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In One Ear: Sidewalk agates

Local photographer Michael Harbeson takes placing pictures of volcanic agate rocks embedded within the Astoria downtown sidewalks. He sells the pictures from his Etsy website, GoonieGems, and has partnered with West Coast Artisans to print and body the pictures, saving locals on transport.

“I’m deaf, disabled and retired,” Harbeson defined. “I used to be on Camano Island, Washington, for 10 years, where I learned how to be a rock hound.” After transferring to Astoria due to the housing disaster, he ended up within the Merwyn Apartments. “It’s a true blessing to be here,” he mentioned. “I’m very thankful.”

“Of course, in downtown Astoria, you walk around a lot,” he defined. “I started to notice the agates in the sidewalks. They’re hard to find, and a thrill when you do. I lose favorite rocks all the time, even though they never move. It’s the lighting, your mood, seasons and time of the day. It’s wonderful to revisit Astoria’s GoonieGems in the sidewalks and find old friends, say hello, and move on to the next challenge.” He even provides excursions of the sidewalk agates on sunny days.

“Remember the end of ‘The Goonies’ movie?” he added. “The pirate ship sails off into the sea … what happened to the lost treasure? Some of it ended up in the sidewalks of Astoria … at the beach, people pick them up, and they’re gone forever.”

Harbeson notes the sidewalk agates, whereas some might appear like gems, are literally solely price a couple of cents every. (Photos: Michael Harbeson)

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