Article 25

Artists’ Rituals

In Uncategorized on 09/02/2015 at 5:15 pm

trees burning1

“Trees Burning,” by the Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw.

‘There’s No One Way’

By Anne Skove

Our summer reading included Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, by Mason Currey. This book began as a blog that cataloged the various rituals, waking/sleeping hours, substance intake, etc., of artists, writers, scientists, dancers and others. The book presents a comprehensive look at what drives (or, in the case of F. Scott Fitzgerald, hinders) creative types.

While we can’t recommend the methods of Ayn Rand – decades’ worth of amphetamines coupled with a personality disorder – or the uncontrolled Corydrane habit of Jean-Paul Sartre, this is an interesting read.

Not every subject had a substance-abuse problem. George Sand, for example, denounced artists who worked under the influence. Many simply had strange routines. For example, this book contains a mental picture of Ben Franklin that readers will not be able to unsee.

This quotation from writer Bernard Malamud is contained in the final entry:

There’s no one way – there’s too much drivel about this subject. You’re who you are, not Fitzgerald or Thomas Wolfe. You write by sitting down and writing. There’s no particular time or place – you suit yourself, your nature. How one works, assuming he’s disciplined, doesn’t matter. If he or she is not disciplined, no sympathetic magic will help. The trick is to make time – not steal it – and produce the fiction. If the stories come, you get them written, you’re on the right track. Eventually everyone learns his or her own best way. The real mystery to crack is you.

Had this passage appeared first, I suppose the author might have had a shorter book on his hands, not thousands of words to offer. But Malamud is onto something. This book is a testament to the variety of ways people get things done, even if that thing happens to be Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night or Darwin’s scientific works.

While art, like Unitarian Universalism or Golden Corral, contains many paths, we thought it would be interesting to apply the concept to local artists. What makes them tick? How do they operate? Three-hour walks, like Charles Dickens? Working from bed, like Truman Capote? So we asked a few questions. The response was tremendous. Each issue, we will highlight a few artists’ routines, rituals, habits, or lack thereof.

“Too much drivel?” Hopefully not.

Where to begin? With our editor, of course. Gregory Flannery shares his secrets:

Whenever I write, I begin by burning tobacco as a sacrifice to my muse. I inhale the tobacco smoke, symbolically making my muse one with me, then exhale the smoke, symbolic of the words I will write going forth to my readers. Every 20 or 30 minutes while writing, I go outside and burn more tobacco as a sacrifice to my muse, inhaling the smoke and so on. No cigarettes? Then I got writer’s block.

You’ve been a writer for a long time. You’re also an editor. What habits do your best writers have?

From the start, the best writers punch readers in the gut or smack them in the head. The best writers give readers a reason to keep reading. Make them weep. Make them laugh. Make them think. News isn’t news if it’s boring. That’s the first rule.

The second rule is that the best writers understand meeting deadlines is as important as respecting the law of gravity, the infield fly rule and the theory of relativity. A writer who misses deadlines is half a writer, less than a writer, no writer at all.

True or false? Writer’s block is a thing.

It is a thing in the sense that the bogeyman is a thing: We can convince ourselves of almost anything. “I can’t meet my deadline. I have writer’s block.” Writer’s block, schmiter’s block. Do your damn job. Sometimes the mind must lie fallow to allow inspiration to gurgle forth, but once you take an assignment, you have no right to invoke writer’s block.

Mark Twain claimed that lager-beer “was the only thing to make you go to sleep.” He also relied on hot scotch, sleeping on the bathroom floor, and champagne. Eventually, his insomnia went away on its own. How do you fall asleep?

I once slept on a bathroom floor in a hotel during a newspaper conference in Norway, because my god-awful snoring deprived my roommate of a good night’s sleep. I didn’t know Twain invented that.

To sleep, I pray. I pray until I fall asleep. It’s the only thing that works for me except ice cream. Ice cream is like knockout drops for me. I fall right to sleep. But the next morning I have this awful ice-cream hangover, like I’d been on a three-day bender, so I only use ice cream as a last resort. Prayer doesn’t give me hangovers.

Gregory Flannery is the editor of Article 25. He imagines himself a tall person. He will gladly show you photographs of his grandchildren.

Next up – Reverend Amy Shaw, formerly of St. John’s Unitarian Universalist Church in Cincinnati, now of Hartland, Wis.

You are a visual artist and writer, but your day job (which is really a round-the-clock job) is Unitarian Universalist minister. Do these callings complement each other? How do you manage to do both?

Art and ministry go together amazingly well. Both are about creation and making new spaces for transformative experience. When I create a piece of visual art, I have no control over the observers’ reactions to it – it exists, and they will make of it what they will. I have created a place for them to experience, but what they experience is their own. In my ministry I do the same thing, or at least I hope I do. I present ideas about intersections between lived reality, values, and the nature of existence. How people interpret those ideas is up to them.

Both my art and my ministry call people to assessment: What am I seeing? How do I feel about it? What does it make me question? What does it reaffirm? How am I connected to it?

I can’t tell anyone how to see the Divine, or “that thing beyond which they cannot imagine.” I can, however, continually challenge them to see the world in new ways, and to examine the web of life that links every piece of life to every other piece. This is ministry, whether I do it with a brush or a computer or a sermon.

Because I approach art as a spiritual practice, I put it into my schedule as a daily necessity. Every evening I give myself at least one hour to create. For me, using my time this way often lets me get back to the nuts-and-bolts work of ministry with fresh eyes and new perspective.

Currey notes that writer Flannery O’Connor was “a devout Catholic (who) began each day at 6:00 a.m. with morning prayers from her copy of A Short Breviary.” Can religion, even (or especially?) a liberal denomination such as Unitarian Universalism, provide structure and discipline to artists?

It can. As a Unitarian Universalist, I believe that all lives have worth and dignity. It’s one of our Seven Principles. I value myself, my own worth, and I find the strength to explore my creativity as something of value in its own right because of that. I often use the more repetitive bits of my work as meditational exercises, centering myself as I fill in areas of a piece or repeat shapes and lines.

Religious experience happens where it will, and the discipline required to engage in a free and responsible search for truth and meaning as a UU also allows me to search for new ways to examine that meaning through art.

Dippy Cat is notorious for interfering with your work. Working from home can be challenging, even without cats. How do you cope with pushy house pets?

This is a grand question. And yes, Dippy Cat makes life challenging. She drinks blue paint water, eats iridescent pigments and poops rainbows, and has been known to sneeze all over a commissioned painting and then sit in my palette.

In retaliation, I turn her into art. She has a blog, “The Tao of the Dippy Cat,” which explores the humor in her daily struggles with life, bugs, printers, evil Pod People and so much more.

Dippy is my reminder that life happens. It’s impossible to live in an Ivory Tower of high art when someone has just hacked a hairball into your sock. She is the reality behind all of the beautiful ideals.

And ministry and art both need reality. They need partnership with others who will experience the art, interact with the ministry. Without interaction, both are simply precious artifacts – meaningless in their isolation. Maurice Sendak tells a wonderful story about a little boy who sent him a card with a drawing on it. Sendak liked it so well he sent back a personal note with a drawing of a Wild Thing on it to the boy. The boy’s mother then sent Maurice a letter, telling him the boy loved the card so much that he ate it. Sendak said, “That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

No one has eaten one of my paintings yet; but with Dip around, there is always that possibility.

Any other anecdotes about how you work, not covered in your answers above, are most welcome.

My art and my ministry are both woven through my life. About a year ago I gave up and got rid of my dining room table, replacing it with a massive wooden work table where Brian and I can both sit. The ends of the table are loaded with paints, canvases, paper, brushes, pencils, and chalks, the middle bogged down with keyboards and monitors.

Art happens. Ministry and writing happen. Meals and laughter happen. I don’t keep getting up and moving from place to place. I don’t force my space to conform to some image of what a proper home looks like.

My life is art and prayer and writing and talking. As I work, these things are wrapped together so tightly they can’t be pried apart. For me, there is never much of a sense of distance from any piece of my life.

Rev. Amy Shaw is a Unitarian Universalist minister, writer and visual artist who lives and works in southeastern Wisconsin. She has worked as a professor and as a nurse and nurse executive, and is fascinated by conjunctions of unlikely parts and unexpected pathways. She shares her life with her co-conspirator Brian and their furred feline minions, The Dippy Cat, Nike the Great, and Marshmallow the Outdoor Invader. Amy is typically found wearing black and poking at things to see if they do anything interesting.

Pauletta Hansel is a poet and teacher who was kind enough to share her insights.

Composer Igor Stravinsky preferred solitude. Writer Saul Bellow liked to have people around. Which do you prefer while writing?

It is difficult for me to settle into writing when others are around unless they, too, are writing. I do some of my best drafting when I’m leading or being led in writing groups—there is something about the energy of all that creative focus, and when I am leading groups I feel honor-bound to go down deep enough to bring something up with me. But I do my best work in solitude and with poetry especially I prefer long stretches of silence. I read aloud as I write and revise so it helps to be alone, but it’s more than that. There’s a kind of spaciousness that periods of solitude allow and I find a freedom and focus within that spaciousness.

Maya Angelou kept a hotel room so she could have a place to write. Virginia Woolf famously told women that we need a room of our own. What room or other space do you love to write in?

I have a lovely office in my home, but because it is where I do class prep and check email and pay bills and all those other necessary things, it is less conducive to writing than I had hoped. I often write in bed and then move to the office for revision. Several times a year I go off to the Sisters of Loretto in central Kentucky and stay in a hermitage or the old novitiate building that’s part of their retreat center and sit at a window and write. The inner spaciousness of solitude combined with the outer spaciousness of their beautiful grounds open me in ways no other place does.

Chronically and clinically depressed William Styron said, “Let’s face it, writing is hell.” Dick Hague said if a poet “ain’t happy, he’s a fool.” Which is it? Or is writing both?

Writing takes me down beneath emotion. Even if I am dealing with difficult subjects in my writing I tend not to feel the unhappiness or anxiety but more of a satisfaction that I am “getting it right” when I am or an insistent tug toward deeper truth when I haven’t gone far enough. Now, there is that place of resistance on the way down, so to speak, and often a reluctance to get started. But when I am writing (really writing, not just skimming along the surface) then I am neither in heaven nor hell, I am just there with the words.


Pauletta Hansel’s fifth poetry collection is Tangle, from Dos Madres Press. Her work has been featured in journals including Talisman, Appalachian Journal, Atlanta Review and Still: The Journal, and on The Writer’s Almanac and American Life in Poetry. She is managing editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative, and community writing workshops and retreats in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond.

By Anne Skove

Hitler’s American Soldier

In Uncategorized on 12/10/2014 at 4:32 pm

A story of war and circumstance

By Gregory Flannery

The year 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the start of World War II. In the early 1990s I interviewed the late Frank Leonhartsberger, who was born a U.S. citizen but fought for Nazi Germany during the war. That was not his choice.

Leonhartsberger was born in Allentown, Pa. When his father died, his mother – an Austrian immigrant – took the 1-year-old boy with her and returned to her homeland. A few years later, Nazi Germany annexed Austria. In 1945, when Leonhartsberger was 16 years old, he was drafted.

In 1949 Leonhartsberger returned to the United States. In the 1950s his cousin, Franz Pfingstl, gave him a collection of 90 snapshots of Hitler and top Nazi leaders. Leonhartsberger did not know who shot the photographs and could not identify their setting. He said he only knew that the photos were supposed to have been taken on Hitler’s birthday. One of the photographs is reproduced on this page.

Leonhartsberger gave me his collection of photos, most of which have never been published. I used to believe the photos were the most interesting part of his story. I spent a lot of time trying to identify them and eventually succeeded. The photos were, in fact, taken on the occasion of Hitler’s 52nd birthday, which he spent in the Austrian town of Monichkirchen. Arriving April 11, 1941, and leaving two weeks later, Hitler met with Count Ciano of Italy and Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria. He congratulated the officers who had nearly finished conquering Greece and Yugoslavia, and he reviewed plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union.

I was wrong. The most compelling thing about Frank Leonhartsberger’s experience was not the photos, but his personal story. He likely was not the only U.S. citizen who found himself in Hitler’s army. But his account – given me over the course of four hours in his dimly lit apartment in Ormond Beach, Fla., abetted by the consumption of lots of Scotch whiskey – is an eloquent testament about the horrors of war and racism. What follows are his words verbatim; I have added only the sub-headings.

The testament of Frank Leonhartsberger

If you had a cigarette, you went off somewhere by yourself, or else all of a sudden you had five friends. We had no cigarettes during the war. God, that was rough.

When I was born, they made a mistake in the name. They recorded it as Franz Leon Hans Berger. When I was getting ready to go to school in the ’30s, it became a problem. Austria is full of bureaucracy. Everything has to be just so, a little bit like the English when it comes to documents. It took forever to get this thing straightened out. I remember my mother saying, “Well, they got the name right, but they got the doggoned date wrong.” I was supposed to have been born in 1929, but on that paper, on that birth certificate, it was 1927.

My father died 25 March 1930. My mother took me back to my grandparents in Austria. She had brothers and sisters over there. One of them took care of the saloon, one took care of the grocery store. We had a gasthaus and a little grocery store. We were considered rather rich. We had a big house in Rudersdorf Berg. We lived up in the hills. We had no electricity. Every week we had to shine the kerosene lamps. It was a wonderful childhood, all the kids growing up together.

I had a cousin who had polio. She was two years older than me. She couldn’t get around. I gave her my tricycle, and she lived on that tricycle ’til the day she died. She died when she was 30.

My mother remarried and we moved to Ubersbach. We opened up a grocery store, a soup-to-nuts grocery store. We had bread, we had booze, we had farm implements, we had fabric. It was quite a nice life, really.

Every town has a drunk. Our drunk was the finest accordion player in town. It was a button accordion — not keys. He taught me to play. Music was a very important part of my life after the war, because I sang for many of my meals.

When Hitler took over in 1938, we would march up and down the street yelling because Hitler had liberated us. What he had liberated us from, I don’t know.

The people in the city were very Nazified, but the poor farmers didn’t understand any of it. Every little town had a Nazi or two. Put the attitude was, “Let’s get stoned tonight and see if the morning may be a little brighter.” Ambition was never the Austrian strong point

‘I didn’t see any glory’

I was in the Hitler Youth. If you’re a kid and someone gives you a uniform, whoopee! We marched around and sang and got indoctrinated. It was not a bad thing, really. You learned a little discipline, no doubt about it. I got pushed around a few times because I didn’t march right.

I went into the army when I was 16. The fact was, I was not 16 years old; but according to my papers, I was. After the Hitler Youth, everyone went into the Arbeits Dienst, a mandatory work crew that got you ready for the army. Our weapon was a highly polished spade.

All of a sudden, the whole squadron became a part of anti-aircraft. We got our battery, and by now the war was going pretty bad, so we kept the same uniforms. 1 worked radar.

I remember the first kill we had was one of ours.

The only chance we had to shoot somebody was when some poor guy got half-crippled up there. He couldn’t steer, he couldn’t maneuver

You Americans have no idea what war is. You’ve never seen war. Look at it through a young fellow’s eyes. I saw kids thrown around in the street after a bombing raid. You can’t imagine it. And after the war, there’s thousands of people walking the street, dazed, no idea where you’re getting your next meal, or any meal. I remember one time I was so hungry I stole some bread — and that was during the war. If anybody ever thinks there’s glory in it, there’s nothing but misery. That’s all there is.

There are a lot of people fascinated by war, and some people think there’s honor in war. “All for the Fuhrer and the Fatherland!’ That’s a crock of shit. I didn’t see any glory. There’s no cover. I was scared to death. Day and night, bombing.

We shot down a lieutenant from New York. He came down with no chute or a bad chute. When he hit the ground, he nearly buried himself. On his plane he had a pair of baby shoes. Maybe it was a good luck charm. He had the names of different missions written on them — Berlin, Dusseldorf, Vienna. I carried those shoes around with me for the rest of the war. I thought maybe I could give them to his family, but after the war I lost everything.

When we got a hit, we would send groups down to pick them up, because sometimes the people would try to kill them. It was impossible not to hate the Americans. They just bombed your city and killed your family.


‘I have nightmares’

On the last day of the war, we were high on a hill. We could see the Russians coming and hear the tanks rumbling. There were only a dozen left. All the officers and staff were gone.

We were blowing up the 88s and blowing up the barracks and everything. We didn’t want the Russians to get it. We thought it was very heroic, but we were nitwits. We should have gotten the hell out of there. It was raining, and the Russians were bombing.

My good friend placed a hand grenade on a machine gun nest, then fell in. When I hear this SS crap, don’t get me wrong. At the end of the war it was 15-year-old kids who had no other uniform left but the SS uniforms.

They had no more than a few weeks training. They weren’t SS troopers, they were poor Hitler Youth marching to the front to be slaughtered, half of them too young to shave.

Years after the war they would drift home from Russia. People had given up on them long ago.

A few weeks before the war ended they issued us these anti-tank weapons. They were like stovepipes. You had to get as close as the front door. I had no intention of using them.

They dropped firebombs on Graz. They would drop them by the thousands. Just to show you that you remember the funny stuff, there was a beautiful neighborhood there called Puntigam. I remember going home, hopping over these picket fences. If they would have timed us, we would have made the Olympics. The picket fences were burning. They were bombing. It was sheer fright making us streak like that. It was a sight to behold.

We used to eat noodles and ground horsemeat and acorn coffee.

One time after we were bombed, I was digging out. I kept trying to lift this typewriter out. It was all mangled, but I kept pulling and trying to get it out. 1 pulled that typewriter out, and there was my friend, my best friend. That sobers you up in a hurry.

You couldn’t dive until your commanding officer told you to. You stood there. You stood there and fired till the last minute, till the last second, till he got scared enough to dive.

I was only in an air raid shelter one time. 1 was in Vienna. It was the day the Sudbahnhof was leveled. I went up to pick up a particular piece of radar. There was a big park; and outside the railway station, underneath the park, was an air-raid shelter. They leveled that railway station to the ground, completely. There was nothing standing. It was the most horrible hour I ever spent in my life.

When I came out of that, I saw two children and a woman blown to hell. 1 think that was the day I gave up on a lot of things. I could take a lot of things, my friends getting blown apart, but this was more than I could take. I can still see those three lying there. I have nightmares about it.

I was a young kid, scared to death, going through this misery.

‘Blood all over’

People don’t believe this, but we didn’t know about the Jews being killed. But I remember they had to wear these yellow stars. It was a very disgraceful thing, degrading, as if they had been branded.

My first railroad ride was a trip to my uncle’s house in Bierbaum. At the railway station there was a cattle car with people in it like sardines, haggard-looking people. I didn’t know they were Jews, I was only 10. I only knew they were the enemy. I don’t even think I thought anything at the time. It was no big thing. It never occurred to me it was wrong, because it was drilled into us that the Germans were the only people that really mattered. When you’re a kid, you believe a lot of things.

I was mad as a wet cat that we lost the war. Even when I came to this country, I had a chip on my shoulder a mile wide, because the Americans helped the Russians make us lose the war.

We high-tailed it, and we hitched a ride with some outfit of military police. Everybody was going west. I had not the slightest intention of shooting one of those bazookas. I remember a woman screaming at us, “You cowards! You have a uniform on and a helmet on!” Why shouldn’t we stay there and do something? There were three of us running from ditch to ditch. When it happened, I thought, all I want to do is get out of here. We dropped those bazookas and ran like hell. She called us all kinds of names, filthy names, and kept saying that we had helmets.

We finally hit the American lines, somewhere in the center of Austria, near the Alps going up to Salzburg. They waved us through: “Just go, somebody’s going to pick you up.” They never did. We went up to the mountains. It was beautiful, serene. They didn’t even know there was a war going on.

After three months we went back to Graz. Before we left, this girl’s mother gave me a little briefcase. And she said, “Frank, this is for taking my daughter with you.” Little did she know I was taking her daughter, period. She was a jeweler’s daughter. The briefcase was filled with watches and rings. Her mother said, “Hang onto this. Maybe it will help you get a start in life.”

The first leg was with some American soldiers. We finally made it back to Graz. My friend and me stole some bicycles. There were people going everywhere. It was complete chaos. One of us jumped on a train, a flatcar. We didn’t want to let the bicycles go, because the bridges were out and the trains couldn’t get across. I handed one of the bicycles up and handed the briefcase to a stranger to hold for me. I lost it.

When I returned home, my stepfather was gone. He had been inducted near the end of the war. Our house was like a slaughterhouse, blood all over the place.

I heard stories that are unrepeatable. The Russians had occupied Ubersbach and they really enjoyed their victory to the hilt. They would line girls up and screw them on a daily routine. There were girls hiding in the haystacks for months.

For the first year after the war there was a numbness. People didn’t care. The new wine was just ripe. I think that really helped us. Austria became drunk. We stayed drunk, at least in my neighborhood. Then my (step)father came home and we started a grocery store again. We had a little wool.

Saved by cow dung

After a couple of years my stepfather decided to marry our maid. She was 18 years old and she was like a sister to me. My father made it clear it was time for me to go on.

I was a man without a country for three years. 1 could get no food stamps. I couldn’t get to the Americans because they were in Vienna, and Vienna was surrounded by the Russians. I sang for my meals and slept my way through town.

My father had buried some papers showing I was an American in a pile of cow dung.

At the time, Austria was divided into four zones by the Allies. I was staying in the British zone.

During the Christmas season in 1948 I got a pass from the British to go to the American consul in Vienna. I took a bus to the Russian line, but they wouldn’t let me through. As I walked back, there was a little villa. The lady was sweeping the snow off the walkway. She said a lot of people got turned away. She said a lot of them would go up the hill and sort of walk their way through the woods. There’s a little town there. “Just get on a train and go into Vienna.”

I tried this and I was captured by a Russian soldier. He also got a Greek professor, but he was trying to get out of Vienna. He waltzed us in there. They were real friendly at the beginning. But they started to get mad because I told them I hadn’t been in the army. They found these pictures of me in my back pocket, pictures of me with the 88s.

They kicked me around and they threw me down a staircase. We were locked in a cupboard in this farmhouse. It had one chair. It was very drafty. We spent Christmas in there. They interrogated us every chance they’d get. They didn’t feed us well. I think the Greek had TB. That poor guy almost died. I let him sit on the chair all the time.

There was a guy there, a Russian soldier, who was learning to play the accordion. We started to be friendly. He brought some medication in one time, some cough medicine. If it weren’t for this guy, I don’t think we would have made it. One night he chased us out of there. He let the Greek go over to the English side, but he wouldn’t let me into the Russian side.

They had some shirts hanging. I stole some Russian uniforms — clothing was so scarce. The clothes’ were frozen stiff, of course, but it was partly just the idea of getting even with them.

I corresponded with the U.S. consul in Vienna. They suggested I go to Salzburg and meet some U.S. people and take a U.S. military train into Vienna. That never came to be.

Finally my uncle went to Vienna to find somebody. I got in in a wine barrel in my uncle’s truck.

They checked the ship I had come over on. On the day I left, they gave me a $200 loan and my passport. They shipped me out on a military train to Paris. I was on this train with all these American GIs. I’m the only one that didn’t speak English.

I came over on the SS Washington. You hear this stuff about Ellis Island, but here I was in New York City. I was an American citizen, so I was supposed to know where to go. I didn’t know nothing. My godmother met me, thank God. I hadn’t seen her since I was 2.

This interview was originally published in the Mount Washington Press.

Strike Against Homelessness Once Again

In Uncategorized on 09/20/2014 at 4:00 pm

Mike Cerano

A Vendor’s Voice

By Mike Cerano

My name is Mike Cerano. I sell Article 25 for a living. Article 25 is a newspaper that keeps people from becoming homeless and provides jobs for the homeless who want a better life.

Sept. 16, 12:30 p.m.: I was standing at the corner of Main Street and Central Parkway selling papers when a woman walked up. I said, “Good afternoon. This is the paper that gives people jobs. One dollar.” She gave me a dollar. There was three men and four women that was walking down the left side of the woman who gave me a dollar.

“Good afternoon. This is the paper that gives people jobs. One dollar.”

All seven of them started to shake their heads. One of the women stopped and said, “Stop panhandling and get a real job.” The rest of them said, “Right.”

An hour later the same woman that made her little remark walked by. I said, “Excuse me. I remember that remark that you made to me. I will take it you don’t understand what Article 25 stands for, so I will explain it to you. To start off with, Article 25 is the paper that gives people jobs to keep people from becoming homeless. And it’s the one that helps people that are homeless who want a job to become un-homeless. Furthermore, thanks to Article 25 and our supporters, I am no longer homeless. Look at that man over there. He is holding a sign.”

You know what his sign said? It said, “I’m homeless. Please help me.”

I said to the lady, “Now, between the two of us, which one of us would you help – me, who is selling papers to make a living or him, who is a panhandler?”

“Neither one of you,” she said.

In return, I said, “Ma’am, have a nice day.”

Now, for you that feel the same way and was never homeless in your life, I will explain what it is like to be homeless. When you are homeless, you are placed in a shelter if they have a bed. If they don’t, you’re left out in the heat to fend for yourself. Again, if it is winter, it’s the same. Then you try to find a warm place to sleep and hope and pray you don’t get murdered in your sleep. Where am I going to eat? How am I going to keep my body clean? How am I going to wash my clothes?

You who feel the same way that this woman I talked to don’t have to help if you don’t want to, but that doesn’t give you the right to talk against homeless people. Why not have a change of heart and help them?


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