When Norm Paulson was a teenager growing up in Washougal, he remembers getting pulled over by a police officer who gave him two options: The officer could write him a ticket or Paulson could tell his father what had happened.
At the time, Washougal had a population of just a few thousand people. Everybody, literally, knew everybody.
“He knew telling my father would be the harder thing for me to do,” Paulson said. “And he knew my dad, so he could check to make sure I had told.”
While this kind of experience might deter most people from wanting to spend the rest of their lives in a small town, for Paulson it only served to support the idea that Washougal was exactly where he wanted to be.
“My dad told me, ‘Just don’t think you can get away with anything, because I know everybody.’ His network reported back to him,” Paulson recalled with a smile. “That was the environment I wanted to raise my kids in. I wanted to know what my kids were doing.”