Halley Knigge (Griffin)

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The Usual Suspects

Despite what you may think, upon moving to Tacoma after a year in a 20,000-person Idaho town, this city really ain’t so big.

Tacoma is nearly 10 times the size of Moscow, Idaho (yes, home of the GIANT PALOUSE EARTHWORM) but has been slowly shrinking every day of the eight months I’ve been back.

(Image courtesy of UIdaho News)

First I started to recognize people around T-Town. Downtown especially there’s a certain cast of characters who all seem to have a hand in everything (I secretly want to be one). This happened in the ‘Scow too, but it was more immediate. With the city councilmen doubling as firefighters and “downtown” (downtown is made up of about three 6-block stretches of parallel streets) business owners, they were kind of hard to miss.

Then I stopped getting carded at my regular haunts. I’d like to believe this is due more to my frequent visits, rather than some kind of rapid-aging potion in our most delicious of tap waters. I also got to recognizing the “usual suspects” from my favorite spots.

Then I started recognizing THESE people out and about in Tacoma, and being able to predict when and where they might appear. For example, frequenters of 1022 South also seemed likely to check out the book arts fair Wayzgoose this past weekend at King’s Books, or the Hotel Murano sponsored “Tweetup” last week.

But then the circles started to overlap. People from all over Tacoma attended the Tweetup, many of whom I’d already “met” online — this new media really adds another dimension to meeting people, eh?

In addition to these new crowds I’m mixing up with, there are the people I know from growing up in Proctor, from going to Stadium High School, from working at a school — and it’s not just me. It happens to everyone who calls themselves gritty.

It’s a web slowly spreading over Puget Sound, turning Tacoma into one BIG small town.