There are three of us full-timers at NCFM offices, Me, Myself and I. Sometimes we treat each other after resolving differences, Hodads, Chee Chee, candy bar at Sammy’s. Short walks, long debates. Mental. Is all Ok.
If you get past the first few paragraphs of bragging about NCFM members and our work you will find a story of sorts about NCFM’s San Diego, California neighborhood and Me, Myself and I and, a late holiday gift to whoever reads it.
Since the last letter, almost two years ago, NCFM filed and won our first lawsuit under the NCFM banner in a paternity case, County of San Diego v. M.V, a precedent setting case once published. Moreover, we prepared amicus curie briefs on behalf of others, continued our groundbreaking lawsuit against the Selective Service System (decision expected soon), began formalizing our civil rights law firm, and helped establish a nonprofit for falsely accused Veterans and active military personnel, The Save Our Heroes Project. Our members have won numerous lawsuits against California businesses discriminating against men in public accommodations regarding pricing, access and promotions, including a few class actions.
We are actively helping several members protect their property, businesses, and professional licenses jeopardized by disgustingly corrupt, discriminatory, and even misandrist adjudication, maladministration and malfeasance. NCFM members played key roles in turning back due process killing Department of Labor guidelines adversely influencing primarily young men on college campuses. We filed Title IX discrimination complaints against three major universities, Northeastern, Georgetown and the University of Pennsylvania.
NCFM held a highly successful internationally attended two-day conference in San Diego last year for our 40th anniversary, and completely redid our website (www.ncfm.org), both at considerable expense. Several of our members regularly lobby about a host of issues on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures. We helped fund Intactivist efforts in Kenya. We have distributed tens of thousands of pieces of NCFM educational literature, books, wristbands, and pens. We distributed over 100 copies of Casey Jaye’s Red Pill to targeted politicians and other change agents, including a few vocal people needing enlightenment. We have been featured or mentioned in well over 100 print, radio and television segments, including major media like the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, London Telegraph, San Diego Union Tribune. NBC, CBS, NPR… We just took more office space and are in the process of developing a video studio. Most importantly perhaps, we have provided information, referrals and support to hundreds of people in need from around the world.
As NCFM President, thank you to all our members and supporters for making it all possible. We do it all with volunteers, donations and dues. Not one cent of public money and no employees, not even Me, Myself and I. You can read more about the accomplishments above at www.ncfm.org. Use the search engine at the top of the page, just above the “Donate” button.
Without you, not one of our accomplishments would be possible. It is you who help us help others make the world a better place for all of us. Please take a bow. May 2019 bring the best of everything to you and yours. Is Ok, but there still much work to do. I hope you enjoy the story below. It too is for you…
NCFM’S AND MY NEIGHBORHOOD
The playful sounds of LG appliances description read, “Have you heard the sounds of a happy family in a happy home? Those very sounds can be heard from the home appliances as well…” My LG 52” smart TV is an LG with music as advertised, Life is Good theme song, four versions. LG’s logo features a circle containing the letters “L” and “G” in a smiling human face too. Happy-happy.
Nevertheless, life is deceptive. Over 50 years ago, two companies Rak-Hui (pronounced “Lucky) and Goldstar Co. Ltd merged into Lucky-Goldstar. Deceptive or not, life is good for LG stockholders, its logo, my TV and pretty much me comfortable five stories up in my apartment overlooking Broadway in one of the most expensive cities on the planet, where I watch the world change. Just my LG and me.
Several under-construction, high-rise, multiuse structures topped tall by American flags above precariously perched on one legged tower cranes, now block my balcony view of Tijuana, Mexico and the over two mile long, 200’ high, magnificent Coronado Bridge stretching effortlessly between downtown San Diego and Coronado Island.
The island is rumored to house more well healed retired military brass, politicians and world-class fugitives than any other place on the planet. Strange bedfellows. Admirals, political figures and drug lord’s safe at home, hard at retirement, lunching at five star Hotel del Coronado, tanning on the beach, doing business just over the Coronado Bridge. Life full of unexpected diversions. Life as habilitation sometimes with a re and splat.
Mostly, San Diegans don’t hear much about the splat. Not much to tell I guess. No one to interview. Over a suicide a day in San Diego and increasing, mostly men. Happens way too often to be newsworthy. It’s the ones threatening to jump we hear about through news bulletins and traffic updates. The bridge gets shut down, all lanes closed, until surrender or splat. After all, non-jumpers have to get to work, go shopping, and frolic on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Moreover, the detour, 30 miles of inconvenience! The world never stops for death. Certainly not for distressed males splatting 200’ off the Coronado bridge. Even Admirals, political figures and drug lord’s safe at home come to San Diego over the bridge sometimes, inconvenienced as they may be by a maybe splat. They don’t care either. Not even news.
She didn’t weigh more than 70 pounds. All scrunched up, hunched over, way under 5’ short, eyes to ground, head pained raising to look up at me under the Broadway electric Gaslamp still lit in early morning dark. Arthritis, osteoporosis or some other unknown ancient people malaise burdened with too much time and grime. Filthy, ragged, stained with too much rotgut, dirt, dust and unwashed years passed for life on the street. Teeth missing. “Five dollars please…” she whispered. All before 5:00 a.m. just after 70 something year old Sammy unloaded supplies from his 30 something year old van into the 80 something year old Broadway Market and Deli like he does Monday through Saturday at 4:30 a.m.
She waited for coffee. Sammy opens at five and that’s what I thought she waited and wanted, coffee. Maybe something to eat, at Sammy’s. First, I said, “Sorry. No cash.” Barely audible she repeated, “Five dollars…” A twinkle escaped cloistered eye. Inexplicably I dug in my pocket and gave up some ones. She took my right hand. Turned it palm up. Twice floating a finger quickly but gently from my palm toward my fingers a hair width high to tingle. Let my hand go, and without a word turned and headed toward sunrise. I fondly remember her touch forever. It all balances out, life, dirt, early morning grace and goodwill from those who appear to have so little but have given so much. The soft touch. Faith. Was that her name? What a blessing. Just my LG 52” and me, happy. I shouldn’t have lied at first about the five. Souls spat too.
The original sign over the front door offers “Broadway Market and Deli Hot Coffee Cappuccino Cold Sodas Cigarettes Lotto Sandwiches” no commas. Not sure, about the cappuccino, but I occasionally buy lotto tickets and a candy bar. No fancy 7-11, supplies, small chipped Formica sit down food counter, floors uneven, sparsely stocked shelves, needs new everything, trippy place. Wonderful.
A thankful Veteran wrote:
Sam is the greatest . He goes out oh his way to help . I am a wounded vet and in a power wheel chair and dont get out the often and if I need something sam will shop for me . 2 stars ???? WHY Sams deli and market is worth 10 stars . It is a real neighborhood store with the old 60’s attitude and I love it Good going San , Keep it up.
Never had Sammy’s coffee. I left my apartment for the sign. I kept looking at it from my balcony but could not remember what was written above the STOP. I’d seen it a dozen times too. Not remembering bugged me. So I went to look again. It’s a regular STOP sign. The one’s you might see on country roads. Red and white riddled with bullet holes. Two weeks earlier, it rained an inch an hour most the evening. Whole place flooded. Rivers running down streets from overloaded storm drains, including Broadway. Pretty cool except the wet screwed traffic good. Southern California drivers freak at water on roads. Dark, windy, deluge, lightning, thunder, much fun. Traffic lights and power out. Road crews wade in with STOP signs sans bullet holes at inundated wait your turn intersections. Waiting to go home, this one, the sign, found its way to the sidewalk across from my apartment, my 52” LG and me. On top, above the STOP, in big letters was wrote “No Whining.” So I stopped…for a day or so. From strange events often come change, even if temporary. We keep trying even if all wet as the world goes by. Is Ok.
Chee Chee pours next to Sammy’s. It’s a 90 or something year old favorite watering hole for San Diegans, a bus stop for some, a real winner on the Broadway hobo rich strip in between 7th and 10th avenue as affirmed by Have-another tipping back his third or so 16 oz. Pabst Blue Ribbon, tasting damn good on that hot afternoon. Dimly lit, long bar, John Wayne cowboy movie kind’a with obligatory mirrors, everything except etched nudes, swinging doors and spittoons – dive bar. Some love the place. Others call it a shithole. Old everywhere, except two well-kept three by seven coin-op Diamond bar pool tables, Janice Joplin and friends on a wall, mostly cheap no name booze, big beer, no foo-foo local brewery stuff, nothing on tap, juke box and a few bottles of almost top shelf thank you so much 40 proof smooth. Inviting, just across from my balcony and me. Short walk. Very cool. Happy. I’ll have another too.
For years, it was just Che_ Ch__. The burnt out florescent lights now full glory, Chee Chees’s owner raised prices 50 cents for the first time in a decade or so. Street signs are expensive, bullet holes or not. The bartender apologized for charging $5.50 for a generous Captain Coke $8 to $12 anywhere else, except when I pour my own. I had two and tipped good. Used to be a respectable and not so respectable alcoholics bar. Safe place for street people to spend Social Security and disability checks before sleeping it off under an overpass or at County. Panhandlers frequent the front door, like “Five please…” No problems before today’s Urban Living at Chee Chees on the Broadway hobo rich strip in between 7th and 10th avenue.
A few nights ago though came police, disorderliness. Pushing, shoving, yelling, kicking, knocking the crap out of each other were five or six Me, Me, Me or Gen-Z, P, L or whatever generation foul mouthed, too high legged tight pants trying to beat the crap out of each other right there in front of Chee Chee and my 5th floor balcony, 52” LG and me. I wondered if one of them was cowardly No Name who bad-mouthed on Yelp the Downtown Market and Deli and the “hobo rich strip.” His phrase, not mine. He wondered, “Oh, the humanity!” I’m guessing undergraduate degree in Women Studies with a Minor in Tolerance.
Bet none of them are Veterans, know who is John Wayne or volunteer for anything other than playing at computer games and hookups. Used to be tattoos were for the war worn, now “tats” are worn by many who will never see war except in front of an urbanizing neighborhood bar. Ink by itself don’t mean shit. No war is a good thing though. A very good thing for sure. Mostly men and the innocent die. Not whining. Just a bit out of sorts and bitching a fit. Is Ok too. I’ll keep trying…STOP. I want my Mom! She died a year ago Christmas Eve.
Yup, old neighborhood, old friendly, old always accepted you, given up not for rude, high rise, ungrateful, tats everywhere, six inch too short tight pants, $2.3 mil 37th floor Mommy divorce-well condo 30-something squatters squeezing homeless further and further from welcome, Sammy, the Downtown Market and Deli, and Chee Chee. Oh, the humanity.
Then there’s Hodads, on Broadway, long lines, standing ovations, raving reviews, world famous on the other side of Chee Chee, two doors down from Sammy’s, just past a bus stop and no whining. Hamburgers! Good burgers served with fat fries or big onion rings. Pickles. Hodads, as in featured on Food Networks Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with $20,000 or more per episode Guy Fieri and his red, 1967 Chevy Camaro convertible did the trick.
Then he died. Two years ago, Hodad’s owner, 54-year-old Mike “Bossman” Hardin, the unofficial Mayor of Ocean Beach, in a central California hotel on his way to see his daughter in Oregon. According to NBC San Diego and a coroner’s report, Bossman had a previous heart attack, lung and liver problems, an enlarged heart, severe coronary artery disease. Deputies found marijuana, paraphernalia, and Moonshine in his hotel room. None of which were linked to his death. Ok, hmm, huh? Irony rare please with fat fries, hold the mayo, no Captain Coke at Chee Chee, pass me Mary Jane, she helps pain. Opened on Broadway, long lines, standing ovations, raving reviews, world famous one act play, Death by Beef.
Splatters, homelessness, substance abuse, disabled Vets, health issues no hospitals just for men. Not Ok. Where is the humanity?
On the other side, one block away, from which my balcony I cannot see, our office, home of the National Coalition For Men. Can’t complain about the drive to work. Short walk. Five flights down, hang a left, out the back gate, hang another left, down the sidewalk a bit, cross the intersection across the trolley tracks, 30 degree left turn, 50’ to the front door, open, down the stairs, I’m there. Total elapsed time, less than three minutes.
One of the “Basement Dwellers.” Renee, the upstairs law firm gatekeeper calls us Troll, Me, Myself and I. We call her Princess. Sometimes we treat each other after resolving differences, Hodads, Chee Chee, candy bar at Sammy’s. Short walks, long debates. Mental. No Whining. STOP!
Is Ok, except for misandry and the corresponding ill treatment of males, of course…we’ll keep working to help you help us make the world a better place for all of us. Thank you for staying with us. I hope you enjoyed the story…