Homeless, Haikoo & the New York Times

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When I was busking at the 14th street subway station, Joe, the homeless man who has an artificial hook hand, sat on the bench for more than an hour. He told me that he could hear the sound of my musical saw from upstairs, so he knew that I was here.
He remembered that he owed me $2, even though it was at least a year ago that he asked me for that money. He gave it back to me, to my amazement.
He told me that he has a sister in Illinois. Also, his three kids are there with his x-wife. He owes $45,000 in child-support to her, but he hates her, so he keeps drifting. He loves his three kids, though. His daughter wants to be either a judge or a cop or a lawyer.
His middle son is good but his youngest son, Joe Jr., is in trouble. He drinks, like his father, but he also broke into cars and the judge said that if he doesn’t stay in school he’ll send him to jail.
Joe keeps traveling, searching for a place to stay which is not a shelter.
He found a magazine with an article about the production of his favorite movie – ‘The Wizard of Oz’. He also likes ‘Gilligan’s Island’. He told me that he saw the only surviving actress from this show on TV. She’s 80 years old now.
As usual, he asked me to play the ‘Star Trek’ theme for him. I also played ‘Over the Rainbow’ for him, because I know it’s his favorite.

Saw Lady at Union Square

A lady named Sophia sat on the bench for a while. She wrote something on a piece of paper, then put the paper in my donations box, saying: “I wrote a haikoo”. It says:

Subway Saw Lady
I stayed to listen today
Your smiles dried the rain.

She drew a little flower on the corner of the paper.

Photographer: © Laura Kidd

Non-subway related stuff:
My concert at Symphony Space last Thursday with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra was really fun. I am very grateful to have had the chance to play with such wonderful musicians.
The New York Times classical music critic, Allan Kozinn, reviewed the concert.

Manhattan Chamber Orchestra

This Saturday, August 7th, 2pm I will be playing with a 10 piece jazz band at the 8th annual NYC Musical saw Festival. 33 musical saw players registered to perform, including three who are flying to New York from Japan just in order to perform at the festival.

This is a video from last year’s festival:

If you attend the festival – come and say ‘hi’!
Where: Hellenic Cultural Center, 27-09 Crescent Street (corner of Newtown Avenue), Astoria, NY 11102
Admission: $10

Musical Saw Festival flyer


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by Scott R Munson