Starting at Chestnut and Hamilton at Fresno Pacific University, wind through neighborhoods on all sides of FPU. Approx 3.5 miles. Three walkers started on the beautiful FPU campus. Big trees, winding walkways, well-groomed lawns and planters, shaded picnic tables, and fountains. Crossing the street to the west, we wound through neighborhoods with front fences and barking dogs, many dead lawns, and dusty long-parked cars. Some homes are well kept, but many/most are struggling for air. The three walkers each chose a word to summarize the feeling of the walk: people, poverty, and dirty. There were more people out than on previous walks. On early morning errands or strolls. The Flea Market was ramping up which may have added to the foot traffic. These are precious people, moving slowly, with the hard work of their lives showing on their faces. Poverty – the run-down nature of everything speaks of poverty – people with no money for any extras for the upkeep it takes to keep a home or a car. Dirty – yes, the streets, walks, curbs, alleys, most everything was dirty, dusty, and littered. Except for a few clean bright spots: FPU, the new model home of the Housing Authority Project at …., the Gen Pao Vang Elementary School, and the entrance to the Boys & Girls Club. There were a number of green lush vegetable gardens growing in the small strips between houses and even in front yards. And one very clean bright spot was Jimmy. We met Jimmy on the street corner with his table and umbrella and religious pamphlets. Jimmy was dressed in his best, and when we complemented him, he said he dresses his best to represent God. There were a number of yard sales, or curb sales. One gentleman was mowing his own lawn and it showed that he took pride in his yard. Hamilton Ave. goes along the back side of the Fresno Fairgrounds, and those streets and curbs were very dirty and houses along Hamilton were very neglected. Walking back, we cut across a dry dirt field on a well-worn path behind a laundrymat which opened up in the back of the Boys & Girls CLub sports field and the back of an apartment complex. Lots of trash. We did notice many small gardens along the sides of houses and behind apartment complexes.
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