Some panhandling pics I took yesterday at and around the Center for Southern Folklore’s Memphis Music & Heritage Festival. For non-panhandling festival pics, scroll down to the previous post, or find September 1 in the archives.
As always, you can click the pics to see full-sized images. If you’re sick of panhandling Downtown, you can join the Handling-Panhandling online forum and discuss the problem.
Why do you see some panhandlers carrying towels around? Well, the next two images will explain.
This was taken on the Premier Systems parking lot at Main and Beale. This guy saw a car about to pull into a space, and ran over and waved the car in with the white towel he was carrying. By the way, this is not the Premier lot attendant. There was a uniformed attendant at the Beale Street entrance to the lot, who was busy talking to people in another car. This guy doesn’t work for Premier; he just stalks the lot and runs onto it when he sees cars about to park.
So this guy went running up to the car he had waved in, as the occupants were getting out – a man and his wife. He admitted he wasn’t the parking lot attendant – “you pay that guy over there,” he said, gesturing at the attendant who was about 50 feet away and walking in that direction, “but can I get a couple of bucks?” It paid off – the man getting out of the car handed him $2 and he scurried off as the attendant approached.
Does anyone know the owners of the Premier Systems Parking lot? I would love to meet with them. I see this kind of thing happening EVERY DAY, MANY TIMES A DAY. And it’s even worse when the lot is unattended – then the panhandlers just take it over, charging whatever they want for people to park. We have pictures of most of the panhandlers who work the lot. All the Premier owners would have to do is find out their names and file Authorizations of Agency against them. Then any cop who saw one of these idiots on Premier’s lot could arrest them on criminal trespass charges.
This is Mr. “Can you help me get a hamburger” Man. You’ll notice that he is panhandling at the corner of Main and Gayoso. The closest restaurant to that intersection is Wang’s China Bistro. Last I checked, Wang’s does not serve hamburgers. If he really wanted a hamburger, you’d think he’d be panhandling in front of Sam’s Hamburgers a few blocks up the street at Main and Madison, or in front of the Wendy’s on Danny Thomas, or in front of the Wendy’s at Third and Crump.
This guy was a man on a mission. He’d walk through the festival very fast and very erratically. He seemed to be taking inventory of what all the crafts vendors had in their booths, although he didn’t seem to want to be seen taking inventory, and he certainly didn’t want to talk to the crafts vendors about buying anything. Occasionally he’d make a beeline up to people – generally groups of two – and ask them for money. I got sick of this guy real fast. I found the volunteer coordinator and had her notify security and they kicked him out of the festival. Note that he has a mint green bracelet on. I wonder if this is a sign that he was recently released from some type of facility. I’ve seen those bracelets on a couple of other panhandlers over the years.
Heading back up there in a little while. The Sunday brunch crew is at the Majestic today, but I don’t know if I’ll make it – the puppet guy performs again today at noon, and I won’t get to see the puppet guy again for another 364 days.