trivia…not so trivial

Saw my hairdresser, Zorianna, today. Thankfully she brought me back from the brink. I was beginning to look like a skunk, a white strip growing ever wider at the top of my scalp. I know it’s love, when my husband, a few heads taller, hugs me without asking “When’s your next hair appointment?”

As any woman will tell you, hairdressers are as important to our mental well-being, as a doctor is to our physical well-being. Walking around with our crowning glory at its most glorious, is worth a million bucks! Thank goodness it doesn’t cost that much, but beauty does come at a price. In my case, it’s not so much that, as it is not wanting to look like my husband’s escorting his granny everywhere. And I don’t think it’s just my imagination, because he’s the one who keeps telling me it’s alright to visit Zorianna monthly.

One of the things Zorianna mentioned which I’d not seen, was a Chase commercial explaining that a customer can send pictures, front and back, of a check for deposit into his or her account. I immediately queried “How safe is that?” While it is a deposit, there’s no telling what spammers and hackers, some of them geniuses, will try to do to steal the depositor’s identity, bank account info, or money. I wouldn’t want to find out. But then again I’m still a fraidy cat gingerly tip-toeing around the internet’s universe. So don’t go looking for pictures of my check bouncing around out there in Google-land. They’re safe and sound in cash drawers at Target and Trader Joe’s and Costco and…

ABC World News

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This evening while I was preparing dinner, Diane Sawyer and ABC World News Tonight was on as background noise. I did stop to watch 2 news items.

Alzheimer’s it seems can be prevented, according to recent studies, by avoiding the following 7 items:

 Evidently eliminating these 7 factors can lead to a 25% reduction in the risk of getting the disease. Researchers project that would prevent half-a-million new cases of Alzheimer’s. Something to seriously think about.

Gibraltar Senior Citizens Social Club, Town Ra...

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It seems more and more retired couples have taken to living apart. Doesn’t this sound like an oxymoron?!? Why would married people not want to realize their dream of togetherness in old age? Well it’s not actually as unbelievable as it may seem.

One couple interviewed by the ABC reporter had planned to move to Maine when the husband retired. After trying it for one year, the wife decided she didn’t care to live there year round. So she ended up taking an apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts during the winter months. She loved the vibrancy of city life and being surrounded by people younger than herself. And while her husband missed her terribly at the beginning, she felt she was less wimpy. Turning to her husband she laughingly exclaimed “I can beat you up.”

One of my daughter’s friends’ parents have a similar arrangement. They reside in Conncecticut where the father has his business. During the winter, the mom heads south to warm, sunny Florida. When he’s able, the husband flies south for a few days. Sounds like a reasonable solution, if the couple is willing and able.

I don’t think my husband and I would enjoy living apart. We already endure separations when he’s away on business. Something of a regular occurrence, moreso in the past than now. Moreover I lived with my daughter for 2 1/2 years while she was beginning to train for her career as a ballerina, while my husband remained behind….earning our living. 

I’m looking forward to doing things with my husband…like gardening, going for long walks, taking road trips. And doing them whenever we have an inkling. Doing them…

at our whim…not someone else’s…hugmamma.   

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fantastical!…harry potter

harry-potter-book7

Image by Colin ZHU via Flickr

Last night was a first for my husband and me. We’d never, at least not as middle-agers, stood in a line waiting for a movie to begin at 10:30 p.m. But in recent months we’ve become more adventurous. We’ve been stepping outside the box, so to speak. Rather than resort to our nightly ritual, me blogging, and him snoring in front of the TV, we decided to go for some hamburgers, followed by Harry Potter in 3-D. I felt giddy to be out so late, with the younger set. Fortunately, there was no crowd, the line was pretty short, the theatre rather empty for the final episode in a blockbuster series. Perhaps the earlier shows were fuller. No matter, we had a great time. Even better because there were probably less than 80 in attendance. We could all spread out, watching in relaxed comfort. No need to elbow neighbors. I was on an end seat; my husband had no one seated on his other side.

harry potter review harry potter review harry ...

When the show ended, I remarked a couple of times how the 3 main actors had started down this path as middle-schoolers, and now they were all young adults. That’s a long time to have been involved in a project, and one that made them all millionaires. I’m sure they couldn’t have known their amazing, good fortune. Just as J.K. Rowlings couldn’t have known that her fantasy epoch would make her the first billionaire author. Their lives have been as fantastical as the fantasy with which they were all involved. They certainly hit the lottery, big time! But I think we did as well.

Author J.K. Rowling reads from Harry Potter an...

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It’s a wonder how Rowlings penned a fantasy so rich with twists and turns, and imagery beyond compare, and concocted a phalanx of characters the likes of which boggles the mind. The author seemed to fill every nook and cranny of her unfolding wizard’s world, with details that enriched and enhanced her storytelling. I couldn’t have imagined everything she imagined, not if I tried for a million years. It’s certain she researched some aspects, but it’s more likely she is a creative genius. I think Rowlings has carved out a unique niche in this generation’s literary archive.

We’re indeed fortunate that J.K. Rowlings sat down one day to apply herself to paper. Otherwise a literary rock star might have gone undiscovered. And Harry Potter’s adventures would never have materialized. And what a loss that would have been.

In a recent interview, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, 21-years-old, reportedly said     

     “I think about being Dad quite a lot, …I can’t wait to have kids.” 
     So the next time Radcliffe revisits Harry Potter, it may be reading those adventures of a magical boy to his own children.
     “I imagine I will,” Radcliffe says, his eyes glistening. “It will be very, very strange, though.”  

made me feel like a kid again…hugmamma.

freshly pressed…wordpress lottery

From time to time, I take a gander at WordPress “Freshly Pressed” pages. Like tonight when I happened to see that another blogger had listed FP on her blogroll. The pages seemed endless. I don’t think I got past 9 or 10 of them. Each one contained 10 or more blogs, recognized as being the best on any given day. I think I perused the guidelines for winning a coveted spot once, but decided I couldn’t recommend my own blog. The Catholic nuns who’d taught me humility would surely roll over in their graves. God bless their souls, and mine for even thinking of self-aggrandizement.

But more importantly it seems a blogger must jump through certain hoops to be chosen. Can’t remember what they all were, but at my age, and with my limited knowledge of technical wizardry, I’m certain I wouldn’t make it through all the hoops. My arthritic back would give out. It’s like when I watch all those reality TV talent shows. I give the thousands who show up to audition a mountain of credit. I could do equally poorly as most of them, but they have one thing I don’t have…guts! Sometimes I must admit to many looking like idiots. But hey! To each his own; whatever makes their world go ’round.

So back to FP. For the life of me, and it’s getting shorter by the hour, though I’m in no hurry, I’ll never, ever in a million years figure out how to get on that moving locomotive. And I’ll soon be looking down the gun barrel of my 62nd birthday, so there’s no hope in h—k that I’ll be able to throw myself onto the train as it speeds by my hobbit hole.

So I wish all those with membership into the exclusive Freshly Pressed club a no-holds barred, hearty congratulations! I’m glad someone hits the lottery every day. “You’ve gotta be in it to win it,” as the saying goes. And those bloggers are obviously doing something right. I applaud their efforts, because blogging is hard work. But those of us with a passion…

reap its rewards…even when it’s not an FP award of recognition   …hugmamma.

365 photo challenge: lark

According to Webster’s Dictionarylark, n. 1. a merry, carefree adventure. –v.i. 2. to have fun; frolic.

…hubby’s idea of going on a lark…

…my idea of going on a lark…

…another one of my hairbrained larks…

 

…our whole family…off on a lark…

…my daughter and her friends…on their own kind of halloween lark…

 

…i think you get the idea?!?……… i’m off on another lark………hugmamma.

daily post challenge: #188…can a camera truly catch a moment in time

In recent months I’ve gone crazy taking pictures. You might say I’ve run amok. That’s what my husband would say. I surely wouldn’t call myself a photographer. That sounds far too lofty for me. I dabble, just as I dabble in writing. Especially since I know very little beyond “point and shoot.”

My shiny, red, Canon Power Shot SD780IS Digital ELPH, is one bad boy when it comes to capturing “life in the moment.” It suits my purposes just fine. And whenever I look at the photos I’ve taken…I’m reliving that “moment in time.” Even if it’s 30, 40 years later. What more could I ask of my camera. What more could anyone ask?

…i’m sure you’ll agree………for your viewing pleasure………

…….hugmamma.  🙂

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swedish hospital…a 5-star resort?

Hubby and I had a date Saturday…touring the brand, spanking new Swedish Hospital in the Issaquah Highlands. We thought we’d make a quick stop, check it out, and be on our way to our real destination…Molbak’s Nursery, gift shop and cafe in Woodinville. Well, we never made it to see the flowers, plants and knick-knacks, or lunch among the lush foliage. Instead we wandered around the new hospital with thousands of other curious tourists to what seemed like a resort, not a place where the sick and maimed go to be cured and put back together again. I’m sure I wandered around, my mouth agape the whole time. We were all like children in a new candy shop, sampling everything with our eyes. I wasn’t the only one who was bug-eyed either.

Walking through glass doors which parted without hesitation, I immediately saw a Starbuck’s to my right…already with a line of people. No small wonder there. Tucked in the corner between the cafe and the front door was the restaurant. Visiting it later, I saw that it was on the caliber of any good dining destination in the community at large. Viewing the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest through the surrounding glass walls would also be a treat…a very calming one for sure.

Wandering further inside through what felt like a grand foyer, a reception desk sat to the left, and next to it a staircase leading to the second floor. Straight ahead was the bank of elevators, and to the right, past Starbuck’s was a gift shop. Rather, I should say, a mall of shops. After touring the floors above, I spent some time wandering in and out of the several stores. This is probably when I most felt like I was not in a hospital.

What appeared to be the main gift shop was lit up with a beautifully handrafted chandelier made by a local artist. Directly beneath was a table also crafted by another homegrown talent. In fact, most of the items in the shop were made here in the Pacific Northwest according to the shop’s lovely manager. She spent a few moments of her time talking with me, smiling all the while. A definite asset to what could be an intimidating environment for some. After all, this was still a hospital.

Walking through an oversized open doorway into the next shop, I delighted in seeing all manner of gifts for newborns and toddlers. Some items I’d never seen elsewhere. Across the way was another, very large, retailer selling exercise clothes, lingerie, and if I’m not mistaken, some maternity items for expectant mothers. One fun gift for you or someone else was a “snap” watch for around $16. The salesclerk kindly showed me how it operated. She stretched out the watchband, snapped it across her wrist, and “voile!” the watchband wrapped itself securely in place. What don’t people invent these days?!?

Down the hallway, next door to the shop with baby gifts, was a small studio for yoga classes. The nice volunteer offered information on how I could sign up for classes. Of course, it involved the internet. What doesn’t these days? Evidently I can check out the schedule for times and styles of yoga on the Swedish Hospital website. I might have to do that. I’ve always wanted to take a yoga class on a regular basis. Good for the body…and mind.

There were doctors, nurses, and technicians milling about to answer any questions. It was amazing to see so many of the staff smiling and relaxed. I’ve usually only seen them hurrying off to tend to patients. And I mean hurrying! Hopefully they’ll continue to smile once they get back to business as usual. I like smiling medical staff. They calm my nerves. Wouldn’t they make you feel more comfortable? They would me.

In October I’ll be having a colonoscopy and endoscopy done by Dr. David Patterson, Medical Director of Gastroenterology at Swedish. I met up with him again at the open house, after having talked with him a month or so ago at our initial consultation. Originally from New Zealand, he retains very little of his accent. Having lived here in the States for 35 years, I can understand why. Dr. Patterson’s ready smile and easy “bedside” manner goes far in steadying my nerves for the impending procedures. Knowing he sees many people in the course of his practice, and having met me only once, I was amazed that he could recall who I was as throngs of people were milling all around us. The key to unlocking his memory about me was that my daughter was a ballerina. We’d discussed it at our first meeting when he asked if I had children. Of course, ask a mom about her offspring…and you’ve got a friend for life. Well, let’s see what I think after the doc goes to work on me in the Fall. I’ll let you know then…

Meanwhile I’ve only good things to say about the new Swedish Hospital and their staff. They’ve served me well for more than a decade, the doctors and nurses, that is. Oh, and the ER team at the old facility. Between my husband and me, we’ve seen them a few times over the years, for various and sundry minor crises, which seemed somewhat major at the time…episodes of asthma, pains mimicking a heart attack. You know, the usual.

The new Emergency Room check-in looked like that in any 5-star hotel. But that’s as far as we went. I’m hoping we won’t have to see the rest of the ER anytime soon. Unfortunately we didn’t do any of the tours offered. The one to see the surgical facility had a line of people the length of the hallway. Since hubby and I were on a “date,” and we’d already spent a couple of hours sightseeing, we decided we’d seen enough to convince us that the hospital was pretty much just what the hype was all about.

it’s what the doctor ordered…and it’s just fine by me…hugmamma.

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daily post challenge: my earliest memory

One of my favorite recollections was of the time my sister, brother and I hightailed it from a charging bull. Being the youngest, about 5 or 6 at the time, I was naturally the least capable of running the 50 yard dash in less than a minute. I don’t think my siblings were too much faster, although come to think of it, I didn’t see them again until they came back to help me climb back over the fence. Not sure what they would’ve told my mom if they showed up without me when they got home. Maybe they thought with 8 children to raise, she wouldn’t miss me until they’d grown up and left home. Whatever! I was just thankful I wasn’t left as food for the bull. I’m trying to remember if we were able to hang onto the food we’d gathered for our rabbits.…can you blame us…if we didn’t?…hugmamma. 

Dolls!

Image by Dan Coulter via Flickr

Another early memory…2 for the price of 1…Again when I was a youngster, maybe 8 or 9 this time, I received the most beautiful, white doll from an elderly friend of my mom’s. The doll had been a cherished treasure of the woman’s since her own childhood. It meant a lot that she was relinquishing it into my care…a lot.

Christine, the name I gave my precious, new friend, was still in pristine condition, having been kept in her box all those years. I’m certain she was only removed on special occasions, or for a “look-see” every now and then. Well I wasn’t about to keep her hidden. No siree. She was getting prime real estate on my bed. Christine and I were going to sleep side by side, heads resting together on my pillow at night. And during the day, she had it all to herself.

Well the love affair with my new doll didn’t last long. My older sister whispered “sweet nothings” into my mom’s ear, and Christine was no longer mine. Of course I cried and pleaded, but the rationale behind the adoption was that I would probably break the doll playing with her. Better she remain without blemish in the more responsible care of my sibling. I was heartbroken, to say the least.

Various antique to modern Black dolls from the...

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As a gesture of reconciliation, my mom bought me my own doll that Christmas. Excited, I tore open the box only to reveal a black doll with short, curly hair, unlike Christine’s long, wavy, auburn tresses. I tried not to let my disappointment show, but didn’t succeed. Even my mom’s explanation that the doll reminded her of me, that it was a Hawaiian doll, didn’t appease my little girl’s heart. I left the doll in her box for a few days. But then I realized she was probably sad at being neglected and unwanted. So I brought Roberta, a name which seemed to suit her, into bed with me and comforted her. In truth I think she comforted me, for I felt like we were two unhappy souls.

Some years later when my sister left home for college, she returned Christine to my safekeeping. I was grateful but no longer felt in awe of her beauty. She became one of several dolls which I’d collected in the interim. No one could replace Roberta who’d been my comfort all along.    

Both dolls are only memories now, although I will always remember Roberta as the best friend a little girl could have…in happy times…and not so happy times…hugmamma.  

eyes…on the dummy

Talented marionette…and, of course, a little credit goes to the man behind the puppet, pulling the strings. A gift from my English friend Sylvia…and the French for this refreshing piece of entertainment. Where are my tea and biscuits? Care to join me in a little repass?

…if the guy dangling from the strings can do it…why can’t i?………………. makes you wonder ………………………..hugmamma.

friends…”muy simpatico”

Are there people in your life who make you feel good…about you? Folks who greet you with huge smiles and hugs to match? Those who ask what you’ve been up to, and actually let you talk without interrupting? Even if the story is a lengthy one because you’ve not seen one another in nearly a year? Their faces registering sadness and joy at the appropriate moments? And do they gladly answer your “help wanted ads” for whatever it is you need?

My answer to all of the above is the dynamic duo of Ken and Leon. Friends of mine and my husband for more than a decade, these two came into my life when I was in need of support. The setting was an office party at the home of my husband’s new boss. I’m pretty sure, looking back almost 14 years ago, I was the only outsider in the group. The others worked together, and the few that didn’t, already knew everyone else. I was the odd person out. It didn’t help that my husband is somewhat shy, especially in unfamiliar social surroundings. I’m the social butterfly, but that night I felt more like a moth trying to find a lightbulb to which I could attach myself. I found one…in Ken and Leon.

Warm and friendly from the get-go, they hovered nearby. I don’t think they realized it, but I clung to them as though my life depended upon it. Obviously my husband was trying to make some headway of his own with his office peers and, of course, his boss. Not caring to be the proverbial wall flower, I mingled as best I could, but always found myself back beside Leon and Ken. They were my safety net then, and remain so to this day when we’re all at the same social functions.

I’ve written a couple other posts about these friends before, first in foreign country, home?” on 8/25/10, and again in putting a face on the unknown,” on 9/26/10. Ken and Leon bought a home in Marabella, Spain, a coastal town. I’d worried about their possibly retiring in a foreign country, far from the security of the American government. But when we chatted over dinner the other night, they assured us they’d already gotten into minor “pickles,” from which they extricated themselves just fine with the help of the U.S. Embassy and Spanish law enforcement officials. Putting my mind at ease, we agreed that it’s often the fear of the unknown that derails our efforts to expand our horizons. Anticipating what might, or could, happen can make me “gun shy.” I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Our friends are a gay, married couple, having “tied the knot” in Canada about 13 years ago, although they’ve been life partners for more than three decades. My husband and I joined them and other friends at a Human Rights Campaign fundraiser in Seattle last Fall. It was our first exposure to the organization, and its efforts to bring equality to a great number of disenfranchised, American citizens. As I surveyed the crowd of upstanding men and women, I couldn’t help but wonder about their parents. Whether supportive or not, their hearts must ache to see their children suffer at the hands of society. I’m a mother whose daughter was a miracle after 14 years of marriage. Whatever a child’s makeup…I can’t imagine abandoning it to a wolf pack to be raised… or worse.

And so I celebrate my dear friends, Leon and Ken, for not only accepting me for who I am, a housewife whose professional standing in the community has long since expired, but also for showing me what the “face of the unknown” in society…really looks like…folks not unlike…you and me. 

…mahalo nui loa…a mis amigos…Ken and Leon…hugmamma.

365 photo challenge: root

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You’d think I was dragging her off for root canal work………………………..

…a reluctant photo model…if there ever was one…hugmamma. 😉

365 photo challenge: force

Of course my first thought is “may the force be with you.” Okay…now that the kid in me has had her say…the adult wants to put in her two cents as well.

Do you think I could force  this little man to get down so that packing could continue?…………………………………………………………………………………….

…well think again!……………………………………………..hugmamma.

japan…lesson learned?

In part because of its

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Another poignant article in this week’s Real Change, Seattle’s street newspaper, is from its counterpart The Big Issue in Japan. How easily current news displaces yesterday’s headlines. The fact that there’s no comparison between watching Casey Anthony get away with …something, and the people of Japan suffering a major catastrophic event holds no sway. Old news is no news, not anymore it seems. So as a reminder, I wanted to share the following from the people who have been relegated to the bottom of the heap, with the passing of time.

Living life under the fear of radiation
The city of Minamisoma, Japan is a place where no one is allowed to move freely because of the radiation danger. In this dispatch from Japan, translated by Kamila Nowak, the owner of a cleaning company living in the area writes anonymously about the toll these restrictions have taken on her business and personal life.

From THE BIG ISSUE JAPAN

Japan - Kyoto

Image by Marc Veraart via Flickr

     The place where I live is Minamisoma city, Haramachi town. The town is situated within 30 km of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, and because of that we have been forced to stay indoors.
     Everything that I have dedicated my strength, heart and soul to, is devastated. My company, my employees, the customers–all gone since the town was wiped away. All four of my shops are closed, but I managed to open the main office just a few days ago. Still, I don’t know when I have to close it again because of the evacuation orders that might come from the government. I am constantly watching the news.
     All 30 of my workers face many problems. There are people who lost their houses due to the tsunami, parents with small children that go from one shelter to another. Those who lived within a 20 km radius of the power plant were forced to leave their homes. Everyone is living in anxiety and with no one to depend upon.
     At least the company was able to secure a small income for the workers. However, the contradicting laws brought us to a state of extreme anger. In just a few hours our daily lives were destroyed by the state. We cannot call this a natural disaster; it is a man-made disaster.
     We have water, electricity, gas and all the goods we need. However, we are closed in by an invisible wall. We feel that this region is now being erased from the Japanese map.
     Newspaper, mail and goods have stopped coming in just because the town is within a 30 km radius of the plant. This is especially difficult for families that lost their relatives or friends and cannot go look for the bodies of their loved ones because of the risk of radiation. In addition, the reconstruction assistance, financial support and employment subsidies are not reaching us, because the magnitude of the aid given is based on recorded cases of similar incidents. (There have not been any nuclear power plant accidents before the one in March; therefore there is no precedent for the action to be taken.)
     Workers are a company’s greatest asset, and without capital it all falls into pieces. These are the things that should be on top of the government’s support list, but unfortunately none of the aid reaches through the border set at the infamous 30 km radius.
     Please, do not forget about us!
     Would you tell your employee to go to work within 30 km of the power plant? Would you be able to take machines, trucks and materials there? Would you invest in a company that is located in a town where an evacuation order might be given at any time? If you look from a management or an economical point of view then the answer is of course “No.” This is how the invisible wall keeps anyone from entering.
     Before all this happened, my grandchildren were running and playing in the mountains, sea, rivers and fields around the town. And they loved to come and spend time with us, in our house. They called it “Grandma’s and Grandpa’s Haramachi house.” They might never be able to come back to this place.
     Our heart is in a great despair. Thus, I will shout out, I will pray, please stop using nuclear power!
     In these difficult times our only hope is that people will have these same strong ideas against nuclear power. If you try to place a pin in all the nuclear power plants on a Japanese map, you will realize that there is no place on the coastline that is safe from natural disasters. I want to believe that human wisdom can be used to make a world full of happiness.
     Please, do not forget about us! When you use electricity remember that this electricity is supplied to you upon sacrifice of those people who live in the vicinity of the power plant.
     The only way for us to escape from this despair is if people from the outside try to raise their voices to change the government’s decisions.
     Using human wisdom, let’s produce electricity without using nuclear power! Let’s start to walk towards this destination together!
     Tell your friend and neighbors not to think of us as “poor Minamisoma inhabitants,” but to think about “unfairness that can come upon anyone.” Use that time you spend for criticizing the government to come up with an idea on how to save and reconstruct those towns that have collapsed.

(streetnewservice.org/TheBigIssueJapan)

Oi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 3, Unit 4. Locatio...

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…will we change?…before mother nature deals us another blow  ……………………..hugmamma.

real change…street news

Real Change

Image by djwudi via Flickr

It’s been a while since I posted something from one of my favorites, street newspapers. Begun to help the homeless help themselves, nonprofit ventures like Real Change here in Seattle provide a source of income for many who want to make a difference in their own lives. They’re offered a hand up, not a hand out. One such person is Reggie Thompson, Vendor of the Week.

     Reggie Thompson is discovering a new Reggie Thompson. For years, too many too-long days aboard an Alaskan fishing boat stifled his creative side and artistic ambitions. The physical–and sometimes deadly–work kept him moving 18 hours a day, seven days a week.
     Since the day he had first arrived in Alaska, Reggie had imagined he would be fishing for the rest of his life. But an injury to his wrist had cut short his life at sea. He returned briefly to previous work in telemarketing management in Anchorage, but the job then ended and Reggie moved on.
     And so it was with an injured wrist, no job and two aging parents back home in Virginia that Reggie picked up and moved to Seattle in 1997. Then, two and a half years ago, he found himselt at the Real Change office.
     “You got to work your own hours, be your own boss,” he says of the career change. “After all those years on the boat, that sounded really good to me.”
     He regularly sells more than 300 papers each month in front of the Specialty’s Cafe and Bakery at 3rd and Spring downtown. He’s close with many of the people who work there and the customers who frequent the bakery. Some just stop to buy the paper, others want to stop and talk with him at great length about his life, their lives, Alaska, music, anything.
     But while that’s been important to Reggie, it’s not what has stirred this latest transformation in him. Last year, he joined photography and community journalism classes hosted at the Real Change office.
     “I thought that journalists on the street have a lot of good stories to tell that people haven’t heard yet,” he explains. “I like writing because I can express myself and also share these stories with my customers.”
     He is also working on improving his photography skills through Path with Art, a nonprofit aimed at providing art classes to homeless and low-income individuals in Seattle. And then there’s music. When he was a young child, Reggie received a guitar from his father. Reggie taught himself to play by ear. Rock ‘n’ roll, soul, jazz; he loved it all. Years later, in the 1970s, he would even get the chance to play onstage with the Motown band The Symbolics at New York City’s historic Apollo Theater.

Apollo Theater (New York City)

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     “That was an experience I will never forget. I had been hanging out with all those guys, all those musicians in Harlem at the time. And to get to play at the Apollo, it was unforgettable.”
     Reggie is grateful for the chance to grow with his artwork now. His writing has been published in San Fransisco‘s Poor Magazine, and he writes regularly for the vendor-powered blog (insp-blog.org/realchange).
     Loyal customers who support him at his spot in front of Specialty’s are also some of the biggest supporters of his writing, artwork and music. Talking about those people–his community–he tells me, “I just enjoy working here. Since the first day I came here they’ve been a part of my life. I’ve got to thank them for supporting me through all the ups and downs. It’s beautiful, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

(Adrienne Brown…writer) 

…everyone has a compelling story…deserving to be told…hugmamma.