Bricolage

There was no way I could have kept body and soul together on what I made in the Greenwich Village coffeehouses. I worked some dissolute day jobs as well. For a while, I was selling Time clocks and their supplies in New York’s Garment District. I was treated very kindly by the factory owners who didn’t have a wonderful reputation for being mellow, mild types. Their time clocks were works of art produced near the turn of the century in lovely hardwood cases, and working perfectly. Why did they need a new one? Actually, I think they thought me to be a bit meshuggeneh (nuts) and felt sorry for me. One elderly sweatshop owner always insisted on my stopping and having tea. But, I could not make a living on not selling time clocks.
Then I became a messenger for the Quik Speed Messenger Service. I was delivering messages, documents, and small packages from Mid-Town down to Wall Street. I remember delivering legal documents to a distraught Lennie Bruce, contract documents to singer Eartha Kitt, and patterns to my old friends in the Garment District. I made a regal one dollar an hour, but the tips and the people I met were great.
Then I did a stint as an inside “tour guide” for tourists interested in lapping at the fountain of Bohemian creativity that was the Village. A few friends and I would arrange a tour of some of the Village’s most suspect retreats, coffeehouses, dive bars, and restaurants for a reasonable fee. Our tours featured the sort of places that in more recent days you’d never find in a Zagat’s guide.
In addition to all this, I did my regular gigs at the Cafe Why Not, the Dragon’s Den, and wherever else I could scare up a gig.
The adventure in all this was finding the time, and sometimes the place, to sleep. Life was not dull, and it was a relatively happy time.

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