It was always an aloof relationship. I’d been dreaming about a Subaru Outback for years. It was going to play an important role in my move to the Pacific Northwest, rediscovering a neglected love of the outdoors, finding a dog friend, and paddling the waters of this beautiful region. So many broken promises to that Subaru.

It’s no wonder that the Subaru started looking about for someone more exciting. The Subaru found that someone in my friend Kate. Kate named her Stacey, and the two have been doing the most important of activities in these weird times – living, getting on with it*. There’s a quote from an awful movie running through my head that I can’t place – get busy living, or get busy dying.


Get Your Mask to the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall, July 2020.

Get Your Mask to the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall, July 2020.

I’m trying to figure out how to write the next part without Kate blocking my phone number and pretending we’ve never met. You see, Kate abhors sappiness, flattery, and excess sentimentality. I guess I could have just said Kate is from the midwest. She’s also an incredible writer, artist, and community builder. Shit, I went and did it. Community builder. That probably got my number blocked right there. But one of the informal photography things I miss the most is Assembly Mic. Writers bravely getting up in front of a microphone at Fred Wildlife Refuge, Vermillion, Corvus, and the Velvet Elk to read what they’ve been working on. It wasn’t a place for polished, finished works. And I loved it.

Kate has a shop at the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall. There are about 7 trailers there, 7 people running small businesses. Vintage clothing, art, cookies, coffee. And it’s in one of the coolest parts of Seattle. These are scary times. I know I’m avoiding indoor spaces and groups of people. That’s a nice thing about the GTPM – most of it is outdoors. You can do a quick browse through the trailers without feeling too claustrophobic.

If you go, check out Kate’s Blind Date with a Used Book offerings. I have two blind dates from Kate. I’ll be candid – I haven’t read either of them. It’s the wrapping that most interested me. There’s usually a descending scale of reviews. The one star (or zero star?) review never disappoints.


Kate Berwanger’s Blind Dates. Sitting next to my Portable Dorothy Parker. Seattle, 2020. (“We read it in our book club + only one person liked it.”

Kate Berwanger’s Blind Dates. Sitting next to my Portable Dorothy Parker. Seattle, 2020. (“We read it in our book club + only one person liked it.”

* Anyone who has been here before knows responsibly is implicit in that idea. Wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, and take care of workers – get in, get out, don’t start long conversations.