After leaving home and picking up our traveling companions, Dave and Brody, we hit the road for Seattle. Dave and I hadn't spent much time getting to know one and other and now we're thrown into a three week trip together with a number of other people that I can pretty much say the same thing about. It was refreshing to hear that Dave was feeling bitter sweet about leaving his wife and their older son for some of the same reasons I was. Dave grew up in Chicago and landed in Missoula when he and his wife moved back to her home town. I always find it fascinating to find how people end up in Missoula. Being born and raised there, I can't help learning about what twist of fate has brought people across my path. Especially when I can't imagine leaving the place I was born. Other than getting to know Dave quite a bit better and, finding yet again, the Ragsdale-Starks have a great group of friends, we spent two or more hours on an assignment we agreed to take on for Peter. Finding USA men's world cup jerseys for six of his friends in Brazil. It seems that the US men's team is a team of note this world cup. Advancing from the group of death, beating Ghana and tying Portugal has gone a long way toward elevating our nation's soccer status in the eyes of Peter's Brazilian friends. As Dave can attest it has also gone a long way toward raising the status of soccer in the eyes of Americans near and around Seattle, Washington. In calls to three Dick's Sporting Goods stores, two Sports Authorities, and a half-dozen other stores we found that the only jerseys available in the greater Seattle area were at the Nike Town store in downtown Seattle.
The Nike Town experience on the phone was less than expected. Through some strange twist the retail minds at Nike had identified US Men's soccer jerseys as some sort of mana from heaven. After spending better than twenty minutes verifying said merchandise was actually in the store, I was yet again transferred to another "Athlete" for checkout. Take notice, regular clerks need not apply to Nike Town for a job. Unless they happen to bring their "Athlete" identification card. Mere clerks will not do working for the Greek goddess Nike who is now a retail giant in most major cities across the United States. Upon offering a credit card to my "athlete" over the phone to pay for the jerseys I was told they do not hold merchandise and would not accept pre-payment in order to hold them. She was resolute about this, as crazy as that sounds, so I hung up and we headed for Nike Town. With urgency. After all these were the last six US jerseys in Seattle.
When we arrived the experience improved. Everyone was very helpful and at the checkout counter they were, thankfully, happy to take payment for the merchandise. We didn't even have to show our "athlete" cards. Believe me, I was thankful for that because in my months of planning and numerous conversations with traveling mates, it never came up that I should pack my "athlete" card, so I left it at home. Seriously! Pardon the digression. Turns out the particular "athlete" that was assisting me was from Montana. Manhattan, Montana. She looked athletic and she was by far the oldest athlete/clerk in the store. She may have been older than I am. The first sign that universal harmony had returned was when she happened to mentioned that after she would finish her morning runs in Manhattan she would have a cigarette. She immediately had my respect. Thank god for this moment of balance. While Dave was paying for his goods the man assisting him asked if he was going to be wearing his jersey this coming Tuesday while watching the game. Dave then told him he was going to be at the game, we all had a "No Shit" moment and left for dinner.
Its refreshing to know that a person can find entertainment anywhere. Never a dull moment. Signing off, wishing you all find happiness in life through peace and harmony. Know that you'll always have more than you need and never have less than you want.