Yesterday, Susan and I took a scenic route on the way to Seattle from Portland OR. One of the coolest sights was a barn covered with old gas and oil company signs. There were also a few adorable dogs behind a fence.
We stopped in Ridgefield WA to see Jim’s old house in a quiet country area. He’d had a neighbor there years ago named Felix, who had worked in a chemical plant most of his life and now suffered from Mesothelioma. To my surprise, Felix is alive and fairly well. He is 93. He rents a decaying house on a large property. The house is due to be torn down in six months so the thoroughfare in front of it can be widened to four lanes. Progress. Felix said, “I guess they’ll find somewhere to put me.”
I calculate Felix’s income as next to nothing. A kind neighbor comes in and helps him with “maintenance.” He is a stark illustration of poverty in America and is about to become displaced. Since he doesn’t own the house he lives in, the county has no responsibility for re-housing him. His landlord doesn’t care what happens to him and he has no immediate family. He is an old, sick man.
The area where Felix lives is now dotted with million-dollar homes and huge spreads of tended property, many with horses. We checked out a private airfield with about 40 hangars for planes. A man was exiting his hangar and told us he and his friends loved their “toys.”
And to jump back to the other side of the tracks and end this on a light note, here is a pic of the world’s best onion soup, served at Jake’s in Portland.
Oh, and here’s the calamari.