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Frank Chiu: … I was heading to the Powell BART entrance at Fourth and Market in front of O– N—, same as any other day. Across Market, DJ Onyx Ashanti had a small crowd milling around him in front of V—– M——–. Backpack on my back, and I’m thinking, do I want to get the trash bags at W——‘s or not?

Then I saw this posterboard sign a passerby was holding up. I noticed the slightly stooped posture, the gait of a man used to pounding serious pavement, and I recognized him, Mr. 12 Galaxies Guiltied to a Zegnatronic Rocket Society himself. I remembered all the postings <ahref=”http://www.gradygroove.com/storychu.html”>a random search had pulled up. I used to see him at least once a week when I had to walk north from Montgomery BART through the Financial District.

I saw the space on the front side of the sign that usually had “Clinton” stenciled or lettered in. I think he even had “B—” at one point; it’s been a couple of months since I saw him along Market. Today he had “Jefferson” written in. A protest against our third president, Mr. Sally Hemings?

Through the plume of steam wafting out of a manhole and into view, I could barely make out the other side of his sign. It looks like he’s advertising on behalf of Q—–‘s, a sandwich shop with at least a few more outlets somewhere than the only one in the Bay Area that I’ve been to, at City Center in Oakland. (The other one was in Seattle, I want to say, along First Avenue.)

So I watched him totter across the street on tender toes, valiantly holding that sign up, not speaking to anyone or stopping to proselytize. If he’s sponsoring that shop, I hope he’s getting some free dough out of it — and I don’t mean the kind he can eat, either.

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