People need to be ready to be stunned by what they see.
I was just over near my mom’s up in Rosemead, and it was the night before trash day. I had never seen so many scavengers in my life, going through the blue and black cans, and I was astonished because they were mostly older Asian people.
Memories flooded back of old recycler ladies I’d seen in Chinatown, taking donations from gangsters, and the Chinese Latino guy who picks cans at East LA College, and my father, who probably picked trash during the Great Depression, along with everyone else. I thought about the retired Chicanos who hang out at the eastside Goodwills and Deseret Industries, scouting out the nice stuff to flip, using their 1950s East LA skills and smartphone, to supplement their retirement.
I can only imagine the Rosemead scavengers are turning back to whatever they needed to do, back in the 1970s, to get down across the border into China, or to the coast, to get out of Vietnam.
That’s where we are.