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This is Jack Briggs, and I am homeless.


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294 replies to this topic

#21 of 295 OFFLINE   Todd H

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Posted March 15 2014 - 04:04 PM

Sorry to hear about your struggles Jack. :(

#22 of 295 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted March 16 2014 - 10:31 AM

Sorry to hear about the hard times, Jack.  Best wishes.



#23 of 295 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted March 16 2014 - 05:19 PM

Hello there, all.

 

Yes, indeed, Mike Frezon is checking up on this. And this is, you can bet, truly the one and only JB -- of 2001: A Space Odyssey "fame," and, more recently, Mulholland Drive infatuation.

 

Mike had wondered about the legitimacy of the post, since this in an all-new account. Simple explanation: I could not figure out how to log onto my old account (remember, it had a new Mulholland Drive image on it).

 

...

 

Jack Briggs

(who even still loves Zardoz)

 

I can now report that we have torn down all the red flags and I can report (for better or worse) that this is our Jack Briggs who has been posting in this thread. 

 

Jack and I have been communicating daily and have sorted everything out. 

 

I believe Jack will be checking in here on a regular basis for awhile.  We are working on helping him regain access to his old User ID. 


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#24 of 295 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted March 16 2014 - 05:42 PM

That's good news and bad I suppose. Good that no one has tried to make Jack look bad and steal his account or more. Bad for obvious reasons. Good luck Jack. Hope to see you back to your old self soon.

Edited by TonyD, March 16 2014 - 05:43 PM.

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#25 of 295 OFFLINE   Jacinto

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Posted March 16 2014 - 07:16 PM

If we were to start a collection to help Jack with his travel expenses, is there any way to get the funds into his hands given his current circumstances? I am unfamiliar with what methods might be available out there right now.

 

Jack, I'm sorry to hear of your struggles, and remember with fondness your presence here on the HTF over the years.


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#26 of 295 OFFLINE   BrianW

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Posted March 17 2014 - 05:20 AM

I remember the change-over when we had to update our passwords, and I couldn't get it to work for a couple of weeks. I thought I was going to have to abandon my old account, so it's no stretch for me to believe Jack would have to open a new account to make his presence known here.

 

We love you, Jack. You had a good influence here, and I'll never forget your amazing contributions to the science and -- in particular -- to the science fiction threads on this forum. It was because of your influence and encouragement that I was able to finish my first novel.

 

Thanks for reaching out to us. I'm hopeful we can come up with some collective way to help.


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#27 of 295 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted March 17 2014 - 07:49 AM

I remember the change-over when we had to update our passwords, and I couldn't get it to work for a couple of weeks. I thought I was going to have to abandon my old account, so it's no stretch for me to believe Jack would have to open a new account to make his presence known here.

 

..............

 

Exactly. None of us could get into our new account using our old credentials.

You could use the "forgotten password" routine, but to do that you needed access to your stored e-mail address.

 

Great to see you back, Jack. Sad to hear about the circumstances. Perhaps we can work out some help.

 

 

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#28 of 295 OFFLINE   Scooter

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Posted March 17 2014 - 09:23 AM

If we were to start a collection to help Jack with his travel expenses, is there any way to get the funds into his hands given his current circumstances? I am unfamiliar with what methods might be available out there right now.

 

Jack, I'm sorry to hear of your struggles, and remember with fondness your presence here on the HTF over the years.

 

He could establish a Paypal account, if he has someplace...i.e. bank account....for the funds to be forwarded to.



#29 of 295 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted March 17 2014 - 09:45 AM

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Hello, everyone -- and let me tell you (roll out the violins) that I love all of you. Seriously -- as in my eyes are a bit watery as I write. So forgive me.

 

As you can see, I have my old account fixed thanks to HTF's superb staff. I will post from it henceforth. And, as should be obvious, this has been truly me all along.

 

Words escape me presently (and they did not do that in all my prior time at Home Theater Forum, did they? :) )

 

Thank you for your help and thank you for your encouragement. As I have said to a (wonderful) behind-the-scenes HTF staff person speaking with me, I must go elsewhere online to be able to pass some important information on to him. When done, I will return again to this thread. (To give you an idea of how I am feeling, it's as if I am seeing that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.)

 

Home Theater Forum has been so good to me -- good in ways that I cannot tell you at the moment.

 

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, from the depths of my soul. Thank you so much. Than you.



#30 of 295 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 17 2014 - 11:24 AM

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That's terrific to hear Jack. I will say something and I hope it doesn't offend Scooter: Scoot was the first homeless person I ever knew as a PERSON and not just some anonymous face on the street, a statistic. And for a while it was very hard to wrap my mind around his situation, but I did my best to remain a -friend- to him first and foremost and to try to keep things light, positive, and inquisitive in our discussions, despite whatever preconceived notions I had about the homeless in general. He helped me to understand as best he could, I'm sure I only scratched the surface tho. In many ways I wished (and wish!) I could do more, but, as they say, it's complicated.At a minimum, I hope we can do the same for you, to be that voice of friendship you can count on when things seem tough. Again, good luck!

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#31 of 295 OFFLINE   Clinton McClure

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Posted March 17 2014 - 12:30 PM

Jack - I remember you being on HTF way back when and I am as stunned as anyone to read about your situation. How can we help?

#32 of 295 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted March 18 2014 - 11:25 AM

Jack Briggs I could understand this happening. He has no family to fall back on. I don't get it with Scooter Jolley. He has kids. I don't get that at all.


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#33 of 295 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted March 18 2014 - 12:00 PM

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Edwin, it is all to easy for such to happen. I cannot speak about Scooter's case, as I have yet to connect with him (but I will very soon). But as he said in his post, each case is different.

 

Since staying at the shelter, I've seen many of those cases. Some, of course, are like what you might imagine -- the hopeless ones in rags, often the mentally unstable ones who have conversations with persons one cannot see (and cell phones they do not possess). Others are very well dressed, who are as sharp as tacks. Most are in between, because, I can tell you, when one is in this sort of situation, the "ugly uglies" do begin to take one over.

 

My aim: To get back on my feet before such happens to me. Which is why I have (had) decided to return to my roots. As I said before, the employment situation is better back in the state from which I came. California, as much as I love it (and any of you who have ever been here should know what I mean there), simply is not conducive for someone who is attempting to work his or her way out of poverty, out of homelessness. Once engulfed, once swallowed.

 

I have lived in this beautiful state -- and this beautiful city -- for twenty-seven years. That is a lot to say good-bye to. So much of me is here. Yet, what I have had is gone now. Beyond mere possessions, but people too. Those possessions, though, that can hurt (again, all I have now is stuffed into three small bags). The people, though, are dispersed. My best friend, Dave, for example, now is married in living in Seattle. Unfortunately, we are not speaking presently (long story).

 

I have to go for now, but I will keep saying this until my voice runs out (or my wrists wear off): Be utterly grateful for what you have. Treasure it. And know that life is more than your Blu-ray discs and speakers and preamps and whatnot.

 

Life is what is most important. And hope.



#34 of 295 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted March 18 2014 - 12:53 PM

Edwin, Your post reads like you are thinking in the abstract and didn't expect either Jack or Scooter would read it... I'd hope we could keep the judgmental posts outta here, especially when, ya know, they are actually participating in the thread...

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#35 of 295 OFFLINE   Scooter

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Posted March 18 2014 - 08:50 PM

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It's simple. I didn't want to live with my kids. I prefered autonomy.



#36 of 295 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted March 18 2014 - 10:02 PM

I’ve been reticent to post in this thread for several reasons.  First, because I hoped that this was not real - that it was something else.   Secondly, because I was uncertain what to say.  

 

I’ve never met Jack, but I have had a shared affinity for SF with him, on the HTF,  that made me feel like I did know him.  Jack, I am sincerely sorry to hear about your current situation and I really hope that you are able to recover some sense of a “normal” life.  

 

- Walter.


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#37 of 295 OFFLINE   Dheiner

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Posted March 19 2014 - 03:16 AM

I'm very sorry that you find yourself in such a difficult place, Jack.  I hope I never have to try to get myself through such an awful situation.

 

Please let us know if we can help you out.  I don't have much network away from Wisconsin, but I'd think some of us might be better connected than I.


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#38 of 295 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted March 19 2014 - 09:44 AM

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Our present fortunes are always some combination of decisions we make (good and bad), circumstances beyond our control (good and bad), and luck (good and bad).When we're doing well, we like to believe it's only the decisions we make that control our destinies, that we have earned our success and happiness and that the downtrodden somehow deserve their weariness and despair. Because putting ourselves in their shoes is a very scary proposition.The older I get, the more I realize that -- while there are certainly measures we can take to safeguard the financial security of ourselves and our families, and lifestyle choices that have a big impact on our ability to weather tough times -- the vast majority of us are only one health crisis or one period of extended unemployment or one catastrophically bad decision away from disaster.I'm glad to see you back here, Jack. I've missed your articulate posts and your encyclopedic knowledge of cultural topics where my own knowledge is far more limited. I'm sorry your life has taken this turn, and I hope you find what you need to get back on your feet back east.I was happy to read that you have a roof over your head again, Scooter.

#39 of 295 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted March 19 2014 - 09:47 AM

Again, the comments make me feel much warmer inside.

 

My plan, as stated, is to accumulate my "general relief" funds until I have enough to purchase a Greyhound ticket and head back to the state where I was born and raised and had my first marriage and first kid and first professional gigs and all that. I figure that will take about two months. This may not seem like anything much of a plan to those who haven't experienced such a nightmare. But I can tell you, having a plan even as meager as this one is what gives me something to hold on to. (For example, in my pocket I have the keys to my apartment and the building itself. I cannot use them, obviously. Yet there being in my pocket gives some kind of anchor. Hard to explain, but that is how it is.)

 

As I said earlier, the Bank of America is now charging me "overdraft fees" for the simple reason that the account exists, but I have been unable to do anything with it -- no income, see -- but the bank still keeps subtracting the fees, hence overdraft. All I live on, therefore, is my "EBT" card, which is two accounts: one for "food stamps" and the other for "general relief" (i.e., welfare). And this is what I can use at an ATM or at a store (the EBT for foodstuffs only, the general relief for cash. Yet I hold on to the general relief money for the simple reason that it must go to the eventual purchase of the Greyhound ticket. As for food, I eat the meals given out by the shelter -- though I do use the EBT/food stamp funds for any additional grub.

 

That's a hard life, sure. Yet it's the one I have and it's the one I will make do with to get back to Nashville, where the weather is humid and hot in the summer and humid and cold during the winter (not much in between, ya know).

 

As for help, I will take it -- you bet I will. And I can make no apologies for that. In this situation, any form of help is something you simply must grab at. I now grab pennies when I see them on the floor or street. Kind words, being few and fleeting on the street, are things you snap up and cling to.

 

Some of this sounds desperate, I know. Well, homelessness is about as desperate as one can get in this country, short of having a knife or gun pointed at you. This, truly, is not an exaggeration. Take it from me (or Scooter). Just months ago, I was in my apartment (though I could see it slipping away from me). Now I spend the early hours in Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 39th and Western in South Central Los Angeles, then the next few hours in the public library just up the street. At 2:30 p.m. I head back to the shelter for the evening. I think of that as a sort of "home" (not really, though; spending the evening on a cot in room full of men -- many of them championship snorers -- does not have the true feeling of home). The shelter, then, is much better than spending the night under the stars on a cold, hard ground that does not bend or yield.

 

And even though I am starting to have that "street person" look, I like to think I am quasi-presentable, at least. That I would look not out of place on a Greyhound bus that will take me across the continent and back to what was once my home.

 

If anything, I hope this post further drives home the point of what should be important to anyone, and to which I keep returning: Be grateful, grateful, grateful. Life certainly is not easy, but just think how much harder it could be if you had nowhere to call home other than a shelter.

 

Sorry, I am a little longwinded today. It's the middle of the week and two more days to go to the weekend. Yet, every day is the same in the present situation. You get by. And this "plan" of mine -- going back to Nashville -- is what gives me something resembling hope.

 

Maybe some day, when once again I have a roof over my head, I will once again be able to start posting about films, discs, equipment and such. Some day.

 

Thank you for reading my posts. Thank you.



#40 of 295 OFFLINE   Brian Dobbs

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Posted March 19 2014 - 09:47 AM

Very sorry to hear about your situation JB.






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