We’d heard the historic Berkeley Main Post Office was going to be shut down and sold so we decided to go sketch it. When we arrived for our Tuesday night sketching session, there was a “Save The Post Office” demonstration going on. (News report and photos.)
By the time I found a parking space and a spot to draw, the rally was breaking up. I quickly sketched a few of the protestors, including an old lady in purple sweats with wild gray hair serving cake and petitions on her ironing board table, and a patient Great Dane.
So what about the Girl Scouts running the post office? While I sat and sketched the historic building, the protesters left except for one man who was shouting slogans and pacing back and forth in front of the building. At first I thought he was part of the rally, but no. While he sounded educated and articulate, he was also literally “raving mad.”
He carried on non-stop, and provided the background sound track to my drawing. Here are a few of his rants that I jotted down.
“Let the Girl Scouts run the post office.”
“Yeah they’re gonna sell the post office. And then they’re gonna sell your mom and put a for sale sign on her buttocks.”
“The Buddhists and the Catholics won’t pick up cigarette butts from the sidewalk. Obama won’t even pick up cigarette butts from the sidewalk. Romney won’t pick up cigarette butts. Berkeley High students won’t pick up cigarette butts from the sidewalk. The Boy Scouts won’t even pick up cigarette butts, the City Council members won’t pick up cigarette butts.” (and on and on)
He lectured on politics, religion, environment, sex, drugs and more. I wondered if he had been a professor or a politician before he lost his mind. Then he packed up his shopping cart and headed to his homeless home. And I finished my drawing and also headed home, grateful for shelter and sanity.