Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday: Howzit Going....Good For You?

I was thinking about Arthur Blessitt today, the man who has pimped Jesus in 307 countries and walked the distance of the equator one and one-half times. I first stumbled upon Blessitt back when I was a student, growing up in Washington, D.C. He was hard to miss, as there weren't many men walking around with an oversized wooden cross on their back and rubber wheels on the tail end of things.

I remember I drew a cartoon of Arthur's cross having a flat tire. He was standing down by the Washington Monument, passing out peanut butter sandwiches to homeless people, and I approached and asked him for one. Obviously Arthur had his spiritual (and visual) credit check going when he denied me one, proceeding to lecture me about people with true need. Following his harangue, I formed my own opinions about him. I stumbled on Arthur a few years ago, driving along Route 6 on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, dragging his cross. "Still at it," I thought.

Ever wanted to make your own cross?

A mental image of Arthur popped up today, and it started with police cars and singing. I was cutting through an area of Takoma Park on my way to help a friend pick up his car that was having transmission work done. Roads were being blocked off by police, and as I hit the side streets, I remembered today was Good Friday and Takoma Park was having it's annual 5K Cross Walk. Every year more than 1,000 Hispanic parishoners of Our Lady of Sorrows walk in commemoration of Christ's walk to his crucifixion. The bilingual Via Crucis included a living Stations of the Cross, ending with a “crucifixion” and prayer at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Maryland. This was also occurring on Rhode Island Avenue, with the faithful ending up at St. Matthew's.

WRC-4 was there. Wave, camera guy!

Calvary Escort

I was standing in a suburban yard, and two little children were jumping up and down, hearing the singing coming down the road. I asked the girl if she was ready for the Easter Bunny, and she told me she had dyed "hundreds" of eggs and that she was at her grandmother's house. I told her that her grandmother had decorated her house and made it pretty for the Easter Bunny and that he would be bringing lots of chocolate and jelly beans (so much for the religious aspects of the moment: "He dyed for you.") She said, "Your purse is really pretty." I said, "Thank you. Your jacket is really pretty," and she said, "Thank you." The child knew her accessories.

Wheeler For The Healer

In Takoma Park, monks wear Earth Shoes

Re-up For Resurrection
DC Hopper For JC

This guy blew the shot by turning, but I loved him. He was covered in bling, beaucoup gold chains, and this big cross. Back in the day in D.C., when a man wore his knit cap loose on top of his head, the look was called "D.C. Hopper." I have no idea if this terminology is still around. In Baltimore, "Hoppers" are drug dealers.

Here Come Da Judged

At this point I was standing in alignment with the pole of a stop sign, because a huge crowd was coming right at me, and I wanted the sign to part the seas, as it were, so I could take some pictures. The crowd was spilling out of the street into yards. You could hear the singing from a distance and it never stopped. Plus, there was trombone accompaniment. Wa Wa. Wa. (Am I going to hell, yet?)

"Are We There Yet?"
Extras From Rome HBO

Okay. Now, I am going to hell.

More penitents. Check out the guy on the left.

At this stage, I felt emboldened and walked out into the middle of the crowd. It felt eerie having this moving mass of people around me, singing and looking solemn. Well. Most of them, but not the cutie in the cap giving me the eyeball. Peccavi.


Blogger I-66 said...

Like Christ, the resurrection of Cube.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Oh, Goody. Company in hell. ;) Hope the Easter Buns is good to you, '66'er.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Momentary Academic said...

Wow! Cube! Ah...the passion. When I grew up, we had to go to the stations of the cross with real horses.

I always loved the horses. Hooray!

I've missed you, Cube.

Happy Easter (however you choose to spend it)!

7:30 PM  
Blogger Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Wow, I wish I had seen Arthur when I lived in DC. How fascinating.

6:45 AM  
Blogger JordanBaker said...

In AZ, we did it up the side of a mountain, led by Dominicans in full robes (and yes, Birkenstocks). Everything else seems slightly inauthentic to me.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Megarita said...

Ooooooh I had forgotten this little Takoma Park tradition. And I have a sweet little duplex picked out in hell, fear not. We'll have a potluck together.

Hippity Hoppity, etc.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Happiest Easter to you, dear Cube!

Oh my god. No wonder I hated living in Takoma Park! It was so not right for me!

8:24 PM  
Blogger mysterygirl! said...

I love it-- "Here Come Da Judged" almost made me choke with laughter. You rule.

(How wrong is it that my first thought was, "Your cross is on wheels? Pshaw. Jesus didn't have wheels to help him out." Probably pretty wrong.)

12:28 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Why don't they really liven things up and have the Roman "soldiers" hand out random beatings to by-standers?

A crack of the whip to grandma's face will make her stand back on the curb!

4:18 PM  
Blogger playfulinnc said...

I love the extras costumes from Moses to the fall of the Romans. They should come and work at my theatre.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Ryane said...

HAHAHAHAHAHa. Hey, no worries. I have VATS of SPF 30 b/c I was laughing my ass off at your thoughts on the guy in the earth shoes.

2:17 PM  
Blogger cuff said...

Great captions. I never knew about this Takoma Park tradition. Or this Arthur Blessitt guy. Is that his real name?

2:37 PM  

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