Skinny could have cried foul and leaned on his cane, but he didn’t. He followed my lead and was industrious. He methodically went about dismantling his handy work board by board with a pry bar and a hammer, careful not to split the old wood. I liked his quiet demeanor and finesse.
I paused and looked across the property to the Home Depot, it was quit busy.
“See those guys hanging out in the Home Depot parking lot?” I asked, pointing to a group of Mexicans milling about near the back entrance.
Skinny looked up, nodded his head and went back to pulling on a stubborn nail.
“You speak any Spanish?” I asked.
“See, street talk. I grew up in Oakland near Fruitvale.”
“Good. They work hard,” I said, “but most of them fake it when it comes to English. If we hire a few of them you could speak your way around their jive, right?”
“Then that’s what we are going to do. We have a whole work force right here on our doorstep. I will pay you what I offered if you can get them to dismantle the rest of these buildings with the same care and finesse that you are using on your artwork.”
The kid looked from me to the Mexicans, then back to me. “Bossman?” he asked.
He grinned and dropped his hammer.
Bossman was going to fit him like a shirt.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®