Archive for April 3, 2019

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9 August 2012

The first person I saw at noon today was Bright Sky. “I asked him, “How long have you lived on the streets?”

“Oh gosh, my parents died in 1999, I wasn’t in very good shape, so that’s when I decided to travel around the world in eight hundred days. I still havent’s made it. I was down in Mexico for a while. I liked it there, but there is a lot of violent crime.

If the state of Chihuahua were a country, today it would have the fourth-highest level of major violence in the world”, the murder rate in Mexico is 13 per 100,000 (sixth highest in the world) compared to only 4.2 per 100,000 in the USA (24th highest in the world). 

“I’ve lived in Toronto and Vancouver. In Trois Riviere, Quebec, I was arrested for hitchhiking and threatened with rape. Last year I appeared on ‘The Lowell Greene Show” on talk radio. I announced on the radio my intention of running for Prime Minister of Canada, since our current Prime Minister Harper is doing such a poor job. Later I was beaten by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who also confiscated my photography equipment, laptops and files. I still haven’t been able to get them back.

“On July 14, 2001, I spoke at an Ottawa City Council Meeting about the proposed Ottawa Light Rail Transit Project and my Solar Monorail vision.

“In Europe monorail systems are used almost exclusively for mass transit. With monorails, there is not the problem of traffic congestion or snow removal. It’s far more cost-effective to build up for monorails, as opposed to digging down to build subways.”

I asked, “Do you know the people who congregate in the park near the Arts Center? The group varies from day-to-day.”

“I know of them, but I don’t associate with them. I met some of them at the tent city for ‘Occupy Ottawa’. Shakes just lay on the edge of the fountain. I can’t figure him out.”

I said, “He’s a very nice person. He’s been panhandling for the past seventeen years. He comes from Toronto. While he was there he was a boxer. He sparred with George Chuvallo and Shawn O’Sullivan. He must have been good. It’s possible that he sustained some brain injury while boxing.”

Bright Sky said, “Getting a few knocks to the head can cause a lot of damage. I’m concerned about the baby carts that some people pull behind bicycles. I saw one involved in an accident right on this corner, last winter. I took some pictures and asked the woman riding the bicycle if her child was wearing a hat and mittens. She was an army girl. A couple of army fellows were there as well. They said, ‘That’s no way to speak to a woman.’ The police arrived and asked what the problem was. I tried to explain, but they wouldn’t listen. They just told me to move along.

“Another time, I was attacked by a woman. I was taking pictures from across the street. She came up to me and said, ‘Hey! I don’t want my picture taken!’ I said, ‘I’m not photographing you, just the street scene.’ She didn’t believe me and grabbed my camera.”

The next person I saw was Serge, his left eye still black. He told me that yesterday he overslept until 10:00 am at the Shepherds. He said he almost never does that. This morning he was up at 7:30, thinking that it was Friday, P.N.A. (Personal Needs Allowance) day, when he receives a check in the amount of $27.00. He had fallen again and showed me where he scraped his arm.

On the grass at the park were Hippo, Andre ( who had shaved off his beard and left only a mustache), John (he said to remember his name just think of toilet), Daimon (on crutches with his right leg in a cast) and his girlfriend Lucy-in-the-Sky.

I hadn’t seen Daimon or Lucy since they were beaten up while trying to mug a black dude named Lucky. Lucy was knocked out, Daimon was left with a broken ankle. Whenever I’m near them I feel like the gingerbread man faced by a pair of foxes. My thought was not if I will get mugged, but when. Hippo and Andre would have my back, so I’m safe for another day.

Both John and Hippo had bicycles and planned to cross the Ottawa River into Gatineau, Quebec, where beer is cheaper. They prefer the tall cans of Labatt Maximum Ice (7.1 percent alcohol), not available in Ontario.

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