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You can actually enjoy squeegee kid encounters

A young man washes a windshield as motorists wait at a red light in Baltimore. For many such "squeegee kids," it's a helpful source of income, if a controversial one.
A young man washes a windshield as motorists wait at a red light in Baltimore. For many such "squeegee kids," it's a helpful source of income, if a controversial one. (Patrick Semansky)

It’s quite often that my windshield is dirty enough to say yes to the offer of a squeegee cleaning at the intersections in the city, and each time it affords the opportunity for me to catch a little bit of the city’s pulse — the manner, the smile, the desire to do a good job (or not), the response to a refusal (polite or angry). For them, it’s the opportunity to learn what sorts of effort result in a little bonus payout ($2 instead of $1), to see that customers respond with a smile and when they smile, to develop a bit of entrepreneurial spirit and to know that not everyone who comes in from the 'burbs would rather look the other way than be forced to interact (“Baltimore needs to get squeegee kids off the streets,” Sept. 25).

By in large, my experience has been very positive, and when I drive on, I have the chance to reflect on what future might hold for them, or will the next adult that interacts with them see promise rather than despair.

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As our society becomes more isolated and electronic in its interactions, here is a vestige of good old fashioned person to person contact that remains. I hope it’s not taken away.

Christine Miller, Idlewylde

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