Five days a week, Monday through Friday at eight in the morning, Melvin Bush begins his commute on the Blue Line Max train to downtown. Once downtown he transfers to the Green Line, where he makes his way to Portland State University.
Five days a week, Monday through Friday at eight in the morning, Melvin Bush begins his commute on the Blue Line Max train to downtown. Once downtown he transfers to the Green Line, where he makes his way to Portland State University. He starts his shift vending Seattle’s Best coffee on Southwest 6th Avenue at 9 a.m.
Like any Seattle’s Best employee, Bush checks in with his team leaders, but specially constructed onto his wheelchair is a tray that holds canteens full of regular and decaffeinated coffee, tea and hot water. Alongside the beverages is a spot for pastries.
Bush takes off in his fully-loaded wheelchair toward the South Park Blocks and Broadway Street. He has a defined route but makes frequent stops for his regulars. Some of these regulars make him cards and other confectionery items. Bush says that he does special orders; he writes them down in his order book and goes back to Seattle’s Best for pick-up.
On Fridays, Seattle’s Best has an offer called “Bean Friday” during which Bush carries special drinks. To find out what these drinks are, though, one must find him.
Bush carries a cash box with him and says that people help him with the money. He sells his coffee at $1.75, but he has a clipboard with prices for the other items that he sells as well. When asked about what he likes most about his job, he said he likes meeting people.
“I want to know everyone,” he said.
Bush is a native Oregonian and grew up in Eugene. For the past seven years he has worked at his job in Portland every day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., no matter what. With a smile he said he is very serious about his work and that there is no “funny business.”