Resurrection on the Streets of North Sac

“Here, we know how to RESURRECT
What others throw away…”

Catherine French, ‘After We’ve Gone, Del Paso Boulevard’

These words from one murals created as part of the WORDS ON WALLS project developed by the Del Paso Design District, the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission(SMAC) and the Del Paso Boulevard Partnership(DPBP) have a much different reality along Del Paso Boulevard and other areas of North Sacramento than was intended by the author and the sponsoring organizations.

A project that was intended to “encourage poets to engage in making art in the public realm and to showcase graphic artists” as well as “realize the goals and visions for creating a district for design and a distinct destination neighborhood”, in this case, reflects more closely how many people in the area get through their lives—survive day to day.

Instead of being the starting point of ‘resurrecting’ a community, it talks to people taking discarded items and using them for other purposes. Taking, for example, a discarded wood bed frame and using it to create interior property fences and gates; using discarded pallets as frameworks to grow grape vines and other vine plants on—a source of both food and privacy or shade; saving money by scrounging old but usable furniture to furnish an apartment or home when financial resources are tight. These are the types of resurrections which occur every day in North Sac.

Other, less legal or less socially-appreciated, exist here also. Searches through garbage and recycling bins for cans and bottles to turn in for cash is a daily occurrence which draws the ire of those economically on the next level up from those who need to do it to survive. If you don’t believe it, just read comments about it on the NextDoor website for the area. There are also those on the wrong side of the law who use discarded furniture—resurrect it—as dead drops for drug transactions, and there are those who strip new construction and abandoned homes and businesses of building materials to such an extent that the structures disappear down to their foundations.

These are the “resurrections” that are seen in North Sacramento. Not the hoped for rebirth of the community nor the biblical ones such as Lazarus and that of the executed son of a Galilean carpenter which bring hope. Just the resurrections of survival!


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