Across the divide of Woodbury Road on Lincoln Ave. is where leather-faced old men pass down traditions to leather-donned young bikers. I pitched my easel to paint en plein air on the southwest corner.
I stood on a manicured lawn with my back to the factory where giddy meals are manufactured and served in cute but deadly styrofoam containers.
A Better Life?
Moms piloting SUV’s taxi up to the pervasive amber arches and fall into queue for their turn to speak to the disembodied clown. They make their daily trek to the bullet-proof plexi appendage that protrudes from the wall like a goiter on a toad frog. Their order awaits them at the docking station where they give up their cash. In exchange, coins spiral down from the coffer on a stainless steal slide. They quickly calculate that a couple hours of overtime this week will cover the cost for next week. Lazy Susan dispence her eats; fast food that foster fat kids; plumped up by plasti-meals and grand gulp sodas. Off they speed, having saved precious moments which might otherwise be spent at the dining table with family. Later she will unwind with Emeril and dream about the day when she too can do a real meal. You’ve come a long way baby. God bless you for working to make a better life for your babies.
I peered across Woodbury at charcoal plumes wafting from a stove pipe like an up periscope of Washingtonia palms atop a burger joint floating in the sea of its citizens. The faithful meander in on foot or roll in on Hogs. They sometimes stand around and shoot the…breeze like they ain’t got nuthin better to do than be sociable. They call each other by nicknames and ask about Uncle Hoochie and Miss Big Babe.
A Real Happy Meal
I got lost in the watercolors until I was summoned back to my purpose by four teenagers. “Ooh, that’s nice,” said the one with an armful of books. She said that she too liked to paint, but was not good with watercolors. I gave her some tips on using the medium and gave them all some direction on discovering their God-given talents by getting hooked up with Him. I offered them a real happy meal for the soul; the Gospel of Christ.