By Blythe Moorcraft, Quilt staff
CANOGA PARK GREENWAY
Consider it an Easter miracle of sorts.
Runners, bicyclists and others enjoying Canoga Park’s Greenway near the Canoga Avenue overpass believed they were in the presence of a divine occurrence this morning when they observed a tattered figure roll back a discarded white resin patio table top and, shielding his eyes from the bright morning sun, unsteadily stagger out from the dark recesses of a runoff tunnel along the LA River.
“At first I presumed it was the Passion Play,” says De Soto Avenue resident Brian Rauschebart, who along with his girlfriend Sarah were riding vintage banana seat bikes along the north side of the path on their way to Follow Your Heart to purchase rennet-less asiago cheese for their Sunday omelets when they witnessed the event. “Yeeah, Passion Plays are a really big part of the local culture around here on Easter...? Which is totally cool.”
|Photo courtesy Brian Rauschebart.
Ernie “Nalgas” Holvik reportedly had left his usual encampment, an alley behind Nita Avenue on Thursday morning to “go get us some beer,” says friend Ronald Saxe. “I woulda driven him but I got a good space here on the street an’ I don’t gotta move the RV until street sweeping day or the neighbors start bitching.”
So Holvik set off on his own but never returned.
|Ernie "Nalgas" Holvik emerging from his tunnel. Some
noted a mysterious white halo around him, imparting a
particularly divine aura. Others felt it looked like a bad
photo-editing job. Photo courtesy Brian Rauschebart.
“But when he gets back here, he better have my beer or my money or I’m going to beat the shit out of him with this two-by-four I use to scare off possums.”
He may have a bit of a wait.
Back at the Greenway, a gathering crowd of onlookers held their breath in hushed reverence as Holvik slowly walked to the channel of flowing water in the middle of the concrete riverbed, relieved himself, then plunged an arm down into the channel and pulled out a six-pack of discount-store beer he’d evidently kept cooling there.
Then he walked back into tunnel with the beer and disappeared.
“Yeah...not reeeally into organized religion, so I'm not sure what that means,” says a bemused Rauschebart over the awed mutterings of the crowd. “Six more weeks of winter...?”