American Bus Stop
Essay and Poems on Hope and Homelessness
By Richard Edmondson
Librad Press San Francisco Liberation Radio co-founder Richard Edmondson’s second book is a revelation. His first, Rising Up — Class Warfare In America from the Streets to the Airwaves showcased his first-class reporting and commentary skills, relating the long and strange local saga of SFPD, City Hall, and grassroots homeless service providers Food Not Bombs; but it was just a little too strange reading about a shared history many of us still remember all too well. In American Bus Stop – Essays and Poems on Hope and Homelessness, Richard Edmondson reveals his heart and humanity, and the simple passion for justice that first placed his feet on the path he still strolls.
Edmondson’s essay is essentially a memoir chronicling his life with his dog Elsa, a story that begins living in “another Orange County just below eye level. This Orange County was inhabited by people who lived in vehicles, migrating from place to place, working wherever they could find work, and residing largely in their state beach campgrounds.” His life with the working folks and families who make their lives in the shadow of Orange County’s wealth and excess, rotating in the county’s three camping beaches, provides both backdrop and perspective for some keen observations as Richard and Elsa later make their way up through Santa Cruz, and finally San Francisco — where Edmondson’s pioneering work with community micro radio station SFLR brings him into contact with stories we’re not likely to soon see on the evening news.
But his poems alone are worth the price of the book — as remarkable as it is to learn that there are aspects to Richard Edmondson that are only now revealing themselves, they leave this reader wondering how many other parts Richard has that have escaped our understanding before now. (Richard Edmondson’s poem “County Welfare” is included on this page.) American Bus Stop is available for $12.45 from Librad Press, http://www.liberationradio.net/book/librad.html Rising Up is also available for $15.00 from Librad Press, may be purchased at local independent bookstorees, or ordered through AK Press, Baker & Taylor, or at amazon.com.