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Monday, November 23, 2015

Our Town

For Henry Wise and Cindy Cedeno, at least, the Portland they moved to from Tacoma half a decade ago no longer exists. Their neighbourhood – in the city’s inner south-east – used to be cheap and filled to the brim with other young musicians and students. “It’s already so different in so many ways. Everyone we know has been recently pushed out of their homes.”

Housing dilemmas.  The story of my life.  I even wrote a play about it in 1989 titled "Litany in a Trumpeter's Bog." The protagonist is a jazz trumpeter facing eviction.

It's in my Four Absurd Plays.

My old neighborhood, which had for 10 years been a fantastic refuge, had started to change into a shopping mall.  By then nearly all the artists I knew were fleeing Northwest Portland.  I hung on for another 10 years until I too became homeless, just like the character I created, and like so many others in the flesh.


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