Listen to voice over artist Tim George

read the part of Hank Peabody

Visit Tim George's website to learn more
about his work


Father Serra's Dishwashers

from The Reeducation of a Turd Peddler
by John Henry Peabody

AFTER WORK TODAY I bought a Popsicle and went down to the park where I caught Carlos, the dishwasher from the Rusty Pelican and his buddies, playing soccer in the shadow of nearby Serra cathedral. They had worked up a game that involved keeping the action between the shadows of the two church spires as the spires cast themselves upon the grass of the adjacent park. The goalie positioned himself at the image edge of the cathedral roof while the players stayed between the dark sidelines of the grass. As the shadow moved, they moved. There was plenty of competition and laughter between them.
  Carlos saw me and I waved back.
  Watching them kick the ball around in the shadow of the church, I must say that Serra did reach his goal, in a way.
  These guys were, for the most part locally employed Christians. Some of them could even vote. But to look at them, their faces, builds and complexions, they were Indians—native blood, albeit from Mexico. And like McCauley’s mimics, they were like the colonizer in every way but ethnicity.
  The colonizer never gets to keep the colony—but the colony gets to keep the colonizer—and their stuff. Just as the Indians, the sub-continent ones, got to keep the British Rail infra-structure, its gauge, purpose and economy (the Indian rail system is the largest employer in the world), California and Mexican Indians got to keep the Spanish: their language, their Church, the architectural base of the towns the first Europeans left behind. And they got both baseball and soccer, cowboy boots, tennis shoes, jeans, collared shirts, even cars and mortgages. If they wanted, there was sushi and pasta on their days off, cell phones, airliners, email and calling cards.
  Serra, like all colonizers, had a vision that took off on its own. Many of Carlos’ buddies spoke Spanish, English and a local language, like Mayan. They towed the line but kow towed to no one. One could say that Serra was actually successful, but only in the way that a hardworking man hopes that some aspect of the world he has busted his ass for all his life might be around after his death.
  In the case of Carlos and his friends, Serra started it; they took it from there..
I chewed at the end of the wooden Popsicle stick and listened to Carlos as he howled, “Gooooaaaalll!!!” Then they all high-fived each other.


Copyright © 2010, The El Fornio Historical Society
          Contact John Graham at