It was barely raining today, just a drizzle. I wished a couple of times that I’d brought my rain poncho, but it wasn’t bad.
The escorts generally don’t use umbrellas, in fact we discourage it. They’re bulky and they block people from seeing your face. It’s too easy to poke some one with them, either purely by accident or mostly by accident.
The protesters typically use umbrellas. Interestingly, sometimes the protesters who bring their children don’t, but the chasers often use umbrellas.
Donna particularly likes to use her umbrella. She’ll keep it up long after it’s quit raining, and even have it up when she’s standing under the awning, which makes me laugh.
Here’s a picture of them this morning as you approach from the 2nd Street end of the block.
On a more serious note, I read this piece from a weekday back in August. This is by our used-to-be-unnamed escort, who’s going to use the name “ServalBear.” ServalBear writes:
“D. and I escorted several clients in without incident this morning even though there were a lot of protesters and prayers. One interesting thing. Donna started talking to a homeless man that is new to the clinic area. He was riding a bicycle and was circling in by the door of the clinic.
He started the conversation with Donna by saying he thought abortion was illegal now.
When he offered Donna to “take all of these people out” and he could come back with weapons, we started listening closer to him. He said he could come back later to damage the building.
I went in and asked the clinic if their cameras were working outside and pointed out the man making the comments. They were probably idle threats, but I thought they should be aware of him.
The thing that got me is that after the threats Donna continued to encourage him to talk and he moved on to the men in the prayer group to tell them what he could do if they wanted him to do something. One crazy person is all it takes and they can wash their hands of it.”
Of course, that makes using umbrellas or not an insignificant issue.
So I’ve made a commitment to post here once a week – and I hope some other escorts will do the same. I don’t always have a great story to tell, but thanks to the efforts of escorts who keep notes on what happens each day, we have a pretty unlimited supply of tales of our experiences.
Most days, it’s not dramatic, at least not to us.
I was by myself when I took this picture, but earlier a young woman getting ready to head up that sidewalk had looked over at me, big-eyed, and said, “Do I have to walk through them?”
To her, I think it was dramatic, and pretty intimidating.
“Yes,” I said, “but when we get closer, they’ll move.” .
And they did. Even the guy with the huge sign with a picture of what is supposedly an aborted baby. He was holding the sign across the sidewalk, leaving maybe a couple of feet clearance on one side, which would barely have been enough for one person single file. But at the last minute, he’d pull it back.
Kind of as if he were a bullfighter, and we were the bull.
All I can do is shake my head. I can’t imagine walking into this for the first time on my way to the doctor.