Candy van con­tro­versy

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

A for­mer-Pil­bar­ian has made head­lines in Amer­ica for paint­ing “free candy” on a white van and driv­ing through mul­ti­ple States to get to the Burn­ing Man Fes­ti­val.

Ex Kar­ratha-based worker Ron Ja­cobs bought the 2007 V8 Ford E350 for US$6000, painted the con­tro­ver­sial slo­gan on the side and, true to his word, has handed out thou­sands of free candies to the public.

“Hav­ing a van is like hav­ing your own lit­tle por­ta­ble room; it is per­fect for what I am do­ing and so cheap,” he said.

“Also, Burn­ing Man is all about giv­ing, so I had to think ‘what am I go­ing to give’

“Con­nect all these dots and free candy starts mak­ing a lot more sense. It just had to be com­pletely over-the-top.”

Mr Ja­cobs said he put an Amer­i­can flag in the van so no one could be put at risk of be­ing called un-Amer­i­can.

The trip has so far taken Mr Ja­cobs and his crew from Los An­ge­les to Sacra­mento, Reno and Santa Mon­ica and has in­cluded mul­ti­ple en­coun­ters with law en­force­ment.

There have been mixed re­ac­tions from the public and news crews, with many par­ents rais­ing con­cer ns and oth­ers shout­ing out their sup­port for the van.

“Be­cause I was in what I call black­out mode, I only ever heard the story from other peo­ples’ mouths,” he said.

“My fun­ni­est mo­ment was when I heard that it had made na­tional news and that my camp mem­bers’ daugh­ter was on the news too.”

Mr Ja­cobs said it was “fan­tas­tic” the com­mu­nity had re­acted in such a proac­tive and vig­i­lant man­ner in light of the well-mean­ing in­ten­tions.

Pic­ture: Ron Ja­cobs

Ron Ja­cob’s “free candy” van has been mak­ing head­lines in Amer­ica.

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