About 28 years ago, I had just finished building a 20 unit luxury apartment complex here in Fullerton. Interest rates were around 22.5% and at 23 years old I had more pressure put on me than most 50-year-olds ever have. After I completed my project I decided to take a vacation.
But it was no ordinary vacation. I decided to go drifting.
I packed a bag and got a ride to the 91 freeway at Beach Blvd. Off I went.
Drifting is a way of life for many who choose to live on the streets. Kelly Thomas was a drifter, even though he had many places that he could stay, he chose to live on the streets. At his funeral, I witnessed his many friends and family that told me he always had a place to stay if he wanted. But he insisted on living outdoors with his own convictions.
I met many drifters during my six month journey around the West Coast, but the one thing I remember enjoying the most was not having any responsibilities and being accountable to no one but myself.
It’s easy for me to relate to Kelly Thomas’ life. I believe he was his own person, and he chose to drift from place to place.
Rest in Peace, Kelly Thomas.