Walk by the Ballard Post Office and you are sure to see a smiling, mustached man. That man is William Prosolow. For more than six years, he's been a presence at the Ballard Post Office.
At the post office, he's made more than sales.
"I have such a newfound group of friends that I consider to be real friends," he said. "If I am not here they are concerned and likewise, when they're not there, I'm concerned."
William has cultivated these relationships. Like a good friend, he's there when you need him. William sells Real Change at his spot all day, six days a week, much like the famous postal motto "neither snow, nor rain, nor heat ... "
He jokes that his boss won't let him take the day off, but actually, the hours are appealing.
"It is a pleasant way to spend the day. I love what I am doing. I enjoy my customers," William said. "If I love doing it, why would I want to do anything else?"
William grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. He hitchhiked through the southern states and down to Florida.
"I started thumbing it around the country, but my favorite place ... was Seattle."
It was the climate that first kept William in Seattle, and later, it was his job with Real Change. Remembering his first sale, he said, "It was a fantastic feeling, I sold two papers and after that I said, 'I'm in business.'?"
Since then William has remained in Ballard, at the post office. He recently even got an apartment right around the corner from his selling location.
That keeps him close to his customers, whom he thinks of as family.
"I hands down have the best customers in the world, and I wouldn't give them up for anything," William said. "The same goes for everyone in the post office. They watch my back everyday, and I watch theirs."
William is consistently among the top 10 highest-selling vendors. He has enough money to support himself and to have his own place. It's enough, he said.
"Money is not the source of happiness, it cannot buy happiness, and material things can't buy happiness. You need to be happy with and love what you're doing, and I love this job. You can't buy that feeling."
William will turn 55 this month, and he's looking forward to celebrating. He would normally be selling Real Change, but because his birthday falls on a Sunday, the post office will be closed.