Totter Guest: Ecology Center Canvasser

When someone with a clipboard knocks on your door ...

[Editor's Note: HD, a.k.a. Dave Askins, editor of The Ann Arbor Chronicle, is also publisher of an online series of interviews on a teeter totter. Introductions to new Teeter Talks appear on The Chronicle.]

How does someone like Ariane Carr come to be a guest on my backyard teeter totter?

I live in a neighborhood that is frequently targeted by canvassers for various causes. In my youth, I knocked on doors selling subscriptions to the morning newspaper that I delivered (the Courier-Journal out of Louisville, Kentucky had a circulation area that reached as far north as Columbus, Indiana), and I have no fond memories of that experience. So I do not envy the task of these mostly 20-something folks wielding clipboards. For several years I’ve had a long-standing strategy of telling them right up front, I’m not handing over any money, but I’m happy to sign stuff and write stuff. I don’t want to waste their time if money is the only way they can use my help.

In the time since I built the teeter totter in my backyard, I have begun offering canvassers a ride on it. Generally, the offer is met with skepticism. But it’s not unprecedented that a canvasser has accepted the offer.

Last Wednesday evening, on returning home from the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority board meeting (which I covered for The Ann Arbor Chronicle), Ariane Carr knocked on my door. She was canvassing for the Ecology Center in support of state legislation that would require manufacturers of children’s toys to declare what sort of stuff they’re putting in them. And she had the gumption to climb aboard the totter to talk about it.