At the concrete traffic island at Aurora Avenue North and Denny Way where he sells Real Change almost daily, Michael Henderson is a local landmark: "You have the Pink Elephant Car Wash, the Space Needle, and then you have me," he said.
On June 30, as he was headed there to sell the new issue, which featured him as Vendor of the Week, Michael suffered a stroke.
"I was just approaching my area, I was a block and a half from my spot. I could see it with my eyes," he said. "I knew something was wrong. I pretty much laid down and couldn't move."
Someone from a nearby business called 911. An ambulance took Michael to Harborview Medical Center.
"I walked and used a walker yesterday and today," he said by phone from his hospital bed.
The stroke affected Michael's right side and has made conversation difficult. He thinks normally, he said, but the words don't come out right.
Michael wants customers to know why he's been gone -- "they probably think I'm in jail," he said -- and that he hopes to return "in some way, shape or form, as soon as I can."