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Video: An Oasis Amid 4 L.A. Freeways

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Hector Becerra at the LA Times this weekend shared the home and musings of Bamboo Charlie, a homeless man who has built a home away from homelessness amid four freeways along the L.A. River and train tracks in Boyle Heights.

It's unlike any encampment one usually sees. 59-year-old Charles Ray Walker, who has lived in this spot for 18 years, has a vegetable and fruit garden -- potatoes, strawberries, watermelons, peppers, to name a few -- electricity from a donated generator and an eclectic collection of toys and other discarded items that make up his well-organized and clean 40- by 200-foot space tucked between a warehouse and a truck yard.

He has permission by the property owner to live there, provided he keeps the space up. So far, save for three years when he went back to Houston to visit family, he's done that. "When I was in the real world, I had a garden. Why not have a garden in this world?" he said. "In the real world, I had a TV. Why not in this world? ... I cleaned up in the real world. Why not clean up in this world?"

The whole story, complete with photos and he above multimedia video, is worth checking out.