Tuesday, April 12, 2011

About Garrett + Monday usual

Monday usual being West African peanut soup - everybody seems to remember by now what Monday usual is and it is expected like Wendy's weekday special, and that is a good thing, I hope. No problem finding helpers, either, although a gripping film-drama played in TV room had Ramone too transfixed to chop, so I had to nudge him every so often. Richard and Taco smartly left the TV room to chop without visual  distractions: Richard in his usual zen-meditative way till he is done (he has a way of timing it with when it's needed to finish the soup), and Taco in a fast and furious manner: 'and what's next?'  Turns out Taco worked in restaurants and has speed-chopping in his blood.

Over a bowl of finished soup I met Glen Still, a spoken word artist, a poet and a musician  originally from California, currently working on a book about homelessness.  Glen noted that the last blog post included poetry and shared some of his very interesting own; he promised to email me a few of his poems, so hopefully the next blog post will be featuring his work.

After soup and with my laptop in hand I started to look for Garrett to write down his story.  Garrett lead me to a cozy back room,  equipped with a beautiful bright red sofa and hopefully, said Garrett,  WiFI as well (connection rather spotty in the building).  Surely enough my laptop registered 'Home' network, which Garrett said I could join without special password.  Now we were in business:  here is Garrett, in his own words:

• Garrett – Nickelsville resident

I was a computer network engineer for 18 + years, also independent consultant, once earning $100/hr

Garrett in front of Nickelsville's entrance
When the economy dropped from underneath me, all the contracts that were plentiful at one time, dried up. To make a long story short, I lost my wife, my home, my dog and cat, and now I’m here.  I would encourage everybody reading this to donate to this worthy cause.  

When I was employed and still a network engineer, I used to watch on the news the tent cities; I used to tell my wife that I want to buy a trailer, and I wanted  to configure that trailer with wind generators and solar panels and battery back up.  

I wanted to pull that trailer behind my jeep and take it to the various tent city sites, to supply both free energy and WiFi Internet access to the individuals in those tent cities. 

That was my dream.  Then I lost my income, but it is still my dream, because I have not given up. I’m determined to give something back to society because much has been given to me.

Now the journey begins.  Getting back on my feet, reestablishing myself, being an example and making a positive change, that is what I encourage everyone to do.   God bless…

Garrett was born in Tampa, Florida, and grew up in Compton, CA. While 5 years in the Navy he traveled to Japan, China, Diego Garcia Thailand and various other countries.  After an honorable discharge from Navy he traveled a couple of years around Brazil from Rio to Salvador Bahia, to learn the culture and the language.  After returning to US, Garrett eventually settled in Seattle, where he met his wife – he has been a Seattle resident for 15 years.  The distress started 2 years ago, and about a year ago it affected his marriage…  After his marriage broke down Garret lived downstairs (garage level), while his wife occupied the main part of their house. The couple was unable to meet mortgage obligations, and Garrett left so his wife could rent downstairs and be able to pay the mortgage….

•  And here is voice of a fourteen year old Troye Sivan (hails from South Africa, but calls Perth, Australia his home), who shares Garrett's dream of helping the homeless:

Troye Sivan’s first original song, For Them, focuses on a very urgent issue: the homeless children around the world. Written specially for Troye by British songwriter Anthony Johnson, it has powerful lyrics and bring us an extremely important message...  More at Troye's website (click here).

•  About the new sponsor of Nickelsville: it's JAZZ WITH JUSTICE:  a progressive organization of legal professionals without a website, Peggy and Scott said, hm.  Googling it seems to suggest that it's a national movement of lawyers with conscience - I found JAZZ 4 JUSTICE, and several similar names tied to bar associations around the country - looks like grass root, not a top-down type of organization.  Thanks whoever you are!

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