The Return of Big Hands Guy

3479939918_f2790b5b73_zLong time Wallingford residents and storekeepers may remember Big Hands Guy. From a 2010 Wallyhood post on him:

he usually has a NY accent, says he’s from Alaska (he’s real friendly, see), and his 8-month pregnant wife is sitting in a coffee shop down the street, and she has all the receipts in her purse.  this is after he’s scouted the premises, found a high-ticket item, and brings it up to the counter to “return”.

He’s about 6’2″, about 210 lbs, has dark hair that’s short but curly and often a mustache. Oh yeah, and big hands. 

Well, he’s back. Emily from Seattle Mosaic Arts writes:

…is back. I wasn’t sure who to inform, but figured the blog is a good forum. I’ve read about him on the blog in years past, and now I’ve been duped by him, unfortunately.

He came into our little mosaic studio last Wednesday, early afternoon, August 27. He fits the same description as before – about 200lbs, maybe 5’10″, dark short curly hair, very friendly-seeming, and the signature big hands. I was in the back room when he walked in, offered to answer any questions he might have, and went about my tasks. I had completely forgotten about the existence of this scammer, having been 3 or 4 years since hearing anything about him, and I wasn’t feeling well that day, so I didn’t have my radar in full tune.

He brought me a pair of glass cutters, saying his wife had bought the wrong tool, and could he return them. He put on a good show to make it seem as though he/his wife was interested in mosaics, glass cutting, etc. She was supposedly in a cab around the corner, too tired to come in and do the return herself. His story this time was that he was from Alaska, and was down here working on a large ship. He was super sweaty and went on about how hot it was working in the hull of the boat. He even mentioned something about his hands having swollen, telling me his next stop was the hospital. Had I been in top form, I may have remembered the previous stories from Wallyhood about him. Alas…

My biggest mistake was not asking for a receipt! Our little community is so wonderful and trustworthy, that I didn’t think twice. Silly me. I refunded him the money – the tool was worth about $40 – and he went on his way. My boss today put the pieces together that this was “Big Hands Guy”. I am infuriated and I am upset with myself for not having put it together that day. I feel very violated and duped.

Be warned, tell your employees, tell your neighbors, and be on the look out for this guy.

(Photo by Ariel Schlesinger. Not the actual hand.)

Garlic Gods

image005Ashley writes:

My neighbors Earl and Jo-Anne always grow lots of elephant garlic. Earl told me that years and years ago, when he and Jo-Anne moved in to their house, two neighbors – “two old guys” Earl describes them – always grew elephant garlic and gave some to Earl and Jo-Anne.  They’ve grown it ever since.

Earlier this summer, Earl was cutting down the dried stalks of the garlic and put a stack of them into the branches of one of their cherry trees on their parking strip.  Yesterday morning, this playful sign showed up hanging in the tree.

Earl doesn’t know who did it — other than “the Garlic Gods,” of course.  But he got a real kick out of it. We don’t know what the Latin says at the bottom – neither of us speak Latin and I haven’t hit up the interwebs for it quite yet.

I happened to be walking my dog and chatting with Earl yesterday when he came upon it.  One of the many, many reasons I love my neighborhood – gardening humor!

image006 (1)Maybe an Wallingford Latin scholar can help with the translation?

On a related note, the cherry tomatoes outside our house (4065 4th Ave NE) are ripe and have a sign on them: “Please Snack On Me”. If you have fruits or vegetables growing near the sidewalk of your house, and don’t mind sharing with a passing neighbor, let them know! It’s a shame to see so many apples and plums and such going to waste.

Wallingford Bicyclist Struck and Killed

306664_10100119737856181_377555799_nWe’re very sad to report that Sher Kung, who lived near the Ladybug here in Wallingford, was struck and killed by a truck while on her bicylce Friday morning. KIRO reports that she was traveling in the left side of the street bicycle lane on 2nd Ave, and that “witnesses said the bicyclist was heading south in the bicycle lane next to the truck when she was hit as the driver made the left turn.”

Sher was a lawyer at Perkins Coie law firm. She leaves behind her partner Christine Sanders and their seven month old daughter, Bryn.

Her neighbor Paul McClinton let us know that Sher was earning a living for the family at the time of her death, so a fund has been created to help the family. More information on the fund here.

(Photo from Sher’s Facebook page.)

OWL Meeting

Carol sent along this announcement:

University House at Wallingford 4400 Stone Way N

Saturday, September 6, 2014
Coffee and Greetings – 10:30 a.m. Business Meeting – 10:45 a.m.

Protect Yourself and Your Money from $chemes and $cams – 11:30
Guest Speaker: Jean Mathisen, Program Director, AARP Fraud Fighters Call Center

Each year Americans lose more than $40 billion to telephone, mail and internet fraud. The con artists are clever and creative in the variety of scams they use to trick us into giving them what they want. Unfortunately for many, financial abuse can be more than just “stranger danger.” Culprits can include family members or trusted confidantes. Be Informed and keep safe. Protect yourself and your future.

Call Carol if you need info (206) 325-6622. Parking available under University House 44th Street entrance.


Hope and the Future

Charles Johnston has written a book that asks whether we can be optimistic about the future:

Hope_and_the_Future__An_Introduction_to_the_Concept_of_Cultural_Maturity_-_Kindle_edition_by_Charles_M__Johnston_MD__Politics___Social_Sciences_Kindle_eBooks___Amazon_com_Hope and the Future examines what legitimate hope for the future necessarily depends on. It describes how we face a growing number of human challenges that require that we think, act, and relate in new ways—often fundamentally new ways. And it looks at how addressing those challenges will require not just fresh ideas, but a critical “growing up” as a species—a new Cultural Maturity.

In a beautiful turn of philosolocavorism, or perhaps localegism, he is offering his neighbors here in Wallingford free copies. Charles writes:

Dear Neighbors,

I’d like to make a new book of mine available to my Wallingford neighbors as it might make a good source of neighborhood conversation as we plan for Wallingford’s (and the planet’s) future. For those who don’t know me, I’m a psychiatrist and futurist who has written numerous books on the future and the new kinds of thinking—and general cultural “growing up”—that future challenges of all sorts will require of us. “Hope and the Future” is the first book I have written for a broad audience. I could imagine it being a book people in the neighborhood might find of value.

The publisher is happy to make free digital copies available if I ask — and they said copies for my neighbors are just fine. You can go to the book’s website to see if it is something you might have interest in. If you would like a copy, simply email Lyn Dillman at [email protected] and let her know what  format you would prefer to receive it in (e-pub or pdf).

4778780a67420a7e9d9a72.L._V390973268_SY470_In spite of being short and written for a general audience, “Hope and the Future” is necessarily still a challenging book. We live in challenging times that ask new things of us—that is the book’s message. It describes how our times are requiring a new maturity and sophistication in how we think and act in all parts of our lives—from the most personal of daily and community choices, to the decisions we make collectively as a species. The book argues that this greater maturity and sophistication is in the end common sense. But it also makes clear how this is a kind and degree of common sense that we as a species have not before been capable of fully making sense of, much less putting into action.

If you get a copy and read it, I hope you enjoy and find it of value. And I look forward to conversations that might grow out of it. ICD Press is the publishing arm of the Institute for Creative Development, a not-for-profit think tank and center for advance leadership training. The Institute is dedicated to supporting and clarifying the kind of understanding and action a healthy and vital human future will require. (You can learn more about the Institute’s work at

All the best in community – Charles Johnston, MD


A neighbor writes (I think non-passively aggressively):

May I request that you post the following about reminding neighborhood dog owners to observe proper dog walking/scooping etiquette? Thanks!

Dear Dog Owners of Wallingford -

Just a friendly reminder to pick up your canine’s feces immediately after he or she deposits it. Not only is it a health hazard, but you can be fined if you do not pick it up. Please read the information here to refresh your memory as to why it is so important, and the potential financial consequences.

Understand if you have forgotten a bag, if so – please go back and pick it up. Or if you see someone else who was not courteous, please pay it forward, and pick up that.

Many thanks for helping keep our neighborhood healthy.

- Your Neighbors

Not sure about the potential financial consequences: I’d lay down money that a ticket hasn’t been written for that crime in years, if ever, in this city, but the rest holds, I’d say.

Artist’s Way Classes

ArtistsWayAdLooking for some inspiration and guidance for your creativity? Kate Gavigan is offering Artist’s Way Classes:

The Artist’s Way Classes Are Now Open for Fall Registration

The Seattle Artist’s Way Center is excited to be offering Artist’s Way classes again this fall. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is an international bestseller on the subject of creativity.

Whether you see yourself as an artist or not, this material can be an incredibly useful resource to tap into your creative side which can benefit many areas of your life. The 12 week class takes students through the book with an emphasis on the chapter tasks and additional creativity exercises. This material can work with anyone, no matter how dormant or energized their creative life may be, and can enhance their ability to be more fully and genuinely themselves. To quote Julia, “In order to retrieve your creativity, you need to find it.” The Artist’s Way material can help you do just that.

The Artist’s Way is twelve sessions over twelve weeks, and takes place at the Windows on Art Gallery in Wallingford. See the Artist’s Way Center web site to register or for more information.

(This is a sponsored post.)

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