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  • Writer's pictureFr. Daniel S.J. Scheid SCP

What is Father Dan Thinking? 5-19-24

I witnessed a lovely exchange between a homeless artist and two of his unbeknownst patrons. The artist lives in a tent encampment on the west side of the DMV. About a year ago he gave me the metal cross that hangs between the west gate and the rectory garage. He, and others there I keep tabs on, get uprooted every week or so because of the whack-a-mole approach to homelessness our city embraces. The residents get told to move. The sidewalk gets power-washed. The sidewalk dries. The people move back in. It’s orderly, albeit tiresome for everyone involved.


If you’ve been by All Saints’ on a Saturday afternoon, you’ve likely noticed that Bert, an across-the-street neighbor, has a sidewalk sale. Kate and I have bought a few things from him (including her beloved “Ramones” sweatshirt!). This neighbor has offered to sell some of the canvases the street artist has painted. Most of them are large, perhaps two feet by three feet.


The other day I was walking past the encampment to check on those parishioners, on my way back from the delightful German bakery Hahdough (on Fell, between Broderick and Divisidero). While I was chatting with the artist, a young couple came up, looked at a work in progress, and said “Is this yours? We bought one of them from Bert to put in our apartment!” “Was it the purple one?” the artist replied. “No, it was the orange one. It’s perfect and ties the whole room together! Could you sign it for us sometime?”


I left them to chat and arrange their next meeting, grateful that God’s providence, and my fondness for a good German Berliner, put me in the right place at the right time. What a fine and fascinating exchange between a tent-dweller and an apartment-dweller, far apart in some ways, but oh-so-close in others.


God’s blessings and peace,



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