As it turns out, the 4th of July is not just a day to have a cookout, drink beer and set off fireworks.
I attended the 11th Annual Farce of July event. I got to exhibit some of my Art and volunteered to do art activities with the kids.
We drove an hour to our destination only to find out that the location had been moved at the last minute to East L.A. We drove to the new location which was OK, because we seldom go to East L.A.; it‘«÷s so different from where we live now. I love to be surrounded by my people and culture.
We got to the Self Help Graphics building at 12:20 pm, as it turns out the starting hour has also been change to 2:00 p.m.
Parking was scarce but luckily we found a parking spot right in front of the building.
We were greeted by a homeless woman that had taken residency at a bus stop bench, one of those nice covered bus stop.
It was so hot in L.A. I‘«÷m surprised I didn‘«÷t get a heat stroke...I must have drank fifteen aguas de tamarindo.
The vendors were setting up, the guy in charge of the art was not there, but Maria one of the organizers was very helpful.
There were a lot of bands...An all girl rock group by the name of "Sin Miedo" went on first.
There was music, spoken word, art, food and drink - non alcohol. Vendors and a feeling of peace, change and unity.
I ran into some friends Trini y Luis Rodriguez. It is always good to see them. Se??or Luis was autographing books and later in the evening gave a very powerful speech on Freedom, Justice, Change and Unity!
I bought one of his books (The Republic of East L.A.)
The overall tone and theme was that not everyone in the United States is free. That there are too many injustices and that if we organize, inform ourselves and unite, it can bring forth change.
Wars and borders are not the answer.
Since we were in L.A for the day, we decided to go look for an old friend of mine whom I haven‘«÷t seen or talked to in over a year. I didn‘«÷t even know if she still lived in the building I use to manage on Westlake, close to Sixth and Alvarado.
As it turns out she doesn‘«÷t live there anymore but she was visiting some friends that live in the building.
She was so happy to see us and I was so glad that I found her. We visited for a while and exchanged addresses.
We went back to the the Farce of July event to pick up my paintings.
By then it had cooled down and the event was well on its way, more people and fireworks all around the neighborhood, that‘«÷s one think the people of L.A. know how to put on a good firework show.
It was a very peaceful day of unity and a day to remember.
We got on the 5 Freeway and headed home, on the way home the kids got to see a variety of fire work shows.
We made it safe and got home at 11:20 pm.
M. Reyna is a variety Artist, painter, poet, storyteller, Activist.
Mmiaculpa@aol.com MReyna.deviantart.com. To view art and photos visit myspace.com. to search enter firstname.lastname@example.org