The Adventures and Misadventures of a Neer Do Well Artist Living in Baltimore.

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

I am a visual artist and writer living in Baltimore. I don't have any artist friends. Frankly, artists scare me, there so darn flaky. The above picture is either of me or proof that I'm a pretty decent artist. My goal is to be a self sufficient artist, whereas I wouldn't have to do something else in the day in order to eke out an existence. I also like to attend various cultural events around town. I go to plays, the symphony, etc. Also, I have Asperger's Syndrome. I found this out recently and it has explained a heck of a lot as to why I am as I am.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I just got back from another meeting of the Baltimore Coalition To End the Death Penalty. This time the meeting was held at the church I go to. I’ve noticed that the meetings seem to occasionally rotate between the church I go to and the Quakers, American Friends Service Committee on York Road..

Anyway, it took me a while to get there because there was some kind of a traffic snarl on the highway. The shuttle bus seemed to take for ever to get off the highway. The traffic getting out of the county was literally bumper to bumper.

The meeting started at 7:00pm I got there around 7:45pm. I was half afraid that I might have missed something important or that the meeting was about to disband. Luckily, as I arrived I saw a woman whom I assume was with her son or grandson arrive ahead of me.

When I got in the building I was surprised to see that it was packed. One of the people whom I assume was an organizer had to get a chair for me to sit in.

This particular meeting was a part of a national speaking tour of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. The tour was entitled, Voices from Death Row. The speakers included people who were exonerated from death row. Speakers included Darby Tillis, Billy Moore, Gwendolyn Bates, and Gary Christopher. Seeing them speak helped to put a human face on the inhumane practice of state sanctioned murder eg., the death penalty.

Darby Tillis is an exonerated former death row inmate and leading activist against capital punishment. He also appears to be a very religious man. During his speech he would occasionally break into a gospel song or two. He had a good singing voice so I’m not complaining..... I just found it an original and highly engaging presentation. A serious speech interspersed with acapella singing. It was like watching Christian performance art, that is if such a category exists in that artform....

Billy Moore was a former inmate on Georgia’s death row. Mr. Moore was in the middle of his presentation when I arrived. I was particularly saddened when he told of the mentally retarded man who was next to be executed. The man could barely read or write or even understand what was about to happen to him. He was just happy that for once everyone was treating him nice. He got a new set of clothes to wear before he was executed and they asked him what he wanted to eat. I almost cried as Mr. Moore told of that former death row inmate.

I was also enraged when he told of how the prison guards seemed to delight in telling the other death row inmates about the retarded man that they had just executed.

I didn’t get a chance to see Gwendolyn Bates speak. Ms. Bates is an activist and sister of Maryland death row prisoner Vernon Evans. I also did not get a chance to see Gary Christopher speak. However, I did see Mr. Christopher speak at a previous meeting. So I am somewhat familiar with what he would say. Mr. Christopher is the attorney defending Wesley Baker

link | posted by gail at 8:23 PM |


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