This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

Mad dogs and me / 8 October 2012

photo of an elderly man sitting on a bench on 16th Street, Kansas City

Peter Street encounters 'Nam' veteran Mo. Photo by Peter Street

Zoom in to this image and read text description

16th Street, Kansas City the late summer heat was hitting 90. I walked a mile or so down onto Central Street where I was expecting hustles and bustles of every size and colour. It was a walk into a nothing; not one human being, cat or dog was in sight.

So I turned right towards the Mexican quarters. Ok my conversational Spanish is not as good as it should be; by that I mean, I don't really know any.

Still no signs of humanity. Determined to find someone I turned round and walked another mile the other way heading towards uptown Kansas City. It was now feeling freaky like I was somehow stepping into one of those Hollywood horror road movies where there is no one there to  help out with information of any kind. Mostly I just needed to know where every one was?

An elderly Vietnam Vet' just came out of knowhere and rested under the shade of a walnut tree. I talked to him and he guessed my accent was English. Trying to find out where everyone was his words began to slide out of his mouth: "This here is a blue collar area. They're all working, those who can't are in their house."

Introducing himself as Mo he then started to tell me about the war in 'Nam'.  I gave him ten minutes... Leaving him I am so sure he started humming "Mad Dogs and English Men..."