I saw something very sad last summer one night. I was at the free concert at Rock Bottom Cafe (16th st mall) dancing away like I do. When I would rest I noticed someone behind me dancing to the music just outside the low fence separating the patio from the 16th st mall walkway. Not unusual as people stop on the sidewalk often to watch the band and move to the music. Well, there was this gal standing among those along the walkway who had a very large ladies shoulder bag stuffed with stuff like she was homeless but she did not look so otherwise. Also, not so unusual. Later, I noticed when the band took a break she moved inside the fence and sat at an table that had emptied on the patio to enjoy the music. No sooner than she sat down did one of the wait staff approach and search her bag. She had an empty water bottle in her bag (apparently not allowed) and rather than set it out side the fence or just throw it away they asked her to leave.
Give me a break, who doesn’t have a water bottle in their back pack or bag on a hot summer day.
I was so angry at the guy…(and I think it’s just the way that particular guy handled it) Why would he do that? I have many friends who are homeless, convincing them to an event like this is like pulling teeth, for fear of just such an event. The homeless often treat open events with a view-point of exclusion. Even when specifically invited to something fun they often treat themselfs like an excluded outsider. In this case this gal got the courage to come in and was unnecessarily crushed. I had a back pack with me at my table with spill proof container was full of leftover coffee. I was never checked hassled or anything.
Being homeless myself I felt her pain but did nothing. I had no idea that any involment form me would only make the situation worse. Maybe I was fearful that i would be the next to be excluded. I wanted to scold the staff, to track her down and try to encourage her by saying i was homeless but i did nothing. She did nothing wrong attending a free public event. There was no inappropriateness in her demeanor, attire or her oversized shoulder bag for that matter. Yet, she was picked out for exclusion. Considering that there was was a very loud drunk lady on the dance floor who kept falling over people and asking other women’s husbands to dance with her. Several people appeared a little more than uncomfortable with her actions. If anyone needed to be asked to leave she might qualify drunk and disorderly.
Not the quiet demeanor’d gal with the over sized shoulder bag.