Ace Backwords is a homeless writer and artist who lives in Berkeley, California. You can find more writing on his blog.
I always get this weird flashback when I’m walking down Telegraph Avenue on Thanksgiving day. Back in the Good Old Days I used to always meet up with my pals Duncan and Vince at this Telegraph Avenue coffee shop every Thanksgiving. Joint called the Wall Berlin. The Wall Berlin was one of the few coffee shops that was open on Thanksgiving. So it became kind of an annual holiday tradition for the three of us. I can still picture us sitting there at our table outside the café, quietly sipping on our coffee and talking about our plans for the holiday.
The town of Berkeley is full of so many ghosts for me. This building on the corner of Shattuck and University is one of these ghosts. In 1986 it was the office of the Daily Californian, the campus newspaper. And every semester the staff voted on what comic strips they’d run for the semester. In 1986 I won the election. And it turned out to be a big break for me.