The sorrow: The bird flew away. I went to Chango this morning for coffee with Cindy Bennett and what did I see? My favorite hummingbird mural has been replaced by a skull/skeleton-themed semi-abstraction in black and white on the metal garage door across from the Del Mor apartments. The skeleton mural is not bad at all, but I loved that rich, joyous hummingbird. I can't imagine looking at it and thinking it was time for a change of scene.
Fittingly, part of my mission this morning was to see an old mural, this one at Logan Elementary, because a reader named Rene had emailed me that he helped paint the idealized landscape scene of Echo Park Lake. Rene said that another helper was Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, in person.
In response to a question I emailed, Rene wrote:
The mural I worked on is located in the playground. ... The mural's about the park and its surroundings like the Angeles Temple, but what makes it special is that Jerry Garcia himself was there. After the mural was completed, the kids who helped were given certificates and an autographed poster. What's sad is that at the time, I didn't know who he was, so the poster was just a piece of paper lying in the shack we lived in. Years later, which was last summer, I found a book about Jerry's art and then it clicked, it was him. The same year we made the mural we also had a field trip to his art gallery. That's a very special memory to me.