A Christmas wonderland to keep children safe from harm
It was the same on the snow slope. The snow had arrived on a truck that morning, the young man who seemed to be in charge of it said. “No throwing snow,”said a sign sternly. Admission was forbidden to anyone who was taller than five feet, said another sign.
At the side of the park a party of schoolchildren from the Robinson School in Daly City was on a little day trip. Their teacher introduced the children to a small, white man with grey hair who seemed to be some sort of scientist, or at least an environmentalist.
“In a minute I’ll explain to you how solar power works,” said the small white man. We were all bundled up tightly against the cold. Art Caranay’s five-year-old twin daughters were sharing a drink from a cardboard cup.
“I couldn’t even watch the news,” he said. “I got sick to my stomach. Oh Lord, they’ve finished my coffee.”
The children from Robinson School had come into town to sing, Mr Caranay explained.“They’re not bad,” he said.
Back over at the snow slope Joyce Medici was talking about her twin great-nieces who are four, and very calm in the face of tobogganing. “I keep telling them they should rob some banks,” said Joyce. “Even their fingerprints are the same.”
“Listen to her twisted mind,” said the cheerful lady in the Santa hat. But Joyce was addressing her remarks to the two middle-aged ladies in Santa hats who were working on the little gate of the snow slope because those two middle-aged ladies were also identical twins. They didn’t seem too enthused by Joyce’s suggestion that they should rob banks on the grounds that no jury could ever convict them.
Joyce Medici had brought her brother’s grandchildren – all five of them, three boys aged 9, 7 and 6 and the twins. She had taken several action photos of them all coming down the slope and now the children had run off for their last turn on the snow slope.
“I didn’t let them watch the news,” said Joyce, who is a tall African American woman in her 50s wearing silver earrings and a little silver in her hair. “I was in the army and my first concern was that it was a vet with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] who did it.”
Later it started to rain so hard that the Snow Park was packed up. The bouncy castles were deflated and folded away until the next day. Down at Market Street the children from Robinson School must have finished their singing. Now there was a religious group preaching. They had a sign too. “Don’t be caught dead without Jesus,” it said.