That one is easy.  You are now a member.  Satisfied?  Send no dues.

Is there a web site?
No.  That would require effort that I am not willing to undertake.  Although I sit on my porch frequently I also do work in my community.  In fact, I’m pretty busy.  But I focus my efforts on things that bring me joy.  Web site management isn’t one of them. 

But… there is a page of information about the Professional Porch Sitters Union located here on the Orion Grassroots Network web site. 

I would send you the direct link to the page about the PPSU but I think you will find the entire web site informative.  I posted the Union page some time ago and have never updated it.  Don’t intend to either.  If you go there tell the Orion folks hey from Crow at the Union.

How do I make sure the number I chose to represent my Local isn’t already taken?
Don’t worry about it.  Even if it is taken you can have it anyway.  This isn’t about making sure we all have unique numbers. You aren’t going to be getting repeat communication from us anyway.  So don’t worry about unintentional mix-ups.

Do we have to use aliases?
No rules.  We started using porch sitting aliases when we started but that was only for the fun of it.  And besides… you never know when a well established alias is going to come in handy.  The Professional Porch Sitters Union has no specific agenda.  World domination may be an unintentional side effect but it still isn’t an agenda.  Names are for folks with agendas.

Can you send me a certificate of some sort to put on my porch?
No. But thanks for asking.  You are free to make up your own certificate.  I’m sure I will think it’s just dandy.  We also don’t have tee shirts, bumper stickers, beer cozys, or decals.  There is nothing commercial about the Union.  If somebody uses this idea to make money it will not have my blessing.  In fact, I hereby declare use of the Professional Porch Sitters Union off limits for the pursuit of commerce. I claim it as intellectual property. (For what that’s worth.)  That doesn’t mean you can’t make these things for your own enjoyment.  In fact, if you do I would love to see a picture.  Some of the folks around here made block prints for their Locals.  Very cool.

How often should we meet?
You got me on that one.  I have no idea.  The convention we use around here is that anyone can call a meeting and attendance is optional.  Some meetings just happen.

Is it ok if all we have is a deck?
My personal philosophy on this one is just that.  But for what it’s worth…I don’t care if you consider yourself a Professional Porch Sitter based on any specific form of architecture.  Porch sitting is a philosophy.  I think front porches represent something important to the Union.  When you are in front of your home you are in connection with your community.  I think that is an important part of the Union.  But you can integrate with your community from a bay window, a stoop, an open garage, a sidewalk, a bus stop, whatever.  Your call.

Can you put me in touch with other porch sitters in my community?
Nope.  But you can.  I suggest you take a walk and look for someone sitting on their porch.  A good opener is to wave and say “hello.”  If you live in a country where English is not spoken please adapt that suggestion as appropriate.  If you are the one on the porch I suggest offering lemonade or some such beverage to the person waving.  They may or may not be a member of the Union.  That will not be a problem.

I’m a writer and want to get in touch with Professional Porch Sitters in my area to do a story on them.  Can you put me in touch?
Sorry.  I don’t run an introduction service.  The people that communicate with me about the Union don’t do that so that the media will get in touch with them.  Not that they would be averse to that I suppose.  You’re a good writer.  You will find them.

Is it OK if I get others to start up Locals of the Union?
Knock yourself out.  Much appreciated.  That’s what grassroots efforts are all about.  You are fully invested.

Can we come visit you?
Will you be polite and tell a good story? 

That’s about it.  Sorry for the long letter.  I just thought it would be easier doing this than trying to answer thousands of emails.  Yes, thousands.  See what you are a part of?  And thanks for the stories about porching you have been sending me.  I think they are great.

If you care to, I would love to receive pictures of people sitting on your porch.  I collect things like that.  But don’t sweat it.  You won’t be hearing from me unless you communicate with me first.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t be thinking about you. 

When I see you out on your porch I’ll wave.  That’s how you will know it’s me.

Crow Hollister,
Founder, Professional Porch Sitters Union
Janitor, PPSU Local 1339

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