We're "Homeless But Happy" An Open Letter...
...By James Smith
Everyone is out
of time for us, but we might enlighten you more than you may think right now. Nesta attracts people wherever we go. For
more than 2 years we've been homeless, but happy, for the most part. Hitchhiking around the country, weve gone from Key West
FL to Burbank CA, then back to Florida, and finally a trip to New York City. The order of events should surprise you, given
the chance. First, I can assure you American truck drivers are a caring bunch and have always helped us. We did well up until
just outside of New York. Most of them don't want anything to do with driving into New York City.
We met a Jersey
City postal supervisor named "Caesar" outside a Pet Smart in Woodbridge NJ on a rainy afternoon [May 20th] that was concerned
with why I wanted to go into NY, NY. He had worked in the city for many years and had relocated in NJ. He offered to come
back in the morning and take us [I thought] to the entrance of the Lincoln tunnel. He instead brought us all the way into
lower Manhattan through the Holland Tunnel. What a fantastic person!
I walked Nesta up to Washington Square Park
and within an hour and a half, we were sitting in the middle of HBOs Sex & The City set. I though, Wow, things are looking
up for us already!
It was cold and rainy that afternoon. The crew of the show treated us very well. They had two dogs
for that shoot that didn't work out and had to pass on using them, all the while looking at Nesta, sitting there so regal
the way she does.
The next 10 days were tough on us but we continued to move about, looking for that place we would
be welcome, not bothering anyone, but not being bothered either. Then one day, after sitting on the same [obscure] bench outside
of one of New York Citys public libraries, I met a couple that worked with one of the U.H.O. [United Homeless Organization]
They suggested I look into working one of the UHOs tables, so we did. I went to Penn Station where I was directed
and met another couple. Together, we put Nesta up on their table and everybody loved it. The NYPD guys and girls got a big
kick out of Nesta, outside that subway entrance.
About a week into working a table of our own, I met a great lady
who owned, with her husband the company that supplies the [Executive Residence] "White House" with their fine linen.
Though still homeless, we managed to go to that office every workday and sometimes on the weekends. Along with sending linen
to the White House, we sent linen to Arron and Candy Spelling, Martha Firestone Ford, and many others who appreciate fine
linen. During that time, I also helped set up a Pre Columbian art gallery and showroom.
Nesta, through the help of
my linen family, was spayed at the "Have A Heart" clinic on 52nd Street, a part of the Fund For Animals organization. Being
homeless posed a problem for Nestas recovery, so those sweet people decided it was best for Nesta to stay with them a couple
of days. They went further than that and kept her third, all the while performing an operation on her, that distracting day
Timothy McViegh was executed. I want to do something really nice for them one day soon.
Our last month, I had the
pleasure of meeting a beautiful fashion model that made our last month so memorable. I was able to design a simple web site
from our linen company. I designed a "Missing Nesta" T-shirt for Nesta's friends who had treated us so well from day one.
Then, on my birthday, September 10th, I posted that image on one of Nesta's web sites, www.nesta.tv
, the rest is history. I ended up looking at lower Manhattans devastation from the 32nd floor rooftop of the brand new
"777 6th Avenue" apartment building on 6th Avenue the next morning. What is this all about?
Our model friend became
to conserned about staying in New York and left for Texas, on a bus. Two weeks later, she returned and then the Anthrax attacks
began. It was decided she would leave for good this time so we through a little party at the spot Nesta and me slept. That
night a guy parked right in front of our sleep spot named Mohammad. After some conversation with this individual, we figured
out that Nesta and me could leave with him, out of the city the next morning. He said he was headed for Richmond VA. Mohammad
was from Sudan and turned out to be very difficult, to say the least. It took everything I had to direct this jerk to a simple
truck stop, one in southern NJ that I was familiar with.
It was cold and wet when we began unloading Nesta and our
belongings. While doing that, a great guy, an ex-marine named Dale that I had met months earlier on the way up to the city
and who worked at the truck stop, walked up and said: James... Nesta... How are you? I love the bad people in this life for
helping differentiate between the good people I know!
Two hours later, a red headed truck driver walked up and commented
on Nesta and asked where we were going. I told him south, just south after what had happened earlier. His name was Robert,
from Johnson City TN, where my mother was born! We left the next morning and without making this story much longer, we hauled
Peanut Brittle down to Virginia and dropped it off. Then, we picked up "fake" Christmas trees [23,000 lbs], and brought them
down to an area I was familiar with near Virginia Beach, VA. I designed something that I've always wanted to introduce to
QVC. This is where we brought those Christmas Trees, right in their front gate!
Robert had adopted a cute little 6-month
old dog-named "Freedom". This is all too much for me. We really had a good time talking good old American talk. A few more
rides and we have ended up in Florida again, at my sister Betty's apartment in Melbourne Fl where I was born. My father
had polio all my life. Mohammad drove a handicap van. I thought something was in the cards, him meeting all my nice friends
at 26th & 6th Ave.
My thing with Nesta, she says: "I LOVE JAY LENO" well enough to go on the Tonight Show. She'll
positively flatter Jay Leno, one day!
That's what this is all about, to improve Nesta's life. We're still trying,
and that's all you can do.
Bye for now,
James & Nesta Smith http://nesta.tv