First I noticed the store manager standing with a very stern expression, arms crossed.

Then I saw the two uniformed police officers talking quietly with a man with wide open eyes next to the eggs. I couldn’t hear what they were saying. The officers escorted the man to the cash register nearby, he paid and left the building. I was impressed that the officers acted with compassion ~ no drama.

I followed the man out of the building and greeted him. He responded warmly. It was raining. I keep a stash of new socks to give to people in need. ‘Want some new socks?’ He said ‘How did you know? YES I DO!’. I handed him two pairs, we chatted some more while he changed socks under the awning. He told me he’d been maced, and his eyes were on fire. Aha, thus the crazy look. Eye drops were his next errand. By the time we parted ways, his face had relaxed. I look forward to greeting him next time, should our paths cross again.


I decided to move to the Emerald City in 1985 when my friend Jeffrey Markham told me how people look at you in the eyes in the streets of Seattle. The tradition works wonders.

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