A cardboard box, empty of paper, has been sitting next to the railroad tracks for a couple of days. Earth Day was yesterday. Many were celebrations held over the weekend. Our schedule permitted attendance at the Reading event Saturday April 21 at Riverfront Park.
A band was playing as the shadows lengthened on the grass. The Main Stage lineup board indicated Umami was on. Umami has a cool sound, including an oboe and some of their songs sounded like Dr. John or else they were playing Dr. John.
In addition to the sounds, there were sights:
Hippies with hula hoops and Long flowing skirts.
Girls painting on each other’s skin.
A man with a well-behaved brindle Great Dane. The pair was magnetic and attracted comments like “he’s as big as a horse.” The dog wore black leather accessories with studs as if coming from a Harley Davidson fashion runway.
Most of the vendors had cleared their tables under the information tent. A small separate canopy housed bicycles. The sandwich board listed six cycles and a trailer to the other side carried the slogan It’s a Solar Thing – You Can Understand.
Most of the food vendors were shutting down and the choices has dwindled. Several people scooped colorful Italian ice which has almost no aroma. A woman clad in short shorts performed with a hula hoop accented with about five flaming wicks distributed around the circle and many videographers truned their attention her way.
A green cloth was hung on a line tied on two trees. The cloth was printed with words and a couple of globe shapes that gave the impression of batik. The words were Hope. Happiness. Save. Throw away your cash. Before and After, Eliminate Drugs, Help save our earth. Two young women were about to break camp and noticed I was writing in my notebook. One of them described the origin and the process of the fabric work – it was made by children in an outreach program and they used glue and acrylic paints to create the piece. Ever since then it keeps occurring to me how fortunate it is the young women and the children got together. It would be nice to make something like it.
Feeling tuned up, I returned home by way of the River Place trail along the Schuylkill river near Reading Area Community College (RACC). Piles of stone, baled with wide plastic strapping, have been placed under the Penn street bridge. The Penn street bridge, when you look up, is crumbly but maybe not as badly as the Buttonwood street bridge. Where the stone belongs is unclear.
“This has been here for twenty years!” a man cried out as we passed the stone pallets. ” Twenty years they’ve been sitting here and the city is crying for money.”
I copy. Do you read?