Wizard was a Berkeley Tarot Card reader for several decades. He always set up his vending table on the corner of Telegraph & Channing. Then last year I heard he won over a million in the Lottery. Last I heard he bought some land up north, and nobody’s seen him since. He won’t be setting up a vending table on Telegraph and asking for donations any time soon, that’s for sure.
In all these years, Wizard is the only person I’ve ever known who actually won real money on the Lottery. But I guess it shows, it can happen.
The other thing about Wizard, he was an incredible drummer. Most of us at the Hate Man’s drum circle would just sort of bash away. But Wizard set up the buckets and metal objects to simulate a real drum set, with a snare drum, bass drum, cymbal, etc. And he would wail away on his make-shift kit like Ginger Baker or Buddy Rich.
I hope Wizard is enjoying his newfound wealth. Money won’t buy you happiness, of course. But then, neither will poverty, either.
(P.S. I just heard from an acquaintance of Wizard that he actually won an SSI settlement, which sounds more plausible.)
Koko and Pork Chop were a cute young homeless couple who were on the Telegraph street scene for a couple of years back in the late 1990s. I always loved their names: Koko and Pork Chop.
Koko and Pork Chop stood out on the street scene because they always seemed happy and contented and relaxed — this just-happy-to-be-here demeanor. And they never caused and trouble or disturbances. That alone will make you stand out on the street scene.
The guy on the right is Shroom. He hung out at Hate Camp for many years, and then disappeared without a trace. Several of his friends have tried to track him down, to no avail. About 10 years ago he was squatting on a boat on a lake in Oakland with a bunch of other homeless people. But that’s the last we’ve heard from Shroom.
I didn’t know these two. They were just a couple of youngsters who hung out on Telegraph for a couple of months in 1998, and then moved on. Like so many others who have come and gone. Faces in the crowd.
The guy was sort of the archetypal character that all the high school girls thought was cute and had crushes on. And he cut a dashing figure riding up and down the Ave on his skateboard with a distinctive bad boy swagger. . . All I knew about the girl was that she was really, really cute.