The brush still burns, the afflicted gaze on ashes where once stood their home, ranchers count the dead stock and see the black range — anger and anguish are as natural as lightning, heat and wind. It is the season for second guessing.
I thought I’d call the Red Cross Apple Valley Chapter Tuesday, to get a feel for how the fire relief efforts were going, maybe find out a little bit more about what people might need. I dialed the given number, 663-3907, and got a recording suggesting that lines were busy, please call back. And I called back, and called back, and then got Red Cross volunteer Sue Frese on the line. It sounded like she was working one of those political boiler rooms. The background was filled with voices, obviously ...
What do you say to someone who just lost their home? Is there something meaningful to contribute to people who hours before saw much of their town swept away by a wave of flame? Not just one house or two, but the town? The work of countless people over a century, to make their home and their livelihood and raise their families where Methow meets Columbia, is now an orange glow in a rearview mirror, a column of ash they’ll pick up on Seattle weather radar.
If you want a break from your fire evacuation prep, packing the photo albums, passports and tax records, you might want to ponder the latest reality avoidance in Congress. It may divert your anger, as you marvel at the many ways fiscal irresponsibility can be taken to new heights. It truly is astonishing.
Yes, I was an ice cream man. I worked the streets. Just me, my truck, a music box on loudspeaker, and a freezer full of treats on a stick. My trade was convincing little kids to part with their nickels and dimes, and I was good, very good. On a hot summer Saturday, when the asphalt sizzled and bare feet would burn on the sidewalk, I could move the equal of 1,200 Fudgsicles at a dime apiece, because I was the ice cream man.