Probably once a week for about a month, Real Change's editorial department has received an e-mail from a customer wanting to nominate Richard White for vendor of the week. "[Richard] has to be the friendliest vendor I've ever seen. Hardworking, he is always up at dawn, ready to catch the early crowd on their way to the office, his customary smile never fading," said one.
"Richard's cheerfulness is never obsequious or self-serving but, I believe, a genuine expression of his personality and it never fails to give me a little pick-me-up in the morning," read another.
We've been trying to track White down for quite some time -- but he's a busy man.
Recently, White found a job at a restaurant in Fremont. His dependability and friendliness have already made him a candidate -- even though he's only been at the restaurant for a few months -- for a managerial position. With his spare time he sells Real Change, and quite a few, at Marketime in Fremont and outside the Red Mill and the Starbucks on Greenwood Ave.
He's been at it for quite a while, and his persistence has paid off.
"I've been selling Real Change so long," White said, "I can't even remember how I got started."
Though a native of Chicago, White calls Seattle home. When I asked if he liked the Cubbies or the Sox, he said, "Mariners," with a sly grin.
"I love it here.... For a major city, it's one of the cleanest and mellowest cities anywhere."
And it helps, no doubt, that White has a small fan club.
"I love selling the paper."