The George Raveling formula

By John Owen | Feb 03, 2012

Recruiting out-of-state athletes to WSU is not an easy task, but it was one at which George Raveling excelled.  I once asked the former Cougar hoops coach how he managed to overcome the handicaps of wintry weather and isolation when he made a recruiting raid on a city like Chicago.

"I don't bring the blue chip recruits out for a visit if I know it is going to snow," he confessed.

"But how do you know when it is going to snow?" I inquired.

George smiled mysteriously.  "I know!" he persisted.

I was recalling Raveling's assurances a short time ago.  Without any long-term planning, my wife and I found ourselves one 70-degree evening sharing wine and snacks in a Palm Springs rental with eight other Edmonds-area residents.

Yup, it was the week of The Big Snow in Seattle, Edmonds and environs. 

How did we all guess the worst, to chase the sun.

Like George Raveling, "We knew!" 

And how did my wife and I know that strong winds  were predicted in Palm Springs the day after we flew back to Seattle? On cue, the winds reportedly uprooted trees, chasing Bill Clinton and Greg Norman off the La Quinta golf course.

Superb planning, or good luck.

Palm Springs emerged in the early days of the film industry as a vacation favorite of the stars.  Those under contract to the major studios were forbidden to travel more than two hours from the sound stages, in case they had to be called in sudden filming emergencies. Palm Springs was a logical and legal getaway.

That's interesting.  Because Palm Springs is today just about two hours away from Sea-Tac Airport.

Each day during the Palm Springs Film Festival, a mistress of ceremonies greeted viewers at one of the larger theaters.  And she delighted in reading out low temperatures predicted that day for outposts like Buffalo, Bismarck and Bangor.  

She chuckled in a hoarse voice that revealed her advancing years.  And then she compared those forecasts with the sunshine and blue skies predicted for the California desert oasis.

For some reason, she never mentioned Pullman, Wa.

Of course, she was never recruited by George Raveling.

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