So yesterday was August Mallory's going away party. For all that don't know, August is a vendor/writer/volunteer who has been with Street Sense from the start. He helped bring in some of our first vendors and was the first vendor to ever purchase papers from Street Sense. He has also been writing a fictional series called Marvin Hammerman since the the second issue. (Fortunately for us, he said he would continue it when he leaves DC.)
August has decided to pick up and move way across country to Seattle, Wash. for reasons that are still unclear. But he has his mind set and will be flying out tomorrow. So last night we had a little going away party for him in the Parish Hall of the church where we are located. To be honest the party was kind of thrown together in a couple weeks, but it turned out wonderfully with great food, lots of people and many memories (and inpersonations of August.) A great mix of people attended including vendors, volunteers and readers.
The main part of the evening consisted of people standing up in no particular order to say a little bit about August and what they like/remember most. There were quite a few, "Street Sense. $1. $1." inpersonations and many comments about August's reliability and, um, dry, sense of humor ("Boy, I'll tell ya.") And at the end of it all long time volunteer David Hammond "retired" August's number complete with a 3-foot tall badge with his photo. But the great surprise of the night was this acapella gospel trio that sung two songs for August. (Really the biggest surprise of that was that vendor Charles Nelson was the one who actually brought the group in.)
It was a great night and very heartwarming and enjoyable. It was great to see how many lives August has touched and effected. That's what Street Sense is all about: our vendors putting a face to homelessness and showing people that we are all the same inside and have the same hopes and dreams and common caring for others.
We will miss August greatly at the Street Sense office. From the beginning he has been Mr. Reliable and has been a great promoter of the paper as well. But his legacy will remain in his many had written signs around the office, his continued Marvin Hammerman story, and most importantly the empty space that is now left at the corner of Conn. Ave, and K streets near Farragut North.
If you have any memories of August, PLEASE share them. We would love to here how he has effected your life....LAURA