A SOCIAL DISTANCING STORY 
Monday, April 13, 2020, 10:05 AM
Posted by Administrator
This past Saturday, thinking that a client's check or important mail might be in my PO Box (nothing was), I rode my ratty, faded-orange, single speed beach cruiser from our home in Palm Beach Gardens the 9 miles to the Post Office on Clematis St. in downtown West Palm Beach. First, mostly East to Flagler Drive then South on the sidewalk on the West side of Flagler (the East side path along the Intracoastal Waterway was too crowded with people fishing, walking, biking and gathering for a free-food-for-the-homeless giveaway at Curry Park).

I made a right turn at the downtown park where the library used to be (does it have a name?) then headed West on Clematis St past a dozen closed-down restaurants and bars. The street was almost empty. The only open business seemed to be Nico's pizza.

There were "ROAD CLOSED" signs blocking the East end of the 500 block but the sidewalk looked to be open. I rode past the railroad tracks and saw that the street itself was completely torn up...about to be rejuvenated, replaced, narrowed as the 100, 200 and 300 blocks had already been. A man in the center of what had been the street was alone, working a backhoe.

I rode up the South sidewalk past Respectable's (the only older Clematis St. bar that I have never been to) and alongside the closed-down former Sewall's Hardware building. The sidewalk had been empty but, now, a man made a right turn next to the hot dog place and began walking towards me. I was glad to see that he was wearing face maask.

The sidewalk was narrow. I approached an empty lot on my left but recently installed posts linked together by a thick chain kept me on the concrete. I pulled as far to the left as I could to give the masked-man room to pass from a distance. As he approached, I acknowledged him with a small right hand wave......my thumb stayed looped around the handlebars.

He kept walking towards me and when he got to about 2 feet away from me, he reached up to his mask, pulled it down off his face, looked me straight in the eye and said "Thanks bud!".


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