vandalism

sanclementetags“What are you doing?” I asked the teenage boy who was gleefully tagging a repainted space at Santiago Park in Santa Ana. Alarmed, he jumped down the small ledge to look up at the bridge where I was standing.

Others emerged from beneath the bridge to see where the stranger’s voice was coming from. There were probably five or ten of them altogether.

They looked so fresh-faced, ranging in age from perhaps 15 to the early 20s. A young adult with shoulder-length crimped hair appeared to be a leader. He wore a wide grin on his face.

A wave of sadness and great disappointment washed over me. These kids belonged in a boy band, or on a soccer team, or part of a visionary group that would put a person on Mars. Instead they were misusing their talents and potential to deface public property. [Mas…]