Posts Tagged ‘homeless’

The Rande Zell Story

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Hollywood: Below the Word

There are less than a half-dozen areas in the United States that share the name Hollywood. But this is the place where it shines the most and often brighter, during major events is Hollywood, California. The Hollywood here is synonymous with glitz and glamor. There is a sign of letters up on the hill top here that smacks you right in the face and says, you are in Hollywood. It is up high and we are well below it. Actually you can trail up to those nine large letters in white, and get as close as a church mouse.

I gather that the word Hollywood, in its all and encompassing form, oversees everything below it. Are we its subject, or do we see it every day as others all around the world wishes they could see it every day. And as Hollywoodians, (I just made that up.) do we go about our day with our heads held up to high.

Naw, we don’t, we look straight forward, unless we got a Smartphone in our hand, and go about our daily lives. And for some of us, we see other things that are inherently Hollywood today. Take for instance, Mr. Rande Zell, a Taurus, and senior citizen who chooses life under the glare of the Hollywood word.

He’s got over twenty years in our wonderful community and he chooses to use the sky as his ceiling. He uses the street blocks as his living-room, bedroom and backyard. The ramps as his cash ATM machines and stage to the rush-hour traffic, which every man and woman has a choice seat to see him as they are in the front row.

But atlas, it’s not all guts and glory. Well you could lose your guts sleeping in the streets. Zell at one time had to ferry himself to the hospital for several days because of an altercation from a fellow Hollywoodian homeless friend. And his sleeping quarters were held before him by another who had to leave because of a fire.

Zell was born in Eureka, in Northern California and raised in the State Capital Sacramento area and eventually made it to Laguna Beach in Southern California. As an avid reader, he says he is blessed every morning he wakes up. He did not mention whether he was talking about natural causes or by the hands of another. But we can guess the latter. His parents both went to Berkley in Northern California.

He speaks proudly of his mother and states that she had a background in marine biology and she claimed to have one-eighth of an Indian (Pomo) tribe. He is a little ambivalent about that. He said his mother helped document, on a native land, plants and herbs that can be used for consumption.

This is not his first home in the Hollywood area. As transient people who live here, they come and go and move around. Zell seems to be more of a staple here. Some of the residents know who he is, as well as I, and some of the gangs members in the neighborhood. He assisted them in acquiring libations when they were too young to do on their own. As you can see in the video, they have tagged his living quarters to say it is okay for Zell here.

This self-employed humanitarian, as he states, seems to be genuine in putting people before himself. He has gone out of his way to share what food he has with unfortunate others. And one of those unfortunate others, did put him in the hospital once for several days.

Well for the life that Zell leads, it seems that all he wants to do is share a smile with you and in return, maybe you can share a smile too.

You never know what those nine letters are shinning on.

Come back and find out.