On September 11, 2001 around 7:30 am, I was at P.S. 22 on Sanford Ave. in Flushing, Queens
interviewing voters for “The Edison Media Research.” Things were
going along smoothly until a supervisor told me that a plane hit one of the World Trade Center buildings. I said, “Oh my God” ‘n then I remembered that a plane had crashed into the Empire State
building many moons ago. I mentioned it to her and we both went back to doing
our work. Minutes later, she informed me that another plane had crashed into
the second building at the WTC ‘n she walked away quickly to other workers. Within
minutes, parents were storming into school to get take their children home. The
phones were dead but we were able to listen to the report of the disaster on the radio.
We didn’t know if the elections were to be continued, if we were going home, if anybody was saved, just so many
They say a man isn’t supposed to cry. I
CRIED! Then, I became angry ‘n started asking myself how could this happen? How could our people in government allow this to happen again? Not one time but TWO! I thought about all of the jive explanations
‘n excuses on who whose fault ‘twas. The flip would begin ‘n
come down to the same old thing that I’ve been printing in our paper for many moons. The
same old NOT MY JOB!
This is a story about 4 people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody ‘n Nobody. There was an important job to be done ‘n Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it but Nobody did it. Somebody got
angry that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody
wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody
blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.
I could mention the organization(s) or people that could replace Everybody, Somebody, Anybody
‘n Nobody but I won’t. However, you may replace those, if any, that
you think should be entered. Moving right along, “‘Tis the season
to be concerned ‘n I wonder “whether ‘tis nobler in my mind to suffer the slings ‘n arrows of outrageous
fortune or take arms against an ocean of troubles?” Yeah, that came from
Mr. Shakespeare many moons ago. Ms. Julia Ward Howe said a few moons ago; “We
women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our children to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says, "Disarm! Disarm!"
I think most of the women ‘n men of the world are saying, “Get your arms don’t
disarm! Arm against all of these oceans of troubles!” I have recently think about the word shit. Yes, that's right,
shit! Shit may just be the most functional word in every language in this world.
have so many differences dealing with ecological shit ‘n environmental shit, differences in viewpoint shit, rural vs.
urban difference shit. Socioeconomic status shit such as class, occupation, income
levels ‘n class identification shit, ethnic or minority characteristics shit, race, nationality ‘n religion shit. There’s voting behavior shit, native ‘n foreign born shit, groups of diverse
national origin shit. There’s a lot of shit with the person that wants
to help the homeless; the person that will fight against abortion, police brutality, racial profiling increasing the minimum
wage, allowing medical coverage for all Americans, building more safe ‘n affordable housing, educational opportunities
for all shit!
Paying back Native Americans, Black Americans, Asians Americans ‘n others groups for
all of the cruel inhuman shit done to them. We can be shit faced, shit out of
luck or have shit for brains. We can smoke shit, buy shit, sell shit, lose shit,
find shit, forget shit ‘n tell others to eat shit. Some people know their
shit, while others can't tell the difference between shit ‘n shine. We
can throw shit; slings shit, catch shit, shoot shit ‘n duck when shit hits the fan.
We can give a shit or serve shit, be happier than a pig in shit or find ourselves in deep shit. There are times when we feel like shit, have too much shit, not enough shit, the right shit, wrong shit
‘n a lot of weird shit. We can carry shit, have a mountain of shit or find
ourselves up shit's creek without a paddle. Sometimes every thing we touch turns
to shit ‘n others times we fall in a bucket of shit ‘n come out smelling like a rose.
With a little effort, we can get our shit together, find a place for our shit ‘n decide
to shit ‘n get off the pot. If you stop to consider all the facts, shit
could be the basic building block of creation! We all need to get our shit together! Remember, once you know your shit, you don't need to know anything else! The bull weighs over 2000 lbs. ‘n a lot of shit is still being defecated in our great Country ‘n
throughout the world. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the
problem. It's time to wake up, get those cobwebs out of our cerebral cortex ‘n
make a positive move for our race, “The Human Race!”
We at Street News have been put on the pay –
you no mind list by city officials to come offer recommendations that could assist the homeless as well as other issues within
The main media are afraid to allow us to speak our mind also.
Have us visit your school, college, university, community meeting, radio, TV, park bench or wherever. Our Street News Family has
been there ‘n done that! We all have a Ph.D. in STREETOLOGY, BOOKOLOGY
‘n SHITOLOGY! Time to get those cob-webs out of your cerebral cortex ‘n
urinate, defecate ‘n regurgitate the Good, Bad ‘n Filthy McNasty! Pass
this shit along, if you give a shit!
Enjoy the REAL DEAL! 143, Indio
16 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, Street News is still the oldest active homeless paper in the world. Founded
by Mr. Hutchinson Persons with its first publication in October but printed the date November 1989. At one time, circulation was close to 100,000 every publication.
However, after Hutchinson appeared on the Chris Wallace TV show, circulation went down because of allegations that
he had taken funds from vendors that were put in a trust fund. The allegations
were never founded but the damage was done.
Circulation went down ‘n a lot of staff left ‘n a few formed another homeless paper
called Crossroads. It didn't last
very long because of low advertisements ‘n the editor gave up ‘n enrolled at Columbia University to obtain a degree
Mr. Persons sold Street News to Mr. Sam Chen ‘n changes were made such as going to a profit instead of a non -profit business. Circulation
still went down to as low as 3,000 a month. The so-called reason was because
of the Mayor and or President of Transit or both, directed the Transit Police to arrest anyone selling our paper on the subways. The Port Authority, Grand Central Terminal, Staten Island Ferry ‘n other agencies
jumped on the bandwagon. We lost nearly 80% of readership.
Mr. Chen, could no longer afford to provide printing
services for free as well as salaries ‘n decided to close down. However,
five staff members (Lee Stringer, John Hart, Barbara Bales, Pat ‘n I) stayed on.
We refused to let the paper die. We worked without pay ‘n
circulation began to rise some. Mr. John Hart ‘n Mr. Lee Stringer became Co-Editors in chief of Street News. Ms. Barbara Bales left; Pat ‘n I made up the rest
of the staff. Then, Mr. Hart joined The
Mr. Lee Stringer became the first Black Homeless Editor –in chief of our paper. I became managing editor
‘n Pat, our girl Friday.
We lost our rent-free office space that twas provided by Mr. Seymour Durst because of his
death. We were forced to vacate the premises. We relocated to Delancey Street as a
sub- tenant, stayed a few months ‘n had to relocate to Allen Street, also in Manhattan. That's when the shit hit the
fan. The legal tenant sold his lease to some negative dudes ‘n we were
told (Lee, Pat ‘n I) to pay the rent to the new negative dudes.
As we are told about the rent, people kept coming inside buyin’ drugs. They wanted to use Street
News as a front to cover their negative dealings. We refused to stay ‘n demanded our rent ‘n security funds back.
We were told that the rent would be returned. We only received a thousand
dollars. So, I rented a truck, moved out to Queens ‘n tried to re-group. It started to get very tight ‘n Street
News twas back in the red again.
Since that time, Lee left because of a substance problem, became drug free ‘n has
a written two books ‘n should have another coming out next year.
I became the first Native American Indian Editor of Street News in April, 1996. Sales went up to 20,000 per issue thanks to
our staff of reporters, vendors ‘n of course, YOU, our readers! We are
still a For Profit Homeless paper ‘n received an award from The North American
Street Newspaper Association, “ For Inspiring the Modern Street Newspaper Movement” in Seattle, Washington
on September 11, 1997. Street News
has been interviewed constantly by the college students, domestic ‘n International media. We even had our own Internet audio ‘n video program on Pseudo
Programs. Now, with lots of features on the Homeless, National, International, Comics, Poetry, Health ‘n Street
Sheet, Sports ‘n our Street News Gear, we still have more pages than any
other active homeless on this planet!
gives out 30 free papers to all new vendors
‘n has kept the tradition for 13 years. We still are the voice of the voiceless,
the heart, soul ‘n spirit of the streets that tells the Real Deal like ‘TIS!
Thank you for sticking with us ‘n continue to get those cobwebs out of your cerebral cortex.
Please join us with Mr. & Mrs. McDonald, THE DOE FUND, READY WILLING & ABLE and others
at Grand Central Terminal on Xmas day at 11am to honor JANE DOE, a homeless woman that froze to death at the terminal 20
years ago. All of our crew at Street News wishes YOU a Peaceful, Happy Thanksgiving,
a Peaceful Blessed Holiday on Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa ‘n a Peaceful Sober NEW YEAR!
Still in the struggle, 143, Indio
Many stuhave graduated from school to the work world. Other students are
just graduating from one class to another or graduating from homeless to welfare or from workfare to working with the mainstream.
In any case, I wanted to write some grand words about Graduation. Instead, I went
back to Ms. Mary Schmich famous words of wisdom again. I read her column in the Chicago
Tribune in 1997 and it was also printed in Reader’s Digest in June 1998.
Anyway, I think all of the graduates ‘n our Street News Family graduates should think about these words of wisdom by Ms. Mary Schmich.
Ladies And Gentlemen: Wear sunscreen.
If I could only offer one tip for the future, sunscreen
would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientist, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis
more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never
mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll
look back at photos of yourself and recall how fabulous you really looked at the time.
You are not as fat as you imagine. Don’t worry
about the future. Or worry but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing gum. Real
troubles are apt to blindside you at 4 pm on an idle Tuesday.
Do one thing daily that scares you. Sing. Don’t
be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Remember
compliments, forget insults. Keep old love letters.
Dance. Read the directions, even if you don’t
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make
you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll
Be nice to your siblings. They’re the best
link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you.
Understand that friends come and go but with a precious
few you should hold on.
The older you get, the more you need the people who
knew you when you were young.
Travel. Accept these certain truths: Prices will
rise. Politicians will philander.
You, too, will get old. And then you’ll fantasize
that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.