Seattle Writing Prompts: Kerry Park

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Ah, Kerry Park. As Seattle views go, it's hard to beat this one, and that's in a city with more vistas than West World. Have you ever been? It's crowded, nearly all the time (except, ironically, the day I dropped by to take these photos).

On a clear day, you can see Rainier, and if it's dusk, you can see the lined-up jewels of planes in formation on their way to SeaTac, no doubt each one carrying excited tourists, those eager to be home, and flight crews eager to knock off shift. If you're the kind of nerd that loves sighting expensive camera equipment in the wild, the lenses used here will surely impress. Everybody brings their best gear to Kerry Park. The opening credits to 10 Things I Hate About You were filmed there, as was the cover photo of a 1989 hardcore album by the band Brotherhood, which I only know about because one of their fans (or band members) made note of it on the Kerry Park Wikipedia page.

The park was a gift of Albert Sperry Kerry (that name!), and his second wife Katherine Amelia Kerry (his first, Mary Ellen Kerry, died young). He lived at 421 Highland, just down the street from the park, which the Kerry's donated to Seattle in 1927. The famous sculpture in the park, Doris Totten Chase's Changing Forms was commissioned by Kerry's three children, and installed in 1971.

People come to Kerry Park mostly for the view, but I love to walk through Kerry Park to look at all the people looking at the view. Teenagers cruising in cars with loud stereos, tourists who heard that it can't be beat, Queen Anne residence jogging by or walking their dogs, wedding photographers shooting couples in full dress, photographers with massive tripods shooting golden hour, it's a busy intersection, and that gives rise to so many story possibilities.

So here are a few, all of which may have happened, in Kerry Park, today...

Today's prompts
  1. 5:35 am — She was always nervous about jogging before the sky got light, but if you want to run marathons, you don't let fear stop you. Running with a friend always helps, though, and that day Joanie was going to meet her at Kerry Park, to run the loop around the hill a few times. What she wasn't expecting was to see the still body laying on the grass, wearing what looked like Joanie's running jacket.
  2. 10:12 am — An accident in front of the park. Happens all the time, fender bender as the morning light was particularly sparkly on downtown and the Space Needle. The difference, is that usually people who hit each other don't fall in love. And these two almost don't themselves, until their argument about who was at fault is interrupted at just the right time.
  3. 1:30 pm — Twice a day, on nice days, the three of them go up the hill. One is the bride, one is the groom, one is the photographer. They rotate through the roles. The bride always starts the fight. She runs off with the photographer. The poor groom is left, bereft, to find a way home when he has no money. Stupid sucker tourists....
  4. 6:45 pm — The end of the reunion. It took a year to plan, people flew for thousands of miles to come, and the family had never felt so close. All twenty of them would be leaving tomorrow, but they decided to do one final group picture with Seattle in the background. Each one has a memory of the past few days and what they learned about people they thought they knew. Each has a new secret to take home with them. Each one deserves their own short paragraph. Where did they come from? What is their relationship? Who is the oldest person in the family? The youngest?
  5. 11:59 pm — He didn't spend two freaking million dollars on a condo with the best view in Seattle only to be woken up at midnight by some goddamn band in leather and white pancake makeup — god, wasn't KISS passé!? — pretending to play their pointy guitars while a car blasted their godawful racket and some production interns shined red gelled lights on them, and idiots with cameras shot low angles to make them look wicked. He was going to give them a piece of his mind. And since they were all probably drug addicts, he made sure to grab his pistol. Just to protect himself, of course.