‘One Day, I Will be a Trash Warrior!’

By Aaron Hendry

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‘One Day, I Will be a Trash Warrior!’
Photo by Flavia Potenza Holding his “grabber” to display his school project, “I have a dream that one day I will be a Topanga Trash Warrior,” honorary Trash Warrior Tycho Hendry (5) sets the example for his younger brother, Rio (3), as the Warriors prepare to clean up trash on the Boulevard on Sunday, February 27, a task they have done for eight years. (l-r): Chris Conway, Lionel Heredia, Joseph Rosendo, Yuriko Sakamoto, David Carbo, Will Alford. Not pictured Beth Goode.
That is the actual story of my kid, Tycho, and his admiration of the Topanga Trash warriors. Tycho is five years old. He takes littering very personally. When he sees trash on the side of the road or at the beach he says, “Why would anyone not love the earth?” or “Why don’t some people want to take care of the earth?” It’s a thing he feels pretty sincerely and deeply. He also really loves Topanga. When we drive to school he often says, “We live in the most beautiful neighborhood in the world.” Two Christmases ago, I got him a “grabber,” the kind they use to pick the trash up off the side of the road, just as a fun thing to screw around with. One day we drove past the trash warriors on the side of the road picking up garbage and he noticed they had the grabbers! He asked what they were doing. I told him they were a group who got together to clean up the neighborhood every Sunday by picking up the trash, and they called themselves the “Topanga Trash Warriors”. Well, he thought these people we’re the coolest. I think they have kind of a legendary hero status in his mind. When we pass by them, he rolls down the window and shouts, “Thank you, Trash Warrior!”
Courtesy of the Hendry family. Tycho’s project surprised and pleased everyone, especially the Trash Warriors.
Now, I don’t think he wants to “be one when he grows up,“ per se. He’s in transitional kindergarten (TK) and I don’t think he has a concept of an occupation or career. It’s more something that would be amazing to do in his mind. Not “I want to be an astronaut when I grow up.“ Rather, “I want to walk on the moon someday.”

I’m pretty sure the exercise that prompted the drawing was around MLK day. They had assignments talking about things they could do to help their community and their hopes for all mankind. In this particular assignment, they each got a piece of paper with the incomplete sentence, “I have a dream that one day I will…“ and a space to complete it and draw a picture.

Tycho completed the sentence, “I have a dream that one day I will be a Topanga Trash Warrior,” and drew a picture of himself on the side of the Boulevard with a grabber and a bag, big smile on his face, blue skies and sun overhead.

Now, he’s five but he really loves to think about things in thorough ways, and then loves to talk about them. I mean the kid can talk and talk and talk. On other days, he’s got nothing to say. Like I said, he’s five.
When I told him about you guys reaching out, he was incredibly enthusiastic. I’m not sure if he would just be excited to take the picture, or if he would want to talk.

Personally, I think it’s great because it could be a vehicle to highlight the Trash Warriors as the amazing bad ass heroes they are for this town. I’m not sure most people realize how completely trashed the Boulevard would be without them. In his mind, I believe they are complete action heroes, a posse riding the range armed with bags and grabbers vowing to “clean up this town.” I think it would be awesome to give them their due through the eyes of a kid who admires and appreciates them.

At this point I think he is just excited to take a photo in an awesome orange vest with some cool people! So if that’s all that came of this, that would be just great, too.

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March 4, 2022