#5 Lone Wolf, Venice Beach
Lone Wolf, Venice Beach
In a strip of Boardwalk full of characters, he stands out. It's in the high nineties, blazing heat, a hot, beautiful day. He's sitting underneath a makeshift umbrella next to his pile of possessions. Huge grey beard, circular sunglasses, Native American animal skin jacket and trousers, wolfskin hat. A hand written sign says "Photos $1".
"My name is Lone Wolf, I'm from the Apache Tribe". He'd been living at Venice beach for many years. "Can I take your photo?" "Sure, Sir, for a dollar. I only ask a dollar for a photo but some people stand way over there and take their photos. A dollar is not too much to ask." He has a soft voice and a polite manner.
"Living on the beach is not too bad. There's a nice breeze off the ocean in the evening." I ask him about his wolf skin hat. "I'm a shaman, I had my hat made for me by someone - only a shaman can wear it." His hands are weathered and the skin dry, and on each of his fingers he wears a huge ring. "My rings represent the symbols of different tribe".
Once he hears I'm from Asia, he too starts asking questions, "Is it true what they say about Bangkok - that they've got men who look like women?"
He brings out a wooden flute and plays whilst I shoot some video on my phone. I give him some money before I leave.
"Next time we meet, we need to shake hands like this" (grasps my arm above the wrist, chanting under his breath). "You're in pretty good health but carrying a few injuries, like your hip. You also need to ease off on the sugar." He's right on the last point.