May 6, 2011

Sidewalk Stand

A former nun and priest bought a laundry van with unpaid war taxes, painted "free lunch" on the sides and hauled a pot of spaghetti cooked in their home in Pasadena to grimy Skid Row one spring day. 

Chris and Dan Delany served that pot of spaghetti outside a mission next to St. Vibiana Cathedral where Dan happened to have been ordained. Homeless men who lived on the gray streets as well as tenants in the small hotel rooms lined up for a plate. This was 1969.


The next day they cooked something different. The variety of meals depended on what had been donated and what was on sale at the store.


Since 1969, the volunteers, hippies and radicals that have been a part of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker community have served food on the sidewalks of Skid Row. Since 1969, the police have shut down the food line more than once, but it was always eventually allowed to continue at another location in Skid Row.

But the city isn’t interested in allowing the oatmeal and coffee giveaway to continue at another location.

This is the neighborhood with the largest concentration of homeless people in the country.

A community member, Sybilla, drew and wrote messages in colored chalk on the sidewalk for those in line this morning. I made plans to shoot nine-ball with someone in line. And the police didn’t show up

It was a good day.




This is Part 4 of the city's effort to criminalize feeding the homeless in Skid Row. Here's Part 5.

10 comments:

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I'm glad to hear it was a good day, Ed. May it be so tomorrow. :-)

Mark Dixon said...

You done good. I'm glad no one went to jail.

I didn't know about Chris and Dan Delany. You're teaching me history about our friends. Thank you. :)

Brian Miller said...

nice. cool messages in the chalk. so no cops...and with that kinda luck how did 9 ball go? smiles.

Claudia said...

good to hear and i second bri - cool idea with the chalk message..

TheFusionTea said...

Good deed on a good day

The Words Crafter said...

I'm glad those people have all of you to help them.So few seem to care....

She Writes said...

Ed, you go! More good days :).

Wine and Words said...

So interesting Shutter Bug, how "good day" changes definition throughout our lives. I had to chuckle a bit. Writing on the sidewalk has always made me happy. It's like being real naughty, though knowing the rain can wash away any evidence.

Living one meal at a time down there on skid row, eh?

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lucychili said...

a salute to the
good folk of the day