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This is Jack Briggs, and I am homeless.

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#41 of 278 Jack Briggs

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Posted March 19 2014 - 09:59 AM

Oh, and Adam, you posted just as I did. What you wrote was quite thoughtful and quite true. Take to heart what he wrote, all of you.


It still makes me marvel, how mature and thoughtful all of you are. I knew Home Theater Forum was a special place when I first posted here way, way back in 1999, in June. What a place.

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#42 of 278 Todd H

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Posted March 19 2014 - 12:12 PM

I'm willing to help purchase a ticket for Jack. Looking online it looks like you can buy one for another person and have that person pick up the ticket.

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#43 of 278 Mike Frezon

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Posted March 19 2014 - 02:39 PM

Obviously, a lot of people in this thread have expressed an interest in helping out Jack.  Others have contacted me personally.


We are currently working with Jack to figure out a way to make this happen.


Stay tuned.  Any effort will be announced in this thread. 

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#44 of 278 schan1269


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Posted March 19 2014 - 03:18 PM

The easiest way for Jack to get help is if he still has an address is to get a Chase Liquid. Since Chase are "everywhere"...people could help by loading his card from any branch in the country. All you need is his name and the street the acct is linked to. Would have to deposit cash. Western Union costs too much.

#45 of 278 Scott Merryfield

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Posted March 19 2014 - 05:38 PM

I'm willing to help purchase a ticket for Jack. Looking online it looks like you can buy one for another person and have that person pick up the ticket.

I would like to help with this, too.

#46 of 278 Colin Davidson

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Posted March 20 2014 - 06:20 AM

Or perhaps as another alternative have an HTF member in the LA area that we could channel the funds to and then deliver them to Jack.


If I lived down there or was even going to be visiting I would certainly volunteer to do so but unfortunately am not.


All the best Jack - help is forth coming soon.

#47 of 278 Jack Briggs

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Posted March 20 2014 - 12:20 PM

Here I am, reduced to writing slobbering posts of gratitude and love. But I could not -- would not -- have it any other way. Home Theater Forum, I could never have guessed back in 1999, would become this vitally important to me.


I have just e-mailed a response to Mike Frezon vis. this beautiful drive being undertaken by you all of you on my behalf. And what I told him is that tomorrow, on Friday, March 21, I will go to my old nemesis, Bank of America, and set up a Paypal account. Why BofA? Simply that my account there is one that already exists, and I will simply eat those so-called overdraft fees. I think the amount presently is at $60 -- not sure. But this seems the simplest thing to do. (I do believe in the adage "keep it simple, stupid!)


My head is swimming, people. Seriously. You are beautiful. Allow me to gush like this. Good news has been kind of scarce of late. And here, at Home Theater Forum, I get good news. "Thank you" cannot even say what I feel. My eyes, there they go again. I am not kidding. This is so hard for me to believe.


I will be in touch tomorrow. I seriously need to be alone somewhere here in the public library in South Central Los Angeles.


Thank you. Bless you, even.

#48 of 278 schan1269


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Posted March 20 2014 - 12:27 PM

If you revive your BoA account...people can bypass Paypal the same way as if you had a Chase Liquid. All somebody with cash needs is your name and street name/city(not even the street number) and cash can be deposited. The bank branch will not give the depositor the receipt...they will attempt to mail it...or simply trash it if the depositor so asks. (that is to keep your acct info from being given to the person depositing cash)


Checks can't be done as the check writer isn't the signor of the check(being you).

#49 of 278 Josh Steinberg

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Posted March 20 2014 - 01:12 PM

Words are failing me.  So I probably should first apologize in advance in case I stick my foot straight in my mouth by accident.  I of course remember Jack's posts over the years - Jack, I can't imagine how difficult all of this has been.  It's times like these where the temptation is to say "I've been in similar situations" or "This almost happened to me" or any of a thousand other well-meaning phrases that fall short.  I treasure the memories of participating on the HTF, and your posts over the years have certainly been among my most read, most memorable, most enjoyed.  You've brought that same eloquence and grace to these posts.  I can't imagine it was easy to make that first post back here. I'm glad you did.


I'd like to do something to help - I would be happy to contribute to anything that's set up here.

#50 of 278 Jack Briggs

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Posted March 20 2014 - 01:13 PM

Schan, or anyone: Simply tell me the cheapest and best way to do this and I will do it, even it takes two or three or four days longer. Mike, you, too. Is going to BofA the best idea? (I simply thought so.) Or should I go to one of the other financial giants? Please advise.


I am minutes away from having to go back to the shelter, and so I need to leave for now, today. But if I should come here to the library first, then that is what I will do. There is a BofA branch right here on Western, which I would go to if BofA is what I need to do. Please advise.


Or should I go to Wells Fargo or Chase?


I have to leave now. Thank you, all of you.

#51 of 278 schan1269


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Posted March 20 2014 - 02:07 PM

The way "banks talk"...


If you owe money to one, you can't open up another account somewhere else. Pre-paid cards(Liquid being the "least fee'd" there is) aren't beholden to whether you owe money to a bank.


But if this is only $60...add some cash to BoA. The real issue is if the Liquid at $5/month is less than a bank acct at BoA.


The other benefit to a pre-paid card. In many states...if you receive benefits...the pre-paid card is not an asset, like the bank acct is.


Why do I know this?

Have a family member who prefers to live gypsy. I would say homeless...but she is not, per se, homeless. She could have a home if she so chose. She prefers living in a van on the side of the road. At the moment...I don't even know where she is. But, her checks show up here and I cash them to myself and deposit the cash to her pre-paid card. The bank manager knows me and can't give me details but will tell me if the card is at least used.

#52 of 278 Scooter



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Posted March 20 2014 - 05:35 PM

Left you an email here....PLEASE reach out.

#53 of 278 JohnRice


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Posted March 20 2014 - 08:13 PM

Hello Jack.  It's been a long time.


I wanted to relate some things in the hopes it will brighten that light you are seeing.  The time I first joined HTF I was facing the possibility of being in the same situation you are in now.  It's mostly through dumb luck, and some help from relatives who really couldn't afford it, that it never quite reached that point.  Coupled with the fact I was barely able (to be honest, I often failed, as long time HTFers might remember) to keep myself together, mentally, I'm amazed it never reached that point.


It's taken a long time, and in a lot of ways the struggle continues, but after experiencing so much desperation, I was finally the right person in the right place at the right time.  So try to keep your head up and look for those road signs to where you need to be.  I anticipate the opportunity to pay it forward.

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#54 of 278 Edwin-S



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Posted March 20 2014 - 09:46 PM


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.


Thank you for your eloquent response. I'm truly sorry that you have hit on such hard times. I hope that your fortunes improve going forward and that you get back on your feet soon.


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...


Just for the record, I wasn't judging anyone. I'm well aware of how many of us, as wage earners, could end up on the street when the paycheck stops or some other circumstances conspire against us. Please do not open the next spoiler field if you do not want to read politically loaded content and/or would feel you might want to discuss that - CA.



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


Thanks for the response; although, in all honesty, you were within your rights not to have to justify any of your choices. I overstepped my bounds when I made my original statement. It really wasn't my place to try to satisfy my curiousity vis a vis your family situation at the expense of your privacy. I apologize if my earlier remark came across as insensitive.

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#55 of 278 Sam Posten

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Posted March 21 2014 - 05:27 AM

Post of the year, thanks Edwin. (referring to the bottom paragraph anyway!)

"Sam, you are the biggest nutter we have here."

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#56 of 278 Robert Crawford

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Posted March 21 2014 - 05:42 AM


Please, no more eco-political comments.  Let this thread be about helping out one of our long-term members without making it a discussion thread about topics not allowed to be discussed here.  Let's not open that can of worms!

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#57 of 278 Cees Alons

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Posted March 21 2014 - 05:56 AM

Although I sympathise with the fact that someone like Edwin-S wants to express his strong opinion in a case like this, we simply do not allow political content and/or discussions.


I have taken a rather exclusive measure, though - "spoil" the text out. This will NOT be a more often used step in the future.

Also, it does NOT signify whether or not I am totally, in part of not at all in agreement with the content of the thus-hidden text. Nor does it imply any opinion about it of the HTF as such.


Please DO NOT discuss that content.


Thanks for understanding.






PS Robert Crawford and I were posting "in parallel" in this case. We had not discussed my action yet when we both hurried to attend to this "problem". We will discuss things inside the moderators group now.

I do hope you people understand this. Please heed his warning!


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#58 of 278 JohnRice


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Posted March 21 2014 - 06:18 AM



When the time comes and you are settled in Tennessee, I have several things here with your name on them, if you want them.  I have movies and various A/V equipment.  I never seem to get rid of everything.  I expect there are others here who will do the same as well.  Keep that in mind...

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#59 of 278 Dave Upton

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Posted March 21 2014 - 06:49 AM


While I wasn't here back in the day during your membership, I am touched to read your story. We will help however we can, and I'm discussing with the other owners how we can do our part to help get you back on your feet.

#60 of 278 Jack Briggs

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Posted March 21 2014 - 09:57 AM

You know something, everyone? Home Theater Forum, for me, has put the emphasis on the first word in its name: "home." Right now, this is my home. These posts continue to astonish me. This is kindness that I thought was a past-tense kind of thing. Not so. Here is where kindness is. And this for me is, as I said, home.


Mike Frezon has e-mailed me the basic instructions, and, I trust, he will not mind me relating them here publicly in this thread. You see, I am a bit ignorant about how Paypal works from the user end. So my understanding is as follows:


First, I know my Bank of America account number; however, I do not know the routing number. Therefore, I will do the following today, after I leave the library (from where I am posting this message):


* I will go to the Bank of America branch on Western just a few blocks from here (in lovely South Central Los Angeles). There, I will ask for the routing number to my account. Then ...


* With this information, tomorrow morning, on Saturday, I will return here to the library and use the Paypal link that Mike provided and set up an account with the BofA information (account number and routing number).


* After that, I will pass the information on to Mike -- Paypal account number and whatever else is necessary. Then, those who are able to help may do so. And, in doing so, I could probably bump up my Greyhound trip back to Tennessee by an entire month perhaps. In fact, perhaps, I could be back in "Music City" by as early as April or May (who knows?).


Does this seem the correct approach? That is, get my routing number this afternoon from that BofA branch and, coupled with my BofA account number, set up the Paypal account tomorrow morning (on Saturday) and then send the information to Mike? Please let me know.


Now, to those of you I have not addressed individually in this thread, please do know I have read all your posts. Then know those posts are what is keeping me going. You do not realize how much this means to me; I know I cannot make that clear enough. John Rice, for example: Look at that post of his. Just look at it. A/V equipment. Can you believe it? It all has an air of unreality to me. To use a much-overused phrase, but I am floored.


And, Scooter, I will contact you within a few more minutes of this post. I am sure my tardiness there needs no explanation.


Again, we all are used to referring to "HTF." But, again, to me, it is "Home Theater Forum," and, in particular, the word "Home." Not trying to be corny. I am just letting all of you know how this is impacting me. And I have needed such an impact sorely in the past five or six weeks. My heart flutters.


You all amaze me.


And I have told Mike that he may even post my e-mail address publicly. I refrain only because of the humility I feel. I have so rarely felt this human, because of the posts of so many people I have not had the fortune to meet in person. Forgive my being stunned.


I've used these words many times thus far in this thread. It does not pain me to do so again: I love all of you.


Your friend,


Jack Briggs

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