This is a post from my blog on raisingbakersfield.com, a new website through the newspeper here that I and several other people were asked to blog on regularly for a few months until there is more site content and people aware of the site. Anyway, i thought those of you not from Bakersfield might want to know one of the things going on in our crazy lives right now.
What causes people to graffiti things? I know that sometimes it is gang-related, but often it is not. Is it boredom? Is it anger or hate? I just can't figure it out. Usually it does not affect me too often, though I don't like my kids to see it, but today was a different story. I mentioned in my introduction that we moved here to start a new church. One of the things we have for our church, donated by some wonderful friends and a wonderful printing company, is a very fun ice cream and events truck, equipped with a bounce house and portable video/sound equipment to show movies or play Wii. We saw this at another church and thought it would be a great way to be a presence in the community, to do outreach and service events. We take the truck to different places and give out free ice cream, set up the bounce house, and get to know new people. We have taken it to a school, to several parks, around neighborhoods, to the League of Dreams opening day baseball games, which was a fabulous event. There were several children, who would not otherwise be able to bounce in a bounce house who were able to that day. It is such a fun and wonderful tool. Well, today, my husband went over to the lot where we park it. Mind you it is behind a locked gate where a portion of the wall is cement. When he pulled up to it, he saw something that completely horrified (among many other emotions) him. It is covered with graffiti, and terrible graffiti at that. The people (who are pictured on the wrap) are now anatomically correct, outside of their clothing, and there is terrible language all over it, as well as racial comments. I don't understand why someone would have done this to something like this. We don't know that it can be cleaned off, and it will be terribly expensive to repair. It is something that we hoped would be used for so much good, and for a while it is unavailable for that. We are sad - sad because we can't use it, sad because someone did this. We keep wondering what kind of pain that person might be in. This does not appear in any way to be a gang related situation. In fact, it appears to have been done by a child. Anyway, we are bummed. We loved taking it to parks and giving out ice cream and having great conversations with people. I would love to get to the bottom of this graffiti thing, but I'm sure I am not the only one. I do hope we can figure out a way to repair the damage that has been done.