Saturday, August 14, 2010

friday the 13th

Today was one of those days when I woke up in the mindset of seeing the glass as half empty.  It is Friday the 13th afterall.  The day encourages negative thinking.  I awoke all too aware of the day's ominous promise.  Yeah, ominous promise.  

I left for Flagstaff (some 2 hours away), with a longer than usual laundry list of tasks I needed to accomplish.  About 30 minutes into the trip my car started misbehaving.  It's not fair.  I bought it new is 2007 but that didn't stop it from jerking and accelerating slowly.  I was bummed because I'd  ordered a part (#4 fuel injector), and had it installed 3 weeks ago.  Now, the same problem was back and worse than it was before.  Nonetheless, I made it to town.

The car dealership told me that they won't be able to look at it until tomorrow and may not be able to start working on it until Tuesday when their other mechanic returns.   It was Friday the 13th afterall. 

Hungry as a big dog, I walked over to the Flagstaff Mall to get some food.  While I was eating a young Navajo guy stopped me and said "...Excuse me sir.  Are you the one who does the graffiti?"  I told him I am.  He said he and his family had pulled up to speak to me in Cameron back in February or March when I was putting Hosteen Hank Nez up on the water tank.  I remembered them immediately.  They were really nice.  His daughter of about 4 years old was wearing a spring dress and what looked like an Easter bonnet.  In fact, I wrote about that meeting in a blog posting shortly after meeting them.  I imagined her getting ready for the Easter parade and that reminded me of getting new clothes and dressing up for Easter Sunday.  (

The guy's name is Freddie.  He said I have a good memory as, indeed, that's how his daughter was dressed that day.  He went on to tell me that he's constructing a bead stand near the boundary line between the rez and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  He's been selling jewelry for 20 years and is ready to give up, he said.  Some days he's there all day and goes home with only 15 dollars.  Now, he wants to just get walls up so I can put my wheat paste images up.  He imagines tourists will stop to get their pictures taken there like he sees them doing in Cameron.  Freddie thinks he can make more money doing this than selling jewelry.

I noticed that Freddie's eyes were bloodshot.  Yet his speech wasn't slurred; however, he did repeat his plan with the bead stand several times.   Before he left he said "...I feel bad doing this but I need some money and want to give you something in exchange for it."  All he had was 15 pennies and offered me that.  Remembering the conversation I'd had with him and his family in March as I was doing the installation, I told him I knew he is a good man and not to worry about it.  I gave him $10.  We shook hands and I told him I'll look him up to do the installations on his bead stand by the South Rim.

As I was leaving the mall I ran into Freddie again.  He had a big smile on his face and proudly showed me a receipt from Wells Fargo.  He'd just gone to the bank where he deposited 9 of the 10 dollars I gave him.  He said he felt good that he did that for his family and didn't give into the temptation to go out and buy some alcohol which would have gotten him into more trouble

He deposited 9 dollars for his family and is going to use the remaining dollar to hitchhike home and get some food.  

Friday, the 13th.

This isn't Freddie.  This image comes from the Kayenta Flea Market in 1994.  The picture's got Freddie energy though.  


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