Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hopeville

I really missed a chance to document something unique.

When I first arrived in St. Louis I had nothing but a guitar and a bad back and an old camcorder that only worked if you sprinked mojo dust on it. I wandered down to the river to contemplate the universe and came upon a squatters camp called Hopeville. http://www.ksdk.com/images/300/169/2/assetpool/images/110503081720_Still0503_00000.jpgIt was a bunch of tents and derelict cars. It reminded me of Santa Cruz and I fell in love with it but the temp was around 20 and my arthritis was barking up the wrong tree so I found a basement to sleep in and worked hard to find a ride to Mexico. But in the back of my mind I wanted to go to Hopeville with my camera and a tent and risk typhoid fever to get the story. I mean, this was a rare thing. Anyone could see that. A hundred tents on the river of a major city. lawless. insane. Freezing. Forsaken. Loathed. Drunk. The drama made itself. This is where reality tv needs to poke their noses instead of Jersey Shore garbage. I was a coward and didn't take the plunge even though I am the only person who could sleep in a flimsy Kmart tent during the worst winter ever to hit St. Louis and still record the story and live to see the spring.

And then what happens? One of the guys stabs another guy over a can of beer...in a tent. Was crystal meth involved? Probably, but that stuff is so common that it comes in Happy Meals now at McDonalds. The story of this event intrigues me to no end. I want to investigate but the white wolf calls to me.
Why do I mention it? The city will close it down and that would've been the end of the story.
God give me the courage to ignore my spine pain and get this story next time it is shoved in my face. In this case there is no realistic way for mainstream media to cover this story. Only an independent artist could devote a year to actually translate this into something another person could relate to. I am that artist and I missed my chance. I'm hopeless.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.