Over the years many of us have gotten to know each other as I bike around the North Mesa Justice Precinct campaigning.

During those visits, I have been astounded by all of the kindness and hospitality I’ve received!

I was thinking about it last night, knowing that I would be writing this blog post today. How many food items have I been offered over the years? How many times have I been invited to sit down for dinner? So here goes, in no particular order:

  • Popsicles
  • Klondike bars
  • Granola bars
  • Pizza
  • Rainier cherries
  • Strawberries from a farmers market
  • Cold bottles of water
  • Frozen bottles of water
  • Homemade soup (invited for dinner), and four years later, at the same house:
    • Homemade Peanut Brittle (thank you, thank you, thank you!)
    • Homemade barbecue beef (invited for dinner)
    • Homemade cookies
  • Grapefruit, oranges tangerines, lemons — fresh from someone’s tree
  • Hot peppers (and I mean hot!!!) from someone’s bush

Timing, as they say, is everything. At least three times I’ve been standing at a voter’s door when the pizza arrives! Four years ago I got invited to sit down with a family who was trying out the smoker that dad was using for the first time ever! They even had dessert!

As I write this blog post I’m realizing that many of these food items have their own stories attached to them. Some of them are amazing stories of kindness! But wait, what does that have to do with your qualifications for being our Justice of the Peace, you ask? That’s a good question!

It’s not the food, but the connections I’ve made with so many of you over the years. Or the comfort level that people have with me, to invite me into their homes.

A Justice of the Peace must be able to connect with people and to be able to listen to them. A JP must be able to connect with humanity as well as the humanity within each of us. You can fine a person all day long, and chances are they may, or may not pay. Our court has “chased” people for fines, sometimes for years. But, if they walk out of court feeling that, at least, they’ve been heard there is a better chance of them complying with the orders of the court.

I remember very specifically, from the late nineties, when we had a quarrelsome young lady in our court Judge Lester Pearce had to deal with, and me as well. Years later, she came back to our court to thank Judge Pearce for the way he dealt with her.

Recently, I ran into a married couple I’d evicted years earlier. They thanked me for how they’d been treated. That’s why evicting “repeat customers” has been relatively easy, simply because of how I’ve treated people over the years! That’s not to say I can’t get my “constable” on! I can, but rarely ever need to.

Maya Angelou has been quoted as saying “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I believe that to my core, as that is what I’ve experienced as your constable all these years.

So, you see, this really wasn’t about food, but I didn’t realize that until I started writing this blog.

— Ed Malles