Pandemic Road: Resilience

Self‐isolation, Quarantine, Social Distancing and Global Pandemic. These words were not part of my daily vocabulary last February. By the end of March, they consumed my world. These are crazy difficult times. Have I ever survived difficult times before? You bet I have. That doesn’t mean this is not still difficult, but I know I have some survival skills that I can pull from. The most important for me is a sense of humor.

Can we talk about “handwashing”? Before February I always assumed that most people, at least most of the people I knew, were familiar with the concept of handwashing. I never would have guessed that Facebook, YouTube and television news programs would all feel the need to show tutorials about how to thoroughly wash your hands to keep from spreading disease. How did we keep from spreading disease before? Well, considering normal annual rates of colds and flu, maybe we didn’t.

I can remember seeing and sharing the post on Facebook that stated something to the effect of, “Now, if everyone has mastered handwashing, next week we will focus on turn signals!” Apparently, we are still working on handwashing and haven’t graduated to turn signals yet. Maybe that will be one of our New Year’s resolutions for 2021.

In addition to handwashing, I have become an expert on sanitizing everything I ever touch. I use bleach to clean counters, doors, door keys, light switches, you name it, if it is in my home, I have sanitized it with bleach. Except for my cat. My cat has assured me that she wants no part of this human drama and she will continue to keep herself clean as she has done for the last 15 years.

The most challenging word I have learned and incorporated this year: ZOOM. One of the many technological ways for people to stay connected. I’m learning it……slowly……really slowly. By the way, where did the word “zoom” come from. The definition means to move or travel quickly which is an oxymoron when it comes to me and zooming. But I do it, because I can stay in contact with some really wonderful people.

I am just willing to bet that when this pandemic is over and we start meeting together again in person, we will all complain about having to “actually travel” through “Houston traffic” to get somewhere. Yuk! We will think back and remember the “good old days” when we could just talk to people at home on our computers wearing sweat pants and pajamas. I mean people are wearing sweat pants and pajamas. Computers don’t generally feel required to put on clothes for zoom conversations.

Has any of this been easy? Heck no! Have there been times when I have become depressed, angry, sad, forlorn, and every other emotion I can name? Heck yes! What do I do? I look at history. Tough times do eventually come to an end. The Great Depression, The Pandemic of 1918, and World War II are just a few examples.

I love to read books about people who survived tough times. I have read historical fiction and many biographies by people who know what surviving hard times is all about.

Also, I keep in touch with friends even though this does involve a lot of zooming. A good social network goes far into helping me stay sane during these crazy times. That includes all of you who read this blog. Thanks for being there!

Until next week.….

Time to Change your Borders?

We’d traveled into north Texas when the green mileage marker popped up.

Oklahoma 8.”

The road trip that day promised a long journey, another seven hours. I turned to DH and teased, “You game?” He smiled, nodded.

A‐OK = another RoadBroad quick stop. Because, why not?

One left turn and eight miles later, we arrived at our new destination.

We eyeballed the terrain. Nothing: no cars, no animals, no buildings, no people.

To visitors, such a sight spooks.

To a native, it’s heaven, a reminder of similar landscapes, e.g., the Texas Panhandle where I grew up.

It saddens me that so many fail to see the beauty of these flatlands. Here, you can slow down and catch your breath. Tech devices don’t work well. Distraction dissolves.

What follows? A thanks offering for simplicity and clarity, for clean, pure lines where earth meets sky meets river. Hard to see it but there is water flowing in the Red River here:

Centered under a moon dot, the Texas‐Oklahoma state line nestles mid‐river between banks of scrub.

Look up, in the center of the blue sky, can you see the surprise?

The tiny circle of the moon snagged me, too. How many times have I missed such clear vision? 

The moon hovering sweetens the moment. Overwhelm descends. Earth’s only natural satellite transmutes a spontaneous side trip into holy encounter. Indeed. 

Wikipedia informs that we’re viewing what’s technically called the Red River of the South. One of the few American state borders so created, the waterway meanders across/around/through four states, feeding eventually into the mighty Mississippi.

We sigh, make a u‐turn, and head back toward home.

Texas awaits. So does a second gasp:

Sunlight morphs a new state line?

How did we miss this house? Abandoned or not, it’s the only structure around.

This sight at this moment? A two‐fer?

We both do more than pause. We pull over and stop, both silent in a second holy encounter. I wonder: does this bustling city girl need more slow‐down encounters like these? Is this pandemic self‐care or something bigger?

Where the Lone Star state curves away from Boomer Sooner‐land.

I swallow and look up.

Past the house, the land flattens to familiar terrain. Beyond the sign of my home state, I spot Home.

Over there. Around that curve. After a looong afternoon drive. Oddly grateful there’s no eerie ahead, I comprehend. Now I can breathe and drive. Easy.

The straight lines of the Texas state marker offer comfort. I know this place. It’s where I belong, for now.

The tight green rectangle screams precision. The two poles beneath radiate strength. Both offer comfort, valued in these times.

Translating, I understand these as guideposts, each offering a pathway to home. All roads do, but today’s messengers brought intensity in different form: two states, multiple shapes (circles, lines, borders), varying forms (earth, water, sky), and changing landscapes (flat versus rolling terrain).

Homeward bound.

Then I connect. These are messages from my recent existence.

I take the sights and their messages in hand — from this latest little diversion — and put my foot on the gas, heading south to home.

I’ll figure out — precisely — what it all means.

Later.

Pandemic Road: Post Halloween Malaise

Now that Halloween is over (I’m still in recovery from that!) I am on to the next distraction from the ongoing craziness of this pandemic ridden world. I began this morning by attempting to make plans for Thanksgiving which is just two weeks away. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not having to plan what meal I will be cooking. Remember, I don’t do anything as domestic as cook. However, for many years my Beloved and I have gone to a wonderful restaurant that knew how to do a Thanksgiving spread up right. However, this year we wanted a take‐out dinner. We are both still big into isolating as Covid numbers are rising again.

When I contacted the restaurant to discuss a menu, things went strange quickly. I could get a turkey for $100+ and a batch of mashed potatoes for $75. I quickly realized that they were selling family style batches of food. Also, being a vegetarian, I did not know what I would do with all that Turkey! What was I to do? Luckily this pandemic, unlike the last, is in the 21st century. Google to the rescue! Now I have a choice between two wonderful local restaurants with lots of options and affordable prices. Don’t worry, I’ll go back to my former favorite Thanksgiving restaurant, hopefully next year. I have a week to decide between the two establishments. Check back to see which one I decide.

By this time, my mind was confused and blurry from trying to figure out a pandemic Thanksgiving. The cure? My beloved and I made our way to the Houston Arboretum. The skies were sunny and the trails inviting. We even found what appeared to be miniature flocked Christmas trees. I don’t know the real name of this plant. If you have any idea, please let me know. Anyway, we walked some of our favorite trails and at one point even we didn’t know which one we were traipsing down. I hugged some trees. Then we made our way to the pond and spoke with the turtles. We would have spoken with the alligator, but apparently he doesn’t live there any more. I was sane and centered once again.

Then for more adventure, we made our way to the grocery store for a few provisions. Of course, there were Christmas decorations everywhere. I gave up that fight at the beginning of November. But some things we did see confused me. For instance, why decorate with snow flakes or snow men in Houston? When was the last time we had snow in this area? As I was gazing at the snowflakes it was 80 degrees outside. I guess the air conditioning deflects the heat from the fluorescent lights and keeps the snow from melting.

Just when we thought it was safe to go home, we found these little gems. This is a bag of candy that is made to look like Legos. Children (and adults) are supposed to eat these sweet morsels and maintain enough sense not to eat the real Legos. Does anyone see a problem here? Notice the packaging states that this is “Candy you can play with” and “Build Holiday fun”. Needless to say, we didn’t purchase any of this candy. Probably because I don’t trust myself not to get confused and eat real Legos. This is clearly a sign of just how stressed I am during this time of year.

I will sign off now to go take a nap. Wish me luck!

Until next week.….

Dia(s) de Las Muertas: Bringing Life to Death

Celebrating Mexico and Catholicism is not my usual modus operandi. Neither was losing a beloved sister suddenly.

In the 13 months since Mimi died, I’ve accepted there’s hole in my heart that will never heal. But there’s a peace offering in the ongoing celebration of Dia de Las Muertas, or Day of the Dead.

Mexico’s biggest festival ends today, November 2nd, on what the country calls All Soul’s Day, a time to honor the newly, and long, departed. 

Thus I remember my sister Mimi today and recent rituals to honor her life’s impact and meaning in our lives.

On her birth day, we placed her ashes inside our home church’s columbarium. Mimi’s steel urn now hugs our mother’s brass one, placed there six years ago. All that separates the pair is a picture, seen below (far right).

This hand‐carved columbarium holds cremated remains in perpetuity at our childhood church, St. Matthew’s Episcopal. The small spaces in the wall are called niches that hold urns of ashes. 

Unlike a cemetery, a columbarium is not built into the ground but rather inside a church wall or a similar structure. It’s also not a mausoleum, a building built for caskets, either buried or entombed.

As important: interment is burial in the ground; inurnment is when cremated ashes are placed in an urn followed by final location in a niche.

I didn’t want this education, either. 

In the church chapel, we gifted flowers overflowing with symbolism.

The single red rose honored our sister. Yellow flowers on the right recognized our parents and grandmother (our father and his mother rest in the niche’s back row). The varied floral spray on the left celebrates living family members.

On the one year anniversary of Mimi’s passing, my other sister and I remembered the eldest with a Jewish Yahrzeit observation. This annual rite commemorates a loved one’s death with rituals celebrated by Jewish faithful since the 14th century.

This observance was Merrilynn’s idea, mirroring a ritual she conducts after her own experiences of heartbreaking loss.

Together, we lit three white candles, read Yahrzeit meditations, prayed together, and said blessings to our departed sister. We even offered ring‐topped cupcakes. Mimi smiled.

Now today, I’m honoring loss and grief again. Writing can be ritual, too.

And I finally understand. Without knowing it, I’ve been practicing Dias de Las Muertas since August. Three times.

Ancient archetypes awaken again.

The human condition: we’re not different from each other, are we?

Important perspective to remember with this thing we’ve got happening in America tomorrow.

So who are you remembering on this All Soul’s Day? 

Happy Halloween! Are You Scared? I’m Chillin’

It’s here! It’s finally here! Tomorrow is Halloween! Yes, I have been preparing for this day ever since November 1, 2019. I am currently sitting in my home listening to Halloween music and looking at my Halloween decorations. I found this little kitty in downtown Houston in a place called Market Square. Have you ever been there? If you haven’t, you should make plans to go. Even if you are one of those who still doesn’t want to go to restaurants or bars (like me) you can still view some of the spookiest spots in town.

If you wonder why this section of Houston is so haunted, it’s probably because it is one of the oldest parts of town. This particular building is called La Carafe. It is known as one of the most haunted spots in Texas. Over the years it has been any number of businesses, but now it is a famous local bar. It’s trying to reopen in light of Covid. It’s been a long time since I was in there, but it is a very friendly place. Even the ghosts that hang out there are supposed to be very friendly residents. Actually all of the ghosts that call Market Square home are supposed to be some of the friendliest critters around.

Then there is the Magnolia Ballroom. This one building used to be a compound of about 10 buildings that made up the Magnolia Brewery. Then during prohibition, they made ice. Now it is one spot on the second floor of a building where folks can rent space for parties, weddings, and such. Reportedly there are ghosts who like to dance around the ceiling of the large ballroom.

Market Square is not only the spookiest part of Houston, but it is also one of the oldest spots. It sits right next to Allen’s Landing. Houston was founded by the Allen Brothers and here where two bayous meet was the original port of Houston. The original Houston City Hall was located in Market Square.…all three of them. Each of them burned down before it was decided to find a new location.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s there were a few shops that sold merchandise for the growing group of hippies in Houston. Reportedly, one store sold cook books that instructed you how to make LSD in your kitchen. I’ve never found or talked to anyone who actually tried to do that. I hope whoever did is okay and survived to see the 1980s.

So those are my tales for this Halloween 2020. Isn’t this much more fun than listening to hours of news reports about the once again growing pandemic or the upcoming election. I think after I post this blog, I will turn off all screens and just relax and enjoy the ghosts and goblins. I only converse and make room for the friendly spirits just like Market Square. I will be wearing my lucky skeleton bracelet that I wear every year at this time. It must be lucky, because I have never faced any mean or ornery spirits while wearing it. I wouldn’t dare go out on Halloween without putting it on my wrist!

Enjoy your weekend and holiday! Stay safe!

Until next week.….

Pandemic Road: Witch Holiday or Which Holiday?

Seriously? Really? I tried to warn everyone. I both begged and cajoled. I specifically said Do Not Do It! Did anyone listen? I don’t think that I am the only one who cares, but yet here we are. This picture was taken last week when I was out running errands. A big old red Christmas bow on the top of a building. Two or three weeks before Halloween! Before Halloween!!!

In the immortal words of Gomez Addams (Addams Family Values, 1993), “Has the world gone mad? I seek justice.….Denied!”

Also, you can see the tree limbs in this picture. Many of the leaves are still green. Some have just begun to turn brown. Here in Houston, we have barely begun with fall weather. Today, as I write this, it is a brisk and chilly 79 degrees outside. A cold front (or what passes here for a cold front) is due towards the end of the week. The temperature might drop into the low 50’s.…..maybe once. Check out this weather map:

Please note that this “cold front” brought snow to my friends in Colorado. Here in Houston we still don’t have any plans for putting the snow tires on our cars.

Also, please turn you attention to that big red thing in the lower right part of the picture. There is yet again a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Let me repeat that. There is another hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Zeta. Hurricane Zeta. For the umpteenth time this year, everyone in Houston is blowing real hard to make the storm go into Louisiana. It’s nothing personal to any of the nice folks in Louisiana. But it’s been a busy and disturbing year and we just don’t have time for the nonsense this year.

Well, because 2020 is such an unusual year, I conferred with my friend and we have come to a decision. If you really must start your Christmas shopping early.……Before Halloween.….we will allow it on one condition. You are allowed to shop either in person or online if you frequent locally owned businesses. No box stores and for sure no national department stores. Period. That is our last and final offer. I don’t want to say anything bad will happen to you if you purchase all of your holiday gifts from some corporate giant of the retail industry. But if you look closely at my friend, you might be able to figure out that this is one critter you don’t want to upset.

If that doesn’t do the trick for you, please note that my friend has many other friends in the neighborhood. I don’t know the humans who live with these skeletons, but I believe they are members of my soul tribe. Don’t you agree? Before this year, I had never seen a mermaid skeleton. I can only imagine the sea voyage where these two met. I can’t get either one of them to tell me their tales.….not even the “fishy tales”! Get it? Fish tales! Yes, I amuse myself. How else am I supposed to survive a global pandemic, murder hornets and Christmas shoppers in the middle of October?

I remember back when I was a young child (why yes, that was a long time ago. I am old. I believe we used feather quills for pens if I remember correctly). We weren’t allowed to even think about Christmas or any other winter holidays until Thanksgiving was over. That meant that after we drew ghosts and pumpkins in school art classes, then we had to draw those ridiculous turkey pictures by outlining our hands. Egad! Childhood was so weird back then. It took a lot of patience to be young that long ago.

Until next week.….

Pandemic Road: Art and Compassion

Back in the good old days.….by which I mean the days before Covid 19.…I had two creative works accepted into different exhibitions around Houston. Originally there were going to be opening receptions with wine and hors d’oeuvres, patrons of the arts and various creative types. Alas, that was not to be. However, in this new day of virtual gatherings, the receptions and the exhibitions have been moved online.

The first of these is Compassion, a collaboration between Women in the Visual and Literary Arts (WiVLA) and the Holocaust Museum Houston. In this project pairs of visual artists and writers teamed up to bring forth their vision of compassion. I was chosen as one of the writers and I worked with visual artist, Josena Arquieta. Her painting is called Listen, which is a companion to my essay, It’s Time To Listen. The picture you see here is the exhibition book. You can see this exhibit by going to WiVLA.org and clicking on the exhibit link. If you want to see our work or purchase the book, you can go either to WiVLA.org or you can go to the website for the Holocaust Museum Houston. The online exhibition doesn’t always give the full text of the poems or essays. For the full literary version, you need to purchase one of the books.

My other exhibition, titled The Art of Attention, was a juried exhibition of art produced by students and teachers at the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University. This is a work of art that I made while taking a class in collage from instructor Ellen Orseck. You can see the entire virtual exhibit at https://glasscock.rice.edu/sites/default/files/F20_CLE_Student_Art_Exhibit.pdf

Meanwhile, back here in my private oasis known as Halloweensville, my good friend Skellington has come to visit for a few days. He’s pictured below in his black traveling cloak. We’ve had several leisurely dinners out on the patio, because the weather has finally started feeling ever so slightly like fall. He travels the neighborhood at night to visit the other skeletons in the neighborhood. Below is a picture of one of my neighbors who likes to wave at people and other skeletons.

Between all of the virtual art and Halloween, I love this time of year!

Until next week.….

When Home Morphs into Hometown

NOTEThis post concludes a four‐part blog about a recent trip to the town where I was born: Pampa, Texas.

Roadway sights defined the long drive to my hometown. I should’ve paid more attention as clues announced themselves. It started with a first omen one hour in.

Thick smoke from a truck fire draped the highway. Later, I recognized the effect: clouds as funeral pall.

We made the trip to return my eldest sister to our mother’s side at our hometown church. The ironic presence of the smoke — in effect, color, and timing — screamed.

Another American city fades, its population less than half of 40 years ago.

Nine hours later, we spied the little green sign we’d anticipated all day.

Its sighting followed miles of non‐stops through big cities, small towns, and farming villages. Scattered among the people, buildings, and roadways were landscapes ranging from summer green to drought yellow.

Surrounding the city limits sign, two elements stood out:

  1. A yellow‐gold ring midway down the pole linked the green rectangle at its top, an unique marriage of city marker to high school colors of green and gold.
  2. Cloudy skies engulfed the entire sign. I gulped, remembering why I had come back home.

My mind began to race. It linked this moment to the morning’s roadway fire.

Aha! Is this another omen or has my mind shifted into overdrive? 

Driving toward our hotel, my mood shifted to near‐mania. Storefronts I recognized. Bricked streets of downtown. High school hangouts. Childhood church.

Then, as I drove down the main street, the quick stop stores began to pop up like little Whack‐a‐Moles. They each demanded attention, their names worth the price and tears of driving to Pampa.

Only one of these stores existed during my childhood. I remember Toot ‘n Totum as Toot ‘n Totem. But why did today’s “u” in Totum replace yesterday’s “e” in Totem? No idea, but I remember the chain’s ad campaigns : you toot your horn; we’ll tote out to you. 

Amazing what the mind remembers after a half‐century!

The next day, we breakfasted at another first.

United Supermarket offers what I dubbed the food quadrifecta (and yes, I made up that latter word: in my dictionary, it means “four of something”).

DH makes his photo debut on RoadBroads. That’s him on the far left, ordering breakfast.

In one building, United offers a stand‐alone of these four: grocery store, delicatessen, dine‐in restaurant, and a full‐service Starbuck’s.

A lifetime traveling the globe and never has this Houstonian seen a combination quite like this.

Departing this place of quick stops and quadrifectas, I realized there’s something to learn in the laughter and the sadness discovered this trip.

It’s called the Circle of Life, when home morphs into hometown.

A place I used to know.

Pandemic Road: October!!!

Guess what day it is? Are you enjoying it as much as I am? I hope so, but I’m not convinced. It’s the first day of October!!! If you don’t know the answer to my first question, please refer to the picture of my assistant helping me with this blog for a clue. It’s the first day of Halloween Month!!! What? You don’t celebrate Halloween all month long? I’ve been celebrating and decorating since Labor Day. Technically, there are some Halloween decorations that I leave up all year, but I really start decorating the day after Labor Day. No! You cannot judge me! If the Hallmark channel can start showing Christmas movies before Halloween, then I can start Halloween festivities after Labor Day.

October is also exciting, because we are drawing to a close on the 2020 Hurricane Season. Oh, sure there are two more storms headed to the Gulf of Mexico, but I have decreed that those storms will not bother me in any way. We have had our first cool front that really made it all the way through Houston. Temperatures are cooler. I am walking full force again around the neighborhood, at the Arboretum, at Hermann Park among other places.

The walks have been great, but there are already a few signs that things are getting spooky out there. I am beginning to see proof of ghosts and goblins afoot. Take this little Teddy Bear for example. Most Teddy Bears are cute and cuddly. Yet, this one looks a little angry and quite wet. Did this bear jump out of whatever car or stroller as it moved down the street? Does it intend to haunt the neighborhood? Or is it just angry, because no one bothered to pick him up after he hit the ground. As you can see it was able to walk safely to the side of the road where it could plan its next actions.

Then there is this little guy. In case you can’t read the sign in front of the fence, his name is Riblet. Yes, a Texas Longhorn named Riblet. We are being told that we cannot enter the corral, because Riblet is shy. Hmmmm… If my name was Riblet, I would not be shy, but I wouldn’t want any humans coming close to me. The name sounds like someone has plans for turning this little guy into dinner and that does not sound like fun for any critters in the Longhorn clan. I think Riblet should try to hurt anyone who gets too close with those mighty horns. I hope Riblet joins the Teddy Bear in haunting and Trick or Treating the neighborhood.

As the month progresses, I will do my best to keep us with all of the spooky goings on around here. I still have more decorations to put up and scary movies to watch.

Until next time.….

Home: Ghosts Haunt but Woody Guthrie Sings

NOTE: Part 3 of a 4‐part post about returning to my Pampa, Texas hometown.

I smiled as I turned onto downtown Cuyler Street, Pampa’s first paved road.

1926 & an oil boom led to the moniker "Town with Muddy Streets."
The moniker “Town with Muddiest Streets” followed a 1926 oil boom.

Red bricks, laid last century by “Indian Jim,” extended south as far as my eyes could see. Perfectly aligned rows and rectangles dissolved into muddy crimson, eventually to meet railroad tracks on the far end of the street.

Thank you Mike Cox for this "Texas Tale" excerpt.
Thank you, Mike Cox, for this excerpt from “Texas Tales.”

One thing about my hometown had not changed.

Black circles (for mourning, anyone?) mark the old night deposit dropoff, the 1940's bank name over the front door, and the eagles keeping watch over downtown.
Three black (cough) circles, from left to right, mark: the old night deposit slot (pre‐ATM days), the bank’s name over the main entrance, and granite eagles that watch all.

Something across the street had.

Resound” headlined the former First National Bank building.

How can a hometown survive without a ‘national bank’? 

Resound offers wireless internet. Good news for a rural town.

WiFi takes over The Bank? 

I remember opening my first bank account here with my father talking in the car about how the building was built during the Great Depression — “jobs for too many unemployed men.” 

I whisper now, At least it’s been repurposed for good,” and drive away.

Next, it’s to the hospital where I survived double pneumonia.

Worley Hospital looked in bad shape the last time I saw it. No time to stop then. It was Mother’s day.

The black circle notes my ’62 hospital room.

Years before, owners had abandoned Worley Hospital. A newer hospital on the town’s north side drew more doctors and patients. 

I cringe at the building’s extreme deterioration. Then my eyes, unconsciously, flick upwards. To the window I can never forget.

For two mostly‐black weeks at age five, I lived in that circled room. Life‐threatening fever seizures led to pain‐filled treatments. But the day before dismissal, Mother lifted me up to that window. I watched traffic on the street below and giggled. I looked over at her and didn’t understand why her eyes were wet.

Ah, a little girl’s scary experience transformed into a sweet memory.

A half century later, scary returned. Thank you, A&E Network.

The film crew profiled Worley Hospital and its new owners, youngsters who dreamed of a B&B. They began renovating. Hauntings began. “Ghost Hunters” came to visit. 

“Ghost Hunters” profile a haunted hospital.

So much stuns in this TV clip:

  • Ghostly entities sidling up walls
  • Green bars recording voice echoes
  • Ghastly state of hospital interior
  • A B&B? In this building?

Outside Worley, I don’t know whether to laugh, roll my eyes, or go inside.

No Trespassing” signs stopped me.

I needed a happy close.

On its north side, Pampa hosts a one‐of‐a‐kind “musical fence.” It ‘sings’ the opening bars of “This Land Is Your Land,” as composed by Pampa’s most famous citizen: Woody Guthrie.

If you can play an instrument, you can play the song by following the fence.

Pampa welder Rusty Neff created the art piece and its 12‐foot treble clef to honor his father. And Woody Guthrie. At night, the fence illuminates in red, white, and blue lights.

Woody lived in Pampa throughout the 1930s. The folk singer dropped out of high school to self educate at the city library. In addition to songwriting, illustrating, and painting, he worked as a busker (musical street performer).

I wonder, “Did Woody busk on the downtown bricks?”

By the way, check out the final verse of “This Land Is Your Land.”

We need more Woody Guthries.