Monday, April 16, 2012

Cub Scout Sleepover Debrief

A pledge

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 growers



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.

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