Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

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

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Here at last!

I arrived in Chula Vista 9pm this evening, broken toe and all, after filling up my one and only veggie tank in the back of my truck that was not buried under tons of donations – luckily this is the tank that’s hardwired into the engine so I can run on veggie oil now until I unload in Tijuana and am able to return to fill up the rest of my tanks.

At 80 years old, Renault is the second oldest fellow I’ve ever purchased oil from. He’s been doing it since 2004, which means he probably did it because of the price of fuel, but he is still doing it even after fuel prices dropped again.

He is in terrible shape, limping along, knees buckling every other step. He tells me his wife has dementia and he has hurt his back a couple days ago, assuring me he’s really up for the job of pumping veggie oil and not normally so crippled.

He tells me he has the cleanest oil in the country and I believe him and all the other white guys who claim their oil is the cleanest in the business.

He backs up this claim by declaring he runs his oil through the centrifuge cold, thereby separating the fat from the oil. Then he puts a jar of it in the freezer so he can tell if it is fat-free, as when frozen you can see the fat solidifying at the bottom of the jar.

He pulls out the jar ordering me to look closely for any fat: peering into the cold jar, I decide to agree with him although I’m not sure what he is talking about.

I was going to buy 300 gallons but as this is the first time buying from him, I am actually grateful I have only one tank accessible – I’m going to run that tank out and see if I have any problems but I think he knows what he’s doing.

Before we can start pumping oil, a big white man a little younger comes stalking over demanding to know what I’m doing here before he spots Renault  with one eye, the other glued on my truck while he then asks Renault if he’s okay.

I laugh as Renault assures him everything is fine while the guy starts explaining, arms waving, that he saw this truck with all this ‘stuff’ written on it and he wanted to make sure nothing untoward was happening.

I innocently ask him/them if they don’t have other trucks like mine in the neighborhood. Renault avoids the answer by telling me the neighbors look out for each other here…..hmmmm.

Anyway, it is getting dark and I still have a ways to go before arriving in Chula Vista at the church where Sanctuary Caravan is holding an orientation for volunteers tomorrow morning.

As I was pulling up into the huge parking lot, a middle aged white male approaches me and shows me where to park. He is a worker at the church so he talks me through the setup as he takes me up the stairs to the room where the sanctuary caravan folks are sleeping.

I meet Phillip, another young white man, who welcomes me and leaves the door unlocked so I can use the bathroom in the morning.

I’m happy to be here, parked with a couple other vehicles, the almost-full moon hazy behind porous cloud cover making a cozy shelter for the night. 

Tomorrow the work begins!