Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Harmonica Man

Quote of the Day: "It insisted upon itself."
Peter Griffin of Family Guy, on The Godfather

There is an old homeless man that stands at a local freeway off-ramp and plays harmonica. At least I think he's homeless because he stands at a freeway off-ramp playing harmonica.

What interests me about this man is that, for such a cliche image, I've never actually seen a homeless man playing the harmonica, bobbing his knee to the bluesy whine of his instrument.

I found it a little thrilling, suggestive of a sort of free way of life, an "on the road," romantic hobo existence. In the end, though, I'm not sure he was even a very good harmonica player, and the dreary lines on his face and the stains in his denim suggested something more sad.


At 12:31 AM, Blogger ShadowFalcon said...

Dude come to london where the homeless play violin and all sorts, you'd be amazed

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Kimberly said...

I SAW THAT HOMELESS MAN FOR THE FIRST TIME LAST WEEK!!!! I had no idea you knew of him. He was even "singing" when I saw him. Strange...

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Sheila said...

Everytime I see a homeless person I get this gut-wrenching feeling in my stomach... except when I went to Washington D.C. I vacationed there with my family and there was a couple of homeless people playing instruments like the saxophone in their tattered rags... but they had smiles on their faces and through the dirt and grime you could see that they were genuinely having a good time playing for the people walking by the subway. I left them some money and they winked at me. I felt very good. I hope I helped them out in some way.

At 3:37 AM, Blogger Stewart Sternberg said...

When I worked for a non profit, i would stop and give homeless people cards with information on it, for such things as temporary housing, medical attention, and food. I have to say they were less than enthused.

In Michigan, we had a spike of homelessness back in the eighties. Engler, our govenor, threw all "able bodied males" off general assistance in one fell swoop, and closed a few mental institutions. It was frightening.

I suspect with people babbling about gas hitting four dollars a gallon, and with so many people losing their houses to foreclosure, that we're getting ready to see another spike in the mitten state.

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