Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hello Seattle Part I


Back in 1984, I took my farthest venture away from home, passing through Seattle en route to Young Life's camp Malibu. I may be able to conjure up a date of my first sighting of the Space Needle, but the image of Seattle and the Space Needle seem to be an inseparable one, one that needs no timestamp for me.

My first real visit to Seattle, though, was the following year. Angie Hergert, a high school friend, with whom I had gone to Malibu for College Prep Week, in '85, had met a boy of interest at camp, and asked me to join her on my very first road trip-without "adults."

First time at the Pike Street Market was memorable, not only because we were on our own, but something about the history of the buildings, the shuffle of the city people, and the sites of a cosmopolitan, upscale place were something other than the familiar Portland.

As I recall various trips to Seattle, I realize that it is the city where I decided to name my first girl, Emma.

I was in the Laura Ashley store with Fiona and Erin, and at the time, Laura Ashley had a clothing line called, "Emma." We girls had a discussion that went something like...

"Emma is a pretty name isn't it?"

"Yeah, that's a pretty name."

Since I was the only one married at the time, I chimed in with, "I'll name my girl Emma." Like it was some sort of pact or something. So, I was then obligated to name her Emma, which I did, a few short years later.

Nowadays, my Emma is quite fashionable, and I still own the sweater I bought on that trip (mock me, if you must, but I have not worn it for some considerable time).

In the days of Seattle "Grunge," also the days of "Pre-kids," another road trip had me visiting an old South Young Life kid. Amber Young and I ventured north, from Eugene, to stay with our friend, Erin Lantz. This trip, now seems a happy blur: memories of driving around the city after dark with all the big city lights glowing; the Seattle Center; the Elephant car wash sign; and the giggling that comes with staying up too late ("too late" is more of a "forty-something term, rather than the twenty-something definition of time referring to "any time after midnight"). These particular recollections are mixed with a bit of sadness because I haven't seem much of those two since that trip, now almost two decades ago.