I am a California Native and lived many years in Ocean Beach – my People’s card starts with a 1 4. My family owns property on West Point Loma and I still have family here.
For 7 years I traveled the country on my motorcycle working at Rallies to support myself and living in a tent. I dig the nomadic lifestyle and you could read some of my work on the internet of adventure stories of living gypsy. I came home last year and decided to stay to complete a dream of being a Holistic Health Practitioner at a school. So I enrolled and got myself an RV to live in while I am here in school. It is my pursuit of happiness. Everything I owned fit on my motorcycle for 7 years – always close, I am accustomed to it.
Anyway, for my summer break I wanted to stay out in OB and visit my daughter and her family who still live here on West Point Loma.
Most of my stay was okay but on the last night there I was harassed by a vigilante type person who actually followed me after yelling at me to leave the area in front of some construction on Ebers. He began yelling at me there so I decided to go park up the hill by a friend’s house on Newport. He followed me up the hill and proceeded to scream at me and criminalize me for my lifestyle choice, spewing hatred and anger of which I did not earn.
I pleaded with him to stop and addressed his rage the best I could trying to calm him and let him know I was no threat to anybody. In fact those of us who respectfully live in our RV’s are a benefit to your community not criminals.
I have since heard of several occasions from others who have had similar experiences. The unfortunate thing is that those who I have spoke to who have been harassed by these vigilantes (one man even being rocked in his RV) are not the problem makers. The people who are being harassed are the ones who respect and love OB. They have jobs, go to school or are retired after working their lives.
The guy who followed me gave me a “one night pass” he said. I was leaving the next day anyway to house sit for a friend on vacation and to move back to the area where I attend school. I left not because I was threatened with police action.
A few years ago I wintered in OB in my son’s RV while he was living in the family property on West Point Loma at the time. I was approached by the police several times due to residents calling. They could see I was no threat or drug addict and were very kind in delivering their dutiful message to leave. I wrote a piece at the time and will paste it at the bottom of this email.
The thing is, I have the right the pursuit of happiness and just because I chose a different lifestyle then the norm here doesn’t make me a menace or even a nuisance.
I totally love this community for over 30 years now. I am a 55 year-old woman and was a resident of San Diego/Alpine/Ocean Beach for 40 years before I hit the road to New York and then biker gypsydom. Most people love me when they meet me and learn of my heart for people, health, spirituality and personal growth. To be judged and criminalized in the last great community in San Diego is sad to me and not what I would expect from OB.
Please help… Solutions? Stop the gentrification of OB – it has ruined areas all over the country.
this is my own neglected blog: http://simplynomadic.wordpress.com
http://www.hdopenroad.com/tag/michelle-hope/ – HD Open Road, these are stories I wrote or have me in them.
Michelle Hope Writing: Story from a few years ago.
Living Bohemia in a static town…
California; I am your child. You raised me. I learned in your schools, I worked in your businesses, I volunteered in your communities. I have spoke with pride in other states my native home. I am your product, your creation. My children were born here as were my parents. You are the language I speak, the music in my soul and the free thinking inspiration that motivates my art.
You raised me to think for myself, progressively you said. You taught me to listen for the tune of a different drummer and told me it was ok to answer that beat. You taught me to celebrate the differences of culture, color, gender, and lifestyle.
You made me beautiful…
But what happened to you California? Did you trade your soul for a dollar and the status of materialistic importance? Where is your soul California?
I am an artist – you showed me the way to Bohemia, but now that I have returned, your pre-judge me. You don’t know me California; your own child you don’t know. You say “she looks like this group of people, or that group, she must be like them, call the police”. Your fear is killing your spirit and I grieve for you as well as the lack of freedom you now grant me to choose a lifestyle different from the one you have traded for. You see, when you bargained your soul, the fear began its subtle conquest.
I am an artist, I have a commissioned job. I travel all over the country on a motorcycle and I live in a tent. I work at motorcycle rallies, and I paint children’s books. My son has an RV I am trying to stay in it. But you keep calling the police. They don’t want to arrest me. I don’t drink, drug, steal, vandalize, or disturb the peace. They come only because you call. I just want to paint this book, sleep in peace, eat well, socialize with the kind, and live this bohemian lifestyle you taught me was ok.
Come talk to me California. I am a good one to talk to. I am kind, sober, spiritual, generous, honest, interesting, and open-minded.
Before you judge me, ask me to listen to your point of view. Engage me in a conversation. If I am threatening, then determine me so. I have come home for a season California to you who raised me.