(Editor’s Note: Originally published Sept. 22, 2001 in the North County Times…)
Clown came to town. He was talking peace by the freeway as others spoke of war.
“I’m mainly out here for world peace,” said the thin, wispy-bearded 22-year-old who blew in from a Sonoma organic farm to visit his “girl,” and child in Ramona.
In case you missed Clown — his nom d’pax as a member of theConstitutional Clown Coalition that provides free tea and food atannual counter-cultural Rainbow Gatherings — he spent some quality time along the Highway 78 westbound exit ramp onto San Marcos Boulevard on Tuesday, one week to the day after the terror attacks on America.
Clown had a Nike cap on all right, but written in magic markerin large letters under Nike was SLAVES. He held a small cardboard sign all magic-markered up with a small hand-drawn picture of planet earth, the words “World Peace …Talk About It” and a peace symbol.
“My son and my girl are in Ramona,” Clown said. “The mother-in-law came to town so I had a little free time. I came here about a month ago and ran out of gas in San Marcos. I flew a sign for some gas money and people here were really cool, really kind. San Marcos has a lot of nice people. So, I thought it would be nice to come back here and fly a peace sign today.”
Clown took his large camper van with two pop-up tops to the back of the Ramada Inn, then walked over to the freeway exit, holding up his peace sign for the new times all morning.
“If someone kicks down some cash for gas that’s OK,” Clown said.”But I would rather see people flashing a peace sign than throwingchange out the window. I want the words on the sign out there so if somebody sees it at least it’s on their mind for a while. The word ’war’ is everywhere rather than the word ‘love’.”
Sometimes people shouted support or slyly flashed back peace signs. Generally, they ignored Clown by the side of the road. Still, the response was better than Monday’s effort which was a”Honk for World Peace” sign.
Unfortunately, nobody was honking much for that around San Marcos.
“It’s like they were afraid what other people would say,” Clown said. “I can understand how American citizens would react like that. They haven’t seen war like say somebody who lives in Palestine or Israel. People need to get more information about what’s happening before freaking out.”
Clown was in the process of moving “down a couple of freeway exits,” for consciousness raising on Tuesday. After that, he was planning on getting back up the hill and then over to Todos Santos, Baja California, up the coast a bit from Cabo San Lucas where he is helping start an organic farm and counter-cultural rest stop.
“People build million-dollar homes along the coast there because it’s so beautiful,” Clown said. “But we believe in the natural way. We’re going to have glass-blowers, herbalists and a huge organic farm within the next five years. My girl’s an herbalist. We’re going to have people making jewelry. Mexico is cool.”
But have no fear. Clown will pass this way again as he plans to rejoin the Constitutional Clown Coalition next July 4th at the Rainbow Family Annual Gathering for Peace and Healing 2002 that will be in Michigan, Wisconsin or Minnesota.
Clown’s 20-person crew again will give free tea and food to some of the 20,000 to 30,000 celebrants of “openness and tolerance for different beliefs, as well as the elevation of the individual’s’ rights.’ ”
But that’s a long way off for Clown, the Rainbows and America.This week it’s a small sign by a long road to world peace.