We were deeply saddened to learn that the third customer ever at Uncle Ike’s, Kay Hendon, a resident of Seattle’s Central District for more than 52 years, recently passed away after struggling with cancer.

“It has grown a lot and I’m glad to see what’s coming about in this vicinity instead of farther north or south,” Kay told The Stranger after becoming Uncle Ike’s third customer. “We have ours now and I appreciate it.”

When asked how she felt about a white business owner opening up shop in a historically black neighborhood, “It doesn’t bother me,” she said. “I’m not a prejudiced person. I’m not like that. I accept every individual as they are.”

Just before the doors opened for the very first time at Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop, The Stranger asked her what she planned on buying. “Some kush,” she said, holding out her hands, with huge, green-painted fingernails. “For the arthritis,” she said, and laughed.

Kay had already made buddies with her neighbors in the line; they were affectionately calling her “Crazy Kay” by the time a Seattle Times reporter came by. “Welcome to the CD! Everybody’s got to get high!” she shouted, hamming for TV cameras. Kay’s picture appeared the next day on the Seattle PI website. One arm raised to the sky, she was joyfully singing, with a big smile on her face.

“She was a sweetheart and a wonderful dancer,” a friend and Uncle Ike’s employee said. “She always brought amazing energy whenever set set foot in our shop.”

Uncle Ike’s had set up a fundraiser during Kay’s illness, to help with her medical bills. All donations will be matched by Uncle Ike’s. The money will now go towards her funeral expenses.

Kay Hendon fundraiser by Uncle Ike’s

gofundme: $1285 (Ian matches full amount)

glass shop jar: $76 (Ian matches 4x amount)

Total donated: $2874 as of 08/10/16