Was It Homelessness Or A Long Vacation?

January of 1984 I got my heart broke.  I just walked away with nothing but the clothes I had on.  I hitch hiked from Enterprise to Portland Oregon.  They called Portland "puppytown" because it was so easy to be homeless there.  You could eat 5 meals a day if you wanted to. There were  places to take showers,  places to get clothes. I soon learned that the common thread among all of us was alcohol, and panhandling was a sport. I acquired things as the months went by.  We would panhandle, get drunk , sleep and eat.  It was like a 24 hour party for a year and a half. I had acquired a backpack, sleeping bag and a guitar.  The guitar, my looks, and a decent singing voice made life pretty easy for me.  I felt less humiliated busking and I could make more money and get laid.  I could shower and shave every day at a place on 6th and Burnside so I didn't look homeless.  (except for the backpack) Well my adventures in Portland pretty much ended when I got mugged one night for my guitar and 20 bucks that I'd made at the 7Seas Tavern.  They used those pipe and chain numb chucks so it took me about 3 months to heal up enough to travel.  I just up and hitch hiked from Portland to Astoria, and took 101 down the coast to San Francisco.  I never had to wait more than a half hour for a ride.  Soon I was in San Fran sitting on a bus bench and this pretty hippie girl came by and said she liked my smile and would I come home with her.  I **** you not.  I ended up in one of those Victorian houses with a girl named Leah and her mom. I went to work for her mother's boyfriend building spec houses in Mill Valley.  So I was doing good. Leah let me use her guitar to go up to the Haight and busk on weekends.  There are so many stories I have to leave out of this.  My dearly beloved got back in touch with me and said she wanted me back, being the genius that I was, I dropped everything and hitchhiked back to Oregon . She changed her mind by the time I got to her.  Devastated, I hitchhiked to Seattle, shortly thereafter I thumbed it down to a place called Big Pine I stayed with my Grandmother and got a job as an orderly at the Big Pine convalescent center,  I bought a blue Chevy nova and took off with a girl named Pam to Arkansas. I worked as a roofer there, then as a fence builder, then as chicken house builder, got rained out and went back to Seattle, Then I acquired another guitar and moved to Arizona. I had to hitch hike again because the Nova was history.  I wish I could go into more detail, but I would be writing a book.  I lived on day labor and busking in Tucson Arizona.  I even played a few coffee shops.  While I was playing one day, I met Janice, one of the most interesting people I've ever know. We got to be good friends and I learned that she had a stalker.  She had actually move several times to get away from him. One day I finally beat him badly enough to discourage him, Janice and I became more than friends. I lived with Janice for a while in Tucson and worked for a construction company building on the UofA campus.  One day Janice was humming a tune that I didn't recognize. She said it was "Down Around Biloxi" so naturally we packed up and moved to Biloxi.  I did asbestos abatement, demolition,  and after a while went to work for a boat company and worked as a deck hand on the Edison Choest research vessle. That lasted a year and a half. Then we managed an Artsy Fartsy Coffee shop called the "Rainbow Theater" in the town of Bay St. Louise, Mississippi.  Janice and I parted ways and then there was Karen.  After two and a half years with Karen, I up and joined another boat company , Seacorps Marine.  Very exiting job, very high risk. I stayed with them for 3 years.  I didn't make it back for crew change one day and ended up homeless in Denver Colorado, then back to seattle, where I worked for a Tree Service, then up to Bellingham- homeless again (I'm leaving out a lot.)  From Bellingham to Grants Pass Oregon where my best friend, Mark was murdered in his sleep. I was homeless there too.  I stayed in a town called Roseburg just north of Grants pass. I then moved to Arkansas where I worked for the University of Arkansas. It was there that I discovered EP  That was three years ago.

I left out the ravages of Alcohol that was the cause of every single incarceration, loss. near death experience. and plain bad stuff that ever happened to me. I left out a lot of alcohol induced disasters. I finally quit drinking August of 07. 

puck61 puck61
51-55, M
4 Responses Mar 13, 2010

L'Chiam!!!

Really! Here I go!

I have a daughter by my first love. I have lots of pictures of her on here.

Aside from the ravages of alcohol (congratulations on your sobriety, by the way) I despise a waste of good manhood! One of those enterprising young woman should have put a ring on that finger to keep you in one place long enough to grow roots and little Puck sprouts!