Mary Anne Dickerson and Ed Hirschler are the principals in See Monster Window Cleaning Service, and in each other’s lives. There’s a good chance Fremonsters have seen them daily, know them or may be doing business with them. The name of their business, See Monster, is a metaphor; Earth’s species adapted from living in the sea to dominate the land.
Always previously on foot, the duo, Mary Anne with her big backpack and Ed with his hand truck carrying the tools of their trade, exhibit a resilience that is immediately evident. It’s easy to get to know and trust them, and both prefer being known by, and knowing people, on a first-name basis.
This month, they purchased an excellent condition 1998 Ford Windstar van with a loan from Mary Anne’s dad. Their sole intent: to take See Monster to the next level. They want to expand their reach and transport more tools to ply their trade.
Mary Anne’s business degree from Central Washington University, and some hard earned life skills, provide the marketing, accounting, clerical skills, heart and determination that provide the structure of their ten-year partnership in life, and with See Monster.
Ed, with his charismatic smile and ready-to-help attitude, provides the sweat and labor. They form an inseparable pair, like a two-piece puzzle, joined at the hip, completing each other’s sentences, and sometimes both talking at once. Together ten years, they have, at times, lived in their vehicle.
Mary Anne grew up in Port Townsend, adopted. At the age of nine, she had bone and brain cancer, and endured over three years of radiation and chemo-therapy. The trauma has left her with gaps in memory from that time. Hers was a development that, she admits with a patient, cat-like presence, alternately made her lose her innocence early, yet stunted her in the path to maturity.
Today, in her early 40’s, she does her best to live “la pura vida” in Fremont fashion, and still manage her hopes and health fears, that occasionally manifest in long- term depression.
Ed, born in Oklahoma, a southern boy, was uprooted to California as a child. He was lured to Seattle in the 1990’s by the grunge music movement, and his dreams of being a drummer in a band. He had many gigs and even auditioned for Alice in Chains. Gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson is his hero, and he shares that icon’s love of music, life, words and writing.
Ed admits his boundless personality needs Mary Anne to give him boundaries, confidence and direction. Together, they help each other keep their demons in check.
See Monster Plans A Future in Fremont
See Monster regular clients, as described by Ed in cheerleader fashion, include Condor Electronics, Speed Queen Laundromat, M&S Deli, Caravan Carpets and Pacific Inn Pub. They also provide day labor to various people and businesses around the area. The day after Deluxe Junk closed their doors, Ed and Mary Anne were recruited to help move the bones and remains of 34 years in business.
The pair are full of hopes and dreams for See Monster. Ed cites his goals as, “become contributing members of society,” and “grow a business to a successful level.” They’ve started developing marketing tools, such as business cards, logo art, and once they can afford them, a website, uniforms and hats. Ed is grateful when he describes the technical assistance and ‘training’ he’s received from Puget Sound Reprographics.
They love Fremont, and plan to stay. They hope to move from their cramped studio apartment, with their cats, to a larger place. They are saddened by some of the recent business closures, especially The Buckaroo Tavern, yet people are “friendly and easy to approach here,” Ed says. The Wednesday Community Dinner, held at the Doric Lodge, is a regular outing, and the Ballard Food Bank is one of “the best.”
Ed and Mary Anne, never the types to wallow, sit or be couch potatoes, enthusiastically participate in the Fremont community festivals and street scenes. The Fremont Fair photo collection on Facebook includes Ed in his signature Gorilla suit, with Mary Anne on his right-side in black & white, looking cat-like.
Last weekend, Ed got out the suit – cleaned and combed – for the Fair, while Mary Anne continued living one of her nine lives at his side. To hire See Monster, give her a call at 206/430.2910.
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text & photos ©2012 Bill Crossman
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site ©2012 Kirby Lindsay