Stranger On A BUS

Busking Tour Fall 2001

Oakland and Berkeley, CA

indent spacerThe overnight ride from Salt Lake was a sea of calm after the rather stressful ride to Salt Lake from Chicago - the longest single segment on the tour. (One young woman was manifesting some psychological problems and I and a few other passengers had to intervene.) There were less than 20 people on the bus through Reno...we each had two seats to sleep in...a respite from the full load of the previous night. I checked my bags in a locker, walked past the former YMCA - now private apartments after damage from the 1989 Loma Prieta 7.1 Quake, and subsequent retrofitting for seismic safety - where I had resided more than once in the mid eighties, found the front facade of a theatre to my liking, took a picture, which will appear here, grabbedthe BART for Berkeley, and found a haunt of mine - a cafe, got a cup of Joe, then found bench near the west gate to UC Berkeley, and hauled out my trusty Gibson....went up to the Sproul Plaza area and Telegraph Avenue, checked out People's Park one more time, generally to get the Road out of my head ...finally I called an Oakland friend, who came and picked me up....we went to the locker grabbed the luggage and proceeded to her place to meet the household one more time. After a great updating news session, and fine evening meal, it was back to the bus depot for the overnight to LA!

indent spacerSunday morning October 28 was the end of Daylight Savings Time, so an hour "disappeared"! The BART doesn't run early in the Morning on Sunday, so I sat in the Greyhound depot reading until daylight , went to the street where I could catch a bus. There was a road crew still working its night shift. They offered the people waiting for the Berkeley bound bus donuts!

indent spacerOne thing that continues to strike me about Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue environs is the perennial nature of some of the craftspeople and artistic regulars. When I lived nearby from May 1982 to July 1984, I became familiar with a small number of people who make their living seling jewelry, tie-dye tee-shirts, and bumper-stickers/or and buttons with various political/humorous slogans and/or sayings. In the 17 years since then, the longest I stayed away was 3 years. Still, in 2001, after nearly a two year absence, several folks were still out there. A silversmith, who made rings and things. One of the several tarot card readers, who sit at "card" tables around the corners of Channing Way and Telegraph. I walked by them unrecognized...

indent spacerJulia Vinograd, the black clothes wearing "bubble lady", still sells her books of poetry in an out of the Café Mediterraneum, and up and down the Avenue. Moe's Bookstore is still in business across the street, even though its founder/proprietor, Moe Moskowitz, died several years back. It still has several tables of "cut-out" priced books on tables on the third floor...I could have easily spent $100 on books about 2 or 3 topics that interest me, and gotten ahead of my reading pace by 2 or 3 years!

indent spacerThe trees and palms in People's Park grow taller and older. The Food Not Bombs people still show up several days a week, to spread out their vegetarian "feaste-le" for all comers at about 2:30pm most days. Some days, the variety served can equal a veggie eater's gourmet dream! I've watched "new" stores become older looking...La Val's Pizza looks the same as when I worked there in 1987-8, by now catering to the second generation of some regulars, I'm sure. Several restaurants manage to stay in the swing even after 30 years...while others come and go.

Remember Strawberry Alarm Clock?
CLUE: "Incense and Peppermint"


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