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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Young white peeps!

I cautiously continue thru Utah, a state that has been very hostile in the past. It is still early morning and quite beautiful, especially after passing thru the great salt lake region where you can ONLY pass through early in the morning or after sunset – way after!
This beginning stretch of a hundred or so miles used to be the barest, most desolate part of the entire country: the place where, when heading east, in the last Nevada town, you filled up, held your breath racing down that final hill on to the flats, closed your eyes and hoped you made it thru to Salt Lake City – it was so empty, barren, and scorching!
Now telephone poles stretch from one end of Nevada all the way thru the flats into Salt Lake City– telephone poles that are as outta place here as street lights would be in the ocean. And there are a few gas stations and even more rest stops all along now, where there used to be only blindingly white salt crusted sands as far as you could see, with so few scattered straggly-looking plants they appeared as miniature oases.
Now there are even several home mounds rising up from the sands in the far distance from the roads – yes there are even roads too! How these people live out here, I don’t know – at great cost to the environment I’m sure, between the water, the electricity necessary….
A group of bikers pass giving me the thumbs up! You can never tell with bikers – they tend to go either way, emphatically!
By the time I drove thru the beautiful mountains east of Salt Lake City and hit Wyoming, I received 23 yeas!!! to one haughty pursed lips and a vehement head shake! That’s a HUGE difference from last time!
Before leaving Utah, I pull into a truck stop to get some ice – it is already a scorching 90 degrees and the sun hasn’t been up for 3 hours! I vaguely notice an old black Toyota pick-up truck with 3 young white people in the front seat staring at me. I’m rushing to get the ice into the cooler before it’s melted and then I take off.
I proceed down the road for about an hour and stop for diesel. There they are again, probably about 20 feet away, gawking at me, appearing either awe-struck or maybe these are those docile creatures I heard about earlier? As I get closer, I see they’ve all landed here with a bunch of newly pierced steel body accessory parts. There are two boys and a girl with almost identical and several visible piercings: lips, eyebrows, ears. The girl has hair so black only her eyebrows know for sure! I wave and smile. The two boys seriously raise their hands almost in salute that morphs into a shy peace sign; the girl breaks into a huge smile and waves – then they all quickly jump nervously back into their truck and take off, before we could exchange a word, looking totally pleased with themselves and heading back towards Utah.

My sentiments exactly

I pull into a rest stop in Utah and an older white womon rushes to approach me. “My sentiments EXACTLY” she utters, waving generously at all sides of the truck.
 We hug and smile as she continues to express her love for my truck and bestows her heart-felt thanks upon me for spreading the word.
Then she states so matter-of-factly: “We’re in serious trouble. We HAVE to get out the vote”
We talk about that – she’s from Colorado and I’m on my way to the national conventions. She scornfully calls out most americans: “They’re a bunch of ‘docile’ people – docile and over-fed, content to be silent as long as they’ve got their video games.”
Then and there, at this rest stop, I decide to add “so bush’s base – the haves and the have mores – can have more and more and more and more” to the back of my truck’s sign (our economy is based on the suffering of people around the world). It works! Several out-of-staters give me the ‘thumbs up!’ while I’m painting, and no one tries anything rude or violent!