Wednesday, February 6, 2008
The Year Ends
I was in the Little Tokyo library when I did the last blog. I leisurely walked through Little Tokyo and made my way straight over to the Transition House where I thanked people for my year. This is my last day of my first year. I did not know what to put as a picture on my last blog of my first year here.
I tried to find some pictures that Garza told me to look up that he took of me but, as always, I was not knowledgable enough to find them. However, I played around with some tags and found the perfect piture.
On the last day I was with my father, he asked me to show him some secret spots where he could take wide angle panoramic phots with the camera he made. He knew I knew spots that he had never been. We found one in Culver City where you could see from the beach all the way to the downtown skyline. My father would have loved this photo. It says so much.
Well this photo is one that my father would love and it was done by a person that had the name of Venicewow. It was posted on Flickr.com
I think this photo expresses how I feel tonight. It is a good feeling, a warm feeling. When I arrived here on Feb 7, 2007, I felt alone and unwanted. I was so low I had to reach up to tie the shoe strings of someone's shoes. I thought life was over.
I no longer feel that way. I feel that the future is bright, as bright as those lights and the possibilities are as endless as the combinations of lights in that photo.
I no longer feel alone. For years I never liked myself. I worked hard to get to that point and I did get there before this happened. I like myself even more because I endured this journey.
Someone asked me two questions when I got here. The room became hush because the questions were about tomorrow. Nobody wanted to change my mood.
"what will you do walter if they say you can not see your mother, if they do not lift or modify the restaining order?", was the question. I thought for a minute and I answered. "I do not know what I will feel but I know what I will do. I will keep on doing what I have been doing. That has been the guiding light of wisdom that was offered to me unselfishly from the first day I arrived here. On that day. Rory gave me a tab of paper after I told him I was writing a book. I wrote in jail and I started writing the very day I got here. I told Rory, you guys, that I would not
let him down. I never did. Don't let yourselves down. Keep doing what you are doing. Eveything will work out."
I had to laugh because I sounded like I knew what I was talking about. I sounded like a Skid Row Veteran instead of a Skid Row Rookie.
"Pursue your passion. Your passion and learn everything you can about it. Go slowly. Take little steps. Make sure you learn everything about everything you are doing."
I had to chuckle because those were words that my sister said to me in an email. She has no idea how much I listened to those words. None at all.
All day long I resisted the urge to send her something. People kept asking me if I wanted them to call her, people who have stature in Los Angeles and have met me and who have come to know me. Each time I said no.
There may have been a time when I would have wanted that. I do not want it nor do I need it.
I stand on my own feet today. She sees what she sees. It is not in my hands. What I have accomplished this past year has been confirmed by everyone with their words of support.
"Walter, what would you do if you could go home?" one person asked. The room became quiet. They did not know how I would respond. Would I sink in despair? I did not.
"I would continue to write and learn continue with my fascination with writing and the multimedia and new media. I would love to have my radio and tv show on the internet.
I would love to have my own jazz station and open my window everynight and broadcast jazz over the internet. The Walter Melton jazz show featuring the Jazz collection of Vernon Melton.
I would love to do real estate. I would love to develop a business of real estate brokerage and development and at the same time try to tell my sister she should open up and interior design firm. I have met alot of people downtown and I would love to use my sales skills to help her develop an interior design business if she wanted to. I believe I could market her well on the internet. The first thing I would do is have her do her own interior design show on my tv station-a live stickam feed and prerecorded material as well. I have learned alot about this medium. I would love to develop skills in film and still photos." I love the new media.
I told them that. I meant it. I would love to see my sister on camera. She is extremely talented and gorgeous. She would do well. It would grow. Her show. My jazz show. Her business, my business and hopefully a mutual development business. All of the while, I would come down here and give back to the people of Skid Row. I could work here or just come down and do things. One thing is for sure. I figured how to make it for a year with no money. I could last while businesses grow.
I would like to develop partnerships with computer companies and have them provide educational opportunities on Skid Row. Education is what is going to get people out of here or improve their lives downtown if they choose to stay.
I would like for them to have the luxury of making a choice. I have lots of corporate friends. I have been known to have a vast network. Maybe I can reconstruct it and use it for the betterment of my fellow man.
Of course my sister knows nothing about my thoughts or dreams. I did not want to tell her. Actually, I have drafted a business plan to work with her and her husband. It has been done to a high degree of detail. To tell her would have been counter productive. I am sharing this now because it has been the result of a long year on Skid Row. I am comfortable with the belief that she will not read this. I just hope she shows up.
On the first day I arrived on Skid Row. I met a man named Vernon. He taught me the ropes. He helped me out tremendously. I reminded him of the first day he met me and he remembered.
"Walter, I remember you telling Rory that you would not let him down. You have not. You are a success story. You are a role model. Thank you for letting me help you."
Vernon is also my father's name.
I told him this was my last night of my first year. He told me to make sure I give back to the community. "Each one teach one."
I walked him over to the computer and asked him to look at the picture that is on this blog. I told him that I thought this picture symbolized what I felt and what the possibilities for the future held. He knew that I had a extreme case of pessimism when I landed here.
Vernon looked at the picture and just stared at it just like my father would have. He examined every detail. "It is beautiful Walter. That is a beautiful picture. " My father would have said the same thing.
Well, it is time to go. You know I have restrictions on computer time. Thank you for everything. Enjoy the picture and thank you for everything.
It has been a year like no other. A new phase starts tomorrow. No matter what. I will keep my word. I will not let myself down. Maybe she will take a chance on me. Maybe not. Either way, I love her dearly. Maybe it will take longer.
This picture is gorgeous. That is how I see life now. I hope everybody can see life this way.
Good night. I love you.