Tuesday, February 9

The Boulder, CO Origin of "Will Work for Food"

Itinerant bicycle mechanic James Bush, an acquaintance of mine, ran out of money while in Boulder during the summer of 1988. He held the original "Will Work for Food" sign on Boulder's famed Pearl St. Mall. Even though many beg for money on the Mall, he was arrested for soliciting without a permit. It took months for City Attorney Joseph Napoleon DeRaismes III (actual name!) to drop the charges. Here's a Boulder Daily Camera news article about a demonstration against this "only in Boulder" smallness and meanness, held October 7, 1988, using photocopies of James' original sign:

Here are some of hundreds of cartoons -and photos- from the last 22 years from this incident: