I need to write a paragraph about the guy I bought my car from. James. A 50 year old African American who, together with his wife, owns a little body shop in South Central LA. Oh, and he lives just one floor under me. South Central LA is probably one of the worst neighborhoods of the country.
Today I spend my afternoon in South Central LA. To get my car’s spark plugs changed, smog check done and rear view installed. That was after I got lost in South Central LA. And that afternoon, I was probably the only white guy lost in South Central LA. Fortunately, I managed to drive by James body shop on three different occasisons. The third time, I was waved down by a couple of James’ employees who were standing in the middle of the street. Anyhow, I spend the entire afternoon with the boys at the shop. It was quiet the adventure and I got to meet some very cool people. The kind of people who stand on the side of the road in their wife-beaters, red bandanas while barbecuing hot dogs out of a round container looking like a trash can.
I made friends quick. Within an hour, I was eating hot dogs out of a burning trash can, being introduced to someone’s questionably cute daughter and feeding a little kittie living in the old car next to the trash can bbq. By the end of the day, one of the guys had me pick him up from his house, as his wife was yelling at him for spending the entire day at the shop. His name was Paul and he was a cool guy.
Spending my afternoon at the body shop was a great experience. I met some very nice people. Honest, sincere and hard working people. People who oftentimes are misunderstood by society. Honestly, if it weren’t for James, smog checks and my brand new 15-year old Corolla, I probably would have never approached these people.
However, I am not sure how often I will be going back to the shop. I still don’t really know how to get there.