I just met Lance. He is an artist, chef, and an expert in the use of very colorful language. I was walking over to west beach with my metal detector slung over my shoulder. I had heard him earlier flinging explicatives at passers by who had not returned his morning greetings. I could tell he was a bit disappointed in not being acknowledged. Honestly, I was wary of him. As I passed him, he greeted me with a hearty “Good Morning”. I stopped, turned, and said “Good Morning to you”. Boy did his face light up! ” I knew you were a good guy” he said. After a short and pleasant exchange, he invited me to sit next to him and chat. I did, and I listened.
Lance is famous. If I were to look him up on the internet (Yes, there is quite a lot about his art), I would find a full 19 pages of information about him! He handed me his business card (yes, even homeless people have business cards, Entitee Art) just to be sure I would look him up. He asked me to read it aloud. I did, with gusto. He continued to let me know that he is not only an accomplished artist, but also a famous chef and restauranteur, opening up many projects in New York and Beverly Hills, including the Carnegie Deli in Beverly Hills. It was at this point that we discovered that we are both New Yorkers, and our bond was finalized with loud and hearty explicatives.
Lance was very concerned that I got how important he is. Just last week he was talking to the Mayor (another NY Jew) about his art. Lance continued to list all the restaurants he opened, where his art is hanging, and also recounted many ribald and funny jokes. That was great, I needed some good laughs! I asked where he lived, and he said “Man, I am hard core homeless”. One of his friends then stopped by and they got into a debate about Chefs and cooks, and about the finer points of “french sausage”. Not sure I really got what they were talking about, but they seemed to enjoy putting on a show for me!
Lance then got into how many times he had been arrested by the SB police, most recently for loitering and drinking in the Paseo Nuevo at 6AM. He said 3 squad cars raced up lights flashing and sirens wailing, and all he was doing was minding his own business. He said they gave him a “green ticket”. He requested another, he said, because he had to go to the bathroom. The cops didn’t take kindly to that, but they left him alone after dumping his beverages.
We then got back onto the subject of food, and he asked me if I knew where the best soup in town was to be found. I didn’t. Well, it’s made by Tony at the soup kitchen in the Veterans Building across the street! Would I join him for lunch? Dammit, of course I would! I followed him over and we enjoyed a nice curry vegitable soup with cous cous tuna casserole. As we left he let me know that he knew all the best and safest places to sleep (in case I would need it), where to find good food, and where to go Wednesday for free food, wine, and beer (yes, I think I’ll go). What a funny, flamboyant, and generous man he is. I’m really glad to have had the chance to hear him. He was The Man in the late 80′s and early 90′s. And to think, at first he was just another crazy to be feared cussing at tourists.
His Card reads:
The Mind, Body and Souls,
Inspiration For The Aspiration
Of Your Imagination
A Supernatural Mix Of
Color, Rhyme & Reason
Drawn With Life Energy Forces
From Other Dimensions
Fun Characters Creating
Mirth, Mayhem, & Music
Mystical, Magical And Whimsical