Category Archives: homeless

James B. Ross, The Best Drummer in Tulsa

I took my new camera out for a test run the other day. The funky one on the right is the Lomography Fisheye  No. 2. It has a field of view of 170 degrees. In other words it will take a photograph of everything it is pointed at. The results are a little distorted. Which I love.


It’s a film camera which means that learning how to use can be a little expensive. I took a bunch of pics on my first roll. Not very many are presentable.

While taking a late lunch downtown a man asked me if I would take his picture. Little did he know.


His name is James B. Ross, he is new to town, and he said that he is the best drummer in town. He said that is saying a lot because Tulsa is a music town and is known to have great musicians. He just came here and is staying at the Salvation Army Shelter. He asked me if I knew that they had whole families down there. I said yep, I know.


Anyway he is between gigs and doesn’t have a drum set. He told me, “No worries, it may take me a while but you will be hearing from me again.”

He asked if he could see the pictures I took of him. I told him that I can’t because its a film camera. He looked at me and laughed. “I’m so sorry man, the new cameras are digital. You need to get one. So you can see what you are doing.”

Have you ever had a homeless guy feel sorry for you?

Good luck James B. Ross, I’m going to keep my ear to the ground for you.

Geocaching – with a few thoughts on Homeless People

Recently, I went into such woods here in Tulsa in search of geocache. I parked at a lumber store and found a trail along a flood control creek. I knew that I would have to walk about a quarter mile up the paved trail before I had to get off of it.


When I get close and my GPS tells me that I got to start looking to go “off trail” I start looking for a little “crease” in the woods. For what park administrators call a “social trail” which they hate. People are supposed to stay on the designated trails. Here in Tulsa on the Riverparks, you have to get a permit to hide a geocache and you agree if your cache results in a “social trail” you are in trouble. Oh, sorry, I’m off topic, this evening I found my crease in the woods:


I know, its kind of hard to see, its easier to see from the other side once you go through it.


You have to keep in mind, that when people hide geocaches they rarely just blindly blunder through the woods. Almost all caches are hidden with 25 feet of a trail. They key is finding the trail. They are often social trails.

Once I got through the crease its a matter of following the trail.


I know that it is hard to see but there is definitely a trail there.

And about 20 feet off the trail I found the cache. Actually I stubbed my toe on it so I heard it before I saw it.


Nearby was an old homeless person’s camp.


I’ve blundered into lots of homeless people’s camps over the years while pursuing my geocaching hobby. Many have been abandoned like this one, others you could tell are current, and more than once I have found them complete with the resident(s).

Sometimes they will have a tent but it seems lots of them sleep in the open. Lots of plastic gallon water jugs. I don’t see too many fire rings. I think fires attract too much attention. All in all, it looks to me like a miserable way to live.

Geocachers and homeless people have a lot in common. We both spend lots of time walking around looking at what is going on. Cachers are looking for places to hide caches. Homeless folks look for places to hide themselves and their belongings. In urban areas both groups gravitate to the “squalor zones” away from the nice, neat, and tidy buildings. Those usually have security cameras and guards.

There are homeless people all over Tulsa but I think the biggest concentration for various reasons is in the downtown area. I mean you have the Day Center for the Homeless, the Salvation Army Shelter and a bunch of other organizations that specialize in serving the homeless. (Sometimes, forgive me, I think some regard the homeless as a commodity, but that is another subject.)

Here is a map of downtown Tulsa.

This map is from my own account. So the smiley faces are caches hidden by others that I have found. The stars are caches that I have hidden myself. You can see that I have several downtown. Now what you don’t see are caches that I’ve had to abandon downtown because they are repeatedly vandalized. Also if you look at the star at the bottom of the photo you will see that it has a grey background instead of white. That is because I have temporarily suspended it. In fact I am going to delete it. Why? Because it is a nice little secluded area that I found that was perfect for a cache but has now been taken over that a homeless person as living quarters.

What the photo doesn’t show is that I have hidden over twice as many other caches downtown that I have had to abandon, almost all due to homeless people.

Nobody is more observant than homeless people. They live hand to mouth and they live in nature and they see everything.  I have found all sorts of nooks and crannies downtown in my wanderings looking for spots to hide tuppwerware and I have found places big enough to hide a small car in but they are all previously occupied. I have found people sleeping soundly in a safe little nook maybe 25 feet from the busiest intersection downtown.

So do you run into homeless people regularly? Do they scare you? What do you think of them?

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