Friday, April 26, 2013

There Are Hippies in Town

Because our all-natural, whole-wheat, no-preservative bread was stale this morning (an experiment that won't be repeated), we left home earlier than usual to buy tamales for Mason and Redding's lunch.  So instead of taking Orizaba to La Palma and seeing Marta, a 20-something woman walking her tiny, chocolate chihuahua before work; avoiding Alex, the tattooed iron worker who never takes off his sunglasses and always greets me with a low, moan-like, "Buenosss diaaas, seƱora;" and hearing the principal of the local public school making morning announcements over a loudspeaker at exactly at eight o'clock, we walk uphill on 20 de enero and come down over the crest towards Stirling Dickinson.  There, parked on the left side of the road, is a real-live Scooby Doo VW Peace Van, painted entirely neon and pink and light blue and yellow, flowers, peace signs, and message of love in a beautiful script.  Mason, ever the p.c. guy, shouts, "Hey, there are hippies in town!"  

What's in town is a group of Mexican construction workers sitting on the curb in front of a work site swigging huge bottles of Coke and spooning the contents of a white plastic bucket into tortillas for breakfast.  I instruct Mason that it's racist to judge people by things like their cars or their clothes or their color.  That it's just plain rude to holler out things like, "There are hippies in town."  He looks appropriately chagrined and apologizes (he hates to be called out on anything but can admit when he's wrong.)

Then the door across the street from the van opens and in the doorway are a small Japanese boy and girl, whose dad comes out from behind them and stretches on the street. I can see into their house, where their mom is back at a desk working on a computer.  Floor to ceiling are enormous, gorgeous oil paintings: Japanese anime, graphic oils of animals and cartoon characters, a wild, dark-haired boy riding a lion, a skeleton with a lizard on its head.  I don't have to make note of the door so that I can go back after school and ask to come inside and see this wonderful art up close.  The Peace Van is parked there, marking the entry.

On another day I go back with my camera; it's the Groovy Gnome Gallery and Cafe.  I think about buying one of his paintings.

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