It was the yearly spring cub scout overnight camping trip. Hae organized it and reserved a group campsite that accommodated fifty at Sunset Beach near Watsonville next to a huge strawberry field. The cub scouts got a chance to observe migrant farmworkers earning a small pittance on their knees under the hot sun. The scouts all resolved to become investment bankers or lawyers, except Oscar who is resigned to becoming an artist.
|I never learned much about perspective in art school|
|The methyl bromide truck came by every hour|
The setting was pure Steinbeck. The workers pitted themselves against the growers and demanded better conditions. Woody Guthrie came by and sang songs from the back of a truck. The growers’ thugs tried to intimidate them, sometimes using violence, but the heroic farmworkers held together and formed a union. This all happened during one hour while I sketched in my notebook.
The kids had a great time running around playing various types of wars while the parents jawboned about the struggles of parenthood next to a crackling firepit. There was one casualty. A boy was hit in the head during a pinecone war and bled profusely. The mother was shaken, she packed up the tent and took her son home.
|A day at the beach in Northern California|
The beach was just on the other side of a dune, but over there it was cold and windy so we had to bundle up. Kids dug giant holes with a shovel we brought. A lifeguard came by and asked the kids to fill in the holes so that their truck wouldn’t bottom out when they were driving around. Then he told of a terrible story about a girl who was killed digging holes on the beach. When pressed for details his story fell apart. His point was that terrible accidents can happen, he said. I remembered to put sunscreen on my front bald spot but forgot to do the rear bald spot. I turned my chair around to brace myself against the wind causing the rear one to get full exposure. Today my head hurts.