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street spirit

February 29, 2012

Raley’s is wonderfully generous with their porch space, so to speak, and more often than not, you run into Girl Scouts, selling cookies, or someone with a petition they’re all fired up about, or someone else collecting for a charitable cause. The past couple of years, they’ve even had a bell ringer at Christmas time. But imagine my surprise, yesterday, when I encounter a guy leaning against a pillar at the south entrance selling STREET SPIRIT. I mean wow. The times they really are a’changing.

I’m sure you know that Antioch is one of the most hostile places around for the homeless and the down-and-out, and friendly and presentable as he was, I don’t know how he managed to sneak in. I mean, I have to admit I was borderline spluttering the first few seconds of our conversation; I was having a little cognitive disconnect. I’ve bought a few copies in my time, but normally outside of, say, the 16th Street BART station, not outside of Raley’s. I asked him where he came from, and he said his church printed them and sent him out from Berkeley. I guess he was talking about Trinity, not the AFSC, but we didn’t get that far into it.

I had to get change, but on the way out I gave him two dollars and bought a copy. Well, it’s a newcomer– it’s not a penny a copy like the Catholic Worker! But the business model is the same. Anyway, it just freaked me out, in a good way, of course, though I’m still not sure the whole incident wasn’t some kind of temporal anomaly.

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