It’s a big day for astronauts and young writers; the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company is finally reopening, about half a year after the gas explosion that tore up the heart of Greenwood. The Space Travel Supply Company is the retail front of the Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas, which is a nonprofit organization that teaches young people how to communicate their ideas through writing, tutoring, workshops, and field trips. If you're unfamiliar, the Space Travel Supply Company is exactly what it sounds like: a store full of space-themed novelties, decorations, and toys, with all proceeds going to fund the BFI.
Seattle poet Sarah Galvin was hired to be the Space Travel Supply Company store coordinator at the end of August. Before she started, BFI employees had already cleaned out the post-explosion mess—“the blast blew the windows out and left everything covered in glass and dust,” Galvin told me over Facebook chat. By the time she started on the job, “everything was clean and boxed up” and ready to be reassembled.
The process of rebuilding the store, Galvin says, was “like putting a puzzle together.” Using old photos of the shop and the memories of former employees, they inventoried all the products and placed them back on the shelves, in as close an approximation of the old store as possible.
So now that the shop is up and running again, Galvin is looking to the future. Anyone who’s attended one of her readings knows that she’s a natural-born party planner who loves a good theme and totally commits to the pursuit of fun. “I can't wait to plan parties, fundraising events,” classes, readings, “and field trips for the students,” she says. “I've always had to gather my own resources to do stuff like that, so I'm VERY excited that it's my job now.”
And Galvin is thrilled that the events she gets to plan will inspire young people to write: “I just want to make the experience as fun and exciting for them as possible because I remember how magic it was when I first discovered writing. I've never wanted my own kids, but I adore the idea of giving someone else the encouragement my elementary school teachers gave me.” For a whole new generation of writers, their journey will start in a small Greenwood storefront packed full of astronaut ice cream, toy rockets, and maps of the known universe.