Car Wash

 

For more than 50 years, the Elephant Super Car Washes in the Pacific Northwest city of Seattle have been a central fixture for recent immigrants to find a job, and for the working man and the wealthy to pamper their rides.

The car washes are vibrant melting pots, nexuses of diversity in the workplace that are generally harder to find in the Northwest than in other parts of the country.

If you believe there is unspoken mutual respect among Northwesterners, you will find proof of it here: the one-time Mexico City football star and his son; the boys from Ghana; the man everyone simply calls “Peru”; the guy who worked the cleanup of Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez spill; the Russian limo drivers; and the couple who met many years ago at the car wash, were married, and still work there – all are compelling actors, hitting their marks in a cultural play about the way we live and work, how we care for low-income workers, and the relative values we place on possessions, in this still-maturing region of America.

By: Tom Hyde

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