When a Squealer Gets Squealed On
This story doesn’t have a point to it. It’s just one of those neighborhood incidents involving class warfare, neighborhood gentrification and clashing values. Here’s the full story.
In Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood, a homeless person built himself a treehouse in a local park. The locals all knew him as the Squirrelman. He didn’t bother anybody and most of the residents didn’t mind him being there. Except one.
Last March some asshole made an anonymous complaint to the city government about the Squirrelman. The city got right on it and evicted the Squirrelman from the park. They also destroyed the treehouse.
The Squirrelman (his real name is Dave Csaky) is now living in a donated RV on a farm in nearby Skagit County. If you ever read Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins — yes, Skagit County really exists.
Last week, in a local letter to the editor, a defense attorney named James Roe outed the Squirrelman’s outer. Or as the author — Danny Westneat — said, “he snitched on the snitcher.”
Roe referred to the Squirrelman’s outer as “an embarrassment to native Seattle citizens everywhere. To turn in a guy to the city who is only trying to get by, scrapping out a living, just so you can kick him out — morally I find that reprehensible…This is what Seattle has come to. In another era, Seattle had room for people like The Squirrelman. What happened to tolerance? There’s no place for it now, among all the nouveau riche.”
The cowardly snitch turned out to be a couple: Betsy and Dale Sherrow, owners of the nearby Seattle Caviar Co.
Dale Sherrow was away on business when Danny Westneat called them. Betsy Sherrow called their outer “an outrageous jerk.” She said: “We aren’t snitches. We are responsible citizens who felt that if we stayed silent, we would be promoting something that’s wrong…We do cater to higher-end customers, but it’s a small business — we’re not exactly over here eating bonbons and having a maid clean our toenails.”
Well, that’s good to know.
Danny Westneat admits that there can be a thin line between a snitch and a whistleblower; one person’s snitch is another person’s whistleblower.
Sort of like the terrorists and freedom fighters in Central America during our 1980s proxy invasion.
“Oh my God, did you read about this? A bunch of anti-government guerrillas came sweeping into a village and massacred all the women and children and tortured all the husbands!”
“What country was that?”
“Hail the Freedom Fighters!”
“Oh, wait a minute, no it was El Salvador.”
“What??? Those bloodthirsty F#$%&!$# terrorists!”
cross-posted at Bring It On!
Labels: Betsy and Dale Sherrow, Danny Westneat, Dave Csaky, James Roe Seattle defense attorney, Seattle Caviar Co., Seattle Eastlake, Skagit County, the Squirrelman, Tom Robbins Another Roadside Attraction