The Speare Bearer: Dalto & the Speare Bearer, Venice Beach

This is my friend Kevin, known to me as Dalto. He’s an exceptionally skilled illustrator and a committed artist. He was nice enough to let me crash at his pad in North Hollywood for like a week. Spent a lot of time talking about being young, black, obsessive artists, and the price of being how we are. I consider him a brother and a kindred spirit and I had a good time hanging with him.
The Speare Bearer: Francis pt. 2. 

Francis is homeless and showed me the best sleeping spot in Long Beach, on the beach. This is what I woke up to the next morning.

Francis is a bicycler too, and after we got up we went to the mission and got breakfast. It was beef stew. Not the ideal breakfast, but I was grateful.

Woke up, lazed in bed a bit, and Wilson and I went to Winn Dixie and went to do some laundry. Then we quickly packed back up and loaded up our bikes as Brent rolled up.

I met Brent about a week or so ago heading to Tallahassee from Perry, FL. Riding with him made me realize how terrific it can be to ride with someone. Brent met up with Wilson as he was riding ahead of me from Tallahassee.

Once Brent got there, we finished packing and had some Waffle House, and then we got on the road. And quickly found out, Wilson does not play. We got on the road towards Biloxi, and we found out Wilson is a fast aggressive, tireless, fearless rider. Brent and I are less experienced riders, so Wilson is sort of our defacto leader for ride, and we kind of follow his lead, while we take turns leading. That day we did 50 miles in about 3 1/2 hrs.

Mississippi was pretty gorgeous, elegant, houses so large. Rode along the beach as the sun set, through downtown, stopped at a Kangaroo gas station. As we were plotting where to stealth camp met Damien, a drunk white man who thought he was a drunk black man, as evidenced by his liberal, and unabashed use of “nigga” as term of endearment. He informed us that he himself lived in the woods and has his own impressive colony of tents, which we were welcome to. He also told us, while drunk, he’d just gotten out of prison too long ago, he had choked one of his tentmates out earlier in anger, and that he could find us drugs, or “go-fasts” in Mississippi that we’d never heard of. This didn’t seem to bother Wilson, but Brent and I seemed pretty sure it was a bad idea to camp with Damien.

But talking with Damien did bring into focus one not so obvious but deeply sad characteristic of Biloxi. Beautiful and elegant as it was, you could tell by the subliminal heartache and fragility of the otherwise sunny people, and the incredible frequency of barren undeveloped plots of land along the beach that must’ve been 30 miles long , that this was a town still in the depths of recovery fron Hurricane Katrina.

After we finally managed to shake Damien, we caught dinner an WiFi at a McDonalds and a few hrs later went and found a stealth camp spot in one of those empty lots. We scoped it out, and in the dark figured how to park our bikes set up camp with minimal visibility. Wilson and Brent were fine with it, and it was reassuring for me to be with them, but as my camping experience up til’ then had been harrowing, I was tense most of the night…

I had a good nights sleep and woke up to rain… Which I knew was coming. It forced me to stay in bed an extra hr… Luckily by the time was ready to check out, was all bundled up, and dug up the courage to face the rain and shove off, the rain was already beginning to die down. So my first rain ride was super light. I ate at a Waffle House brimming with local types. Had a talk with a fella there who was a regular named Bernie. Asked him the likelihood they’d let me perform my crazy Shakespeare in there. He told me probably not, that those kind of folks wouldn’t care much for Shakespeare, and neither did he. I did ask the manager, a sweet faced young fella and he told me he’d like to see my show but couldn’t let me perform there. too bad… Before I left had a final chat with Bernie.

He said when I said Shakespeare, he thought of guys in tights declaiming. I told him Shakespeare is about people like him, people like us, not just people who went to college, or Live in villas. Told him a story bout. An old dad, giving out his inheritance to his daughters. He asks them to tell him how much they love him. The two oldest gush about how they love him more than anything, but the last daughter, about to be married tells Dad she loves him as much as a daughter should, but is saving some love for her husband. Well hearing this, Dad flips out, takes the youngest’s inheritance away and gives it to the oldest, and tells the youngest she is dead to him. A father jealous of his daughters’ being married? Who can’t relate to that? Bernie and the waitress eavesdropping thought that and interesting point.

About 2 hrs into my ride the rain was done and sun was shining. The roads were super bumpy today… Met another street artist, Charley, who did incredible carvings. Couple miles down the road I crossed the THREE MILE bridge into Pensacola, which is a gorgeous and fascinating town, at least the downtown section. A young lady named Eaven agreed to host me for the night, but not until 9, so I spent a few hours trying to make a show happen. But Pensacila is… picture a elegant, demure, wealthy young woman of 19, from old old money, who has never explored outside of her social or cultural circle, and yearns to, but doesn’t dare scandalize mother and father. That young woman is downtown Pensacola…

I did finally find a couple frim Tennessee near the pier who asked me to take a picture of them. I convinced them to let me do a scene for them as a Valentine’s Day/anniversary present. They were sweet enough to oblige me, and film it… I should have gotten footage of them… Not my best work, but at least I got a performance in…

Off to Mobil tomm.. That’s all I got. More to come.