Saturday, September 15, 2007

Eastside Stories

With no automobile (see Curing the Oil Addiction) and it being Saturday, we headed out early on foot to the Farmer's Market at Marion Square to grab a few items and see what we could get ourselves into for the day. Near the Exxon, where a few regulars loiter around a vacant lot (soon to be new retail and condominiums), we were chatting over the fresh fruits, veggies and meats we could reasonably carry back home as a man shouted at us. Sometimes people ask for money around here. But we don't carry cash around, and we've lived here on the Eastside long enough now that even the occassional vagrant or homeless person recognizes us and no longer bothers. When someone starts yelling out, it's a sure sign they are a newbie, 'cause we're locals. This guy was crossing Meeting Street, spotted us, and nearly gets hit by a car running back toward us! We recognized him, but we don't personally know this man, so it was a little unnerving - his running at us like that. We both stopped in awe of his death defying Frogger-like crossing.

He reached the sidewalk waving a copy of the Post & Courier, and asked if we could help him. He thrust the paper toward us and said, "what does this say?" The headline read, BERKELEY'S TOP PROSECUTOR JENNINGS IS OUSTED, as he pointed insistently to the word "ousted." After providing three of the closest synonyms, and telling him ousting was equivalent to firing, he was pleased and thanked us twice.

We never fail to be surprised on the Eastside by the small, odd things that can only happen in a very diverse environment. This experience reminded us that we all sometimes just need a little help understanding the words. Thanks, Mr.

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