Yesterday, after the second June farmers market, my youngest brother brought me some records from our parents’s collection. He took our dad’s turntable when he moved out, so it was he who got first dibs on the records. Luckily, our musical tastes don’t overlap much, and when I asked if he would give up the Beatles, Elton John, and Simon and Garfunkel, he agreed. Last night, I listened to the 1972 Greatest Hits, an album of studio versions and live, a collection so good, both my mom and dad bought a copy before they got together. Still today, when I hear a Simon and Garfunkel song, I expect to hear the next song in the 1972 Greatest Hits track listing.
Last night, after two weeks of baking, selling, and watching the global uprising from afar, my body and brain were fried. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” made me bawl in a way it almost never does; it’s a song that makes me teary, but last night, I cried for those silver dreams, past and future.
The protests came home this weekend in a way they hadn’t since everything started in Minneapolis, the day I wrote my last letter to you. Vancouver has seen multiple rallies in support of Black Lives Matter, but this weekend, a group of protestors occupied the Georgia Viaduct, a major road connection into the downtown core—as well as the former site of Hogan’s Alley, Vancouver’s largest Black population. They were summarily displaced to make way for that road, an event mostly forgotten by many in the Lower Mainland. Not even the presence of Nora Hendrix, Jimi’s grandmother, can hold the attention of most white Canadians.
Sometimes, the only way to get people to pay attention is to literally stand in their way. That’s what the protestors did this weekend, blocking the road, holding the line, forcing many in Vancouver to face up to their history.
Instead, the police forced the occupiers to leave this morning, in the early hours, before the Monday commute. The paternalism of that deliberate action makes me so angry: “it’s nice that you wanted to make a point, but now that the grownups have to get to work, it’s time for you to go home.”
My June 7th market was in benefit of Black Women Connect, a social club that offers a space of friendship and safety for Black women all over the Lower Mainland. I donated 100% of my profits from that Sunday—$300! including a number of unprovoked donations, without purchase, from customers in this very white suburb. It was surprising and heartening, and while I acknowledge my privilege as a white woman is a contributing factor, I also received no negative feedback in person. And this week, the protest group set up across the street with their signs of support for the second Sunday in a row.
If this very rich, very white, very conservative suburb can change, then so can the world.
All Day Breakfast’s next markets are July 5th and 12th. I’ll have my signature whole wheat sourdough loaves (come early because they sell out fast!), as well as something small for you to eat as you shop (sweet or savoury? comment to vote!) I’m also thinking about trying out some pasta. I found a source of semolina flour, and my mom has had the KitchenAid pasta maker attachments forever—though I’m sure I’m the only person who has ever used them. The garden in my backyard is overgrown with chives, which I think will make a delicious herb-y fettuccine, the kind you need only garnish with browned butter, coarse cracked pepper, a fluffy mound of grated cheese. I’ll have to cook some test meals, of course, for tasting purposes, you understand.
I hope you are feeding yourself well, sleeping when you can, and setting your phone aside for a moment to breathe. I can’t wait until the borders are open again so we can see each other. I can’t wait until the borders are torn down forever.
PS. When I tried to write this letter after last Sunday’s market, I managed a scant three paragraphs, and only after a friend ordered me to write. This morning, I sat down after washing dishes, drinking coffee, eating a couple of cranberry swirls (leftover from yesterday’s market) and I wrote this whole letter in one session. Sometimes it happens like that.