my 2 story peace sign

I was , once again , reading a fellow blogger’s post, this one  about peace signs . She’s an artist , too , among other talents , and was creating paper peace signs . It brought up a memory of mine that I must write about now or it will vanish back into the ether for years to come . I am thankful for the inspiration .

 I worked at a moving company warehouse when I was in high school , weekends and summers . A friend of  mine said today that I was a ” gopher ” and I guess that I was . Any jobs they had around the warehouse I did . As well as moving furniture I put poison on  weeds , cleaned up , washed the boss’s car , and painted .signs truck old

One Friday I was painting the side of the shed . The shed was two-stories high  and made of corrugated aluminum or steel . I was given silver paint and I went to work . I spent much of the day up high on a ladder slapping silver paint over the old grayed paint .painter

I didn’t have quite enough paint to finish . I told Roy , the warehouseman , and he promised to have another gallon by Monday . Fine .

Now ,  I could have left a corner of the shed unpainted . Sure . But , it was the sixties , after all , and I was a little more creative . I left a giant  peace sign unpainted . I painted  gleaming  new silver paint around what became my two story dull paint peace sign . No big deal , I thought .shed

Wrong .

The side of the shed faced a vacant lot , beyond which was a Volkswagon dealership .  When I climbed back up the ladder and got to work on Monday morning , a salesman from the dealership walked across the vacant lot to chew me out .

” You believe in that ? ” he demanded , pointing at the peace sign .   German accent .  Angry .  Loud .

” In peace ? ” I asked . peace sign

I don’t remember now his words beyond that first accusatory question .  He was calling me a Communist ,  I think , and a dirty hippie , and other choice idiocies , all delivered in a thick German accent . I worried that he might shake me off the ladder . Otherwise , I let the words flutter  off  into the uncaring air . I don’t remember whether or not  he threatened  to tell my bosses . Seems now like the thing he would have wanted  to do . If he ratted me out to Roy I would be told by Roy , confidentially and kindly ,  about it later . Roy would have been concerned and sympathetic with the  enraged man .  If he had gone into the offices and complained , then Roy would be told to reprimand me . None of the suits would have come back to tell me anything directly . But , I don’t remember any fall out from the incident . Maybe it had been enough for the mad salesman to curse at me and to call me names  and to verbally demonstrate that he was a true patriot .

” I had to look at that all weekend ! ” he had yelled .  Poor baby !  Poor warmongering Love It or Leave It ,  pro  establishment , reactionary Volkswagon salesman ,  tortured and humiliated by a giant peace sign across a vacant lot from his place of employment . All weekend !love it or leave it

VWI still laugh a little when I remember his absurdly seething  tirade so long ago . I hadn’t been provoked by him . I simply ignored him and  finished painting the side of the shed . I was happy that he didn’t try to knock me off the ladder .  He cursed and tossed insults and vented for ten or fifteen minutes , got no angry response from me to fuel more rage , and then he walked back across the lot to , I assume ,   sell more cars .

To each his own , I always say , to each his own .cropped-cartoon-people-brit1.jpg


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4 responses to “my 2 story peace sign

  1. How did I miss this. Funny! Did he not understand what the peace sign stood for? Probably not. Good for you…and keep on painting those peace signs. They’re popular again.

  2. If I can judge by subjective, anecdotal evidence, I’d say that Volkswagens sported peace signs by a larger ratio than any other vehicles on the road. VW’s, ironically, became a sort of hippie status symbol. Hitler would be spinning in his bunker over the fate of his KdF-Wagen. Ja!

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