Forgive me for not posting for the last few days. It has been a very emotional period and I still do not have my thoughts together. The homecoming at Occupy Trinity Wall Street was one of the very best days of my life, but it was not without sadness. Many emotions had been welling up within me, and the dam has burst. It will probably take three or four, or more, posts to catch up to this point in time. Forgive me also when I jump around among these past few days. I will write those other posts as my thoughts dance closer together on the memories. I have pictures — and the pictures cry out for words.
I recently renamed the bus “Godzilla” because of a sticker on the inside wall which reads: “Okay, Godzilla, follow that car.. . . and step on it!” As well, like the original story, it is the devastation of the planet by humans that has awakened Godzilla. She has come to tear down everything that pollutes the Earth. This metal monster of a Godzilla cannot be controlled just like that giant radioactive reptile of Japanese films — she travels on her own terms, and she hibernates when she wants. Some, if not all, of that is because she needs some tender love and care. She hasn’t been ridden this hard in a long time, and she needs all her parts checked, fixed, replaced or cleaned. While we have been working hard on the WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil) system and the solar system, the original diesel system (meaning the engine and drive train) has barely gotten a nod from us. It is time to bow our heads, straighten our shoulders and tighten our belts — it is time to get working on the whole bus in a holistic way.
We intend to do just that. We came up to The Farm in order to do that, but what we found necessitates us going back to the NYC area in order to gain the help of Charlie, a friend of ours. The situation might be very serious . . . but on the other hand we just might have caught everything in time. We will see. Whatever it takes, we will do.
It was a frantic day getting into the city. Traffic was dense and Godzilla was acting up. It took a lot longer and with more stress than we anticipated. Coming into Manhattan we were pulled over at a checkpoint before the Midtown Tunnel. The Transportation Police wanted to know what we were doing in the bus. I told him, “We are driving into Manhattan.” That satisfied him and he allowed us to pass. Duh!
When we hit traffic it not only slowed our entry into New York City but it also took a lot more diesel fuel than we hoped . . . and when we made it to a parking space (finally, after searching frantically) we had almost no diesel fuel at all.
That is bad for diesel engines. We did not know that but we found out how bad it is because it set off a cascade of problems that we did not have the expertise or tools to fix. Godzilla was not happy with us.
We had to move from our parking space by 7am on Monday . . . and Godzilla was hibernating. Despite our frantic calls for help, and our frenzied repair work, we were not able to budge Godzilla. At about 4 or 5 in the morning we called for Roadside Assistance. Even they had a tough time, but they got her going . . . with about 20 minutes to spare. As Tony (Occupy Wall Street) said, “the story title here is ‘Countdown to 7!'”
While we were in Manhattan we were visited by many, many friends. There was a constant parade of Occupiers in and out of the bus the entire weekend. It was wonderful to see everyone again, and it was great to hear all the stories of what has happened while we were gone. It was good to be able to provide food, rest, medical and comfort from the bus to those in need. The bus is truly a mobile Occupation because of our dreams and efforts –we also have the ability to be Info, TechOps, Nick-at-Nite and every working group we ever had in Occupy. How? Why? Because we are The Wandering Zuccottis, yo. We did it in the park, we did it all over New York City, we can do it anywhere –and we will do it everywhere we go.
Our arrival home kicked off a week with new people aboard. Jak & Lauren headed out to one of the KXL Pipeline Blockades via jet aircraft, and we picked up a couple more superstars of Occupy for the week. Liz the Traveling Musician joined us and thrilled us with her music, dazzled us with her many skills, and warmed us with her smile. Dré, The Last Occupier at Union Square, joined us and we reminisced about the tough times at Union Square together, went out dumpster diving together, and shared our tobacco supplies once again. It was a fantastic week with both of them aboard ‘Godzilla’ with us.
When we left Manhattan we stopped first in Williamsburg (Brooklyn), where Liz and I went on a graffiti tour. Liz took some great shots of the local artwork there. I’ll put together another post with more of the photos Liz took very soon. Then we went to Prospect Heights (Brooklyn) and spent the rest of the week there enjoying Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Public Library and the Brooklyn Museum. Liz took some great photos there also.
While we were at Prospect Park we met Yaya and his children. Yaya was taking his children on an outing in the park when he noticed our solar panels. He asked about them, and our conversation quickly turned into a classroom discussion for the children. All of us joined in, though Liz had the most expert way of explaining things so she naturally took the lead in the tutoring. We discussed a myriad of topics from alternative energy to Occupy Wall Street to the importance of healthy soil with Yaya and his children. All of the children warmly welcomed and attentively discussed these topics with us and their father. This is what Occupy Wall Street is about — people over profits. It is about people, not money — the enemy is all about money, not us. I wish more Occupiers would realize that money is not the focus, people are. We OCCUPY Wall Street, we are NOT Wall Street. We are all glad we met Yaya and his children, and he and his children are glad they met us. This is what it is all about, yo.
More to come, yo. Stay tuned. Until then, a few more photos for you!
Please consider donating to the Occupy Bus Tour so we can continue to provide all the services we can to people in need wherever we go — and so we can get to the places that need our solidarity and mutual aid. Even the smallest amounts will help greatly. Thank you.