Homeless People in Los Angeles
My True Story Homeless People
Several times in my life I was with out a place to live. I don't really have a victim mentality so I would say that it would be part circumstance but mostly my fault. In my book its best if you take responsibility for your situation, rather than blame circumstances beyond your control type of thing. Just my opinion. Well it just so happened I was getting discharged from the US Army, trained in my specialty. I was ignorant enough to believe that I could go out in the world and get a job in the profession I had been trained in and had experience in. I graduated from the military schools with good grades and had an honorable discharge, It was difficult to look for a job while in the service in the area because the amount of over qualified personnel filled any civilian positions from discharged veterans.
Being around 21 years old, I decided to venture to Los Angeles to and find a job. I had enough cash for several weeks in a hotel and a car to look for a job. I had already created a resume with references that I could submit to interested employers. I knew no one in LA but this was probably good I stayed focused on the task at hand. Well after a time I would say 5 weeks I ran out of money. Why I didn't just go get a job that was not in my field I am not sure. You could say I was young and ignorant.
Being very in-experienced and ideological. I finally got kicked out of my room, my car got impounded and I was left with a guitar and the clothes on my back. I was staying close to down town Los Angles now that I didn't have a place to sleep you might say I was a bit scared. I really didn't know what to do I had heard of people being homeless but I thought it was more like they were drunks or did drugs to loose their homes and families. I didn't think that people who were willing to work and had training and technical expertise would be out on the streets in America. Wrong again I believe its pretty common now.
By chance that day I met a lady who lived in Venice Beach. She said I could play my guitar on the street and make better than minimum wage most weekends. In fact she said I would be safe sleeping on the beach. This was in the 70s I am sure its changed since then. She offered me a ride to the beach, I really didn't have anything else, no where to go, no family and no friends. At least in my mind. I took the ride from her and she asked me what type of music I play? It just so happened I could only play one song. Crazy right, I know well at least I could play one thats got to be better than none at all I figured. The lady told me not to worry because so many people walking by at the beach that most would not notice if I could only play one song. Some of you are wondering what song it could be it was House of the Rising Sun. Anyway it was a time of great learning for me.
On the streets of Venice I met all sorts of people and receive an education that most people only read about. I met Famous Amos the cookie dude and a host of celebrities, Swami would come and teach. You know the comedian. The list goes on and on. I mostly played House of the Rising Sun over and over again for weeks. The lady that brought me there would come by and check on me every few days. I said to myself, I will get off the street, buy a car and drive out of here before the summer was up. Some days I made over 100 dollars. I would feed the street people in exchange for them teaching me more songs. I saved the money I received and bought a small car one day. I could have stayed at the beach but for some reason I choose to move back east and take a $4.25 dollar an hour job working in open heart surgery. As I look back it still amazes me that I was making more money as a street musician that could only really play one song than helping Heart Surgeons fix peoples hearts.