Telegraph street characters: Bruce Lee Mintal

Bruce Lee Mintal was a character on the Berkeley street scene for many years in the 1970s and 1980s. He was among several street characters over the years who were reputed to have been brilliant academiacs at one point, before they burned their brains out on drugs and ended up as street lunatics (the legendary Serge was another one). But it was never clear whether this was true, or just another one of those endlessly repeated urban legends. . . Among Bruce’s other distinctive traits were the “devil’s horns” on the top of his head — these two hardened knobs of unknown origin above his forehead. . . At any rate, in spite of it all, Bruce always seemed very pleased with himself. And when we gave him copies of these photos, he exclaimed, “Handsome devil, aren’t I??” Then he scribbled down a long series of numbers on a scrap of paper and handed it to me, announcing that he had just solved a very complex, genius-level mathematic equation. Bruce Lee Mental.

Bruce disappeared from the scene a couple years after these photos were taken around 1992. Don’t know whatever happened to him after that. Possibly he went on to bigger and better things.

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