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  • A few years ago, a teacher friend of mine decided to send her two Dancing Raisins to different people, around the world, with the idea, much like Flat Stanley, that the recipients would take the Raisins to different locales, photograph them, and write a continuing saga. My turn came after the Raisins had visited Las Vegas and been photographed with a well-known band. They were pretty hyped up when I shook them out of their envelope. Here's my tale...

    Yes, back to California, land of sandy beaches, warm surf, and chicks in bikinis...except where did we land, but the middle of nowhere. There's no sand, no ocean, no surfer dudes or chicks, just this rather crazed redhead who keeps muttering about her crazy day. She seems to be some ol' lady school teacher with cats. What the heck? Somebody should have showed us a map before letting us get in that envelope. We may demand a refund. The M&Ms, though, say it's a pretty cool house, and we can show our steps on their dance floor and sing with their jukebox tunes. Not too bad.

    I think it was when we wanted sparkling water instead of the tap water the school teacher lady offered us. She started mumbling about too much travel, too much celebrity, too much partying. Then she yanked us off the dance floor and said we needed some rest.

    Next thing we knew, we were on a bookshelf (felt like home) sitting next to a very somber looking lady with a unibrow.

    "Hola, muchachos." 

    After a few days swapping stories with Freida Kahlo, we felt rested and anxious to hit the road. Freida helped us to understand how important it is to not take ourselves so seriously and to enjoy our art. We played some music for Freida and told her about our adventures traveling around the country. She told us to enjoy our travels.

    “Adios, amigos.”

    Our host, Delaine, took us to see where it all began, down the road to Kingsburg and the SunMaid packing plant. We passed acres and acres of vineyards where our relatives grow and thrive all summer in the San Joaquin Valley sun.

    We got to do some Christmas shopping at the SunMaid store, and entertained the barn animals in Kingsburg. We got to ride on a tractor, hauling in more raisins to the store. So many raisins, so many boxes. We had no idea how popular we are. Delaine found some post cards and is sending them along. She said something about remembering our roots, or in our case, root stock.

    In downtown Kingsburg, after our visit to SunMaid, Delaine took us to an antiques store and that is when we realized that our relatives really get around. We found a Dancin’ Raisin who likes to ski. Hey, we’ve never done that. Maybe on the next tour.

    The granddaddy of all Dancin' Raisins let us sit on his lap and play a few tunes for him.

    Our entertaining style made so many in Kingsburg very happy. What a treat to meet members of our family and see where we come from. We may not have seen the beach or the ocean, but we got a glimpse of our heritage.
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