The whole five months that I was embedded with OccupyDC I had a small one man tent all to myself — there wasn’t room for anyone else. I could barely squeeze myself along with a sleeping bag into it.
The first two nights though I shared the tent with a short, round black guy who would eventually become a great friend.
When the cold got too much or the stress became palpable, Boagie was always there with a bright smile or wisecrack to lighten the mood.
There was more than one night that I found myself caught in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue with my camera turned towards the protestors and my back turned towards the cops that Boagie would see me and shout out an encouraging word. And more than once I was able to dodge a police baton or a cop on horseback because Boagie seemed like he always had my back.
I’ve stayed in touch with Boagie this year. When the heat got too bad in Arizona or the Rockies got too cold, I knew I could count on Boagie to come up with the right word to say to motivate me to move through whatever obstacle — physical or mental — that I was facing.
Today Boagie drives a pedicab in D.C. He rides a three wheel tricycle that has a bench for two people to set on. He gives some of the best tours of any pedicab driver I know and his customers always enjoy his quick wit — no matter what else is going on.