Wednesday, May 01, 2013



Saw that guy pushing a shopping cart---grabbed my camera and decided to follow him to his lair. 
It wasn't easy--he moved rather swiftly---leaning on his cart and scooting along faster than I walk. (plus he had a good wind behind him) 
 I actually lost sight of him but found the place his cart left the pavement----a well traversed path as you can see.
 There he is! I recognized the hat. I tried to talk to him--but he would not---simply pointed to a fellow vagrant nearby--I gathered he couldn't speak English.
 I quickly snapped a shot of his dwelling.
 Then engaged his companion--who got up from his chair with a knife in his hand. Using my poor Spanish I told him I was just checking on him.  Asked if he had food and water.  He relaxed---said he was ok. Asked me if I wanted him to move (vamos)--I said no: (esta bien)
 Then I went back to check out a fork I noticed in the trail.
Followed it to its end point here.  Wondered why.
It lead to this hole in the ground----nothing in it now.  I puzzled awhile till the truth dawned on me: This is a cold weather sleeping hole---shelter from bitter winter winds. 
 Searched the area for other shelters.  This one also likely an abandoned winter quarters.
 This one still being used.
 This, a fairly substantial shelter---a black tarp covered frame secured by rope.
Moved cautiously to it's entrance---said a loud hello.  No response. Went to the door but did not look in.
 put my camera in the entrance and took this fuzzy shot.  IMAGINE MY SURPRISE A FEW MINUTES AGO WHEN I LOADED THESE SHOTS INTO MY COMPUTER AND NOTICED THAT BODY.  (As in the movie "Blow Up" when a photographer discovers on developing his film he has captured the image of a body).  Look carefully and you can see the person--bare armed--lying on his right side.  I have no notion whether he is dead or alive---he did not answer my hello---And I'm now 50 miles away in another city.  Oh well. 
 RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  This is the bottom of the city---I daresay every sizable town has a similar one.  To find it--follow a vagrant. Granted it is a low order of existence---but with just a few tiny services it could upgrade to a shanty town---and I approve of shanty towns.  One can live comfortably in a shanty---can design it yourself---make it cozy and serviceable.  It's HUGE advantage is that it avoids rent---a major enslaver of humanity. (average American spends 47% of take home pay for housing)  Every city should set aside free land for shanty towns.  Portland Oregon has made a stab at it with Dignity Village.



Jim said...

Nice to see that you are back blogging at what you do best!

Tesaje said...

Humanity lived just like this for most of our existence. These are the modern equivalent of wigwams. They are constructed very similarly. The difference with these people is that they don't have family groups (ie, tribes) for companionship and protection but are pushed to the margins.

Rob said...

farmlady said...

Your habit of doing things like this is not always a safe habit... and I wonder if they even want you to invade their life. Respect for privacy should be for everyone.
Be careful.

Randy said...

Farmlady: I see your point-and it is a valid one. I hope to polish my skills to make my contact with people respectful of them and even interesting to them.

George said...

Tesaje brings up a good point. It crossed my mind as well when we were discussing the other homeless couple. What has happened to all the families of these down-and-out people? It used to be that families took care of each other and it always bothers me when I see estranged folks out there on their own.

Trina said...

George-– I'm about to end up in the same position as these people. My parents have passed away. My brothers managed to steal my inheritance that my parents set up for me because I am a multiply disabled person. I have a life-threatening condition so the good news is I probably won't survive too long. My lawyers doing anything to help me and I can't find anyone else to help. My extended family couldn't care less they consider helping me and inconvenience which is the buzzword. So that's the way it goes. People are too busy going around worshiping the false holy Trinity of me, myself and I to bother doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

The cautions above reinforce the stated desire for dignity by marginalized people - that is the poor - world wide.
It surprised me that they didn't wish for riches, whiskey, or beautiful women. No, they just wanted to be treated with respect.
Isn't that something?
Stretch respect and one gets to love...the world hungers for love most of all.

sail4free said...

TRINA: "People are too busy going around worshiping the false holy Trinity of me, myself and I to bother doing the right thing."
Love that!