Frank was organizing the distribution of tents and sleeping bags. "Ladies first", he said. Then came the men's turn. Safre Ground's equipment was new-looking and of decent quality. He gave me a pledge form, and I asked him whether Mark had drafted it. "The elders did", he said patiently.
I walked beside him all the way to the river. He had a little dog on a leash and Safe Ground supplies in his cart. He was in fine shape, as a man who lives outdoors often tends to be, and looked younger than his age, which you may estimate once I inform you that he was in Vietnam in 1974, "doing cleanup", which meant "blowing things up" when we commenced our pullout from that great adventure.
"So when did the homeless comunity here start to organize?"
"In the Depression", he said. "The American River has always been everyone's place, a place to be free".
William T. Vollmann. Harper's. Homeless in Sacramento.