Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Greetings Once Again From Arcata, California: The Smoke Report & What Is Advocacy? & Taxi Photos In The News

Barely Awake in Arcata

Back in Northern California to camp and hike and swim with "she who can't be named" but fires keep changing our destination, making us consider alternate sites. We were first heading to Silver Lake east of Lassen National Park but the biggest fire currently burning in the west dissuaded us, road closures and heavy smoke a poor vacation combination.  We then decided upon the Salmon River past Happy Camp but that area too now impacted by forest fires, which was disappointing as I was looking forward to a swimming hole locally called "Grubstake," just look for the green gate.   Finally, hemmed in by the fires, we have chosen by default two areas north of Crescent City: the Smith River Recreation Area and the Chetco River just  above the California in southwestern Oregon.  Looking forward to exploring the Chetco, a river new to me.  

Last night, as I was driving down from Seattle, and after refusing to pay $150.00 a night for a Grants Pass motel room, I ended up tossing my sleeping bag on the ground near the Smith River, the night sky incredibly clear, falling into an exhausted slumber.  Awakening to an almost blue morning sky, and driving the few miles south into fog enshrouded Crescent City, I was greeted by fog horns sounding a lugubrious moan over muttering grey waves.  A pop-up vaccination clinic was set was near a beach promenade, and like so many other Americans, the swooping gulls avoided the jab into their shoulders, the gulls and terns telling everyone what they thought of human folly, taking wing into the mist. 

Why Advocacy?

Many have termed my voicing of problems mere complaint, unnecessarily roiling calm waters but my advocacy impersonal, having nothing to do with me, only wishing for better and saner outcomes.  When I was nineteen, and working in a quilting warehouse containing scores of chattering sewing machines, I witnessed older immigrant women operating the many needled monsters for one dollar an hour.  In my attempt to organize I was fired, interested in a justice slow in coming for those hard working people.  And now, nearly fifty years later, my interest in justice unabated, only wanting it to happen but then as now, indifference colors the usual mind, life stumbling down a twisted path.

2 Recent Taxi Photos in the New York Times

One was a photograph from 1973 of a cabbie sitting on the hood of his NYC Checker Cab, leaning against the windshield reading a book.

Another from this week was of a London Black Cab driving through a flooded London Street, both photos capturing the true taxi experience.  I have done both, many times.