Saturday, May 16, 2009

Recently, I went to the ballgame. Baseball, unless you are a great fan, is a little like watching paint dry. What made it somewhat interesting was these guys behind us, old timers, in their eighties but really knew baseball. Both were retired
school teachers and lived somewhere in the Valley, wherever that is. I
think it is like half way between San Francisco and LA. Anyway, these
guys would analyse every aspect of the game. It was like having your
own personal sports commentator. They knew names of players, blood
types everything.

And, there were 4 guys, in early twenties, in their jockey shorts, all painted up and yelling constantly. From time to time, various people would join them. Girls came by to get their pictures taken with them. What was amazing is that they weren't obnoxious and they never ran down. I was amazed.

They constantly hassled this one player, the center fielder. I came home and googled him. Well, the guy has fathered five children by four different women. And, his team has hired a former cop to keep him out of trouble. Amazing since this is San Francisco that these guys would zero in on this perceived miscreant. Funny, guess you kind of had to be there.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


All of us know about the "dog eating the homework" but what about the dog "eating my teeth." This is Henry talking. He's a "homeless" guy that has staked out his territory at Fisherman's Wharf. I've talked to him lots. His sign says he's a vet and I love this, "I don't drink and l don't do drugs and I don't cuss." There you have it. He tells me he's been married a couple of times and he's lived with a few others but finds that he's better off by himself. He doesn't like living in a resident hotel but prefers the streets. And, the biggest mistake of his life is getting out of the "Service." He would have been at least a sergeant by now he says. I say, "Probably at least a sergeant major." He smiles and I can see he has no teeth. I say something like, "Why don't you get the VA to get you some teeth." He smiles again and says, "they already did once." Well, where are they, " I'm thinking. He's reading my mind and kind of sheepishly says, "my dog ate them." I decided not to ask how all this came about.

In some ways this could be one of "those only in San Francisco stories." However, homelessness is a global and for us a national problem which is not going to be solved. Here in San Francisco, having had some experience in working with the so"so called" homeless, the term means many things. There's a group who loves living on the streets. They are doing dope. It is a lifestyle. Then there's another group who should be institutionalized. Well, many of them. Crazy as bats and a few dangerously so. Finally, there's a small group that we could actually help. They often have children. And, they are the ones on which we should concentrate. The others are beyond us. Homelessness is a little like immigration policy. If we are honest, in our culture, it can't be fixed. We're doing about the best we can.

The dog ate Henry's teeth and getting him another set is not going to solve his problem because Henry doesn't think he's got a problem or want it solved. God bless Happy Henry.