A church for Sarah-Lynn

“Did my eyes deceive me?”

“No, you’ve made no mistake.”

“I thought he passed away.”

“You’re thinking of another guy with the same name.”

“Wouldn’t that be a church full of tame parishioners.”

“Indeed. Who would challenge a minister who is also a master of the martial arts.”

“Funny that.”

“Funny what?”

“They’d name it an art. It is a skill, is it not?”

“True, however, go to a club where they train. Every move is as artistic as dance.”

“Ahhh. I understand.”

“I read about this man online. He’s a fantastic individual who has done much to serve others. He opened a day care centre for seniors.”

“That is incredible!”

“He also supports mental health initiatives, trans rights, LGBT concerns, and, most importantly, he serves God.”

“Wow! This man is incredible!”

“So sad we have to leave today. The next time we come to London, let’s attend his service.”

“Agreed.”

“I want to bring Sarah-Lynn with us. She’ll be so happy we found Rev Bruce Lee and the Metropolitan Community Church. She may not want to come back home with us.”

“Windsor has our own Metropolitan Community Church. I looked that up online too.”

“Well praise God. Had we not seen this sign and been amused by the man’s name, we would not have been led to a church for Sarah-Lynn! Since she found God she has desired a church where she will feel completely accepted.”

“God does work in mysterious ways.”

© Zora Zebic 2016

Her pink nail polish

On one of his walks my husband spied a very young homeless couple entering an abandoned home. He asked me to grab my camera and go back with him. The house was mostly boarded yet a back door, hanging weakly on it’s hinges showed a dismal view inside. Not wanting to be accosted for trespassing I nervously snapped a few photos.

pink nail polish in abandoned home
© Zora Zebic 2016

The clutter did not capture my eye, instead it was the bottle of pink nail polish. I’d said to Barry, “Even in her state of utter poverty she yearns to look pretty.” I felt a pang in my chest as I’d said the words. These young people are somebody’s children. They are afraid, lost and living in conditions unfit for human inhabitation. Does it really matter why they have run away? Shouldn’t we still care for these children?

I founded my agency, Street Help Homeless Centre of Windsor over 17 years ago. Through all these years I have been witness to many of the horrible places people are forced to live in. Abandoned buildings, unheated garages, tents in backyards, under porches, in cardboard boxes, in wooded areas, automobiles and even garbage dumpsters.

Our social safety net is full of gigantic holes, so many that few are caught and raised up to decent standards of living. I have always said “The only good Service Provider is one who is  trying to work themselves out of a job.” I mean that. It would be wonderful for me to retire witnessing an end to homelessness in Windsor, Ontario!

© Zora Zebic 2016

Images of love

Time, many moves, glue stains from tape and neglect have not been kind to this sketch of mine drawn March 7, 1976. I was in my 8th month of pregnancy for my son. Although his father and I had parted ways, I’d thought I’d sketch a moment of remembered passion.

I had called it Ebony and Ivory Lovers. It wouldn’t be until 1982 that Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder would release their song with a similar title. I was still in a state of being judged by others for my relationship with a man of colour and my heart wanted to express love wasn’t boxed in by race and this should be obvious to anyone viewing my sketch.

lovers by ANA
© Zora Zebic 2016

Recently my husband and I stayed at a bed and breakfast called Inn Chanted Forest in London, Ontario. There on a wall outside our room I saw the painting above and it caused me to search in old documents to find my sketch. It struck me how very similar our pictures are and both evidence love transcends skin tones.

© Zora Zebic 2016

The flip sides

Paying for our plate of french fries with gravy at an authentic retro diner called High Lunch Restaurant at 533 Dundas Street in London, Ontario, I noticed a 1950’s AMI Music jukebox. It took me back to my days as a pre-teen. We would save our allowances until amassing the required fortune to  pay for a plate of french fries topped with beef gravy. Ketchup would be swirled atop the gravy, to give it what we determined was a ‘classy’ look. A sprinkling of salt and pepper to make us feel adult, and we’d devour our feasts.

Some of us, most often me, produced treasured dimes and quarters to play records we believed were mysteriously housed in the small contraption. I was always ready to fetch cigarettes at the corner store for the smoking adults. The tiny tips of nickels or dimes were saved to trade for the treasured quarters to get 4 plays on the jukebox.

The small internal speakers produced sounds that were barely audible to us, we were told it was made so as not to disturb the other diners. Those were the days of my learning the magic of music. I chose which songs to play, despite the pleas from my friends to play their favourites. I found their songs too boring as I’d heard those songs so many times. The jukebox gave me a world of new music to explore!

On this jukebox I peered into the cloudy face to read some barely remembered flip sides, “Rugs Of Woods & Flowers” by The Turtles, “What Makes You Dream Pretty Girl?” by the Sandpipers, “Caution To The Wind” by Sandy Posey, and, “In The Chapel In The Moonlight” by Dean Martin. Yes, I was that child in the old CanAm diner on Tecumseh Road in Windsor, Ontario who annoyed everyone playing the flip sides of the records!

Someday, I’d love to own an authentic diner jukebox. I’d love the hear the songs again during dinner. My husband, and now you know another reason I love him so much, says he’d enjoy listening to the flip sides with me.

© Zora Zebic 2016