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. http://www.blessitt.com/
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? http://www.blessitt.com/makecross.html
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.
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.
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.
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?)
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.