Page 9 - Foresthill

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I wish I could buy St. Jude a beer. If you’ve lost something, he’s the saint
you’re supposed to talk to about getting it back. St. Jude and I could find a
lot to talk about, because somewhere along the way I became a Guardian
of Lost Causes.
Well over 20 years ago, I decided on a career as a Public Defender. At
least once a week ever since I made that choice, I’ve been asked “How
can you possibly do that? ” (Sometimes I’m the one who’s asking me that
question.) The answer is a little bit complicated. On the one hand, I get to
defend the Constitution. I puff up with pride when I play my part in that. I
get to defend poor people and people who have no voice. I make sure that
everyone has access to quality legal representation, without distinction
based on the nature of the accusations or financial means. That promotes
equality and justice. I’ve defended thousands of people one person at a
time.A few of themwere monstrous, but almost all of my clients were just
people who were so damaged that they had a very difficult time making
their way in the world.
A number of years ago, I began to write bedtime stories for an audience
of eclectic motorcycle enthusiasts at (If you want to get
to know a real cross section of humanity, hanging around motorcycle en-
thusiasts is a great way to get a crash course in how the world works.) The
result is this collection. Most of these stories are about people I’ve met
as I’ve done my job, and many take place in the Sierra Nevada foothill
communities where I work. You’ll notice that I can’t resist a good story
involving animals, unintended chain reactions, mental illness, prostitutes,
addicts, or things that explode.
I hope you find some of these stories to be funny as hell. I hope a tear
comes to your eye when you read a few of them. We human beings con-