The first week of Occupy Los Angeles was like Renaissance Faire Meets Woodstock updated. The area my ride and partner, Sam, set up, was always close to the media section since they used our generator primarily. Being old school press, writer/photographer, we had the biggest tents, there was always activity going on under the big top, so to speak.
A wide array of interesting and interesting people passed through but the person who stood out to me was a guy with a safari hat and long wavy hair. Seeing him at a table, me and Mary Jane walked over and introduced ourselves. A friendship was born right then that was a little from the strictly ideological, and let’s face, in a revolution you keep your friends close and your enemies closer. I couldn’t get any closer to City Hall unless I worked as a clerk.
As with people who you meet in political situations, you sometimes find yourself out of your element. Being the press you kind of float in on this magic carpet. Written about during the days of OLA, I wound up camping out on Jeff’s, as I knew him then, couch. By this time I had also made friends, sort of, with his rescued little cat.
Time spent at OLA turned into a new path beyond the trendy valley I live in. soon I would become a commuter to LA and crash on the futon couch that first fractured my back, but like a steady chiropractor, it adjusted me. I grew to love it and the atmosphere which now included two new cats, Olivia and H.P. Lovecat, a layover like myself. By this time the hospitality and conversation had morphed into a frat brother relation-comfort level. As a person who never had a sibling, this was a new experience for a loner.
Feeling like I had an anchor in the big city, Jeff answered all my questions about the city’s colorful history. We also always managed to do a side trip, something we both enjoyed though it would leave him bedridden or stiff for a few days. Places that I found or events I came across, I brought the news right back and shared, giving us some new place to share and vica-versa. Somewhere along the line Jeff talked himself into something I didn’t think he would do, edit my manuscript. For that I am eternally grateful.
Years ago when I only dreamt of being a writer, I read the New Yorker. A story was told of a commuter who developed a friendship with a person he met and this person became his ‘townie’. A townie knew the city like a cabbie, has a great sense of what needs to be done for cheap survival, and a personality fit close enough to make the visits fun. Always a sequel visit is looked forward to. Plus a townie is a wingman par excellence like a living Junior Woodchucks Guidebook.
My friend, my book editor, my townie, Jeff Bradford, is moving to Florida at the end of this month. I’m off to see him tomorrow with a big nug of OG Bubba Kush. We’re gonna smoke like it’s 1999!!