“That’s worth about $20 at auction,” Larry Mroczek said matter of factly.
As if he’d seen everything before, including me and my picture. The one I’d just lugged down Third Street with a frame the size of a small canoe. Mroczek Brothers Auctioneers have been in business for more than 45 years. Larry is the patriarch of the family.
As we stood, Larry and I, considering the subject of my painting, the image of a woman peering deeply into a peach-sized glowing fireball held aloft in her fingertips.
“According to my husband,” I begin feeling a little like I’ve just pulled my Dorian Gray out of the attic, “I have unwittingly amassed art with a similar theme.” I smiled at Larry. The watercolor scroll was called “A Woman Searches the Unknown by Following her Heart.”
Larry was a bit intimidating. He was cool as a cucumber. His demeanor reminded me of a thousand-year-old vampire in the presence of an only slightly amusing human. I don’t mean to compare him to the undead — he was sophisticated in a worldly, no nonsense, Donald Trump sort of way.
And here I was wearing a Transformer T-shirt, black muddy leather boots and jeans with mud caked at the knees.
Amelia was drawing on her art table when she asked me how to spell, scroll. I thought it was a bit odd but answered her without question…even though she’s only seven, she’s an amazing artist with a deep soul.
Fifteen minutes later I was brushing my teeth when she handed over a white, rolled “papyrus” style scroll. I unravelled it and discovered some sage advice.
Dec. 27 was a dark and stormy night. Kim Blake remembers that detail because that was the night — technically afternoon — on which the service manager at McLendon Hardware in Renton saved a life.
A customer came into the store a little after 4 p.m. that day and told workers that another customer, a 52-year-old Renton man, had fallen to the ground of the parking lot.
Sharina Brock, another McLendon’s manager, rushed out to the parking lot and returned inside, where she announced that the man wasn’t breathing.
Blake, trained in CPR, grabbed the store’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and attached it to the fallen man. The laptop-sized machine jolted the man’s heart back to life, and Blake then performed CPR on him until Renton Fire and Emergency Services Department arrived.
“It felt like an hour and a half, but I bet you it was maybe five minutes,” Blake says of how long she performed CPR on the man.
She says it took another 45 minutes to get the man’s heart beating on its own.