Friday, January 14, 2011

The Rosecrans Run




This is a true story of a 72 year-old homeless man who was living in an RV on the streets of Los Angeles. He took his dogs walking one day and when he came back, his home on wheels was gone.

Turns out he had $26,000.00 in unpaid parking tickets on that RV (in Los Angeles, you have to move your vehicle every 72 hours even if it's parked in front of your own house) and the police had impounded the old man's RV and were looking to arrest him for the unpaid parking tickets.


The old man came to us at the U.S. Vets homeless military veterans shelter in Inglewood for help. He had another RV, a brakeless old monstrocity that had been sitting in storage for 7 years. The storage folks wouldn't let him live in the RV on the storage facility grounds, so the old man had to find a safe place to park his home on wheels on the streets.

Trouble was, the old wreck didn't move (or stop) very well. He couldn't keep moving it every 72 hours.

Then the old man had found a church 8 miles from the storage facility that would let him park his stored wreck in their private property back parking lot. Perfect. The cops couldn't ticket him on private property.

The trouble was, how to get the RV from here to there. The brakes were shot. The steering linkage was bad. The wheels might fly off at any moment. The old man couldn't just drive the death trap through normal heavy stop and go Los Angeles traffic. People would get killed.

We came up with a plan. At 4 o'clock in the morning when traffic was lightest, the old man would cannon ball the 40-foot monstrocity across 8 miles of Rosecrans Boulevard running every red light that presented itself with Gordon The Hollywood Anarchist running interference with his $200 Nigerian Chevy while I ran my deisel pickup behind the RV, push-starting the bus every time the motor stalled.

It worked. Traffic laws were brazenly broken, but no one was killed that foggy morning in Torrance. It was a triumph of the will for the working homeless, the final solution for my homeless Jewish attorney's parking ticket problems. And no lazy-assed, inept or corrupt social worker was bothered in this operation.

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