*Homelessness is no joke. For many, it will only take a few missed paychecks before they start giving that street corner the side eye. In essence, it can happen to anyone, And it always amazes me how shocked tourists are to see so many people living on the streets of Los Angeles. It’s like its the first time they’ve ever seen homeless people, and I know that many of them come from countries where poverty and injustice reign. But they come to L.A. and seem surprised. After all, Hollywood is here. But there is one old school hipster living under L. A.’s 110 Freeway that may totally confuse them. You won’t find him sleeping under any cardboard box. There are no ragged pieces of material making up his doorway.
He has dusted off the cliche I may be down, but I’m not out and breathed new life into it. The gentleman is 59-year-old Ceola Waddell, Jr. and he has been building his ‘Paradise’ for the past six months.
Would you like to take a tour? Scroll down.
At first sight Waddell reminds many of a hip uncle. Their dad’s “cool brother.” The one that’ll come over a slip you a five-spot with a wink when nobody’s looking.
He kind of talks like that uncle too.
No telling how he ended up on the streets. No doubt his story is any different than many others. But his personality, his mindset, is probably unmatched by anyone else in his neighborhood.
He’s new on the streets and his spirit hasn’t been broken. He hasn’t been made to feel invisible; as I hear so many do after being ignored by passersby.
Anyway, from the video you will witness Mr. Waddell’s pride in what he calls “Paradise Lane.” He shows us his jacuzzi and reveals its an old frig on its bottom that holds 10-gallons of water. He shows us his toilet, which he says is functioning because it sits right on top of a sewer. Waddell also offers an array of men and women’s shoes. They sit on a rack (he doesn’t say if he sells them or gives them away, but being an entrepreneur
I suspect its option #1).
In the video he showcases his living room, a couch decorated in zebra stripe material that spills over into his “man-cave.”
Heck, Waddell’s even got a guest room that he rents out for $25 a week (or $10 a night); a snack stand, and a smoke house.
And make no mistake, Waddell’s digs are not finished yet. He says he has plans to expand his living quarters.
At press time Waddell’s video tour, posted on FB by Cynthia Mumba Farr on November 3rd, and titled “Once A King Always A King,” (with heart emoticons) has received 1.6M views and more than 35K shares.
Take a look as he gives a video tour directly below.