EVERETT — The romance on Rucker Avenue with secret crushes and blushing rocks has gone beyond a proposed coffee date.
The parties involved are going to a hotel.
Wait, it’s not what you think.
The romance is between two aging readerboard signs, six blocks apart. The event is a fundraiser auction and dinner on Friday at Hotel Indigo in Everett for Camp Fire Snohomish County.
What started as a flirtation between retro Rucker Avenue signs at a diner and a landscape store created connections between local businesses and gave passersby a laugh that spilled over to social media.
It began in March when Totem Family Diner used sign language to declare its feelings to the Pacific Stone Company sign.
“I have a secret crush on the rake and shovel sign down the street,” said Totem’s sign at 4410 Rucker Ave.
Pacific Stone flirted back: “Hey, Totem! Our rocks are blushing & we’ve scrambled our eggs. Coffee date?”
It was old-school texting on marquees that have been created by hand, letter by letter, for decades.
The next Totem response: “Oh, my, Pacific Stone! You’ve got our bacon shakin :)”
The slow burn romance continued.
A few blocks away, Mikie’s restaurant chimed in with its sign: “He likes it. Mikie likes bacon and he’s not shakin’.”
Camp Fire, 4312 Rucker Ave., got in the Cupid game.
“Totem take Pacific on a date 2 R auction,” the sign read.
Krissy Davis, Camp Fire director, walked across the street to give Totem owner Steve Jermyn two $100 tickets to the annual gala that raises money for scholarships. She also offered Pacific Stone owner Timothy Gray two tickets. Both plan to go.
“Hey Totem & Pacific. VIP table 4U,” the next Camp Fire sign said.
“The response has been incredible,” Davis said. “Everywhere I go people say seeing these signs are a positive, fun thing. It is also getting to know the other businesses and others around us. We’re right here but never gotten to know each other.”
She credits the publicity with the charity event selling out of tickets this year.
The owners of the Totem and Pacific Stone had not met prior to the sign courtship, but have since become acquainted.
Jermyn always liked the sign down the street with the giant red rake and yellow shovel. That’s why he put the first public display of affection on his colorful totem-pole motif sign, known for its catchy sayings.
He never thought it would lead to anything more. These are signs, after all. Not hot-blooded bodies.
Both businesses are Rucker landmarks. The Totem has been family owned and operated since 1953, with Jermyn taking over in 2011. Gray bought the stone company in 1999 that came with the sign that dates back to the 1960s.
Pacific Stone’s latest sign: “Rucker’s heating up. Get stone! Good food! Community support!”
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; email@example.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.
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