They say Philadelphia is a dangerous place. Most of the people I had met were afraid of the area where the shelter is located. I felt no danger or fear. I was at peace. Over the previous years of my life, I had discovered there were far more dangerous places to be. In 1963, the hospital delivery room at My Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana had offered more possible danger to my survival - but somehow, I managed to survive that experience.
Somehow, I had survived many dangerous and potentially lethal situations. I had cheated death many times. I had grown comfortable in places others considered dangerous. The truth was; for the most part, I felt safer and more comfortable lying on the ledge in Philadelphia than any other place I had been in the previous 48 years of my life. As I was headed north on a greyhound bus one week earlier; it had occurred to me that Philadelphia was the place of the conception and birth of the American Colonist s quest for liberty and transformation . . .
Later, it had also occurred to me that my quest for liberty and transformation had become a journey into the heart of what America had become; AND, it appeared it would end in the city where America had begun.