On Saturday I drove to Downey Park on the East side of town. I went with the hope of seeing Capoeira Martial arts as they relaxed for a picnic and an afternoon of practicing this Brazilian martial art. I had no idea where in the park to find them but I ended up parking in a space right next to where their picnic table was set up. I walked up and 5 people were playing long bow shaped instruments, called Berimbaus, and a drum while others whirled dodged and did somersaults and handstands. As I sat down to draw...you guessed it, the music stopped and everyone packed up to go home. That was my fault I had arrived late, having come from another sketch location.
Rather than consider this a wasted trip, I wandered down to the lake where children and adults were splashing in the water. I sat in the shade of a beautiful old tree and vicariously enjoyed the company of a Hispanic family on siesta. A small Hispanic boy became infatuated with my haversack and he boldly walked up to me and started yanking on it. His father had to rush over and pull him away. Several other times kids wandered up to me and would put their hands on my knee like I was placed there to keep them steady on their feet.
This relaxing day in the park reminded me so much of old sepia colored photos I have of my mom in her youth. In every image she is seen smiling in a bathing suit and always close to water. Her father was a second generation Irishman who managed to buy a boat with his plumbers wages and the family was always near a beach or lake. I am left wondering how I lost that heritage.