My earliest graffiti memory dates back to 2nd grade at Hellyer Elementary in San Jose. The Seven Trees neighborhood was in walking distance from school, and to that point my dealings with Seven Trees involved checking out Shel Silverstein and Doctor Dolittle books from the Seven Trees Library.
I used to take the yellow school bus to Hellyer, and Dewey the bus driver would drop us off in the morning with about ten minutes to spare. One morning when Dewey let out the busload of rowdy students, I saw that a crowd of kids had already gathered on the sports field.
That's when I saw it...10-foot VST letters had been hacked out from the grass. My little mind couldn't make sense of the vandalism, and I asked this kid George (the same kid who thought his mother's name was "mom") the meaning of VST. He explained that it stood for Varrio Seven Trees, a gang from Seven Trees. Gang? At that point my point of reference for gangs was the Apple Dumpling Gang, a Disney movie with Don Knotts and Tim Conway.
Opening tomorrow is MOCA's Art in the Streets exhibition...Friday I took a look at the outdoor setup setting up...