Hangin’ with Hate Man on Telegraph Avenue

I like this photo from around 1993. It sort of captures Hate Man’s thing where the world was his living room (with a garbage can for a coffee table, natch). . . Ruth on the right — she was a fixture at Hate Camp during the Sproul Plaza years. A nice Jewish girl, one of those people who spent her life mostly just quietly hanging out on the fringe of society. And that’s fine. . . Cosmo in the middle with the shades. He was pretty crazy, pretty out there — one of those guys who spoke in a jumble of words that often didn’t make sense. But he was usually pretty well behaved — and somewhat beloved by his fellow street people for being such a zany character — unless he was binging on slamming dope, and then he could get REALLY out there. Ended up getting hit by a bus while crossing in the middle of the street, and spent his last year’s bedridden in a nursing home. One of the odd side effects of publishing the TELEGRAPH STREET CALENDAR was that I sometimes got interconnected with some of the street people’s lives in unexpected ways. Cosmo’s long-lost father tracked me down via a copy of the calendar that Cosmo was in, he lived in Florida and had been trying to get in touch with his son for years (street people often disappear within the nether-regions of the streets). And I ended up being the go-between between Cosmo and his father — exchanging letters and phone calls — in his last years. . . The guy on the left was some street kid that hung out at Hate Camp that summer — nice guy, liked to smoke weed or partake of whatever else might be going around, just having fun and enjoying the endless party of the streets like young guys sometimes do. Before he disappeared one day, just like he had arrived one day — the eternal transience of the street scene. . . And of course Hate Man in the middle — holding court like usual.

(photo by B.N. Duncan)

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