Reflections on Walk #16, Part I, Saturday, Sept 20, 7:30 am. The streets were quiet and clean this early, and the Saroyan Theater majestic with a sign celebrating 75 years of the Town Hall Lecture series. While waiting there about 3 minutes, three people walked past us, all looking dishoveled and walking in the direction of Poverello and Rescue Mission — a woman wearing a scarf headwrap pulling a rolling suitcase, a young man with a hikers backpack, and an older man in baggy dirty clothing. We walked west on Kern through downtown and around Chukchansi stadium. We saw demolition for the high speed rail station at the railroad tracks and Central Fish Company. I guess any $2 billion dollar project has to start somewhere, and we stood on the dirt where it starts. (I’ll show these pictures to our kids someday.) Then walked through older streets with small shops, some open, some closed, some boarded up. Signs of ethnic segments, Japantown, Chinatown, Mexico town.In front of the large beautiful Fresno Budhist Temple, men were standing on the corner and told me they were waiting for field work. Farmers come pick them up. Across 99 and the walk into west Fresno is fascinating. Tree lined streets with older homes and so much variety on each front porch. Many people were out and spoke to us. In brief greetings with people at two houses, they told us the house belonged to their mother who had lived there many years. Now the adult children were living their too, or visiting to help out. At one house, three adult sons had come over to build a new fence. Lots of neighborhood churches. A japanese catholic church, a convent, a few gospel churches, two AME churches. AME = African Methodist Episcopal. The very friendly Pastor Johnson, who apologized for wearing a t-shirt, invited us in to see the inside of the Free AME church. He let us in through the gates, and crossing the courtyard, we entered a beautiful little sanctuary with cushioned seats and a stage and altar. He was proud to tell us about their Sunday services, and the van that was donated. He invited us to come on Sunday morning at 10:30. End of Part I.
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