A little more information

The two main activities in my life: Helping the hungry in the late hours of the night and helping guitar players sound better one amp at a time.

I always try to remember that in order to do good one has to take action and actually do something.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have watched the city and Southern California change for well over half a century.

I can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/mylesr or on twitter at www.twitter.com/myles111us

As of late 2019 the music related links and prints noted on this page which had their links to by GAB (Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting) website are no longer accessible. I grew weary of updating my GAB website and let it go away. You can contact me on Facebook. Saunders Stewart Models continues full operation but we are not accepting new clients without a referral.

Los Angeles Architectural History

Los Angeles Architectural History
1935 Art Deco at some of its finest: No. 168 - Griffith Observatory- (click on the photo for information)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

No photos, no videos, nothing fancy or educational. Just a few of my thoughts.

This post might be full of spelling errors, errors in grammar and have all sorts of issue.  If you can overlook those things that would be great.  If you cannot overlook them that is unfortunate I suppose but I am not going to do much about it.  Try to ignore the lack of flow and mistakes.  I am tired and it has been a rough holiday season so say the least.  I may go back when I am less tired and edit this a bit.  I wanted to get some of these thoughts down while they were still running through my head.

This post is little more than some of the thoughts that have crossed my mind.  Some of them I posted on facebook while I was in "the field" and some I just let sit in the back of my mind.  Perhaps some of them will come up as I write this.

The questions come magnitudes faster than answers.  I generally go downtown two times in a given day, in the late morning and afternoon and then in the late evening.

Spending time in the heart of skid row is more like a military mission than a fact finding mission or a mission to help those in need.  There are no choppers to come and get you when things fall apart.  I say "when" because it is not a matter of IF, it is a matter of when.  Your potential enemy can be more elusive and unknown than any military enemy even those that blend in with the general population.  Many of these folks have mental issue and can explode or change face in a split second. 

Did I say mental issues?  Live on the streets a few weeks and most anybody will develop mental issues.  I have already found myself with some changes in my views on some subjects.  At times I have to put additional effort into holding back anger toward nicely dressed people in suits that go about their daily lifes blind to the plight of so many others.  I am not a religious man but I will say that those folks should heed the phrase that says something about not being in that position only by the grace of God.  I have met too many families that had a house and home weeks ago and are now on the streets.

Human beings are social creatures.  Sure, there are survival types that live alone in the forest but they are an exception and not the rule.  I used to think of myself as a loner, somebody who did not need anybody and could eaily drift in and out of social situations if and when I wanted to do so.  Wrong.  I have no stable home even though I have an apartment.  It is not a home as happiness and contentment are only real when your time is shared with others.  These folks on the street are in some ways my family or support group.   The vets which are the largest segment of the population are brothers in arms.  Most of them have been rejected by people that were once important to them and I also fit into that same file folder which holds the list of events in the cosmos or whatever somewhere.

I have people I know and they have people they know.  I try to help and support them perhaps because I am like them in many ways and each day my mindset come closer to an alignment with their way of thinking.  It is a way of helping your family or at least your support group. 

I have friends and something of a support group from a few good friends who I have either known for years or have not known all that long but know in my heart.  One of them is an ex-vet himself that understands the homeless situation very well.  One is a great lady who lives almost 3,000 miles away but always seems to be there for me.  One is really five if you count a husband, wife, daughter and two doggies.  I performed the marriage of the husband and wife a decade ago.  There are some folks over at an amplifier company in North Hollywood that are a bit of an extended family.  The owner of the company is one of the most intelligent people I know and a straight ahead, honest and kind person.  He gave me a space to park my motorhome for a year while I was trying to figure out what path to take in my life and gave me a lot of support.  Other people from my past are around for a visit or when I want to drop by and say hello but life has changed and these folks have their own lives.

So, at this point in my life I am doing my best to help others who seem to need some help.  A big part of that help seems to be what I said earlier ... we are social beings ... we need somebody to talk to and share things and thoughts with on a regular basis.  I listen to them.  They ask for my thoughts and then they listen to me.  Maybe I am part of their life in some cases now and they are now a part of my life.  I love my boys but they are at the age where they have their own activities and interests and really have better things to do than hang around with the old man.  Ahhh ... the lyric from Cats in the Cradle comes to mind from Harry Chapin comes to mind.  The story that is all so common.

I feel that I am helping others.  I feel I am growing as an individual in spite of my age being at a point where many people stop trying to grow or understand things outside of the comfort zone or areas of expertise.  I am meeting new people that I can see face to face every day and are people that are happy to see me even if I have nothing to offer other than conversation and an ear.  Perhaps that will have to be enough. 

Some questions that I have had that have come up in my mind are things such as ....

Where do all the cell phones that homeless people have get their battery charged?  The aspect of where to pay the bill is not a question with prepaid cell phones.

With all the women and men working the streets for a buck (sometimes literally), I ask myself if sex without love is best left to animals .... unless it is an emergency?   I wore a nice shirt that was a holiday gift from what was my family on Saturday night.  Perhaps I looked too affluent.  I was approached three times for companionship.  One of the girls was even quite pretty. 

Drugs?  I was approached on the same evening multiple times.  Lots of drug sales by locals, residents of the area and gang members.  If you want it you will find it here.  Mercedes, Lexus, BMW or whatever pull up to 5th and Los Angeles to make their connections.  Central Division Police station is a few hundred yards away at the most.

I want to produce a photo calendar. Title? If you have a wall to hang this on count your blessings.

I like to take chances venturing down alleys in the late evening or early morning hours before the sun rises.  Like roulette where the odds are against you but the win payoff can be big.  You might find somebody who hides in the alleys as they are terrified of people and with time you may be able to talk to and with them and learn some interesting things.  I already have one favorite alley.

One of my good friends asked if I knew of anybody doing what I am doing.  My reply to him was that I have not met anybody else doing what I am doing. Most people that want to help the homeless in some way stay in the missions where it is safe.  They serve meals or help in other ways.  When the sun goes down they get out of the area.  In the late evening and early morning there is not a lot to eat on the concrete and giving folks a banana or granola bar or rasins goes a long way to making the next hours until the sun rises a little easier.  There are not a lot of folks in the field doing this and if there are others let me know about them so we can seek out each other and help each other.

Heavy gang activity as this is where they sell drugs. If you see a nice car late at night it is generally somebody who has money who are looking for drugs or cheap hookers.  On my blog there is one video that is good at explaining where I posted the five videos in the series.  My video clips? I tend to do things in a less slick way from a different vantage point than these high production videos done during the day when the sun is shining and you have a staff of people and police escort.

I really do not know where to end this post.  I could keep writing for hours.  I will stop now and perhaps extend this at another time or just write a new post with additional thoughts.  I will end with the thought of the moment .... I am starting to feel more in place with the folks downtown than feeling in place and at ease when I am alone in the place I change my clothes, take a shower or do my laundry.

Feel free to follow me on facebook or twitter and a bit on my methods of production

This blog does not really allow for uploading of photos or videos from mobile devices.  Many times I will report from the field and do this on twitter and facebook.  Facebook also allows for remote uploads of the very small and poor quality videos my cellphone can produce (no fault of facebook, it is my phone).  I tend to upload photos and videos often when I am on foot.

I had some text posts here on 1/2/10 but removed them as they are also on facebook and twitter.  They were interactive in nature and facebook and twitter allow me to dialogue remotely where it is more of a one way street on this blog.

There are many great videos from others that I have posted on this blog.  They are professionally done with high production values.  I want to take a different approach.  Rather than film or shoot from the safety of daytime, shoot with a staff of folks which is safer or pre-arrange particular scripts I prefer to shoot on foot, in the field, many times at night or in the early morning hours much of the time.  I use equipment that is easily replaceable and does not attract a lot of attention.   My video segments are generally only a minute or less.  Sometimes that is all the time one has that may be safe.  In many of the video clips there may be little or no dialogue.  A picture is worth 1000 words and ... dialogue or verbal commentary can call attention to me when I am trying to avoid attention.  I took a few video clips last night that I will post here after they are uploaded.

If you wish to find me on facebook I am at www.facebook.com/mylesr and on twitter I am at www.twitter.com/myles111us