Bearsun passing through Indy
Like many people across the country, I wondered what a big bobble head looking bear was doing atop the steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument downtown Indy. I wondered if perhaps he was a holdout from the Comic Convention Downtown out for one last hurrah. What I didn’t know is that he was taking a rest from walking across the country from Los Angeles to NYNY to raise awareness of a number of environmental, mental, and physical health issues.
Less than a block south on Meridian Street in front of Qdoba’s, two young people stood behind a six foot table representing an organization called Stand For The Silent. SFTS is an anti-bullying organization dedicated to shining a spotlight on the effects of bullying on young people. The organization was started in 2010 by a group of high school students in Oklahoma City, OK after the suicide of eleven-year-old Ty Field-Smalley.
Ty took his life after being suspended from school for retaliating against a bully who had harassed him for two years. His parents, Kirk and Laura Smalley have since traveled to over 1000 schools and spoken to over 1,000,000 children. Ty’s parent’s, with the help of student leaders, use factual and emotional methodology to bring about awareness and effect change.
Every so often there’s a douchebag
The day was mostly calm for the young activists. No one had harassed them. They had suffered no threat from the homeless or usual riffraff. Only one guy, notably, grumbled that “they should go ahead and kill themselves,” as he passed by. “It happens unfortunately,” one of the volunteers told me.
Back on Monument Circle, Bearsun was attracting a lot of attention. Despite just sitting there for the most part, all kinds of people were walking up the steps of the Soldiers and Sailors monument to see him. It’s amazing what a costume can do for a cause.
skatebaording for the health of it
Like most days downtown, just around the corner were bullies and people with mental health issues. In any direction on any day, there are people talking to themselves, people passed out, and occasionally people making threats. On rare occasion, there is even violence of a severe nature, although, I haven’t experienced any.
If I didn’t have skateboarding to burn off the daily stress, I don’t know where I’d be mentally or physically. Above all, dodging cracks, pedestrians and vehicles keeps me lean and mean. I hope that I’ll keep bouncing off the sidewalk like a piece of gristle for years to come. May my mind stay nimble, and never become coarse to those who reside in less fortunate places.