Before social media and internet dating, people often placed personal ads in the newspaper to meet others for romantic companionship or friendship. Weekly papers, in particular, were full of column headings like “woman seeking sensitive man,” “man seeking non-smoker,” “widow seeking companionship.” One column I often read was the “I Saw You” column, which was in the Inlander, a Spoken weekly focused on art and culture.
The “I Saw You” column featured personal pleas from strangers who became heart-struck after a brief encounter with someone who left them wanting for more. They wanted to reconnect with that special someone they happened to catch a glance of at a coffee shop, maybe a short conversation in an elevator, or even a nod at a stoplight with the neighboring driver.
One time I read the column and there was a description of a “female bicyclist riding north at dusk past the golf course in blue shorts and a long blonde pony-tail.” The description fit me to a T. I rode this stretch of road every evening after work at a nearby country club where I was a lifeguard as a young adult. Of course, I never followed up, because, that’s creepy.
While dating apps and social media widely dismantled this ad revenue for local papers, society lost the pleasure of reading personals. Maybe it was a bit voyeuristic to do so, and healthier now that it’s done in the privacy of an app. However, in order, to aid and abet a friend who would like to connect with fellow valley folk with a unique hobby, here goes my attempt of the Twisp “I Saw You” column, and as a matchmaker.
I Saw You. You and your partner, male and female, middle-aged, were riding unicycles down Lincoln Street early one morning last week around 7:30 a.m. You both had great balance and concentration. So much so, it was difficult to catch your eye and identify you. We briefly greeted each other, and you continued back up Lincoln Street with smiles.
Your riding made me happy. I have a friend who took up unicycling during the first lockdown. She’d like other comrades to ride with. If you’d like to add another rider to your brigade, contact me. For other unicyclists out there, please contact me and I will make a match, no swipe left or right required: email@example.com, subject, unicycle.
On an unrelated note, I have tomatoes galore! After some anxiety over the heat wave in June, my blossoms produced copious amounts of small plum Romas. I abhor canning and canning lids are in short supply due to supply chain issues, so this year I am roasting my tomatoes and I will use them as I would sundried tomatoes or puree them into a paste and freeze. But first, a roasted veggie summer tartine is in order.
A summer tartine, you ask? Tartine is a fancy French word for “open-faced sandwich”. I highly recommend a Mazama Store baguette (or an English muffin if you missed the last baguette, as I often do). Toast the bread, slather it with warm roasted tomatoes, roasted summer squash and caramelized onions, then sprinkle with feta or chevre. Delish!