Chapter

True Bottom

Dale Maharidge

in Someplace Like America

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780520262478
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948792 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520262478.003.0007
True Bottom

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On their first day in Houston, before they had met the Alexanders, Dale Maharidge and Michael S. Williamson had gone to skid row. At the Star Hope Rescue Mission on La Branch Street, they saw hundreds of men sitting on street curbs. As they walked back to Das Boot, they spotted a curious-looking van parked near the mission, with a sign on its side: BOOZE CRUISER. When they asked about this van, homeless men erupted with stories. In Youngstown, the authors heard about work camps; Texas was dotted with them, people said, with state authorities looking the other way. The purpose of the camps was to contract out workers and make a profit. The authors had one more thing to do in Houston: investigate the foundation. They returned to skid row. Homeless men had told them that the work camp would lock up everyone's gear. However, Michael decided that he was not going anywhere without a camera. He wrapped it tight in clothes and placed it in the bottom of the pack.

Keywords: Youngstown; Dale Maharidge; Michael S. Williamson; work camps; Texas; Houston; foundation; skid row

Chapter.  4294 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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