a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

Lift your head and smile at trouble, he sang.

Posted on the April 23rd, 2008

Years ago when I lived in Southern California, I was on my way one day from Westside LA to the Valley to see a friend. Coming off the San Diego Freeway, I stopped at the bottom of the off ramp for a red light. To my left I saw a homeless woman begging, holding a cardboard sign. Directly in front of me, in the left turn lane, was a late model, convertible Mercedes sports car with the top down, the woman driver talking on her car phone. When I got to my friend’s house, I couldn’t stop talking about the contrasting images.

Why is this so important to me, I asked my friend. Because, she said, you don’t know which of the two you are closest to.

She was right. And, in fact, I still don’t.

Arlo Guthrie’s Hobo’s Lullaby: (lyrics here)

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