Sunday, October 14, 2012


When I first became homeless, we all lived directly on Nebraska Avenue, 33602. When a few of us scarpered over here, all of a block and a-half, exactly 1 block north and ½ block east of Nebraska Avenue, the zip code changed to 33605, as did the zeitgeist, on the inside of the building. Outside is the same old-same old. We see the same people and stay pretty much in the same orbit.

This is undoubtedly, a rough part of town. Tag-team police cruise through here several times a night and there have been some pretty wild take downs. The usual depressing laundry list of murder, robbery and violent crime is not really that prevalent. We have more of the even darker side; child abandonment, domestic violence, drug overdoses and lots and lots of poverty. 

Just last week, I watched as the police and DCF removed a young girl from her prostitute mother, who later, high on crack proceeded to put on an act worthy of Snidely Whiplash and Pauline. The other bit players keened as the finest of Greek Tragedians usually do in these productions, the central figure nothing more than a flung about label; "My baby! My baby!" Attention received; the requisite 20 minutes over. The participants disperse to their next catastrophe.

Well... JC and I are... We are Seniors. There. I’ve said the awful word and it is every bit as acid-tasting and… bland, blah, bleah, pah! We’re crocky curmudgeons and we’ll beat you to death with canes and smear Aspercreme on you. Okay, enough of the pretend Senior Rage. Well, we watch over the ones here who stay in some of the “rooming houses,” and the ALFs and are supposedly tended by LPNs. They are a story for another day. I need to look at code enforcement regulations for this area, first. Quickly, my mother was a psychologist in another county at an ALF in Florida, and the residents were locked down. The people here wander loose and medicated. Bad juju.

Situated downtown from us, south of I-275, there is an area where the Salvation Army and several other shelters are located. The Trinity Café is situated here and they feed the homeless.  We first found out about their plans build a new café to feed the homeless just 2 blocks south of us on N. Nebraska 2 months ago. Puzzling because it’s so close and this is mixed zoning, not commercial. Then we thought maybe because of the GOP convention, but there’s been the usual bunch of cat-fighting in city council.

V.M. Ybor is a pretty cool place. I washed up here, entirely by accident, or was it serendipity? After my 2 month hospitalization, I needed a safe place to stay. So I was put in this place. The fact that it’s a combo frat/halfway home for convicts/low rent/homeless shelter and was safer than my former digs says quite a bit about my life choices, but I’ve always loved a good challenge.

Anyway, after the glorious days at Happy Acres and we moved here, we didn’t move far. We kinda sorta… like the place. We like it more all the time. It’s still gloriously goofy and crazy. There is a small town feel to V.M. Ybor. We know who belongs here, even if they don’t belong here on earth. We watch out for one another. If you’re truly malevolent, you probably won’t be here long. You’ll either meet up one of TPD’s finest, or one of the former DOD folks, or… me. Your stay will be short and unpleasant; it may involve bleeding.

As of now, the Trinity Café is on hold. One of the financial “backers” couldn’t get a matching 200,000.00 grant. This was as of October 4, 2012. I’m really kind of pissed by this. 2 blocks north of the new planned Café is a corner of despair. It used to thrive. East 20th Avenue and North Nebraska has some little shops. On the southeast corner there is a Honduran café and a Laundromat, which just closed its doors after umpteen years. All of us around here now have to haul our laundry to another Laundromat now to wash. Financial backer guy could get help jump-start this corner again for far less than 200k. Trinity Cafe is just going to ring the death knell on an already depressed area. If an angel wants to help, put some money into some of the struggling businesses, help the wonderful V.M. Ybor NA which is truly committed and one of the better neighborhood communities I've been around.

For those who want a good cat fight, you can see me be ass at some chucklehead here. A Top Commenter at TBO.Com, who has no dog in the Trinity Café-V.M. Ybor fight. It’s not all sturm und drang; I have goals, but no WIP (Work in Progress) as of yet. Let’s see where we are on Wednesday check in. .

I won a prize! I love Jess Witkins’ Happiness Project blog. I thoroughly enjoyed her interview with author Michael Perry and love his music and commentary. Just an all-around nifty guy. Well, I won a hard-cover copy of his book “Visiting Tom.” I am over the moon! This is going to be my reading project. I have not started reading it yet, but it is my first "project book.". I am not a published author, yet. Never to late to start, though. My thanks to Jess and Michael Perry. Check him out at
Post a Comment