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When Susa told me her name, I tried to spell it, as is my habit. I guessed that it was short for Suzanne - Suza? - but I was wrong. Susa, she told me, is a family name from the Penobscot tribe. "Penobscot?" I said, "Isn't there a river with that name?" "Probably," she said, shrugging. I looked it up when I got home. The fictional town of Derry, Maine, the setting of Stephen King's novel "IT", is on the (real) Penobscot river. That's why it sounded familiar. Susa, very smiley and loquacious, arrived just as I finished taking photos of Ellis and we were all amused that we'd each attended a small liberal arts college in Oregon: Ellis graduated from Reed, I graduated from Lewis & Clark College, and Susa graduated from Willamette. "All we need is someone from Evergreen," I said. She was on her way to Battle Ground, Washington with some friends for a 4th of July party.


She was a history major at Willamette U., and wrote her thesis on the economic history of Cuba. I passed along an anecdote I'd read about Fidel Castro -- he wrote President Franklin Roosevelt a letter in 1940, when he was 12 years old. He asked Roosevelt for $10, because he'd never seen one before and he'd like to have one.


She's also an Oregon native, but plans to travel now that she's graduated from college. She backpacked through New Zealand a couple years ago, but she's anxious for more adventures. I commented on her pink boots and she said that she rarely wears shoes and often sleeps outside, even when she's staying with her parents. Safe travels, Susa, and blessings.


92/100 of my attempt at the 100 Strangers Project.

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Uploaded on August 6, 2012