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About Ell

When I was little (after realizing I could never grow up to be a professional race-car driver), I decided I’d grow up to be a field journalist. I wanted to interview people, learn their stories, and then write about them. This trek is a realization of that dream.

 

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No Ordinary Laundry

Ocean Springs, Mississippi
By Ell Hawley

Doing laundry on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi just got better. With its high-end machines, clean as could be, café tables, lounge chairs, USB-charging-station bar, and nicest expert on laundry as your attendant, it’s actually a laundromat you’re happy to be in.

 

The talk amongst fellow Mississippians is polite, sincere, and interesting. They don’t seem to be guarded. It’s an absolute delight listening in. There’s an older forest ranger who was recently hired here (full time instead of part time), but he doesn’t have a washer or dryer in his housing. There’s a woman who works at a nursing home, but she doesn’t have a washer or dryer at home. A man in his fifties seems to be newly single, because he keeps asking me how much detergent to put in each machine after he’s already dumped it in. “Two cupfuls?” he asks. “Well, your laundry will certainly be clean,” I say with a smile. He seems very pleased about that. Another woman talks about a friend who was pregnant and how her cat got jealous when she had the baby. The cat got revenge by peeing in the bed right next to the baby. “Good gracious,” she says. “If that were my cat, I would have . . .” (No, I can’t tell you the rest.)

 

As each person’s laundry finishes up, the gracious attendant-host thanks me for coming in. She smiles. I smile. I’d like to come back tomorrow, but I don’t have any more dirty things. The next time you’re on the Gulf Coast, stop in at Laundry Today at 9005 Old Spanish Trail, Ocean Springs, Mississippi. You won’t regret it, darlin’. 
 

Writer bio:
Ell Hawley is the author of four published science-fiction novels and is currently on a trek crisscrossing America, interviewing ordinary people who create more light in America. You can nominate someone for her to interview and also follow her blog at EllsTrek.com.