In 1985 I wanted to work on a mural to learn how to do it. I volunteered to help in East LA on a 500′ mural working with gang youth. After the first day, the original leaders quit because “it’s too much work” and I was the last (wo)man standing. So I co-designed the mural with James Garcia, the last man standing, and we led my ’25 little felons’ to victory in their ‘rehab’ to the community beauty. I earned a whopping $2000.00 for six months of hard work, ten weeks of which were spent with the gang youth. They were amazingly talented. I asked one boy who was fantastic at drawing and painting about his background in art. He told me, “Oh, this is my first painting. But I did everybody’s tatoos in prison.”


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