21 December 2009

In Memoriam

Filed under: Reflections — ktismatics @ 3:13 pm

This morning Anne and I attended a memorial service for the homeless people who died in Boulder during the last year. The inner wall of the outdoor band shell was encircled by nineteen enlarged photographs, each graced with a single red rose. They looked rough, the men and women in those photos, as did many who had come to mourn their passing and to share a few words of memory and solace. Here’s one of the songs played and sung at the ceremony.



  1. Hi John, at my little Shangri-la, but Sunday was in Chinatown here in DT los angeles, and there were homeless with the police around, and one of them referred to ‘taking the body away’. i hadn’t seen one I thought was dead. There is also a skid row in DT that is enormous, maybe a full square mile, far worse than anytning we have in NYC. Don’t know how to access email, am using owner’s computer. Will write more when I get back.


    Comment by Butch Cazza — 21 December 2009 @ 9:22 pm

  2. I’ve seen some video images of LA’s skid row. In certain ways it’s impressive that LA would set aside an area within the city for the homeless, running regular bus routes and emergency services for Skid Row, allowing people to sleep in cardboard boxes and tents rather than rousting them out as is done here in Boulder. The homeless here want permission to put up tents at night in a designated area on the outskirts of town, but the county government wants to put the designated area up in the mountains where there’s no transportation or infrastructure. The shelters aren’t big enough to meet the demand, but some of the churches have started operating as overflow shelters on really busy nights. You can’t reserve a bed at the shelter because apparently the management had too many no-shows. And the shelter locks its doors at 7pm, which makes it tough for people to do any sort of jobs outside of usual business hours. Plus you can’t leave your stuff at the shelter during the daytime, so you’ve got to haul it around or find a non-secure hiding place. It’s not easy being homeless.


    Comment by john doyle — 22 December 2009 @ 6:27 am

    • I didn’t even know about it. I accidentally walked into it looking for Little tokyo (which isn’t very interesting as are chinatown and koreatown), and was in disbelief at the size of it, street after street of this unbelievable people talking about halves of pills. Even in the old days before the bowery was gentrified, there was nothing I ever saw in NYC that even remotely compared to this. It is maybe the worst single place i’ve ever seen, except once some Portuguese shanty towns outside Paris on way to old Le Bourget airport. Everything was as filthy and delapidated as possible, they were in intolerable pain and didn’t seem to think of it as such. But the homeless population of LA is the biggest in the U.S., I believe and they are really everywhere. but probably everythihng is more comfortable here, I know that even with the sometimes unhappiness in this trip, I much prefer it at long last to New York. It’s not petrified, and is always creating and creative somehow. I love it.


      Comment by Butch Cazza — 22 December 2009 @ 4:29 pm

  3. It’s surprising how many homeless people there are in this country. In Boulder they’re pretty much invisible except panhandling at streetcorners.

    I’m glad you’re having a fine trip to L.A. I’ve liked my visits there as well.


    Comment by john doyle — 22 December 2009 @ 4:53 pm

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