The next morning we wake up early to breakfast and coffee and a really long bike ride to warm up our bones for the day. Steve opts out of the bike ride, deciding to work on his hangover specializing by sleeping one off. Our first event was at Annunciation Mission which was set up by our friend Tracy, who moved to New Orleans almost a year ago to pursue her dream of becoming a social worker. It was Palm Sunday and the church had a donkey ride special that morning which we unfortunately missed due to poor scheduling. But, it worked to our great satisfaction that we avoiding being asked to reshoe a horse as a repair.
A lot of people from the neighborhood came by for books and brought their bikes; particularly noteworthy, PowerAde dropped off cases of energy juice and a little boy named Justin spent a good part of the afternoon hanging out with us. Justin was a 60 year old man living in a 4 year-old body and rode his bike up and down the parking lot and in between us working for hours until Kate pissed him off over a slice of pizza, understandably. We packed up after a little over 3 hours, and heading to Nowe Miasto to make a donation to Louisiana Books to Prisoners.
I used to live at the warehouse, Nowe Miasto, where Books to Prisoners has their office so I was familiar the neighborhood and the lawlessness as far as parking was concerned. I decided to park on the side of the street a block away from the warehouse next to a chain link fence, knowing we wouldn’t be here for more than 20 minutes or so. Before evening getting off the bus, we are greeted by “Peppy” (this is not his name-we never found out his name so we made it up). Peppy excitedly told us to park in his Dad’s driveway. I tell him we would only be there for a few moments but he insists, even immediately offering the space for us to stay overnight. I agreed in order to please Peppy, and reluctantly moved the bus into the lot. We open the back of the bus and being to unload hundreds of adult books as Mo goes to retrieve the folks in the warehouse to come fish through our books for what they might be able to use for their program. Peppy was overlooking the whole time, grapping books and pointing at titles he recognizes, talking quickly and excitedly about authors he knows and books he’s read. As we finish up and lock up the bus to carry books to the warehouse, Steve and I notice Peppy running out of his house holding a huge tortoise that he sets down on the concrete and promptly beings to spray wash with a garden house. I felt so bad for him, walking away and giving no attention to Peppy and his pet that he so obviously wanted to show off for us.
We return to the bus just moments later and thank Peppy for his hospitality. As we drive off, Peppy franticly waves us goodbye, smiling ecstatically at the bus. Ward and I thought it was interesting that we had only earlier that day met Justin, the little old man, and then only a few hours later meet Peppy, the old little man, who was probably about 45.