Citizen Ed

By: bmshep

Mar 09 2010

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Male Citizens


Focal Length:34mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:FinePix S5Pro

“What was your name again?”


Laughing, “That’s a white boy’s name if ever I heard one!”

“Can I have that coffee?”


     This is Ed, or possibly Alvin. I saw Ed laying in the doorway of Bud’s Buffet on 10th St. He was trying to fit under a couple of blankets that seemed too short. Ed has been homeless now for 17 years, the last 12 without entering any type of shelter. He doesn’t like the rules, not just from the staff, but the unwritten rules among shelter inhabitants. Ed likes being alone. Ed grew up in Texas, or possibly Sacramento. He says he left home when he was 9 or 10. When I ask him why, he stares at me and says, “I just didn’t like it!” It’s the only time he gets mad when we talk. 

     A group of people come across the street and give him a sandwich and some water. They call him Alvin and ask him if he wants to come into ‘the house’. He says no, but asks for another sandwich. They don’t give him one. He says it’s a church group and he doesn’t want to be a part of their head count. A woman who was previously shouting at a man on the next block walks over and puts a couple of bucks and change down by Ed’s hand and asks him if he wants any cigarettes. He does.

     Ed has had a string of blue collar jobs throughout his life. Janitor, house painter, dishwasher, gardener. Eventually, he says, alcohol got the best of him and finally he ended up homeless. He has no family. He loves jazz, especially Sonny Stitt and Bird. He likes to read books on ancient history. He wants to fix the drinking fountains in the downtown mall. Ed is 69.

Favorite Accomplishments: Solitude.

Regrets: I once had a really good job in Ft Worth, TX. I was Asst. Manager at Royal Tile, but drinking cost me that job too.

What are your passions and obsessions? I used to love to drive fast cars. I once had a 1957 Ford Fairlane 500.

Sound Off! I see the moon. The moon sees me. God bless the moon. And God bless me.

Thanks Ed..or.. Alvin. You can use my name if you want.


2 comments on “Citizen Ed”

  1. I love these. You take amazing pictures and the stories are always interesting.

    keep up the great work!

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