The Greyhound Chronicles

Series Finale, 3 of 4

Three months ago, Sally Marbry conceived the idea to transform a utilitarian electrical box in front of the Greyhound station in downtown Redding into a piece of public art. The 18-part “Art and Life at the Greyhound Sation” series is a chronicle of her work and her observations of life on the corner of Pine and Butte. This is Part 3 of 4 of her final thoughts.


The Cuckoo’s Nest

September 2 Indian Joe saved the box from defacement. Turns out to be Weaving Bum. What is his beef? Throughout time the trunk will get weathered, maybe marked a bit, but at least let me finish before the games begin.

Maverick tells entertaining stories of his life as a cowboy, riding bulls, being dragged by a bull, growing up on a farm and his hard labor to buy his first car…a Mustang.

Taxi lady cruises by and stops to watch. She can’t believe the transformation and that I am still here. The labels are really stopping people now. A bit of detail and it all sinks into place. Even the mail man stopped.

Painting Spain label but color is too much the same as the other label. I knew that. I should have stayed with my original selection but love the dynamics of a bull fighter. This box definitely was owned by a man.

Indian Joe talks about the helicopters on the hospital roof and gives me a brief instruction of how to fly one. I’ll pass. Too many isolated movements, like belly dancing.

September 3 Old man rushes forward to describe his grandmother’s trunk, while I unpack. He talks about antiques he used to own and finding two old chairs for a good price. Another old man gets into it and talks about his old radio and antique record player.


I am complemented by a woman who drags garbage sacks of clothes into the depot. A bit later she storms out in a rant. Something about not putting tags on them. She cries. Reality dawns. She needs a suitcase to get on a bus, not garbage sacks. I wish I could have given her the trunk.

A complaining traveler comments that it is like visiting a psychiatric ward here. Indian Joe makes an appearance and rattles his ice in his tall cup. The manager of Greyhound sweeps the sidewalk. I paint upper part of Venice, Italy label and suggest to the complaining traveler that she join the party.

September 4 A guy asks several people what hotel to stay in for a few days and about the area. He looks nice and intelligent, but maybe he is scouting for a place to live, killing time or lost.

A guy comes over to ask if he can help me with the trunk. Then he realizes it is not real. Nice compliment.

An old drunk can barely stand. He says he’s lost his bearings. He sits with his knapsack and I get snippets of him being tossed around to different VA hospitals. He just came from a 12-hour ordeal in Medford. He is unsure if he can make it home by bus. A taxi arrives and I struggle to see him rise and stoop to lift his load.

A stylish Japanese visitor waits for a friend from Red Bluff. He chats on his cell and he seems worlds away. Another waiting visitor is inspired to recite a gruesome devil and demon poem.

A group o’ girls walk by and suggest that they will bring over a piece of cake from their sheet cake in the office. Was that a mirage? I glance up from intricate detailing to see a group of teens, then a group of older black men, but then a young hippie couple embracing. Nice little visions every time I blink. Now I hear the clank of Bottle Man rolling his cart in the alley.

I paint and wait for cake. I ask myself why. I do it for shape and color.

Click here to find all the Greyhound Chronicles.

sally-marbySally Marbry has shared her fine art, ceramics and sculpture skills as a teacher, product designer and interior designer. For the past year, Sally has been the host and writer of “Home Zone,” weekly on KLXR. She also chairs Viva Downtown Redding’s Design Committee, which spearheaded the public art and street beautification project. Reach Sally at