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Harmonicas for the Homeless

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Wesley S 07 Mar 01 - 10:57 AM
bill\sables 07 Mar 01 - 12:18 PM
Sorcha 07 Mar 01 - 12:30 PM
hesperis 07 Mar 01 - 12:37 PM
Bert 07 Mar 01 - 01:26 PM
katlaughing 07 Mar 01 - 03:53 PM
SINSULL 07 Mar 01 - 04:47 PM
Wesley S 07 Mar 01 - 04:55 PM
Banjer 07 Mar 01 - 05:09 PM
Grab 07 Mar 01 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 08 Mar 01 - 03:52 AM
InOBU 08 Mar 01 - 04:10 AM
Wesley S 08 Mar 01 - 09:07 AM
InOBU 08 Mar 01 - 02:39 PM
Lonesome EJ 08 Mar 01 - 02:57 PM
Dave the Gnome 09 Mar 01 - 11:24 AM
wdyat12 09 Mar 01 - 01:06 PM
katlaughing 09 Mar 01 - 02:05 PM
Amos 09 Mar 01 - 11:13 PM
Johnhenry'shammer 04 Dec 06 - 03:06 AM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Dec 06 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 04 Dec 06 - 10:10 AM
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Subject: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: Wesley S
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 10:57 AM

There was a great story in the paper this morning and I hope someone will do the blue clicky thing to connect to it. The story can be found at www.star-telegram.com in the "Lifestyle" section.

It seems that a local musician got the idea on his own to help the homeless in a unique way. He goes to the homeless a couple of times a week to hand out sandwiches, water bottles and harmonicas.

To quote this guy Keith Killoren - " For some it's an instant moneymaker. Stand in front of any 7-eleven, lay down a hat and start playing. Money will follow. For others it's something to keep them company - music."

They quote a homeless man called Bluesman Fred who says "I had NOTHING. That man gave me a harmonica and I got change in my pocket now. That man saved my life."

Now is this a good idea or what? Hope and harmonicas. This guy Keith Killoren has an e-mail address at budapest1@hotmail.com if you want to contact him. I can't help but wonder if this idea could catch on in other communities. What do you think ? There's a lot more to the story - I hope you read it.


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: bill\sables
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 12:18 PM

That is a god idea. I think in the UK we could collect melodeons and give them to the homeless. On second thoughts anyone who plays melodeon probably is homeless after being evicted by their neigbours. But seriously, I often get instruments from people who have no further use for them and usually give them to kids who would like to learn to play. Most of these instruments are not the best in the world but are OK to start learning on once I have put on a new set of strings.
Bill


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: Sorcha
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 12:30 PM

Wonderful story!! Harmonicas for the Homeless


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: hesperis
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 12:37 PM

Wow! Aww, sweet.


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: Bert
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 01:26 PM

Jeez Bill! How in the hell do you put strings on a melodeon?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 03:53 PM

That is really neat and I think it is a wonderful idea which should be emulated. reminds me of Robert Fulghum's idea which he wrote of in his first book, Everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten; he suggested dropping colouring books and crayons instead of bombs, throughout the world...get people interested in making a drawing of beauty, colouring within or without the lines, in a camaraderie of joy, as children do when they sit down quietly to colour.


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 04:47 PM

I wonder if penny whistles would do the same? This is a great idea, Wesley. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: Wesley S
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 04:55 PM

Pennywhistles for the Pennyless??


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: Banjer
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 05:09 PM

What neat idea and what a good hearted soul Keith Killoren must be. It is so refreshing to see someone like him, who has made it to the point where he is, even stopping to think of someone, let alone putting his plan into action. Bless him.


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: Grab
Date: 07 Mar 01 - 05:21 PM

Bert, the stringing-up is for the melodeon player...

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 03:52 AM

Tiples for the transients?
Kazoos for the crazies (hell, it worked for me!)
RtS


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: InOBU
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 04:10 AM

It is not a universal solution, even for the very tallented, unfortunately. As you all may remember our homeless brother in hospital for throat cancer, Vinny, who I wrote about, and you all sent lovely cards to at Christmas. Vin is a GREAT harmonica player, but just not a busker. I often give him a harmonica, when I can. He plays it for his pals, but never busks - and in a few days, gets drunk and forgets where he left it.
As far as tin whistles... NO!!! Unless the folks know how to play them, there is no better way to make sure some NYC cop will crack a homeless bloke in the head, then if he or she is making some high pitched racket. There is little worse than the sound of someone tootleing on a whistle who does not know how to play it. Harmonica's are much more forgiving.
Be careful of good ideas!
Larry


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: Wesley S
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 09:07 AM

Larry - Do you have better ideas?? Lay 'em on us - I'm all ears.


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: InOBU
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 02:39 PM

Hi Wes!
There have been so many ideas, here in the US, shoping cars that double as fold out tents, there was a tent city in Thomkin's Square park and plywood shacks in shanty towns on the east and hudson rivers, a one mile long tunnel that hundreds of our nieghbors had burrowed into the sides and were called cave people, the shanty's and tents were burned, the railway evicted the cave folks, the city puts tens of thousand in jail for petty crime, in the nation over a million of our nieghbors are in jail, people on welfare are now in vertual chain gangs to pick up garbage on the streets for less than the minimum wage, taking jobs from union workers, with no power and no real opportunity... but the one thing that has not been tried... real and decent jobs. Production jobs in the United States. An end to using the rest of the world as a sweat shop. An end to putting a kid in uniform at eighteen, sending him to a distant land to kill for American corporate capitol, and then putting him out on the street sick and drug addicted.
I whole heartedly love the spirit behind what our brother does with harmonicas, on a small scale I do the same with Vinny. But... we need a programatic end to accepting homelessness. We asign a name, street person, homeless and it has the same result as the word nigger of kike. It is a person defined by lack of expectation of success. So, what is my solution proposed? A society where the focus of the ecconomy is 100 percent employment.
Lets keep trying.
Larry


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 08 Mar 01 - 02:57 PM

Sorry, Wes. My first image conjured by this story is walking up a downtown street and being assaulted by a cacophony of tin-whistles and harmonicas. Now, I play harmonica, and there's nothing better to my ear than a well-played harp. There's also nothing worse than the kind of aimless wheezing of a beginning player. BUT my second thought is, who the hell am I to complain? Chances are after two or three weeks, these guys will be better than me anyway.

I was once in downtown Bournemouth in the UK, and we passed an elderly gent wearing a yachtsman's cap, a tip jar in front of him, and banging away on an old 6-string guitar. No chords, nothing but noise. For the huge smile on his face, you might have thought he was Christopher Parkening. Everyone else seemed to find it amusing as well, and the tip jar was quite full. So who am I to criticize?


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 11:24 AM

There was a guy used to sit atop the stairs of Brussels' Schuman metro station every morning. He grinned at everyone while 'playing' an electronic keyboard. Everyone used to throw loose change into the paper cup he had on the ground. Only he wasn't playing at all - it was one of those demonstration gizmos that these keyboards have. We all saw that he was at least making the effort to earn and giving some people, including me, a smile to start the day.

Good luck to the harmonica players, regardless of their talent. Right or wrong, I will give my money to them rather than to the sullen youth sat frowning in the doorway or the aggresive drunk wanting 10p for a cup of tea!

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: wdyat12
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 01:06 PM

Homes for harmonica players and other street people should still be the focus.

wdyat12


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 02:05 PM

A couple of other threads which might be of interest:

Opinionated Civil War Music Article

Civil War Harmonicas.


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: Amos
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 11:13 PM

Kat:

That first link needs fixin' by someone with one of them password thingies.

A


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: Johnhenry'shammer
Date: 04 Dec 06 - 03:06 AM

I remember a while back I was walking down the street and a homeless guy that looked to be in his twenties with tatoos all over his face asked me if I could listen to his poem. So I gave it a listen and it was haunting. I could see references to the beat generation, folk music and slam poetry. He asked if I could spare some change and when I reached into my pocket, all I found was a Hohner Big River Harp key of A that I had just bought. I don't know why but I just gave it to him. He seemed to like it enough. Aint seen him since. This story just reminded me of that.


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Dec 06 - 06:19 AM

If a homeless guy gets off a bus, how does he know it's his stop?


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Subject: RE: Harmonicas for the Homeless
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 04 Dec 06 - 10:10 AM

That URL just points to the paper's homepage, there's no link to the harmonica story there.

Anybody got it archived with a direct link?


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