When a seven foot tall police officer asks you, “Do you like the police?” It is inadvisable to answer with anything other than, “YES!”
Hesitating and asking, “Is this a trick question?” doesn’t go over too well…
Today’s march lasted longer than I expected because I underestimated the distance I would be walking from San Jose to Sunnyvale and back. Consequently, I walked an extra seven miles in order to get back to the gym parking lot in San Jose. I took a longer route, which resulted in the extra walking.
I left the gym parking lot at 8 am and walked to downtown San Jose. As I walked, I took photos of various interesting sights: a park with the World’s Largest Permanent Monopoly Board, the Adobe building (makers of Photoshop, etc), an art museum, a veterans’ memorial, and another park with Jacaranda trees and other types of trees, where homeless people slept on the many curved wooden benches.
One homeless man named, Jose engaged me in conversation, but he was hard to follow. He spoke about immigration issues, about the powerful and their attempts to control us, and how Hollywood lies about people. I took a photo of him and skedadled. Two other homeless people asked me for drugs or money. When I told them I had neither, they acted extremely disdainful and walked on.
From downtown, I walked north-west, over a freeway, toward the airport. Periodically, jets flew by and landed, alternating with much smaller private craft. I was marching along Coleman Avenue on the bicycle lane on the opposite side of the road from the airport; walking against on-coming traffic. As I was looking at the airport, an older woman wearing shorts and a floppy hat was walking on the other side of the road.
She stopped walking, made some repeative gestures, then bent over. He back was to me, and I could see her make digging arm movements. Then, she stood upright and continued walking.
I continued along Coleman Avenue until I came to Game Kastle, the same game store I had visited yesterday, during my day off. I had left the wall charger for my tablet in a game room last night, and I wanted to retrieve it. It was 12 pm by that time. I ordered some BBQ ribs from a soul food restaurant nearby and ate it at the game store. The corn bread was awesome, but the ribs were meh.
After eating and checking the Google map, I returned to my march. I marched along Coleman until I hit the Central Expressway.
I took that busy thoroughfare westward. It was windy, so I was playing “Strangle the Jiggling Flag Pole” again. Many cars honked and I was given a lot of thumbs up. The sky was light blue, with wispy, brushed clouds here and there.
After an hour or so, I got off the expressway, and headed south. I meandered along various side streets until Iended up on S. Wolfe Street. I took that south to El Camino Real. As I walked down Wolfe, I noticed two odd things.
First, that the area was populated with a lot of East Indians. The funny thing about these folks is, they have no compunction about staring at you if you’re a stranger. Or, a stranger with a long flag pole and big flag. They will not only look at you, they will stare. Intently. Inscrutibly. There is no point in engaging them in a mad dog staring contest. They will inevitably win. If they aren’t staring at you, they simply turn away and do their best to ignore you. Either way, you are left feeling like an intruder or a madman.
The second odd thing about walking through that area was that a crow kept following me. The same crow. It kept flying from tree to tree ahead of me, then hopping or flying to different branches, cawing at me. It kept doing this for three miles.
I though it had some issue or fascination with my flag. Perhaps with me. When I finally realized that I was being stalked by this cawing pest, I took a video of it as it was in a tree above me. I was rather creeped out by it, and told it to leave. It ignored me and kept doing its tree branch jumping and cawing. Interestingly, it stopped following me after I posted something about it on Facebook.
I took El Camino Real west until I reached the center of Sunnyvale. This was the ten-mile point. I used a restroom, then started back to Wolfe.
I continued down Wolfe into Cupertino, and encountered more stares or averted looks. The neighborhood changed, and soon I saw more and more Chinese people. They did basically the same thing: either stared or pretended I didn’t exist. There were a lot of car honks there. But not for me. The drivers were impatient with one another, and usually because a good number of them drove badly.
As the sun was descending into the afternoon sky, I entered Santa Clara and then San Jose.
As I was walking eastward along Steven Creek Blvd, I saw a huge police officer looking down at a middle-aged man who was seated on the curb behind a van. The police officer was about seven feet tall, with spiked black hair. While he was not muscle-bound, he was build like a brick. Another officer, 6’2 and blonde, was running the licence of the citizen.
The officer had instructed the citizen to get up and open his van’s side door. As I walked by, I saw that there was a mattress on the floor, and there were shelves with tools, like the type locksmiths would have.
“What is the Liberty March?” The taller police officer asked as I was passing by. I was surprised he wanted to engage me in conversation, considering he was dealing with the other citizen.
I stopped, gave him my card, and told the police officer about the number of miles Iwas walking, how I have been driving from place to place and then marching with the flag, and that I demanded that all elected and appointed officials uphold their oaths of office, and protect the Constitution.
That’s when he stopped smiling and asked me if I liked the police.
“Is this a trick question?” I responded.
“Do you like the police?”
“Of course I do. I love law enforcement officers.”
His smile returned. “Oh, then good luck on your march.”
I wonder what he was planning on saying or doing if I had said something like, “No, I detest the loathsome jackbooted thugs!”
After being dismissed, the other officer walked up and asked if I’ve really been walking all the way from San Diego. The taller police officer cut him off and said, “No. He drives.”
I have gotten used to being wary around homeless people and strangers. Sadly, I am now starting to feel wary around police officers. Like the officers in Fresno, I suspect they have an institutionalized biased against us “radical right-wing types who carry the flag and talk about the Constitution.”
I walked along that road for fifteen minutes and came to a Mini Cooper lot to my left. I was looking at them, trying to see how much their price stickers were when I happened to look right at the street next to me, and I saw the two officers stopped in the left turn lane. The taller officer was in a huge police SUV, while the other officer was in a squad car behind him. They looked at me when I happened to notice them. The light turned green, and they passed me as I waited to cross the street to keep walking east.
Down the road a bit, I came to a nice-looking Surplus store. I went in and asked the man if they carried chaps. He told me of two places a few iles away that had them. One was a bondage store and the other supplied motorcycle riders with leather gear. I asked for the name of the motorcycle place. “Just Leather.”
I walked and walked and it was now getting dark. From behind me, someone asked me how far I was carrying my flag. I turned and saw a tall blonde man in his early Fifties accompanied by a tall blonde woman. Both were dressed in tennis/exercise clothes. The man was smiling and was very nice.
I explained what I was doing, and they were interested to hear more. They walked along with me until we came to an intersection where they were going to depart in another direction. We stood on that corner for ten minutes and discussed the current state of affairs in this country; where the poor are being taught to hate the rich. The woman spoke with a Romanian accent and blamed the current administration for promoting class warfare.
Based on what they both said, I deduced that they were very well off. I gave them my card and we parted ways.
As I walked across the intersection, three couples out on the town walked along from a different direction. We waited for the light to turn green so we could continue. I decided to quickly move around them and cross anyway, since there weren’t any cars turning. Two seconds later, a car full of guys with water balloons sped by and pelted the couples. Had I remained where I was standing, I would have been hit several times.
I was already across the street when I turned to hear the laughing car passengers and the startled couples getting hit. I heard several more water balloons hit the ground near where I was. I continued on.
I wondered if I was the intended target and the couples had inadvertantly been hit, or if we all were the targets. Several blocks down, as I passed a street corner, I noticed water spots and realized that the car passengers had thrown water balloons at others along that street.
Eventually, I saw “Just Leather” and crossed the street to see its hours of operation. They will be open tomorrow (Saturday) at 9 am. I have told people that if I had raised enough donations by two nights ago, that I would march through San Francisco wearing my shirt, chaps, and my shoes. And no pants. Even though I didn’t raise the amount I need, I will still go through with what I said I would do. However, I need to buy chaps.
I had another three miles to go, by this point. As it was, I had already marched more than 20 miles. I continued eastward and then turned southward toward Parkmoor. The street there was filled with residential buildings that were zoned for commercial use. Inoticed quite a few massage parlors on that road. The first, called, “Midnight Therapy,” gave me a clue. After that one, I passed three more. Across the street, I saw a closed down theater called, the Burbank.
From there, I walked eastward on Parkmoor, which was a one-way street. And, it was not lit. I walked toward on-coming traffic, getting back on the side walk whenever cars came zooming by. A few drivers saw my flag in their headlights and gave me a few beeps. After a mile, Ireached the gym parking lot. I was relieved. This march took thirteen hours.
I put my flag away in my car, got a change of clothes and my towel, and then went into the gym to shower. Afterward, I drove around until Isaw a pizza store. It was 10 pm by then. And, right next door Isaw the Winchester Western Wear store. It opens tomorrow at 10 am. So, if they sell cheap chaps and a cowboy hat, I’ll wear that as I march through San Francisco. I’m worried that if I wear motorcycle chaps and a cap, I’ll be mistaken for a Castro District village person, or something.
So, that’s my report for today. Tomorrow, I go Rhinestone Cowboy on ol San Fran.