I met Seattle artist Marcia Wiley through my inbox zine a couple months ago. I had written about the idea of the "positive deviant," basically someone who strays from the norm but brings value rather than pain (akin to the "happy mutant"). The concept really resonated with me and I asked readers to send along names of positive deviants who they were aware of because I wanted to start a list. Marcia rightly offered up her own name, and, in our most recent communication, she shared a project of hers with me: "Miss Direction's Ride Service."
Since 2005, she has been bringing unexpected delight to strangers in a really fun way. Dressed in her alter ego "Miss Direction" driving outfit (below), she gives people waiting at bus stops a free ride to their destination in her Honda SUV. In exchange for the complimentary pickup, passengers share their story with her. It's been a great success.
Now she's looking to start "Miss Direction's Checker Cab Service." A 1967 Checker Cab has already surfaced for the job, but it needs some restoration work before she can take it to the streets. So, she's started a Kickstarter campaign to fund her dream of bringing "everyday magic" to Seattle, a place, she writes, "that is changing so rapidly that people often feel a loss of connection and have a sense that the city is losing its soul and becoming less unique."
This is her vow:
I'm committed to having Miss Direction’s ’67 Marathon Checker Cab on the road by November 11, 2018.
The cab will be mechanically sound with a visually pleasing exterior and clean, comfortable interior, offering passengers an unforgettable, one-of-a- kind experience. It will be an iconic Seattle car, recognizable to many as it travels throughout the neighborhoods of the Emerald City with passengers in tow.
As Miss Direction, I will conduct the Checker Cab Ride Service an average of once a week.
Also, when she isn't driving around complete strangers, this positive deviant can be found making beautiful, thick glassware (what she calls "Wileyware"). In fact, for the campaign, she's made some cool Checker Cab-themed pieces as donor rewards. Take a look.