Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Finding Community

Some folks have requested I begin to tell some of my stories through the PNA Blog. Since my retirement is lurking in the very near future (January, 2010), they thought that it would be a good time to get some of the history that is part of my being down onto paper while I can still remember it. No faith in the aging process I guess.

Oh, by the way, I am Ed Medeiros. current (and to date the only) Executive Director of the PNA. I do have a history before PNA but I will address that some other time. For this installment I thought I would concentrate on my first community experience in Seattle.

In my former life I worked on first hill and commuted daily on the number 5 bus. Initially, I could ride and read virtually unnoticed. It was a great chance to forget about the stresses of the job, relax before getting jumped by two young boys the minute I entered my home, and before sharing the details of my day with Susan, my wife.

Then I met one, two and many more people who got off at my stop and often would be walking in the same direction. Soon I couldn't ride the bus in either direction without having a conversation with one of my new friends. We quickly established our commonalities, shared differences, opinions and eventually phone numbers. The regular riders of the #5 bus were my first community.

For the past 29 years I have commuted by foot from my house on 1st Ave. NW, up hill to the Phinney Neighborhood Center. Given my commute time I have occasion to see other neighbors readying themselves for their day. There is a friendly good morning and good evening greeting, but more in haste Not the relaxed chit chat of riding the #5 so long ago.

Not having ridden the commuter bus for so long I wonder if things have changed much. Are people still connecting or are people more isolated today?

How about some of you commuters filling me on your experiences.

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