ODE TO PIE
In the sky or by and by,
We want pie until we die.
Whang dang doodle!
A treat not always sweet,
And better than strudel.
I have a mama and I love her dear,
But when I crave pie the choice is clear:
Hoosier Mama is the holy mother,
When it comes to crust there is no other.
Buttery, rich, and oh-so sinful,
I’m known to eat it by the tinful.
Seasonal fruits, berries galore,
She shops the market for what’s in store.
Classic apple, chocolate cream,
Ginger custard is supreme.
But if your tooth is not so sweet,
Mama’s got a savory treat.
Meat hand pies — you’ll need no fork,
Stuffed with tasty seasoned pork,
Or maybe beef or local lamb,
Either way, it’s a grand slam.
If you’re clad in spandex or a roomy shirt,
And enjoy sipping your dessert,
Order a pie shake from Mama P,
Available for the second time only.
She’ll take some pie — it’s eater’s choice,
Add some ice cream (hail, rejoice!),
Throw it in a whirring blender,
Proving her prowess as a vendor.
Voila le pie shake in all its glory,
And thus we end this pastry story.
The moral here is no surprise:
Be good to your mama and bad to your thighs.
Olympia’s Bakers Guild held their annual Pie Fest–a fund raiser to benefit the area’s homeless and hungry. Several local organizations donated items such as a cutting board, cheese plate, rolling pin, pie server, wooden whale, gift certificates, grocery gift certificates, hot pads, towels, oven mitts, apple corer, measuring cups, wines, George Foreman grill, lighted wine bottle, golf balls, consultations, books, toys, soaps, lotions, candles, loofa, and many gift certificates.
Olympia’s Mayor Stephen H. Buxbaum made a cameo appearance, announcing the last Saturday of February would henceforth be Olympia’s PIE DAY and Pie would was hereby declared to be its official food.
After the Pie extravaganza, organizers estimated $3,000 was raised along with the community’s consciousness.
Though attendance was high (well above the fire code rating of 81 for room occupancy) and the serving line long, it moved quickly.
Suspense rose with the bidding. The auctioneer successfully cajoled new heights in generosity.
The auctioneer’s hypnotic performance opened the room’s wallets.
$85 Apple Pie Stirs Hearts, Taste Buds
$115 Rasberry-Pomegranate Grand Prize Pie Breaks Record
Buskers Struggle, Grace Olympia’s Streets
Itty Bitty String Band ‘stuck’ in Olympia’s street scene, Clint & Sophie look forward to better times. Buskers are no longer harassed after the City Council decided to rescind a local ordinance which made this form of free speech illegal.
The City’s Mean Streets
But, having started on such a high note, it couldn’t last. The mood segued after visiting the Rajyoga India presentation in an adjacent room–deteriorated…resonating to the chilly mood and concertina wire erected by Oly’s masters.
Reminiscent of 20th century poverty laws like vagrancy and hitchhiker harassment, the visible antagonism toward the destitute was at odds with a town whose merchants would like to welcome shoppers/visitors.
Linda Oestreich, Director, was contacted at home and questioned about the sign, it’s implications, and who made the decision to mount it on the center’s wall. She referred to the facility as the ‘community center’ during the interview. She conceded no community input was sought before the sign went up. Linda admitted she had made the call and felt it wasn’t sufficiently significant to seek input from the community or allow those affected by the decision to participate in it.
Ms. Oestreich accepted the notion the center belonged to the public (or at least the City of Olympia) but insisted only visitors enrolled in a formal program or project being hosted within were welcome to socialize on the premises. Others would be allowed to pass through on the way to a destination so long as they did not tarry–much the same policy as the downtown public transportation center invokes.
When this on duty staffer was asked how long the ‘loitering’ sign had been posted, he ventured 6-8 months. Ms. Oestreich asserted it had been up much longer. She seemed nonplussed when asked what message she thought the sign conveyed to the public, but defended it as ‘necessary’ without offering specifics or a compelling reason why, while allowing the fact homeless denizens routinely use the facility’s showers @ 25 cents for 2 minutes of hot water.
The staff person became visibly nervous when pressed about the reasons/implications regarding the obnoxious sign, handing this reporter Ms. Oestreich’s business card and contact info with the suggestion questions be directed to her.
With ‘KEEP BACK’ warnings posted for pedestrians who might venture too close to the K9 police cruiser, another symbol of the fortress mentality endemic in a government supposedly ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people’ was apparent. This siege defense policy has begun to transform our very cities, like Olympia, into virtual gated communities. An important distinction, however, is unlike residential gated communities, the City’s holdings are PUBLIC! They belong (in theory) to the public for the purpose of benefiting that public, even the least of us. Yet the fear & loathing is palpable on the mean streets of Olympia.
This cabby, when questioned on what the going wage rate was, responded he easily made more than from his regular job as a truck driver on weekdays. He leases the taxi for $50/day, keeping all fares he collects.
This down & out hard scrabble busking couple sing for their supper, but also sell clothing items to the Dumpster Used Clothing Store behind them to survive. When asked if they had a website, the woman laughed and confided they were homeless.
These store window signs protesting cost cutting measures which leave the most vulnerable exposed, explain the new municipal ordinance virtually criminalizing the homeless and directing them to a handful of outlying shelters where they may or may not be admitted–if there’s room, depending on what issues the applicant has and how amenable they are to authority structures.
Still secured by an impregnable lock, this bike frame has been stripped of all essential parts. Bicyclists seeking a more publicly visible safer storage venue are threatened with signs announcing their property will be seized by the City Transit Authority after 24 hours…a chapter reminiscent of the one just played out by Olympia’s homeless youth seeking a modicum of safety on the City Hall steps adjacent to the police station downtown.
All types of undesirable artifacts end up polluting the City streets when rubbish bins and public bathrooms are inconveniently located or unavailable. Worse than the visual pollution is the threat to public health.
The owners would squirm if their downtown Olympia retail business was described as something as archaic as a ‘head shop’. 20th century colloquialisms aside, Fire & Earth is located on Franklin between 5th & State Ave. near the downtown public bus terminal. Its posted signs spell out, for the uninitiated, its wares are strictly for legal substances and they discourage/refuse service to those under 18. The staff was friendly, and sophisticated about the legal landscape affecting their business, including the entrapment not so long ago by the feds of Tommy Chong for the alleged unlawful interstate sale of ‘drug paraphernalia’. Mr. Chong entered a negotiated plea in order to free his family (sons) from the cross hairs of federal aparatchiks.
All the glassware are the creations of local artists.
Fear & Loathing
A few steps from the welcoming atmosphere in Fire & Earth awaited the antagonistic embrace of the Intercity Transit Center.
There wasn’t a whole lot a person could do according to the signs. The men’s room was out of commission and although a fair number of folk were sitting, waiting for Godot, there was little/no conversation overheard.
Unwilling to protect the bikes, Intercity Transit *is* willing to steal them.
A thriving black market exists in Olympia’s tenderloin district and underclass.
Gents might want to consider bringing an empty peanut butter jar when venturing downtown–or cross dressing.
Women’s bathroom kept under surveillance, the men’s…being distinctly uninteresting…less so.
As fares increase, Intercity Transit has cut service. As mass transit twists slowly in the wind, the State’s legislature considers a bill levying a new tax on bicycles.
Intercity Transit may find new demand for this connection in the wake of Olympia’s new anti-poverty law targeting the homeless sleeping in public spaces. Camp Coyote is located in the vicinity of the Family Courthouse.
A City, not all of whose residents now sleep lawfully at night, keeps on trucking. The question of whose streets they are remains unresolved. The increased polarization continues unabated.
Storefront vacancies experience exponential growth while the City uses the homeless as a straw man.
Zeigler’s has become a tradition over the years as virtually the only welding shop in downtown Olympia.Unlike some mixed neighborhoods, Olympia’s senior ghetto is sterile with little street presence of its members sealed behind locked doors. The nearby senior center has a ‘no loitering’ policy prohibiting socializing on the premises according to its director, Ms. Oestreich, unless enrolled in a formal program hosted by the facility. This may make the transitioning of its residents to nursing homes feel more familiar. The City has succeeded in greasing the skids to the graveyard–an efficiency that might have brought Hitler to tears.