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COPCARS AND TOWNCARS

I grew up in Malden, Holland. Born on June 14th 1976.

Against my parents' will, I watched a lot of television. My favorite shows were;

The A-Team

Knightrider

The Dukes Of Hazzard

The Green Hornet

Hunter

Because of these I've learned the English language well (of course it also helped to have an older brother with whom I had "contests" on who pronounced English better). The shows The Dukes Of Hazzard and The A-Team made me think; They need better drivers with the police in the United States. Quickly I thought about becoming a police officer. Because I was told that The United States Of America was an extremely expensive country, I decided I should become a police officer in Holland. When I was old enough for this, I went to a meeting for future police officers. I, however, was too afraid to go there on my own so I took my mommy with me.

Once we had arrived there they told us that they were only hiring women and foreign immigrants to ensure some variety at the station. Naive and passive as I was, I decided that it would have no use for me to try. Quickly I deserted my dream.

Luckily in 1991 the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day was released on video. A fellow student had made an illegal copy of this and with all my integrity I offered him 10 Dutch Guilders ($5.-) if he would also copy this film for me. This movie was the first and only movie I had on video for quite some time. As a result I have seen this film more than 50 times in a short period. This mundanity led me to buying more video tapes. After having recorded many more movies from the television, I started lacking space on my tapes. However there were still good movies being played on television regularly which I wanted to record, so I had to choose which movies I would erase from my tapes. Slowly my taste in movies started to develop and quickly I started recording documentaries about movie making. I got more and more interested in making movies myself. One day I had the opportunity to work for my school (the SSGN, Nijmegen) on a documentary about Joris Ivens, one of the first (Dutch) filmmakers. When I was standing on a public square with a walkie-talkie in my hand and a cameraman by my side and my co-director Edwin Huits standing on a balcony with a walkie-talkie in his hand and a cameraman by his side, I finally understood that this was what I wanted to do with my life. Later there was a project at school where every student had to figure out what they wanted to do for work after school. Considering I already knew this, I was given the assignment to interview someone who was already working in that field. Through the Film-Academy in Amsterdam I found out how to contact Dick Maas, a Dutch film director (Flodder, Amsterdamned). I interviewed him at his residence. I later made a short film entitled "HOSTAGE" for which Edwin Huits wrote the music. I released a CD containing this music.

I decided it was time for me to go to The United States Of America. With a fellow student I was gonna go to The United States for a three month period once we'd completed our schooling. This unfortunately didn't happen due to lack of money. After a year of saving up some money I went to the Rabobank to get a loan for a little extra cash, 13.000,- Dutch Guilders ($6,500.-) more to be exact. The travel agency told me there were also tickets available for six month periods, this was enough reason for me to go to the United States Consulate in Amsterdam to ask for a tourist visa. I was denied the visa because apparently I was still lacking sufficient funds in my account. I "borrowed" 15.000,- Dutch Guilders ($7,500.-) from my father and happily went back to the consulate. I finally got the visa with an expiration date five years ahead. Full of courage and with a full bank account I left for America. I had arranged to share a room with someone who worked for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). This was pretty easy through the Internet.

With a stop in Houston, Texas, I arrived in Los Angeles, California on May 15th 1998 from my flight with Continental Airlines. All my luggage had arrived except.....my mountain bike. This was flown to a different state, Florida. Richard Clarke Larsen, my new roommate, picked me up at the airport. I looked at this guy, after all I had never seen him before, and thought; Jesus, long hair and a beard, what a funky looking dude. Ofcourse I had forgotten that I too had long hair and a beard and therefore was a pretty funky looking dude myself. A few days later my mountain bike was finally dropped off at my new "home".

After having been at a local cinema to see the newly released movie "The Truman Show", I rode my mountain bike back home eastbound on Wilshire Boulevard. Having never seen what was north of this street I decided to take a little cruise on the other side. Enjoying the view immensely, I stumbled across Sunset Boulevard. This road was just too famous for me to just pass up the opportunity of riding it. As I rode on the curvy boulevard going up and down the hills, I failed to pay attention to how far I got from my home in Santa Monica. Approximately 45 minutes after I had started on Sunset Boulevard, I was riding quite fast, I entered Hollywood. At this point I realized I had gotten quite far away from home but was too intrigued with this city to turn back around. Besides I also didn't want to take the same route back. After having cruised through Hollywood and not having realized that Sunset Boulevard had by now turned into East Cesar E. Chavez Street, I decided it was time for me to return home. By now it was after midnight and I was getting quite tired. Luckily I stumbled upon a street name I recognized; Broadway. My logic told me that this was the Broadway which ended on the beach in Santa Monica, after all it was going in the right direction. Having driven through Downtown Los Angeles in the wee hours of the morning and seeing no end to this road nor a sign that stated welcome to Santa Monica and by now having crossed Olympic Boulevard and Pico Boulevard, two streets which definitely ended up in Santa Monica, I came to the conclusion that this was a different Broadway and decided to make a right turn on Venice Boulevard. Heading westbound on Venice Boulevard was no peace of cake either, I must have been on this road for at least three hours, heavily pedaling my bike. On the way I spotted some police officers who had pulled someone over, I waved at these guys and said; "Hi, how're you doing?". These guys looked at me as if I had just escaped from an insane asylum, as in, what's this guy doing here riding his bicycle in this area at this time of day (night) wearing shorts and a T-shirt and no helmet. After a long ass-bruising ride I finally reached Venice Beach and rode my bicycle along Ocean Front Walk towards Santa Monica. I made a stop at the Santa Monica Pier for about 45 minutes to rest. At about 6:30 in the early morning I reached my apartment in Santa Monica again, just in time to find Richard Clarke Larsen getting up.

Needless to say I realized that Los Angeles County was just way too big a place to be riding a bicycle. I NEEDED A CAR. Ofcourse I didn't just want to buy any car, it had to be a classic. My father had always taken me to the Autotron in Rosmalen, a Dutch car museum and I had been to an annual car show in Molenhoek, Holland a couple of times. Together with Richard Clarke Larsen I went shopping for a car. The first one we checked out was a $195.- brown 1976 Oldsmobile Regency NinetyEight, this sounded familiar to me from the old TV shows. The car didn't run however and needed new tires, a new battery and probably several more items. I told the guy that if he could get the Regency to run for a test drive, I would buy it from him for the advertised $195.-. I'm assuming now that this was unacceptable to him. I also checked out a $600.- red 1974 Fiat Spyder convertible, the owner of which at the end of the test drive accidentally slammed the driver door closed on my finger. This really hurt and didn't motivate me to buy the car. It also needed a lot of repairs and being from Holland I had heard enough bad things about old Fiat's. Another car I checked out was a $500.- white 1985 Ford Mustang, an interesting car which according to the ad ran perfect. This must have actually been in the past tense because we tried for half an hour to get the thing started with starter fluid and the engine would not budge. After this the owner admitted the car came from his mother and he never tried to start it before, in fact, he had it towed to his residence. Another car we checked out was a brown $600.- 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, also an interesting car which even ran great and would have been great to customize, the interior needed a little work though. I realized that if I wanted a decent car, I was gonna have to shell out a little more cash. So we checked on a $1,200.- white Cadillac DeVille, a great looking car of which only one interior strip was loose but still with the car and it ran great except for that weird noise whenever one changed gears. The owner denied hearing any noise, so I knew this wouldn't be a wise purchase. The next car we checked on was advertised as an $1,100.- grey 1978 Lincoln Continental. I made an appointment with the owner, Patrick Hunt. However, once we arrived, there was no sign of Patrick Hunt himself. The Continental was there though. I took one look at this car and immediately fell in love. The car had it all; the length, the big grille, the limo lights. When we got closer, I was simply stunned with the quality of the interior. I immediately told Richard Clarke Larsen; "If this car runs as good as it looks, it's mine". We made a new appointment with Patrick Hunt who was unable to be there the first time because he had to work overtime unexpectedly. This time, July 7th, my brother's 25th birthday, we also took our other roommate, Neil D. Blake with us. After all, I did not yet have a driver's license. The Lincoln ran like a dream, floating over every speed bump at regular speed. I talked Patrick Hunt down to $1,000.- in cash which he took and we immediately drove the Continental home. Once home, we still had to replace the front windshield and the driver door windowmotor.

Shortly thereafter I went to the Department Of Motor Vehicles to take the written test on my driver's license. I had flipped through the California Driver Handbook the night before but what was written in there was all so logical that I just threw the book away and decided to take my chances the next day. After all, for $12.- they give you three shots at the written test AND three shots at the drive test. As I sat down for my written test I noticed there were only 21 questions. It took me a whole of 7 minutes to complete the test and pass the first time out. I think I had 5 mistakes, the maximum allowed to pass. I know I gambled wrong on the blood/alcohol concentration question, I answered the maximum allowed was 0.06 when in reality it was 0.08. Big mistake, this made me too safe I guess. At the desk they asked for two proofs of picture identification, I handed them my Dutch passport and my United States visa. They also wanted to see my Social Security card. As of yet I didn't have one. I took my two proofs of picture identification and my proof of passing the written test with me to the Social Security Department and they issued me a Social Security card which arrived exactly ten days later by mail as stated by the Social Security employee. I started driving my car with Richard Clarke Larsen, Neil D. Blake or Richard's buddy David Heinicke with me in the car to learn how to drive. California law requires one to have a licensed driver with them of 18 years or over. One day Richard and I were stopped at a traffic light on Santa Monica Boulevard as a police car turned onto our road from our right side. As a joke, I quickly ducked below the dash and thereby totally freaked out Richard. When I got back up, the police car was just passing me at my left and the officer's were laughing, I had a big grin on my face. Once I felt comfortable enough, I scheduled my drive test appointment. My driverdoor windowmotor still had to be replaced in order to be able to use my car for the test. With my across-the-street neighbor Alan, I went to the garage to pick up my car just an hour before my scheduled test. He drove his car home while I, first time driving alone (and without the license illegally), drove my car to his home from where we went to the Department Of Motor Vehicles together. Having mentioned that I had just had the windowmotor replaced, the instructor didn't check out that part of my car for compliance (the bastard). I passed the test first time around and proudly drove the Lincoln home.

One evening, David Heinicke and I went to the Griffith Observatory in Hollywood, the setting for the movie "Rebel Without A Cause". Once we arrived there we heard over the p.a. system; "Griffith Observatory is now closed". We decided to check out the Griffith Park instead and we would've if it wasn't for the message; "Griffith Park is now closed, please remove your vehicles from the parking lot". We were one of the first ones to drive down the steep curvy mountain road with all the other people coming behind us. Before we reached the open road we passed a classic car show which was just ending and a John Fogerty concert which by chance was also just ending. Lucky me, my transmission decided to give out just as we had reached the intersection of Los Feliz Boulevard and Vermont Avenue (the road we were on). I took a right turn onto Los Feliz Boulevard. In order to get off the main thoroughfare I took another right turn into the next street. Unfortunately I didn't count on this being an uphill road. As a result, the Lincoln didn't get far here and I had to let it roll backwards onto the grass between the pedestrian walkway and Los Feliz Boulevard. Considering there was a gas station at the intersection of Vermont and Los Feliz, I tried to drive the car back to the intersection with the little power it still had. Unfortunately the grade was just too steep to get my car all the way there and we got stuck blocking traffic. I turned on my hazards and walked to the gasstation. There was a pay phone with a phone book attached to it, unfortunately all the pages with tow companies on them were ripped out. On the plastic phone book binder I saw a decal that said; need a tow, cal 1-800-, I turned to it and found the rest of the number torn off. I then checked for a police station number and found those pages were also ripped out. I decided to go up to the gas station clerk and ask him to call a tow company. He called one and they said it would be at least 45 minutes before they'd be there. I passed on that, it was just way too much time to wait. I asked the guy for the number to the local police station and he told me he didn't know and said that if I really wanted to talk to them I should call 911. My car was blocking traffic but was not a threat to anybody's life so I didn't want to do that. By now traffic had really started to back up in all directions near the intersection and there was even a police officer directing traffic. I decided to take my chances and ran across heavy traffic to ask the police officer if he could call me a tow truck. Within 20 minutes the tow truck had arrived. Considering this was an official police garage tow truck, he couldn't take me out of the city limits. I decided to have him store the Lincoln at the official police garage (AKA impound yard) so I could have another company pick up my Lincoln the next day. The garage that replaced my windowmotor quoted me $1,500.- for a transmission rebuild after I had the car towed over there, I considered this to be outrageously high. Through the Bel Air Presbyterian Church, a church Richard Clarke Larsen frequented, I met a guy who's father had a transmission shop, he quoted me $700.-. I immediately had the car towed over there. Unfortunately my funds had run out by this time and after three weeks the transmission shop owner started complaining about my car still being there. I had to sell a lot of newly acquired CD's and my $900.- Pioneer Laserdisc/DVD player for a total of approximately $840.-. I went back to the transmission shop and the guy tried to charge me $740.- because he didn't include tax in his quote, he stated he already gave me a $100.- discount because the job cost him more than he thought it would. I told him that I only had $700.- and that I sold everything I had but the clothes on my back to get that and that he did quote me $700.- and didn't mention anything about taxes not being included. Needless to say (so I'll do it anyhow) the guy wanted my car out of there so he agreed. I found that the car wasn't shifting into reverse correctly so the next day I took the car back and had him correct the problem. The car ran great after that.

Of course I didn't have enough money anymore to pay my rent for the next three months I was still staying in the United States, so Richard arranged for me to stay with a church friend of his in Culver City where I stayed for the next two weeks.

David Heinicke and I went to a club in Venice called St. Mark's where a band called Sticky Fingers was playing. David was a total Rolling Stones fan and this band covered their songs, and quite well might I add. The back-up singer to this band came up to me, as I was standing at the bar ordering two $9.- glasses of Pina Colada, and ran her fingers through my long hair. She introduced me to her friend, R. Andrea Kirkman, a lovely looking lady also sitting at the bar.

Andrea and I ended up dancing together all night and boy, I never moved so good. At the end of the evening I gave the back-up singer a huge hug for introducing me to Andrea. Andrea was nice enough to let me stay with her for the remaining two and a half months. When I left back home for Holland, I stored my Lincoln at the Airport Mini Storage for $75.- a month.

While in Holland, I had to pay off six months of rent debt which accumulated in my absence ( someone was supposed to stay in the room while I was gone and pay their time to the homeowner but this person decided not to pay), a huge debt on my loan and several more things. I worked nearly 24 hours a day on about three different jobs for the first month to pay off all these debts. I figured out in my Lincoln's repair manual that the model year was incorrect on the registration papers. I wrote a letter to the Department Of Motor Vehicles stating that since the Vehicle Identification Number started with a 7, the vehicle year model should be 1977 instead of 1978. They wrote me a letter back stating I was indeed correct and that I should take the Lincoln to the Department Of Motor Vehicles for correction. After two months back in Holland, I had saved up enough money to buy a return ticket back to Los Angeles and had sufficient funds to stay there for three weeks and even take a trip in my Lincoln to San Francisco. Before I went back to America however, I called the local police station in Nijmegen, Holland to ask for a permit to transport my BB shotgun with me on the plane. I had purchased this BB shotgun prior to my first visit to the United States and it is featured in the video-short "HOSTAGE". I had wanted to buy this BB shotgun for 8 years before I was finally able to get the money for it. I was also wondering if the BB shotgun was still legal in Holland. The police officer told me over the phone that I should take the BB shotgun to the station and they would check it out for me. As soon as I could I walked into the police station with my guitar case in which I transported my BB shotgun, an idea I had gotten from the movie "Desperado". I asked the officer at the desk if they could take a look at it, he told me to bring it in so I told him that I already had it with me. I put the guitar case on the desk, turned it towards him and opened it up. The officer looked quite amazed as the BB shotgun looked exactly like a real shotgun. He called in a detective and I carried the case with gun to his office. The detective checked out the BB shotgun's make and model in his computer and found no restrictions on the gun. He did say however that it would not be legal anymore six months from then. I reassured him that I was taking the BB shotgun to America and would store it in my Lincoln over there. I asked him for a permit to transport the gun on the plane and he told me he could not give me one. I notified him that I wasn't planning to take the gun as carry on luggage but that I would put it down below. The detective then told me that he couldn't give me a permit because it was legal for me to transport it on the plane. I even called the airline and the Royal Marechausse and they both also told me there would not be a problem.

So off I went to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. The airline I was using this time was United Airlines, this was the airline at the end of the hallway in the airport. As I was walking through the airport with my guitar case, I looked around me and did not notice any security at any of the airlines, except of course at United. The Royal Marechausse was heavily guarding this airline with automatic weapons. As I was standing in line I motioned one of the Marechausse's to come to me. When he approached, I advised him that I had a BB shotgun in my guitar case and that the airline had given me the OK on transporting this on the plane. He told me to notify the lady at the X-ray machine to avoid any panic there. Once I reached the X-ray machine, I told the lady about the contents of my case and she told me not to worry about it and thanked me for letting her know in advance. I placed my guitarcase on the conveyorbelt and I walked through the metal detector. As the case went through the X-ray machine, the expression on the lady's face turned from happy to a state of alarm. She freeze framed the image of the BB shotgun on the screen and within seconds I had about eight members of the Royal Marechausse around me asking questions such as; Where are you taking this? What will you be doing with this when you get there? Why are you taking this with you? You're not planning take this as carry on luggage, are you? They took the BB shotgun out of the case in front of all the other passengers to take a better look at it. I assured them that the guitarcase would not even fit in the overhead compartment and that I had no intent in taking it with me in such a manner. After about half an hour of chatting with these guys, they finally let me on the plane with my guitarcase and contents below deck.

On my way back to California we made a stop-over at Dulles Airport, Washington, D.C., we soon however were ready for takeoff and we were taxiing to the runway at which point one of the passengers noticed something at the wing. After the stewardess (or should I say "flight attendant") notified the captain of the problem, it became clear what it was. The captain notified everyone on board that we were slightly (read profusely, it was gushing) leaking kerosene at the right wing. The plane went back to the terminal where the technicians tried to "fix" the leak with something that looked like duct tape. Of course this was basically impossible and after about 45 minutes of trying, the technicians realized it would take them a little more effort. We were notified that there would be another plane picking us up from the airport to continue us on our way, this would take approximately five hours. Considering I had arranged with R. Andrea Kirkman that she would have picked me up at LAX, I called her and asked her to stay up for another five hours as she would have picked me up late in the evening.

Arriving at LAX airport, Los Angeles, California I was able to find all my luggage easily except.....my guitarcase. I went to the United Airlines customer service desk to ask what had happened. They told me there was a problem with it and I should go to the United States Customs to collect it. Scared of being imprisoned I walked to the Customs Department. The lady there told me she would look for it. She brought me the case and told me the shape of the guitarcase prohibited it from going through regular luggage channels. She also said; "My, this is a heavy guitar. I didn't know they made them so heavy." I responded; "Yeah, it's a special model. You know, one of those metal ones." She was happy with this explanation and I was happy with her happiness regarding my explanation. I quickly and steadfastly walked to the exit of the airport as I didn't want to deal with any more questions on the guitarcase. Andrea drove up shortly after that and during this early morning we drove to her place. The next day we picked up my Lincoln at the Airport Mini Storage. Considering it had been sitting for two months, it took us a little while to get it started, but after half an hour it finally started purring like a kitten.

I was planning to drive my car to San Francisco but unfortunately the fuel pump went out and it took all my money to have it replaced. A scared 5'2" Andrea drove the car to her place (she couldn't see over the dashboard), as I was volunteering on a commercial shoot which she got me into. Shortly after my Lincoln had come from the garage, the alternator gave out as I was driving my car through Santa Monica. After a few days while I was taking care of some business in the restroom, I called a bank in Holland with whom I had opened a new account while I had just returned in Holland. They had told me they could not yet give me any credit until I had shown them a few months of banking activity. By this time it had been two months, so I tried. They checked as to how long my account had been opened and granted me a 2.000,- Dutch Guilder ($1,000.-) line of credit. I immediately had my car towed to another garage and had the problem taken care of. Of course with the extra money I was able to drive my car more often, go to clubs with Andrea more often and buy more and better food. Considering Andrea was a dental assistant and I needed two cavities to be filled, I called my travel insurance to make sure this would be covered when being done at her place of employ. It would not be a problem and so I had them do the work. The secretary tried to charge the insurance company for something entirely different which would've cost more money and so my insurance company ended up not paying out to the dentist at all. Ofcourse this led me to be living with Richard Clarke Larsen for another month.

During this month, I drove my car all over the place to look for work in the "BIZ". One day I was driving through Hollywood and noticed a copcar in the right lane a little behind me. Realizing my tags were expired, I immediately moved into the left turn lane and prayed the cop wouldn't look my way. Luckily he didn't and I got away clear. About a week later I walked to my car in the morning and couldn't find it. I immediately called the Santa Monica Police Department to report it stolen. They ran the license plate and notified me that the Lincoln had been impounded because it was (allegedly) blocking a driveway (at the most this could have been 1 foot). I walked the 30 blocks to the police station where they asked me for the current registration papers. I couldn't show them because I never took care of this. So I had to walk to the Department Of Motor Vehicles, some 25 blocks away. After three hours at the DMV, I walked back to the police station with current registration and about $100.- less in my account. Now the lady asked me for my driver's license, which of course was also expired. So I took another trip back to the DMV. Another wait and finally this was also taken care of. I walked to Richard Clarke Larsen's place, 6 blocks from the DMV, to "borrow" his mountain bike without his knowledge. I rode back to the police station and got my vehicle release for $37.24. I took the release to Wilson & Vallely on 14th street where my Lincoln was "stored". There I got to pay the additional approximately $100.- to get my car back. I put Richard's bike in the trunk and drove the car home.

Just before the three weeks at Andrea's ended I was offered a paying job on a movie production, all I had to do was work hard on a volunteer student film to show my abilities. The hard work I did. I called the airline to change the departure date, they told me that would cost me $100.- which by that time I didn't have anymore. But hey, there was a paid project coming up so all my bases were covered, right? Wrong, none of the people who were promised to be working on the paid project were working on it, though the project did come. Feeling royally screwed by this producer, I tried to argue the fact that she had made a verbal contract and was therefore legally obligated to have me working on the project. She responded by threatening to call the cops on me for bothering a "poor little female". I decided it wasn't worth the effort as I had no evidence and the cops would probably side with her story anyway which meant that I would most likely be arrested. I left with a little bit of gasoline in my tank. One of the people who worked on the project, Keith D. Marple, had also gotten screwed and offered me a place to stay in Echo Park.

I stayed at Keith's place for three weeks and sent out approximately 50 copies of my resume and another 40 (at least) letters in an attempt to get some kind of paid job on some sort of movie production. After these three weeks, Keith and I got into an argument and I got kicked out of his apartment. Luckily I was able to make one connection for a job at an American Film Institute student film. Unfortunately this was once again without pay, though it did provide craft services (in other words, free food). Through the American Film Institute I got continues work for a little over three months. All this time I was sleeping in my Lincoln. One day for some reason I was riding a bicycle instead of my car and there was a major traffic jam at a busy intersection. I had to make a (-n illegal) left turn and so I walked my bike between the lines of stopped cars. As I had arrived on the other side of the street, I heard a siren behind me. I was being pulled over. The officers wrote me a ticket for obstructing traffic and later during the trial at the Downtown Los Angeles Courthouse, the officer claimed that I caused that major traffic jam and that it could be proven because the people were honking their horns. While walking out of the elevator after having been found guilty, I told the officer; "You're a fucking liar." He must not have liked this remark but he also must have realized it was the truth. Ofcourse considering I wasn't making any money, I wasn't able to pay for rent during this time which resulted in not being able to do my laundry or take regular showers. But on the bright side, I was well fed and got a good exercise while doing the construction work on the sets. My spray can of deodorant was my only saving grace. Near the end of the school year there was a slow moment for me there as nobody needed anyone to work on a project. I drove my Lincoln to Andrea's place near the Marina Del Rey where it was overheating and leaking a lot of coolant. Andrea at this time had found out that the insurance company hadn't paid out to the dental office she worked for and no doubt had heard a lot about that from her boss. For the record though, this was not her fault but the secretary's. Anyhow, she was pissed at me and wouldn't let me in. Having my car broken down and needing a new water pump, I decided to sleep in my car on that street as there were no parking restrictions present. Three long days I spent walking from there to Venice Beach in the mornings, getting there only by the water from the public drinking fountains and walking back every evening to go back to sleep in my Lincoln. This next morning I went to the Burgerking restaurant to use the restroom. Due to the lack of nutrition, all of my energy slipped away and I fainted just as I had finished my business. I fell with my mouth straight down on the toilet bowl, which might I mention needed cleaning. I broke one of my teeth in half and the loose part was still hanging on. I stumbled out of the restaurant still lacking any energy and went back to my car. I remembered I had a coupon for a free cheeseburger from McDonald's in my car. I took this on a one mile walk to the nearest McDonald's where I tried to chew on the burger with my right teeth only, this wasn't easy. After I had finished the burger and felt more energized, I decided to walk all the way from McDonald's in Venice to the American Film Institute in Hollywood on my totally worn cowboy boots (big holes in the soles). After seven and a half hours of walking I finally arrived there and was able to have the director of the last project I worked on there help me out. She allowed me to take a shower at her place and stay there overnight. She also hooked me up with another director who still had a project coming up. This guy was slightly whacked and a big spender. He took me to all the expensive places around town as he did not seem to believe in dining at McDonald's or the like. I was able to convince him to pay for the water pump on my vehicle as he wanted me to go all around town to get props for his project. The day we met we drove all around the County of Los Angeles to look at possible locations to shoot his film. At about 4:00 A.M. I reminded him that I needed the car fixed and he coolly pulled 4 $100.- bills from his wallet. Within a week of having my car fixed I had already put an extra 1,000 miles on the engine. After all, I wasn't paying for anything at this time. All I had to do was ask him for money and spend it where I felt was right. Honestly speaking, I did take a certain amount of advantage of this. Just before we were able to start the filming for his project however, the American Film Institute filed a restraining order against him and kicked him off the campus. I went back to Venice Beach after this.

Back in Venice, I noticed some police-officers and firefighters standing around. I walked up to one of the firefighters and asked him if he new of any organizations which helped homeless people. A question I really didn't want to ask a police officer as I felt that this would be announcing myself as a target for harassment. The firefighter said he didn't know of any place so he nicely asked one of the police officers if he by chance knew where I could go. The police officer was nice enough to refer me to St. Joseph's a few blocks away. I registered at St. Joseph's and signed up for services the next day. They gave me information about other places around town where I could get some more help and as I walked towards one of those places, somebody on the other side of the street yelled at me that "they" were giving out free chicken dinners at a local park a little down the street. Dressed at the time in a neat blue dress shirt and clean pants, I wondered if I looked homeless to this man. Later during the chicken dinner he told me that he saw me register at St. Joseph's earlier.

After having lived in Venice close to six months and having gotten to know a lot of people who lived there the way I did, I noticed a lot of harassment from the local police department, though they never really bothered me. Then one day I was driving down an alley parallel to the beach called "speedway". Cruising at approximately 10 miles per hour and with the song "Across 110th Street" by Bobby Womack Jr. blaring out of the speakers of my 8-track player and two of my friends with me in the front seat, two police officers approached on bicycles. Apparently the police officers knew one of my friends, a heavily tattooed guy who at the time had 37 warrants on his name for such major crimes as "sleeping in public" and "drinking from an open container of alcoholic beverage (AKA beer)". One would think the prohibition was still active. Officer Putnam politely asked me to pull my car over which I did immediately at Breeze Avenue between Speedway and Ocean Front Walk. His partner, Michael Rex, approached my window and asked me for my driver license, registration papers and proof of insurance. I handed him the driver license and told him that my registration papers and proof of insurance were in the trunk. I asked him if it was okay if I took it out. He said that would not be a problem. So I stepped out of the car, walked to the trunk and opened it. At this time I (visually) remembered that I had my BB shotgun right on top of all my stuff. Luckily neither of the two officers had noticed so I quickly lowered the trunk lid and reached over the BB shotgun to get out my yellow envelope with the paperwork in it. Just as I had grabbed the envelope and started pulling it out, I heard: "Okay, up against the wall." Michael Rex had spoken. My friends were also ordered out of the car and asked to place their hands up against the wall. Within seconds about seven more police officers had arrived on the scene as I was explaining to Michael Rex that it was only a BB gun, it wasn't loaded and I was told it was legal to keep it locked up in the trunk. Nonetheless my car and my body had to be searched. Some female police officers had arrived and one of them, officer Skinner, told me: "That's a nice car." Michael Rex had trouble finding my driver license number in his computer and started writing me a ticket for "driving on an expired license". I tried to argue that the license was still valid and that it clearly showed on the license so he told me that the license I had looked like a fraudulent document and he asked me if I'd rather have my car impounded. He also wrote me up for "obstructing view from the windshield". I asked him what that was about and he told me that the two 8-track tapes which were lying on the dashboard were obstructing my view. Officer Skinner immediately responded with: "You've got 8-track? Cool." I told Michael Rex that the 8-track tapes could not possibly be obstructing my view of anything other than my windshield wipers. He then told me that it was mostly the little thing I had hanging on my rearview mirror which was obstructing my view. They left and didn't even arrest my friend with his 37 warrants. Later in court I showed the bailiff the valid driver license and that charge was immediately dismissed. The bailiff then asked me if I actually had something hanging on my mirror and I told him I did. He signed it off as corrected and I had to pay a $10.- fee for corrected violation. I later saw this Michael Rex on Ocean Front Walk and confronted him about the citation he had given me. He claimed to not recall issuing me a citation so I showed him the driver license and said; "Next time you see a driver license like this you'll know it's valid, okay." He proceeded to warn me not to ride my bicycle on the boardwalk to which I responded; "I wasn't riding it on the boardwalk, I'm not stupid.

One morning I was sitting with my friends at a public pagoda on Ocean Front Walk and Breeze Avenue as a patrol car rolled up. Two Los Angeles Police Department officers got out, a bald black guy named Brent G. Honore and a white guy named Johnson. Brent (often called Montel due to his alleged likeness to the TV personality) had a reputation among my friends as a hardball, no discussion possible dickhead. As he walked around us to inspect the complete pagoda he found an opened (and empty) container of beer some 15 feet away from me (I was the closest person to it). He immediately said; "Okay, everybody has to leave. I found an open container." As everybody was leaving, I still sat there with my arms crossed. He came up to me and ordered me personally to leave the public pagoda. I told him three times; "I have a right to be here and I want to speak to your supervisor" as that was also my right. He responded by saying; "You can discuss it tomorrow morning in Superior Court". I understood that he was threatening to arrest me and decided to leave the pagoda and wait for him to leave on the other side of Ocean Front Walk. They both got into their patrol car and to my surprise Brent drove the car all the way(25 feet) to the other side where I was standing. They once again got out of their car and proceeded to search me and check my driver license for warrants. He asked me where I was from so I told him that I was from Holland. Brent then gave me his business card with a message written on the back explaining that drinking in public was not allowed. I had however been there for more than half an hour before the cops arrived and nobody had touched any alcoholic beverage. Still not having spoken to his supervisor I decided to drive my Lincoln to the police station. Having arrived at the station I noticed a line of people. I waited close to the desk and noticed Complaint Forms which after further inspection appeared to be able to be sent straight to Internal Affairs. The way I figured, Brent didn't want me to talk to his sergeant so I decided to talk to Internal Affairs instead. This was a good decision, within a week I saw Brent again with his rank diminished on one side of his shirt, a clear message to not mess up again. Later I was called by his sergeant and asked to report at the station to give my testimony regarding the events of that day. Brent has not messed with anybody again in that area. He was later transferred to another division and taken off the street, though with a slightly higher rank (detective), at least without the ability to harass people. I received a lot of praise from my friends for this.

One day I actually trusted one of my friends to drive my car from Venice to Santa Monica so he could make some money on 3rd Street Promenade while I took a bus to Culver City to sell my BB shotgun to a gun dealer. We were planning to get enough money together to go to Mexico together so I could get my tourist visa restamped. Having been unable to sell my BB shotgun I returned and waited for my friend's return. The wait was long as he did not return. The next morning I reported my Lincoln stolen with the Santa Monica Police Department. They contented that the vehicle wasn't stolen because I had given the suspect the keys so I called the Los Angeles Police Department and successfully reported it stolen with them. Luckily I was carrying all the paperwork of the vehicle on me including the certificate of title. Four days later the Santa Monica Police Department found it sitting on the side of the road. I immediately went to the police station expecting to be able to pick up my car there. They stated that the car had been taken to the impound yard of Pacific Towing Service on Euclid Avenue. The police also charged me a city fee of $37.24 for the police release. After paying them their payoff I walked the 13 blocks to Pacific Towing Service. They also wanted another $100.- out of me. I told them I didn't have that and that the car was stolen from me. They didn't give a damn. I walked to Richard Clarke Larsen's place and waited there till 23:30 to ask if I could borrow $100.- from him. While counting several 100 dollar bills he told me that I needed to learn some responsibility and declined the request for the one week loan. Since then the storage charges went up $15.- everyday. After carrying my guitarcase with BB shotgun around for several days I decided to put it in my car for safekeeping. I also didn't want the cops to search my guitar case and find the BB shotgun, I didn't need that hassle. I later got a small job setting up a stand for a Korean guy called Mr. Ku, a cool guy and I made $20.- for 2 hours of work a day. I calculated that since $20.- was slightly more than the daily storage charges on my car, I would be able to save up enough to get my car back in a few weeks. When I was close to the amount I called Pacific Towing Service and they told me they had already gotten rid of the car. A lie which I discovered later in McDonald's on 2nd and Colorado in Santa Monica as Ron, the owner of Pacific Towing Service told me they had my car "again, because the buyer didn't want the car after all". He said that 90% of my property was still in the car. I went to the tow yard and agreed to pay him $776.25 to get my car back. I called my father in Holland and he sent me this money after a lot of nagging. While I was waiting for this I was type cast as a homeless guy on a lowbudget movie called bike path which was shooting on Ocean Front Walk. When I got back to the tow yard with the money, Ron had raised the price to $911.25 to cover nine more days of storage. Angry and depressed I returned and was able to have a friend, Victor Perez, loan me $85.- and one of the movie people loan me another $50.- so I could get my car out. Upon receiving my car I noticed that my guitarcase and contents as well as my CD's, a movie prop plastic license plate and some important paperwork was missing from my car. The license plate was neatly displayed on top of the front door when I entered the place to pay the $911.25 in order to get my car back.

After this I never saw my "friend" again. My guess afterwards is that considering he was barred by the Santa Monica Police Department from the 3rd Street Promenade, he was arrested for being there anyhow and subsequently my car remained parked on the road where it was later found by Santa Monica police officer Haro. I still had the intent to go to Mexico to readjust my legal status and now I had the vehicle to take this trip in again. However without any money I decided to go against my beliefs and start begging people for money on Ocean Front Walk. To prove I wasn't panhandling for beers or marijuana like most others, I carried all my paperwork with me. This I also did as prevention against loss of both my vehicle and my paperwork. One day they were shooting "Pacific Blue", a TV show about the Los Angeles Police Department Beach Patrol, on Ocean Front Walk. One of the hired security members, a retired Los Angeles Police Officer in full LAPD uniform, saw me begging for money and talked to me. I explained to him my full situation and displayed all my paperwork to him. At the end he said; "Go smoke your dope in your own country". As I was not doing any drugs, this statement pissed me off intensely and also had the effect of making me cry. My anger was so great that I felt I might attack him if I stayed in that area any longer. I decided to go to my Lincoln and drive to Santa Monica for the rest of the day.

One day in early December 1999 I was, as usual, walking down Ocean Front Walk as a man approached me. The man, Derek Lebrero, was working on a low budget movie called Thousands Of Miles and was interested in having me in his movie because of the style (read combination) of clothing and hairstyle I had chosen. Though he could not offer me a decent wage, food and expenses were included and he also covered the loss of my wages from Mr. Ku's sock stand. Together we went to Joshua Tree National Park where I played the part of a corrupt police officer. Derek Lebrero told me they were also going to do some shooting in Tijuana, Mexico. I told him I was interested in going along and told him of my legal status situation.