You may remember that zazzle.com offered to make cool business cards for me for free!!! Yep, I got them yesterday. They look great. I will take a picture of them and post it later this week. Zazzle’s site is cool, you create your own designs (for all kinds of things, not just business cards) and can then post them in public libraries of content, making it available for purchase and customization by other visitors to the site. Very cool!
On Monday I got my official authorization from the DC government to perform Ryan and Mandy’s wedding! Finally. On my way home, I decided to walk part of the way home. As I walked north on 7th Street, I saw a Street Sense vendor at the North East corner of 7th and E.
I really like interacting with the Street Sense sales people and I try to see if I know this vendor. Peaking out of his hooded jacket, Ivory’s eyes look out above his glasses and meet mine. He smiles, revealing a shiny tooth with 4 diamonds on it. I have not met Ivory (badge number 102) before and decide to give him my $10.
Ivory is a very interesting guy. He started selling Street Sense 3 years ago on the corner of 7th and E and has grown his clientele significantly now. His clients have helped Ivory get out of the shelter and into an apartment in Arlington that he shares with a roommate.
Ivory is an artist. He paints his canvass with words…whether it be the spoken word or his written fictional stories that he has published. That’s right, he has over 25 published stories and has written a book that sold 500 copies. You can browse through old issues at the Street Sense site to find his articles or better yet, start buying the paper and look out for his next story, Galaxy Baseball.
So what is he doing on the streets?! I am not sure, I didn’t discover that yet. He tells me that he is originally from Texas, where he grew up to be a rodeo bull rider. Sounds dangerous…but so is flirting with homelessness. Ivory takes it in stride though. He eventually made it to DC and seems to be on the right path.
Everyone knows Ivory. A minute doesn’t go by while I am talking to him that somebody doesn’t greet him. His eyes are always scanning the faces that fill the streets. A man stops and Ivory gets excited as he tells me that he was one of the key people who got him started 3 years ago. The man gives him a dollar. In the following clip, Ivory talks a little bit about how he got his start at 7th and E Street.
Ivory said he was going to use the $10 to go toward rent.
For those of you in DC, go visit Ivory and help him out. For those who are not in the area, I will try to post some more video.
As I was writing up my blog, I found a story about Ivory in the Washington Post from March 16, 2008. It sheds a little more light on his life and the path that led him to be homeless. There is also a write-up on Street Sense.
Ivory alerts me that it is almost 5:00pm and he needs to start paying attention to the foot traffic as the after work rush hour begins to buzz by. He snaps into action to meet and greet his friends and customers and I am on my way.