Monday, April 25, 2011


  • A couple Salt friends and I ran into the six-year-old goddaughter of one of my story sources in the video store in downtown Portland. This child is gorgeous and sassy and easily kept us amused for about 15 minutes, talking about cartoons and reminiscing about how, a couple weeks before, she gave my visiting godson one of her stuffed animals. She considered renting ET, we could only find a VHS copy on the shelf. She grabbed the box, waltzed up to the register, and asked the staffer, "Do you have that in small?"
  • Fast forward an hour or so, and we stroll into the cemetery in the west end. A man in the distance is scanning the ground with a metal detector, and my spunkier friend decides she wants to know why. So we approach the guy. In the hand not grasping the metal detector, he holds a sizable knife. He's covered with dirt. Turns out the guy is friendly and not attempting to rob the dead, just trying to find leftover remnants left by funeral attendees. (The cemetery accepted its last member in 1910.) He's been sober for 23 years, he tells us, and hunting for small treasures is his relaxation hobby.