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Gary holds forth for some time as he fingers the house acoustic guitar, a scarred, sixties-vintage Harmony missing a pick guard and patched on the sides and back with two colors of tape. It sounds far better than it looks.... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Across the Great Divide
Find the book in the bookstore. Colleges still invest in their libraries, which signal the institution's reverence for knowledge and commitment to learning. Increasingly, they expect their bookstores to turn a profit, like airport swag concessions. The "bookstore" I entered... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Across the Great Divide
We talked about what I do and they were interested in getting their story out to the world. I just didn't want to commit to any particular approach until I better understood the place and members of the community. This will evolve. But so far being in this community setting has led me to reflect on my stance as a third party. It will be interesting to see where this goes.
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Writers must have a tiny, undiscovered organ that makes us salivate when we hear certain stories. Someone donated a copy of my novel to the Peace House library, so I'm not totally undercover as writer here. The account I heard... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
In my quest to further enlighten myself about aspects of homelessness, today I visited the Peace House Community in Minneapolis. Unlike the service-based organizations organizations I've volunteered with, Peace House is rather stripped down programmatically. It has good coffee and... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
Nothing's for sale in Lost Springs. According to Coldwell Banker, "In Lost Springs, 50% of homes are owned, 25% are rented, and 25% are not occupied." We returned from Colorado this week via blue highways, a convoluted route that detoured... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
Support Your Local Bookseller! Inhabited Charlie Quimby 322 pages, paperback: $16.95 Torrey House Press, 2016 Monument Road Charlie Quimby 365 pages, paperback: $16.95 Torrey House Press, 2013 Preorder: IndieBound Kobo Barnes and Noble Amazon iBooks IndieBound Kobo Barnes and Noble Amazon iBooks Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2016 at Charlie Quimby, Author
A man I'll call Buzz was talking about receiving four trespassing tickets in the past week. Since getting out of jail and completing his parole, he's been living on the streets downtown. Last Wednesday night he received three tickets as... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
Twice today, the Day Center was utterly quiet for a minute. That happens early and late, but in seven years, I don't recall it happening in the middle of the day. These quiet moments reminded me that most of day... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
When I arrived at the Day Center yesterday morning, two police SUVs and four officers were at the corner. Pulled around the building and parked and walked the long way through the alley so I could walk past what was... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
The kid came in for the first time last week, looking lost. His eyes, magnified by big black framed glasses, peered from under the flat brim of his hat with the gold sticker still on it. His long hair was... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
charlieq has shared their blog Charlie Quimby, Author
Apr 3, 2016
Shan told me he heard on the news that today is National Bipolar Awareness Day. Actually, the national day is in October. This World Bipolar Awareness Day. For him, though, it's every day. He said Ned is bipolar, too. He... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
He was young and tall and seemed slightly stunned. She was older and clear-eyed. They shared a last name. It was their first time in the Day Center. Where can he take a shower, she asked. And where does he... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
One of our long-time volunteers was killed Monday coming to work at the Day Center. The freak accident started with an errant left turn from the center lane of the one way that passes in front of our building. A... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
The dog, who has scorned fetching the newspaper until the sun breaks over the mammillated hill, breaks fast this morning and we continue toward the trail. A snakeskin tread runs plain through the sand. A sign my neighbor is riding... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
Last Wednesday was crazy, with more than the usual drama. Most people come to the Day Center to get away from conflict; some come to create it. New configurations of conflict and fresh threats erupted. Former assaulters and victims buddied... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
Scott and Robin came in looking for a shower. They were too late, the mark of first-timers. This was their first full day in town after arriving last night from Parachute, a small town of 1,100 people on I-70 about... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
Last week was so quiet at the Day Center all I had to write about were the dogs, so I took a break. Today was so crazy I don't know where to start. It's Ash Wednesday and, from all available... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
Anthony came into the Day Center this week, the first time I'd seen him since last spring. Something was off. He has always been thin and his face has the slightly rearranged look of an old injury that had settled... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
At the end of the table today, two Native women demonstrated techniques for making cigarettes on a budget. Joanne, like a number of smokers, gathers discarded cigarette butts from the street, public ashtrays and other sources. These are typically collected... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
"Quimby’s prose reads so true, it breaks the heart." —Booklist Inhabited is coming from Torrey House Press in October, 2016. Preorder this book A realtor’s boom-and-bust town needs a boost. Now there’s only one barrier to overcome: the people she’s supposed to help. Inhabited, a sister novel to Charlie Quimby's... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2016 at Charlie Quimby, Author
Everybody thinks I'm doing meth, she said—but I'm not. I put that one down as a fib, given the evidence—the mouth contortions, the chickenpox face, the rapt but ineffectual focus on dressing the sores on her hands. A shoplifting charge... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
I was cleaning the vestibule area as a prelude to shutting our doors for the day when I saw an overloaded car pull up to the curb. A young man unfolded from the front passenger side and walked awkwardly through... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2016 at Across the Great Divide
We need to have coffee. I always appreciate your point of view. No, of course that was not my intention to accuse, and I apologize for making the implication. Members of the police force of course are sympathetic and helpful to people on the street. I see them often at the Day Center. Nor did I mean to imply they enforce the law discriminantly. It is unlikely, for example, that non-homeless people break the law against living in storage units. "The police would much rather have ability to direct people to a safe place to stay" Absolutely. Police have to enforce the law; they are not the housing authority. My remark was not purposely directed at the police, though the syntax makes it appear that way. I meant to convey that an institutional/community approach to homelessness that focuses on ordinances and not housing is unlikely to stop people from sleeping in dangerous places. I should have noted that I was quoting from the police department's blog, which echoed the news coverage of the tragedy: "At this point, the Grand Junction Police Department is wrapping up interviews with potential witnesses and making sure all appropriate municipal ordinances were followed regarding storage units."
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