I was walking down Bancroft Avenue, at Telegraph, across the street from the UC Berkeley campus the other morning when I saw this solar-powered grocery cart apparently owned by one of the city’s many homeless people. Astounded at the ingenuity, I stopped to take a shot, when the owner, sporting this Golden Bears sweatshirt, came out of the corner eatery and demanded a dollar from me for the right to take the picture. I had to laugh.
Actually, I’ve become more of a soft touch for panhandlers in my old age. As a student there, I certainly couldn’t afford to give the Telegraph moochers a dime. But now when beggars are polite, I give. Not to this joker, though. Demanding doesn’t work. I continued down the block, and he yelled after me: “You … you … honky!” As both of us were white, an African-American woman buying flowers two doors down got a good laugh out of it. I told her why he was yelling and she said, “Oh, that’s the guy with the solar-powered cart.” So I guess he’s famous in B-town.