“I’m An analog man in a digital world”
By Ian Smith
Says the father of three, grandfather of five, smiling as he sits across from me before his interview “ I have a TV that isn’t digital. I had to go buy an analog converter at the store. I don’t need all this new stuff.” Ken Adams likes it simple it seems, though the trials of his life had plenty of complications hidden within. “I’m 52 yrs old and I’ve been selling the Street Sheet for 23 years.” Though homeless at times Ken studied the current issues surrounding homelessness, the services provided, and the people who provided them. “I was an activist during five Mayoral administrations, from Diane Feinestein to Edward Lee. I’ve been here for 29 years. I’ve seen a lot, and love this city.” Its not hard to believe.
Ken has been working with the Coalition on Homelessness since it founding in 1987, advocating for change and for social equality, In December of 1989, he became a founding member of the Street Sheet family when our very first issue was published. In addition to his work here, Ken had been active with Homes Not Jails, Food Not Bombs and was part of the Homeless Union in the 1980s.
Ken’s activism has still not receded his easy smile and casual attitude gaining him loyal customers and hopefully the Street Sheet some loyal readers.
We were finishing our interview when I asked about his wife,” You’ve been married for thirty years, have three kids and five grandchildren. Must have been and still is a lot of love there huh?” Ken’s demeanor relaxes, a softness rounds his voice, “ Yes, she is the love of my life. We met at Glide. I was hungry and she had a peanut butter sandwich. She didn’t have to but she split it with me. From then on out I brought her pork chops on Thursday and steak on friday.” A prime example of a good “how we met” story if I ever heard one.
His six foot frame taming the extra swivel chair in the editor’s office, Ken thanks me and excuses himself to keep another appointment. I ask what he would like to say to his supporters. The charming smile returns. “ My dearest appreciation goes out to each and every person who has supported Street Sheet Vendors, myself included, over the past twenty years. At a time when jobs were scarce and good but friends were few, you all helped me with employment and kept me in a job. Some of you gave generous donations both in and out of season. I guess I’d just like to say I appreciate everything and love you all!” No truer words……