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I woke up this morning at 7:30. I snapped awake and realized I couldn’t wait to get going on my new StrawberryVentures. All that life has been telling me is that I missed a step. This is me going back and rebuilding where I left off.

I walked over to the coffee shop and introduced myself to Yolanda, the owner and I sat at a table in the back to get going on my technology. My phone started ringing and I went through conversing with some of my favorite people to figure out root causes and a strategic flow to my day.

And then a number from Boston came through. Not knowing who I was answering to, I said hello. Carla Carpenter, a human who must be hiding wings offered to swing by so I could see a familiar face. Half an hour later I blinked my eyes twice before I realized a real true friend was staring back.

We regrouped over to Myrtle and we shared tears laughter and a delicious spliff. She read an article about the Eclipse and offered her parent’s new home an hour away and to return to load up my things.

I shared my pink monocle and finally tears of joy formed in my already swollen eyes. I laid back against the asphalt and thanked Mother Earth and all that this planet offers in order for me to still be here. And standing on my own two feet.

Eventually Carla left for home in a cloud of Oregon dust and a mocha which had spilled alongside the SUV. I returned to Monterey Street to grab lunch and stopped by the quilt shop to see Linda. Upon entering, she squinted at me and exclaimed that she was so happy to see me. She told me I am a ray of sunshine and she is so honored to have met me. With tears in my eyes I exclaimed I was about to tell her the same thing and I told her I wanted to make her face into a StrawberryPropaganda. She laughed and said she already thinks she is. Then she told me, I am one of your people and she had tears in her eyes.

I am floored at the beauty that is Gilroy. I had a lead for a mural in town. A new business that just opened up has been looking for an artist to paint a huge mural. They have only been waiting for a sketch. I have time to sketch. So I made one, brought it down to the business and the place is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. So, now I have two days to do a better sketch.

I wandered around with the intention I would look for inspiration I could reflect back from Gilroy. What can I paint that will give the people of Gilroy an eyeful of StrawberryPropaganda?

I turned a corner to find the museum of Gilroy, which is also closed on the weekends. So I wandered further to find the library. It turns out they have a small section on the history of Gilroy. And what a beautiful history they have.

A few of my favorite things:

Gilroy is a town built on pioneers, the people who built a community in a valley assessable to anything that you could possibly want, technology, city, factories, farms, ocean, mountains, lakes and streams. A town that is proud to stand alone in a valley protecting them from the clouds and haze.

There are countless stories of strong women doing things not typical in order to create a harmonic balance and prosperity.

Before westerners inhabited the area, a group of Natives called the Onlones lived here. They worshipped the sun, treated everyone equally, never fought wars and made guests the most honored members.

Agriculture is what has always been done here, with plum orchards, acorns, strawberries, wheat, and eventually garlic.

The Ohlone had different tongues so they are not considered a tribe, they also didn’t have a government instead having a “head” tribesman or woman serve as judge anytime it was needed. They never wrote anything down, so not much about their language is known, except that sun was “esmen”, the Milky Way is “atsiam”, the morning star is “aun” and an eclipse is “kammun caar”.

When the library closed, I wandered back out to grab a cold hydrating drink. I passed an auction house with a Ronald McDonald in the window and paused to take an instagram video. A man came up next to me and stopped to say, what are you doing?

Turns out, this man John is a graffiti artist who has a junk yard where he paints his old cars that don’t run anymore. And he builds bikes, or as he puts it, makes things with wheels run.

We talked for quite a bit and as the sun set  behind Mount Madonna, we set plans and possibilities to do something with Myrtle. Something that will honor the spirit of this PinkTurtle, because to me, Myrtle isn’t just a home or a van, Myrtle was my companion.