As a newcomer, I've found out there's one secret Sunnyside can't keep. The word's out. Can't be denied.
Sunnyside is a friendly city.
And it's not just this newcomer who thinks so. Recently I received a surprise phone call from someone who introduced herself as a "voice from your past." When I didn't recognize that voice, she gave me a hint that we'd once had a falling out. I told her that narrowed it down to about 150. I finally put a name to the voice, but remembered only good times between us.
She turned out to be another newcomer to Sunnyside, having moved here last spring from Cle Elum, where I once lived. Like me, she is loving it here, and we agreed that we both have yet to meet an unfriendly person.
The first friendly face I met here was a woman named Jill, who not only gave me the house-hunting directions I asked for, but gave this stranger a tour of her apartment. That look-see led me to the Sunnyside Housing Authority and a whole office of friendly folks. Their courtesy, kindness and professionalism smoothed my way into an apartment that was home the minute I saw it.
A raft of other friendly people helped me establish myself here. There were the friendly voices from Pacific Power, Cascade Gas and Sprint who made hook-up services a painless process over the phone. Then the staff at Burger Ranch, McDonald's and KFC served my meals with a smile during the moving-in process.
The sales people even got excited along with me as I bought spring bulbs and rose bushes to plant in the garden spot outside my door. It was my first green thumb experience in years.
I never felt like just another customer as I put together my new household. Rather, people seemed eager to help make this move a positive experience. People like the post office clerk, the postal carrier, U.S. Bank employees, the pharmacist at Safeway's and the nice guy in Wal-Mart's nursery, who put together an outdoor BBQ/fireplace just so I could see if I liked it. I did, and bought it.
These are only a few of the many who extended helping hands. And not a grump among them. It's surprising how many people you meet during a move. It is magical when someone else's smile can brighten your day or, in my case, an entire moving experience.
So, sorry, Sunnyside, your secret is out. You've been exposed as the friendly city, and I'm thoroughly enjoying you!
. Frankie Potts is a retired journalist who spent her career working at numerous Washington state newspapers.