MEETING OF THE TRIBES AT GARFIELD PARK ON EARTH DAY (4/21/07)
Garfield Park and its swimming pool by 26th Street have attracted thousands of San Franciscans over all these many years.
Garfield Park is famous for those famous elm trees - they grow huge and as you look at them they seem to want to embrace you. Murals in and around Garfield Park inspire one to look beyond the beyond.
Public Housing is close by and residents that live in private homes live side by side. Now and then there have been incidents more prone to shootings and killings - the community has decided to take charge and bring about normalization. This BBQ could not have had better timing.
I have worked with the community and especially the Day Laborers. I have good friends that live and work in Public Housing by Garfield Park and I am glad at last - the Community Rooms have been opened to bring some much needed programs to those youth and adults that need these programs most.
April 21, 2007 is Earth Day and so when I have approached by David Mauroff to pitch in and make good stuff happen - I decided I would give it my best. Many other organizations pitched in to sell programs and some just to say "hello" to the community and welcome them to better things in life.
We had a nice BBQ service stand with hot dogs, beef and veggie burgers, home made marinated chicken, and lots of other finger licking snacks. There were soft drinks and lots of water which is good for you.
The children could play in the Park and they were especially erected "Kids Jump" play stations. The children were happy and that is what life is all about.
The diversity of the community around Garfield Park is amazing and that is really what counts - when folks come and see and talk and decide to work together for their community. After all no one knows the community better then those that live, work, play, go to school and church, shop, exercise and do all those good things in the community. The children felt safe and I asked the many youth if they really enjoyed the event. The youth wanted more of it.
Garfield Park has been renovated and has state of art soccer field with astro-grass, that may not be the exact name but those of you that know more about artificial grass know what I am talking about.
Thousands of youth have been using the Garfield Soccer field. The employees that work for Recreation and Park have always afforded us the best of services. We go to the Managers and they always cooperate with us. Kudos to Safety First and the others for your support.
Some one called the Police to patrol and we saw that we said "hello" to them as they made their rounds. The police were walking around and trying their best to be friendly. Most of us will not bite and will not fight - just as long as the community is watching and those few trouble makers are kept at bay.
Around Garfield Park gangs have always had there hey day. Nothing much has changed - but the gangs understand that the community comes first and so on this day - there was peace and cordiality.
The Mission Captain was there but so were Mitch Salazar and his wife checking things out. Gaynor Nauer was keeping a watch - so she said. I was watching everyone like a hawk and did not see anything that needed special attention leaning towards curbing any trouble that could escalate into anything serious.
The Seniors were in the house and so was Senior Rita well known in the community - I saw the Captain move towards her and ask her if everything was in order. Judging from the smiles they exchanged - I thought Rita gave the Captain the green signal.
The poor day laborers came too and they partook of the food. They mostly mind their own business and many come to this country to seek a better fortune. There is nothing like sharing and breaking bread to improve good community relations. Our chefs from Norcal head by Jose as usual were in charge of the food. Thanks to Ken Stewart and Mike Crocetti the managers who always are kind enough - never to say no and they do the community good by their generosity. Thank you Norcal for that famous big, flat, clean grill.
There was music and many organizations sharing information and giving goodies. It was Earth Day and people were visiting from other events and enjoying the food at our event. Do you have such events every month asked a couple of folks? You bet. But really speaking the City and County of San Francisco has been lacking in bringing the community together.
The meeting of the tribes at Garfield Park on Earth Day was a good one and people are looking forward to next year. Thanks to everyone that kept the area clean, behaved themselves, and shared the good vibes with everyone.
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