The history of my homelessness led me to study the Priory de Sion. I was living in North Sacrament when I told Sonny Barger’s son to tell his mother to stop selling drugs. He was not happy. Two days later my landlord came over and told me they are coming for me, and I got to leave. He helped pack my things, and drove me to the Greyhound. Me and my big mouth had got the Hell’s Angel’s on my ass. These bad boys partied with Ken Kesey and Michael Mclure. I made sure I packed my Brother word processor that a back of Bruce Perlowin got me. She was led to believe I was Mr. Big. She came from Chicago where they had to be a Mr. B. She titled me ‘The Gentile Giant’.
I moved in with Michael Dundon and his new wife, Diana. Her father was a big Freemason. Looking for something to read, I found ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail’ and my life was transformed. After confronting Dianna about her gambling, she three us out, and we ended up in the private campground of a logger that Michael had worked for in Blue River. In rained almost every day that cold April. I kept my Brother dry in a small tent I threw a blue tarp over. When Dianna took Michael back, I was there for a couple of weeks, then lived on a old school bus on the property of Greg and Cindy Mel. When I caught eumonia I went to the hospital. I did not have my SSI insurance card. They let me out a door at 6:00 AM. I went to White Bird and they told me about the Royal Avenue Shelter. I lived there for two months and they moved me into a house on Kinkaid where Donna Christ was living with two others. I moved into a Quad next to the house that was near The Alley. I met Spooky Noodles at a coffee shop on 13rh. and we began to study and shoot the shit together. That was 1996. That was twenty-five years ago.
Last night I told Spooky about the one bedroom appartment in The Alley that is for rent. I told him that I might come into a large sum of money, and if I do, I will rent this place, and he will live there. The bedroom will be mine so when I visit from London, I will have a place to stay. We will go to THE BRIDGE and continue our quarter of a century Grail Quest.
I am working on two proposals for grants from the Mellon and Getty Foundation. I want to create a Hands Across The Water World Web for homeless people in Britain and the U.S. We have this in common. We have to create a BOND, now that billions of tax monies will go for the New Cold War. I want to do taped shows where I explore The Tate and other British Museums that will create their own BRIDGE for the homeless. Just a small room with computers and free internet – will do! There will be a coffee and tea pot with homemade donuts. Opinions will be shared – where it is warm. Once a month a doctor and dentist pay a visit. There is a long history of gifted and brilliant human beings ending up on the street. Jesus and his disciples – had not home.
Spooky came up with the name ‘The Bridge’ to describe the scene in the basement of the University of Oregon Library where we spent hours on the computers. There were ten on one side of the EXIT door, and ten on the other. There was a reference desk overlooking the Space Cadettes who were come of the most beautiful young women in the world. They came and sat next to these Old Guys, and took our breath away. Not everyone owned a computer in 96. The reference guide sat in the Captains Chair. Next to the curved desk was – THE ENGINE. It was a printer that printed off the internet – as much as you want – FOR FREE!
Spooky and I had the Captain putting in more reams of paper as we grabbed WARM STACKS that we took to my quad at the end of the day, and did our GRADING. We made stacks and books. I had about four feet of paper, and Spooky about three. We chained smoked cigarettes’ and discussed what we got. I made Spooky dinner a couple of times. Four years ago he ended up homeless on Irving Street. For a year he gave me THE IRVING STREET NEWS from a bus bench. Hollis Williams lived across the alley from me, and rescued all the electrical equipment students threw away at the end of the school year. His quad looked like the bowels of a space ship. He bought equipment as Saint Vinnies that allowed him to get FREE T.V.
I am going to contact Congressman Peter DeFazio and suggest he pass a bill that would create a Bridge in Post Offices across America. E-mail has to be treated like THE MAIL our Founding Father’s cherished.
Hollis and I had a crush on Rachel who was a music major that lived in my building. She invited us both to come hear her sing at Beale Hall that was a hundred yards away. We sat together in the balcony giving each other bad vibes as she sang. I would go across the street and improvise on a piano – for free! When I put on Phantom of the Opera, Hollis cried. He had lost his job and Agripac that was his home. He disappeared. Ten years later I move to Springfield and find him collecting cans at Safeway. He is living under…….A BRIDGE!
Today I left for the Post Office to mail some presents, and the American Flag that was given to me after I paid for Hollis William’s funeral. Hollis was a homeless Veteran that I adopted after his family could not be found. I finally located his sisters who had not seen their brother in thirty five years. They were six and seven when their brother disappeared after he got out of the service. I bought a brand new store-bought box to send Hollis home to his family for Christmas. Inside are photographs, and the Stars and Stripes. I took a picture while I was waiting in line, making sure I get Mr. H’s town in.
There was a crowd outside protesting the closure of the Post Office, seeing there was a long line inside, I only briefly spoke to them. I asked the guy in from of me to watch my boxes while I ran out to snap a picture. I was told folks were being arrested right now, and I could be arrested to. All I had to do was go to the loading docks. I could see my boxes inside. Should I? Then I saw Hollis shaking his head, he knowing I have a nack to get myself on T.V.
So, I went and got back in line, like a good boy. Forty minutes later, I am saluting Hollis as the clerk takes H’s box and throws it in the canvas bin.
“Farewell my friend! Bon Voyage, my son!”
Rushing outside, I whip my camera out and – here they come – fresh out of jail. I am getting the shot of a lifetime, these arrestees standing together holding up a clenched fist! Unfortunately, I didn’t hit the record button properly! I missed my interview with Peggy, who was dressed like Mrs. Samaclaus. I told Peggy about my homeless friend being kicked out of the EMX station while sitting there listening to the World Series, and asked of she would hold a pic of Hollis I made copies of for Elizabeth and Rossetta. Above is that shot that says it all. Hollis fought for the United States Government and was harassed for being homeless. Peggy got arrested for wanting to keep the Post Office open, if not just for someone like me, who wants to send a Soldier home, along with the Stars and Stripes he fought under.
God save the Post Office!
Here is the letter I sent my Congressman, Peter Defazio, and Mayor, Kitty Piercy.
Last month my friend Hollis, and other homeless people, were evicted from the premises of Safeway market where they sat outside. Hollis is a Veteran, and part Cherokee. He is trying to get of the tribal rolls. Two days ago he and his constant companion, Steve, were asked to move off the bus bench they sat on while listening to the baseball game. Steve and Hollis are avid sports fans, and I have had them over for dinner to watch America’s favorite pass time. I took our wayfarers to see the Ems. Last Saturday, Hollis and I drove around for an hour looking for the place where they were having a Military Stand Down. If we could have found this out of the way place, Hollis could have been treated to many free serivces by the United States Military – our Government.
Yesterday, we put our minds together, trying to come up with an idea that would make the plight of the poor and marginal people in America more visible, because there appears be a policy by some big business men, and members of big and local government people, to pretend there are no people being hurt by our poor economy and draconian cuts instigated by the Tea Party, so called patriots who first appeared at the Springfield Post Office. I went to see them, and heard how they are for the People. But, it looks like they are for big business and big bank – and doing away with the United States Post Office that gave them a Sanctuary for their new ideas!
Posts Offices can become a Stock Market for the Poor and Disenfranchised. Lady Liberty welcomes these people! What I suggest, is that Hollis and other invisible people who are in need of help, come to the Post Office, put down a blanket, and trade or sell donated objects. For every dollar the Post Traders collect, 40 % percent will be used to save our post office nationwide. Consider this a Postal Tax that is willingly given in exchange for a place The People can come to exchange information and ideas, seek, and offer employment, and collect food for poor families. I am going to send this idea to my Congressman, Peter DeFazio, and suggest he instigate a year round Military Stand Down at Post Offices all over Oregon.
If the Republicans can spend two trillion dollars bringing the Iraqis and Afghanistan, “God’s gift of Liberty” as George Bush put it, then our Blessed United States Government, can bring God’s gift of Mercy to American citizens give them Sanctuary in a storm. I am going to suggest to the Wall Street Demonstrators that they align themselves with the Trading Post Movement, and barter and trade in the park they have used as their headquarters. Elected officials are trying to pass a law that forbids these demonstrators to put their possessions on the ground in order to put an end to those who are camping. Consider the Native Americans who came to Trading Posts to barter their wares. It is said, the new comers cheated the Indians, and bought the Island of Manhattan for a string of beads.
We the People can offer all Americans a Better Deal! We need to gather around the old pot belly stoves and give help to our fellow American directly. I suggest all post offices that are on the verge of closing, be turned into Trading Posts, second hand stores, that cut out the middle man, and make the least amongst us – visible! My Rosamond ancestors were Real Patriots who fought under the Francis Marion. Unfortunately, they also fought against the Cherokee Nation, the first people that God brought to America. My ancestors evicted them from their land. We also owned slaves we brought here against their will. This War on the Poor must come to and end.
When those who have, go to the post office to mail a package or letter, bring a can of food, or an item the have nots can use for barter. Contrary to what the Tea baggers are saying, the first European settlers came to America to escape religious persecution, and not make a killing on the Stock Market, or promote Capitalism.
The idea for a Trading Post came about when my homeless Veteran friend, Hollis Williams, was evicted from Safeway and an MX bench while listening to the World Series. I wrote a four page letter to the manager reminding him his vice president wanted employees to volunteer at the Youth Garden, where we helped – but had not followed through. I had asked Ted if any employees had shown up. I suggested Safeway hire Hollis as a Surrogate Volunteer! Hollis was back at Safeway. There is a report the Koch Brothers are behind the Bundyites. “Conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch signaled last week that they will be enhancing their financial and organizational support for a vast coalition of right-wing activists and militia groups that are seeking to seize and sell public lands in the West, including national forests and national parks. Among the groups receiving increased backing from the Kochs is the Bundy terrorist network, whose occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in protest of federal control of Western lands just came to an end with the arrest of the movement’s leaders and the last of the occupiers. “
The closing of our Post Offices is more of Margaret Thatcher’s crusade to Privatize America so British and American Bankers can play roulette with our tax money.
Please join my yahoogroup and help make a statement and stand!
Trading Posts were vital in the formation of the United States of America. They are now being threatened with closure due to the bad poltics and ideas of the Tea Party who are going out of their way to hurt the poor and disenfranchised who are welcomed by our Lady Liberty to this Freedom Land.