My friend, the city of Astoria, has pushed an elderly homeless schizophrenic out of sight and mind, and thus denied him the warmth of the friendships he’s long established.
Yes, John Wedell’s collection of junk is an eyesore. No doubt the town’s gentrifying sensibilities look upon it as a great aesthetic crime, not as a badge of honor to their humanity and tolerance, not as a reminder of their own luck, and not as an honest testament of times — the pressing concerns we are utterly failing to address.
It’s an indictment of the collective wisdom, intelligence and grit of our town that the only solution fathomable is to shove him out of sight. The Daily Astorian once had a piece on John Wedell, but obviously it wasn’t enough to humanize the man in the helmet indefinitely (What about John? Demystifying the most public private citizen in two communities,” July 26, 2013).
I remind the police they, too, have the ability to “just say no” when called upon to do something feudal and stupid, with their limited time and resources.
John has frequently acted as the demon at the gate of Godfather’s Books, a frightening figure which turns them away from the knowledge within. Sorry John, but we have buildings and beer to preserve, not our humanity.
Michael A. “Sasha” Miller