Berkeley South Side Gossip

by Steed Dropout
Feb. 23, 2014

My subjects are poor, deranged, homeless Berkeley Southsiders. And I’m a notorious gossip.

Walter Winchell invented the gossip column a century ago; his columns heaping dirt on the rich, famous, and influential lost their audience forty years ago. Meanwhile I gossip and hearsay along as a columnist here and Berkeley Times.

Wincell’s subjects were rich or well-known enough to draw thousands of publishers.


A homeless guy in People’s Park slugged a good samaritan, who was bringing him food.

A well-known park figure waved an unfriendly knife in the face of a homeless father, who had his infant in his arms.

Outside the Caffe Mediterraneum, a guy started a fight by spitting in another guy’s face. A disabled guy outside the Med was dog-napped out of his tea-cup Chihuahua.

Street kids outside the Med out-foxed police by walking away from a street couch before police could catch them on it.

A notorious Telegraph gal hung from a South side balcony until rescued by police and hospitalized. A police dispatcher noted that her Indian war-paint was cream cheese.

Alongside Haste street’s famous People’s Park mural, someone has scrawled (and maintains): “Running Wolf Out of People’s Park.”

Running Wolf, founder of the football stadium-tree sit that brought years of grief to U.C. Berkeley, was back in action with a tree-sit in People’s Park two years ago. After a stabbing in the tree ended this People’s Park tree-sit, university police sawed off access branches.

Running Wolf, returning to Berkeley’s South side after 45 days in county jail, was back in Jail on a bicycle beef after a cop confiscated his carabiners, hanging from the tree-sit tree, forestalling another ascent. Running Wolf said he’d tricked the white man with an Indian switcheroo, using second-rate carabiners, and vowed to hoist again.

Maybe this is why someone wants him out of the park. He attracts heat (cops).

With 145 arrests, Running Wolf is a hunted animal.

His 45-day personal best resulted when video evidence on his behalf, at trial, showed him trespassing.

These are mere annoyances to RW, who has returned looking fit and with a tepee full of plans to change the world.

These views do not reflect those of publications in which my work appears. Winchell’s contract stipulated his publishers pay his legal bills; all I have is this dumb disclaimer.

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