Barb and I went into Seattle today. For some reason it was all a bit surreal to me.
We were just walking down the sidewalk and I saw a couple guys looking at speed loader filled with hollow-point cartridges. One guy was explaining, “This are 180 grain…” I kept on walking and didn’t hear the rest. How odd I thought. In broad daylight on the sidewalk in Seattle openly exercising their right to keep and bear arms. Who would have thought it would happen in Seattle?
We walked on toward the library (Barb was going to do some genealogy research) and we saw this vehicle all of a sudden stop then back up, fast, for several hundred feet out of sight over a small hill on 4th. Something is going on. I looked around and saw two guys, in plain clothes, with radios on the corner next to us. Across the street ahead of us were two more people with radios. A siren in the distance was getting closer. And I noticed the street was completely empty except for the vehicle I had seen earlier which had parked almost out of sight on the opposite side of 4th from where I had seen him back up at high speed. It was a strange vehicle. It was a very flat shade of dark greenish blue and the headlights were covered with the same flat color. It had a boom on top with some sort of small platform at the end of the boom. It was too small to hold a person but I couldn’t figure out what it was. Here is a picture which I took later:
I decided it was time to leave but one of the guys with radio asked us to go in a different direction, “There’s going to be a vehicle coming around the corner right away and I don’t want you in the way.” Fair enough, we can go the other direction. I then figured it out, or pretty close anyway. “Is there some filming going on?” I asked. “Yeah, we’re filming a Lincoln Navigator commercial.”
We stayed to watch and a minute or so later the vehicle with the boom and a black Lincoln Navigator came zooming up the street at probably 35 or 40 MPH with the Lincoln not more than 15 feet behind the first vehicle. The boom did a smooth dance from one side to the front and then to the other side. As they came to the corner the boom vehicle went straight and stopped beside us as the Lincoln did a sharp turn to the right with it’s tires squealing and went up the street we were about to cross. The end of the boom finished it’s dance as the two vehicles stopped.
We were given permission to cross the street and were thanked for our patience.
We went on the the library and I set up my laptop at a desk while Barb did her research. I looked at a sign with the rules and regulations of the library. No weapons allowed. This was the Seattle I expected-violating state law on guns (gun laws are the sole domain of the state). I need to send a letter to the city prosecutor asking them for “clarification” on that sometime.
There were a couple people outside my window on the Federal Courthouse lawn with dogs that looked like they were training the dogs for searching. I watched for a while and some people came up to them and appeared to ask them to leave. Hmm… Law enforcement doesn’t like them sniffing around the courthouse? Unknown–but they left without much discussion as far as I could tell.
Later the boom vehicle and two black Lincoln Navigators parked on the street outside my window while people milled around setting up something else. It took quite a while as they unpacked some equipment and I mostly ignored them until a tall very slender black guy in a ragged jacket, so ragged that looked as if it were about to fall off him in several pieces, came up to me. He softly asked if I had any idea what was going out there. “Yes, we saw them earlier and I asked someone what was going on. They said they were filming a Lincoln Navigator commercial.” His eyes got a little bit bigger and he became very somber. “Someone is sending a subliminal message. Certain people had better leave town if they don’t want to get killed.” “Huh? I don’t understand.” He didn’t answer for several seconds and finally he told me his reasoning, “Lincoln freed the slaves. And to navigate sort of means to move.”
The conversation didn’t get any better from there. He went on about how the CIA could program people to do whatever they wanted them to do. And he had first hand knowledge of that. They could make people commit crimes they would never do on their own. And they could plant devices in them so they could track them by satellite. Then he told me I had a vague resemblance to Joe Kennedy. “You know who he was don’t you?” “Yes, he was John Kennedy’s father.” He got just a little bit intense and said, “He was much, much, more than that. He was a bootlegger, a slave trader, and ran gambling and prostitution. People don’t talk much about that but it’s true.” Not wanting to engage him any more but not wanting show any disrespect to him either I said I knew about the bootlegging but not about the other stuff. But I did tell him that it was all very interesting. And that I was no relation to Joe Kennedy. “Is that your name too?”, he asked. “Nope, my last name is Huffman”, hoping he didn’t know any famous slave traders by the name of Huffman. He asked if I was from around here. “No, I grew up in Idaho. Where are you from?” “You are still a northwesterner and that’s good. I’m a man of the world. A man without a country. Sort of like Dr. King.”
He rambled on for a while more about Congress putting people in their place, about we don’t have freedom of speech anymore, and about people being put in prison without a trial. I was glad when the announcement came over the speakers that the library was closing and Barb showed up and was ready to leave. As I packed up my computer my conversation partner walked away–much to my relief.
We went to Coyote Creek Pizza in Kirkland for dinner which is one of our favorite places. Then we watched the chick flick, The Last Kiss. It was a pretty good movie. It won’t be a classic and in some ways it was a rip-off of The Big Chill but it was nice enough.
End of the day. Time for bed now.