, YVNG VXN, TOXIC LEAF, YOUNG KB —The Loading Dock — 202 E. Wishkah St., in Aberdeen

8 p.m. — Karaoke — Messy Jessy’s Bar and Grill — 212 S. I St., in Aberdeen

7 p.m. — Black Hat Karaoke with KJ Ron — Tuggs & Chuggs — 13443 W. Cloquallum Road, in Elma

8 p.m. to 1 a.m. — Karaoke — Porthole Pub — 893 Point Brown Ave. NW, in Ocean Shores

Saturday, Oct. 7

2 to 4 p.m. — Harmony for Songwriters and Rockstars — The Loading Dock — 202 E. Wishkah St., in Aberdeen

8 p.m. to 1 a.m. — Karaoke — Porthole Pub — 893 Point Brown Ave. NW, in Ocean Shores

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at