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The second winter after college, I was broke and stuck in an area far from places for potential employment.  In a last ditch attempt to prevent my indigent future, I typed a pamphlet named the same as the one shown below, with the last line saying exactly that I "might be homeless."  It went out to hundreds of homes in my neighborhood of Plymouth, MA on summer Sundays.  I went house to house, and got some donations, but nothing substantial.  In September or October I packed a professional backpack, and started hitchhiking south to escape the winter.   The pack was probably 60 lbs., as I'd prepared for both summer and winter camping.   I got as far as Tennessee, and several charitable congregation members at a synagogue I stopped at, bought me a bus ticket all the way to California.   I stopped in Arizona, to visit a great uncle, and my mother offered to pay for an apartment.   I lived there two months, and used the last of the bus ticket to visit my oldest friend.   I decided I'd be better off in the long run to return to my grandmother's cottage in Plymouth, to try to winterize it.  To save money, I hitchhiked to Mexico, and took buses across the width, re-entering the U.S. at the tip of Texas.   I found myself making much better time than I'd expected, and still in danger of getting into the cold weather, so I hitchhiked south, to Miami Beach.   I made friends with a ultra-religious man, and the next year when I failed to winterize the cottage, I returned to him.   He helped me find a room to rent, and then a second when that proved to be problematical.   At the second, I worked lightly for a different sect's ultra-religious synagogue, instead of paying rent.   I retyped the handout shown below, as the only copy with me had become unreadable, and began distribution on the famous beach.   I actually started around residential neighborhoods, but I was arrested for illegal solicitation.   Although I'd called the police station for the laws, I missed a road sign.  The charge was eventually dismissed, and I ended up acquiring a permit after some heavy handed wrangling.   I took this retyped pamphlet, and shuffled it with "American Public" (Archive 1988), and probably gave out a couple of hundred handouts in total.   After that winter, I returned to the cottage in Massachusetts, and successfully winterized the tiny house, spending many years there writing most of the remaining subjects of this archive.   I again made a mistake where the word "to" should be 'toward' in regard to military isolation.
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Michael Ateek   © U.S. 2021
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