Friday, December 13, 2019

LAURIE ANDERSON walked by the sign this morning and smiled with that face and nodded at the message. Big knit cap on, bright ski jacket, shortest adult you’ll see all day.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

AT NIGHT I CHECK TOMORROW MORNING’S WEATHER FOR 8:00 when I begin to hold my sign for an hour. I check it on my iPhone knowing not to trust its little clouds with blue rain needles that are often showing for the next day. Now it’s posting a snowflake at 8:00. So often it’s wrong, I’m not counting on seeing snow. I hope I do though. Nothing’s finer for me than snow. As a kid in Western New York, snow came down big out my bedroom window. I could see it piled on top of the basketball rim and in the net of my hoop across the driveway. It won’t be that kind of big snow if there’s snow at all in the morning. It’s seldom very windy here. The snow falls nicely. I’ll know when I get up.

Monday, December 2, 2019

I DON’T TAKE SUBWAY PHOTOS on my way to hold the sign; only on the way back. This morning though the downtown train wasn’t crowded and I had nothing good to read, and across from me three or four people were arranged in a way that looked like a picture. I reached into my pants pocket and brought out my iPhone. I held it horizontally like I was watching ESPN highlights and when I was about to silently press the button to take a photo, I noticed a woman just to right of the group I was aiming at put a bright yellow windbreaker in front of her face and slide down a bit in the seat. I thought maybe she was tired and wanted the coat to be like covers. As I refocused my efforts, I noticed her putting the coat over her head. I put my phone down. Then I put it away when I saw she was from Mexico or Central America and was afraid I was taking pictures for ICE or some government group that was looking for people like her. She was maybe middle-aged, strong light-brown beautifully-lined worker’s face with graying hair pulled back. Plaid shirt and jeans. I tried to subtly wave my hands in a way to let her know that I was nobody to worry about. The few minutes left on the ride, I though about how alert she and other immigrants have to be now. Good luck to her.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

THINKING ABOUT BOB DYLAN SINCE SEEING HIM SATURDAY NIGHT: I saw him in Jackson, Wyoming maybe 15 years ago. I timed my visit to see my daughter who lives there so we could see his concert which would be outdoors at the foot of an in-town mountain not the surrounding iconic Tetons. We sat on the side of the mountain. No seats. He and his band we’re down below. It was perfect. Beyond the stage was the town of Jackson framed by mountains. It looked like a movie town. The Hardy Boys could have lived there. What was different though was there were no church steeples sticking up above the leafy trees. We were in the West. Not in the old European eastern part of the country. I found that refreshing to think about then; I’ve thought about it often since. On Saturday way early for the concert as is my habit going anywhere, I walked around the corner to the side of the theater. Sure enough there was Dylan’s huge bus sitting shiny under the street lights. And sure enough when I went to the back and looked at the license plate, it was from California.

MY STILL-HURTING LEFT SHOULDER hurt even more the last two days. I mentioned it to my physical therapist today and she asked what I might have done to aggravate it. I told her a couple heavier things I had carried that might have strained it. Then it hit me what I’d done that for sure caused it to hurt. I’d cheered and clapped with arms outstretched as strong and long as I could at the Bob Dylan concert Saturday night. I stood and put my hands together as much as I could over my head like a younger me at the end. Forever Young? I guess not.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A BIG GUY WHO LOOKED LIKE HE’D once played linebacker for Nebraska walked toward the sign this morning with the light-gray hood from his sweatshirt up and a worn plaid heavy worker’s shirt on over it and said, ‘ I couldn’t agree more. Trump wouldn’t be where he is.’

Monday, November 18, 2019

After a weekend it’s good to get back on Chambers Street with the sign. You’re not supposed to look forward to Monday but I do. I like the faces I see there. Some I may have seen almost every day since I started doing this. A couple different people stopped to talk today. One woman took a picture of the sign and talked about her son and daughter.