A walk through the once most livable city
Seattle photo journal
Some of you may remember my distraught post of a few months ago, where I mentioned my dad had had enough and was putting himself on the suicide-by-starvation plan (no food or water). Thankfully that failed. I once read a post in the Political Theatre section of LRC that talked about the horror of starvation, and what sort of heinous things people would resort to to get food. The author was making the case that we’ll all lose our moral bearings and become monsters if sufficiently hungry. Then I thought of those Irish prisoners who stoically took it all the way to death with their hunger strikes. Then I thought of Guantanamo, where the prisoners would prefer death and tried to go on hunger strike but they force fed them- but I digress.
Anyway, it all got me thinking about my dad’s chances of pulling it off, but in the end it wasn’t the hunger but the thirst that wrecked his plan. I should say his ‘half-baked plan’, because he jumped the gun, thinking he could do it alone; the hospice people (home Kevorkian service) had already told him, “You need to follow the guidelines rigidly,” and they were right. You need a smiling, grim-reaper nurse by your side, guiding you along, administering drugs, etc., not just your wife, acting as the true nurse, whose loving instinct is to run to the fridge and fetch you a cold drink or ham sandwich.
When I got to Seattle with my daughter, back in March, there was dad in bed, and on the night stand was a huge glass of ice water. He took a sip while we were in the room and with a grin, said, “Boy! Isn’t ice water great!”
I’ll not mention the intervening few weeks between the aborted suicide and his death. Suffice to say he died naturally, asleep (or half asleep), with my step-mom and my brother by his side. And thankfully, while I was with him, he’d seemed to have lost any anger or bitterness about God. I reminded him of the time he said that if there was a God and he met Him, he’d shake his fist and give him a piece of his mind regarding the sorry state of Creation. This surprised him and he said, “I don’t remember saying that!” Being a believer in the immortality of the soul, I at least got dad to promise to be humble if indeed he were to find out that there’s life on the other side. So he won’t be meeting his maker with a clenched fist. There’s that, right?
I took the Greyhound again from Missoula, with a stop in Spokane. Like I said before, a big advantage to the bus is you have multiple opportunities to get out into the fresh air and move around. And there’s never a fasten-your-seatbelt warning with the seatbelt marms patrolling the aisle, like on a plane. And no TSA goons! Yesterday’s post has highlights from that ride.
As I said yesterday, I was quite pleased and relieved to see that the masks had come off at Sunset Retirement Home. Not even the front desk people (a she and a they I think) wore a mask. Unfortunately, the blue-collar workers walking around mostly wore masks. For crying out loud, the good-think liberal-arts majors at reception were done masking, but the callus-handed contractors were masked up! I’ll bet Sunset asked or required them to do it.
In the elevator at the retirement center they put up signs advertising the latest events. One poster advertised a history lecture on The Making of Modern Ukraine. Everyone around here is a normie so I figured the lecturer would be someone from the let’s bomb evil Russia and start WW3 crowd. More interesting was this topic:
My step mother and I ate in the dining room that evening. It was nice to again see people’s smiles. Unfortunately, the wait staff was under the same directive as the electricians and plumbers- Mask up, peons!
I got up early the next morning to take a walk around town, but not as early as the tourists lining up at Starbucks #1.
The last guy in line was young Japanese man, alone, wearing nice new white sneakers and ironed clothes, wearing a backpack and pushing a carry-on suitcase. It’s weird, I like doing stuff alone, but I’m like Robert Redford, who can’t stand seeing someone eating alone at a restaurant so he asks if he can join them (I’m not that bold or desirable a dinner partner as RR but you get the idea). I want that last guy in line to have a girlfriend, or wife, or sister or crazy buddies he can joke with. It saddens me to see him in a situation that actually wouldn’t make me sad and that he might not be sad about either, blugghhh.
The Norwegian Bliss is in town.
I say hello to whoever makes eye contact, but this one dude looked mean. He was huge and muscular with tats and a grim expression. He looked over at me and said, “Thank you for your service!”
After walking along the sound on this uber-Seattle cloudy day in May, I crossed Elliot Avenue next to the sprawling Expedia.com complex and hiked up the west end of Queen Anne Hill, which is one of Seattle’s most beautiful neighborhood$.
The park you walk through to get to the west Queene Anne neighborhoods is lush, like lowland hiking anywhere in western Washington.
I love these old houses, now occupied by tech gazillionaires I suppose.
One dude isn’t impressed with the local wealth:
After a long walk around Queene Anne hill, I headed back home via Seattle Center, once home of the wild mouse roller coaster from the ‘62 world’s fair; the young Thunderbirds hockey team, playing (and brawling) in the Arena; the Sounders soccer team, back when they all spoke English (coming from England, of course); and the Sonics, who played at the Coliseum, which is now called, excuse me while I barf, The Climate Pledge Arena.
Here’s a little Seattle sports trivia for you: The Sounders, playing at Memorial Stadium in Seattle Center for 3 years in the 70s, were never rained on during a home game! And did you know that Seattle had a Stanley-Cup championship team? The Metropolitans beat the Montreal Canadiens in 1917.
There’s a lot of construction going on in Seattle with new buildings everywhere.
This neighborhood looked like Gangnam West. Indeed the well-dressed Asian women I saw here coulda been straight out of Seoul:
In this area, across from Paul Allen’s Rock n Roll museum at the Center, there’s a fancy new place: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Discovery Center. It’s free and there’s a sign welcoming you in, and I still had a little time to kill before my dad’s memorial up at brother Tom’s house, so I thought I’d give it a look. I’ll post my experience there tomorrow, hopefully after your lunch is fully digested.
It will be a somewhat depressing but timely post. Don’t want to mix good and ugly too much, so here I’ll tack on the photo I wanted to close this 3-part Seattle series with. Dear old dad, back around when he was sailing on and flying off the Hornet: