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Lost In The City

July 30, 2010

I’ve spent some time this week learning about St. Peter’s long and honorable work on behalf of the homeless here in St. Petersburg–including the establishment and maintenance of Resurrection House (which has helped provide homeless people with affordable places to live for over 20 years), Our Daily Bread (which has provided food, toiletries and bus-passes for the homeless for over 10 years, most recently as part of the local Salvation Army One Stop), as well as Celebrate Outreach (a partnership of most of St. Pete’s downtown churches that has provided brunch for the homeless every Saturday for over two years).

And then I learned that the mordantly funny cartoonist John Callahan died yesterday. Callahan, a quadriplegic, was known for his extremely dark and discomfitting cartoons which often–in their impertinent way–stuck up for the poor and downtrodden, particularly the homeless.

Here’s a video of a song, written and sung by Callahan, that honors the plight of the homeless, called “Lost In The City” (from the album, “Purple Winos in the Rain”). Interspersed among footage of Callahan wheeling about his hometown of San Francisco, it shows Callahan drawing two cartoons: one in which an individual is shown prowling the street with a sign that reads, “Homeless, Go Home!” And another in which there is a cross and a man lying on the ground bellowing: “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t reach my cross!!!”

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