I can’t remember when or where I first met David Sisk, but back in 2009 he asked me if I’d take some photos of an event he and his friends were planning to do the day before Valentine’s Day. I didn’t know what they were up to but I was willing to do my part. I call it “The Great Valentine’s Day Caper.”
Before it was turned into a parking lot for cars, it was just an empty, weedy lot next to the Book Store, on the corner of Main and First Streets in downtown Chico. On the designated day and time we all met there. The guys wore hard-hats so they’d look official, like they were there to do some real work. Well, they did do some real work, but probably not the kind of work the owner of the lot would have wanted. In the end, “Sisko” was placed on top of the rusty old pole for everyone passing by to see on Valentine’s Day, a heartfelt wish of love and peace.
Today, I can’t walk or ride my bike past the spiffy new parking lot next to the Book Store without seeing in my mind’s eye the empty lot with Sisko, perched a-top that old pole.
In the years that followed, I took many photos of our friend David Sisk and his art. I liked how he expressed his humor and his activism with his art. I have one original piece of David’s art work that my friends, Emily and Laurel, gave me. It’s a picture that he did for the activist group, Neighbors for Environmental and Fiscal Responsibility (NEFR), who were trying to stop a big truck bridge from being built over Comanche Creek in the Barber Neighborhood in south Chico. The bridge would have damaged the creek and all the creatures that live there. And the developers wanted the people of Chico to pay for it. David’s picture hangs on the wall above my head in my little home office. I’m grateful to have this remembrance of him.
The last time I saw David was at Bobbi’s coffee cart at the Saturday Farmers’ Market about a week before he died. He was there with his wife Beth, his daughter Sierra and granddaughter Olive. It was a nice day with lively conversation as we all stood around the coffee cart drinking our coffee. It’s hard to comprehend that David/Sisko aren’t here with us anymore. But I guess that’s not totally true. His art, his humor and his way of perceiving the world (remember the Frontal Lobe Society?) will always be with us.
David Sisk: We’ll NEFR forget you.