Saturday, August 23, 2014

Faces Of The Homeless Part 2 - Lurch





Tonight (Friday) I was back at work at the Christmas shop. During a lull in customer traffic, I looked in on Facebook and discovered that one of my favorite local musicians, Danielle Hicks, was performing just three doors up from me at Dub's Public House and I decided to drop in and listen to a set after work.


It was shortly after 9:15 that I stepped into Dub's. There was no music playing, but I could see that guitars and mics were set up in the main room and I sidled up to the bar to get a glass of wine and speak with Julia, the bartender for the evening. Then I discovered that Danielle was eating her dinner at the end of the bar while she was taking her break and we exchanged greetings.



I was enjoying a glass of cabernet and sitting at a high top table in the main room listening to Danielle rock the blues, when a very tall, rather dirty and glassy eyed young man entered the room wearing a bright mustard yellow t-shirt and a very, very large back pack. He stood, transfixed, when he heard Danielle sing and kept approaching ever closer into her space. Eventually he was enthusing almost right in her face and I got up to alert Julia and the bar staff about the potential problem. They were very good about getting this stranger to back off and take a seat. Unfortunately, he chose to take a seat with a young couple at their table near the "stage" and they almost immediately fled. 


A young server, whose name I never did catch, immediately came to see if she could take this man's order. He produced some cash and they determined what it was on the menu he could afford. While his dinner was being prepared, the disheveled young man,once again, got up and approached the performer, getting almost right into her face while she was singing. This time, one of her friends went to get the bar help. Julia once again told him to take a seat and came over to tell me that third strike he'd be out.

Danielle completed one more song and went to take a break. I took that opportunity to sit with the disruptive stranger and offer him a dollar to take his picture. As you can see, after a startled moment, he willingly complied. I asked him his name, which he told me was Lurch. I told him I was pretty sure that was not his real name and he agreed saying he wasn't going to tell me his real name. That made perfect sense to me.

I asked him to tell me his story, which he did, and before long I had his real name and had even sent him a friend request on Facebook. I was surprised that he had a Facebook and asked him when he had the opportunity to get on Facebook. He assured me that he had a cell phone.

He said that he chose to be homeless so he could get to see humans as they really are. He also told me that he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. He told me the name of the medication that had been prescribed for him, but I seriously doubt that he's been taking it.

Lurch, or rather, Jason, told me about coming from a small town in Florida outside Orlando and about his mother with her 31 cats. He said that one cat, Snuggles, was really his. According to him, he's been homeless for 15 years and rides the rails (he said this while pointing to what looked like a self inflicted tattoo on his wrist that looked to resemble barbed wire or perhaps railroads.) Then he pointed to his beaded bracelet with a single Hello Kitty charm. He loves Hello Kitty. She always makes him smile.

Apparently he's lived all over, but plans to spend yet another winter in upstate New York. I was quite alarmed at hearing this and I told him he couldn't survive. But he seemed quite confident, saying he's done it once, it got to 15 degrees below, and he can do it again.

What a life story for a man of only 31 years of age. He tried to talk me into buying him an "alcoholic beverage" but I refused. I told him I'd buy him a soft drink or an ice tea and he chose coffee instead. He said he'd like hazelnut creamer, but in lieu of that would settle for lots of sugar and creamer instead. Dub's doesn't have hazelnut creamer, so they eagerly supplied the requested sugar and cream.

I was tired and needed to call it a night. Danielle was taking the stage again and I told Jason of my concern with him entering Danielle's personal space and intimidating her (although I admit that she and everyone at Dub's handled this man with the utmost grace). He apologized, saying that he hadn't realized he'd done that, he just loved her voice, and promised to stay seated for the rest of her performance. He also promised to visit the Christmas shop tomorrow as his mother loves ornaments and he wants to get one for her.

What a night.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Faces Of The Homeless


For whatever reason, I've always had a heart for the homeless. I never realized there were homeless people until I moved to Washington DC when I was 18. It was a heartbreaking eye opener for me. And while I drove past these people every day and heard stories about certain of these individuals, I had no personal interaction with them. I was afraid.

Many, many moons later, while participating in "gallery sitting" while a member of an artist co-op in Baltimore, Maryland, in the Fells Point neighborhood, I became reaquainted with the plight of the homeless and even got to know many of the locals by name and would chat with them, if ever so briefly.

Now, living in Savannah and working on River Street, I've come in contact with many homeless; alarmingly many. I'm almost overwhelmed by their numbers and more shocked by their youth. One in particular, named Tim, used to visit with me regularly where I work at my part time job at Christmas On The River. And from time to time he'd bring his friends in to meet me as well. I haven't seen Tim in a while and I find myself wondering if he's all right.

Yesterday, while walking down River Street, I became intrigued with this young man. When I first noticed him, it was via sound, not sight. He was playing a harmonica. Always fascinated by the harmonica I looked toward the sound and found him playing to an interested group while his cat, wearing a pink leash, sat serenely on his shoulders. I knew I had to have their picture.


I approached the fellow and offered him a dollar if I could take his picture. He pretended that he'd prefer to have a good idea given to him or some souvenir that would be of sentimental value. But, after I took what I thought was only two pics, he relented as I handed him two dollars. 

We talked for a bit. He referred to himself as Savannah something and his cat had an unusual name, something that reminded me of Chewbacca. He said the cat was an Egyptian Mau (I don't think so) and as we were talking, the cat, without forewarning, leaped from Savannah's shoulders to mine. I held very still as she walked across my shoulders and then climbed down my clothing, head first, making her way to the ground. 

I would have loved to have chatted at length with this young man and heard his story and what led him to his current place in life; however, my friend, Tuna, was visiting from out of town and we were on our way to the next tourist destination. So we made our farewells and shook hands.


I hope that I get the opportunity to meet Savannah and Chewy again and get to talk with them some more.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sitting Pretty

"Sitting Pretty" - Enhanced Digital Photo available at Society 6
I had a touch of insomnia last night so I decided to create some art instead of tossing and turning. :D

Friday, August 15, 2014

2015 Wall Calendar

I really enjoy coming up with a new wall calendar each year; don't ask me why. Here we are only in August and I've created my 2015 calendar all ready. I hope you like it.

Here's the link to purchase: 2015 Wall Calendar


JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH
APRIL
MAY

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Inspire

"Inspire" - Enhanced Digital Photo
A collection of some of my favorite beach stones and a random shell carved by the ocean as well as some silver nuggets which I found in an art gallery. This collection actually inspires me as well as my random collection of inspirational friends. :D

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tweaking

Because I can't seem to leave well enough alone, I took the photo I found yesterday and created an even closer close-up and enhanced it a bit. Personally, I love the results!

"Delaware Seashore Detail" - enhanced digital  photo

Below is the original photo.



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Memories

I still have a fondness for the Delaware seashore. I truly believe its beauty cannot be matched. Rummaging through my old photos in the wee small hours, I came across this close-up, a detail really, of the beach. I snapped this in September of 2011.