Friday, August 7, 2020


8/1/20 Laurelhurst neighborhood

My recent reminiscence about my brief career as a Joe’s ice cream truck driver made me think about the toney Laurelhurst neighborhood, which was my assigned route. Filled with gorgeous homes and immaculately trimmed lawns, this high-end neighborhood seemed like an ideal place to begin my new career: Safe, quiet and lots of disposable income. Surely the many stay-at-home moms wouldn’t deny their children ice cream confections on a hot summer day.

Admiring the beautiful houses and gardens as I drove slowly around all morning, “Bicycle Built for Two” looping in my music box for the umpteenth time, making decent sales for a first day on the job, I eventually heard nature’s call. Was I supposed to drive all the way back to Joe’s headquarters in the U-District to use the restroom? Look for a gas station on Sand Point Way? I was paid on commission, not hourly, and either option would take a big bite out of my time and therefore potential income.

As the day wore on, I became desperate. I should have gone back to HQ an hour ago . . .  I would have been back here by now! What if there’s no gas station on Sand Point Way? Close to panic, I spotted a woman working in her yard. Like all the others in Laurelhurst, her home looked like a page in Better Homes & Garden magazine. I pulled over.

“Please. . . I know this is an imposition . . . may I use your restroom?” I think I was close to tears, and she must have pitied me.

“Oh, of course! Come right in,” and she led me inside past fine furniture, gesturing toward the end of the hall. Her carpet was a pale-colored plush, and for a second I considered taking off my shoes, horrified that I might be tracking grass in . . . but I didn’t have time. The end of that hallway couldn’t have come soon enough.

I thanked her profusely when I got back outside, offering her as many free popsicles as she wanted. Laughing, she declined and wished me well on the rest of my route.

After dropping off our ballots last week at the Magnuson Park drop box, I drove around Laurelhurst for a while, thinking about that day. This excavator has nothing to do with that day or anything else except that I found it in Laurelhurst. I don’t remember exactly where that house was, but I am still grateful for the owner’s kindness.


  1. I've always wondered about people who have jobs like that...and even postal delivery personnel. I wouldn't be able to do it without a place to stop. lol That is a big concern when I look for a sketching location.

    1. Same here! Important question for both sketchers and ice cream vendors!


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