This is the story of 89-year-old Richard Musto who is living on the streets of New York City. Author Joe Lamport met Musto when the old man had built a campsite on the street corner down the block from where Joe lives in New York City. Joe had never seen anyone quite like him, a man of that age living on the streets in a cardboard shack of his own construction. Joe and his photographer friend, Michel Delsol, stopped and spoke with him to hear his story. This book is the result of two years and many conversations.
Musto was born on September 27, 1924. He joined the military when he was 18 and served two tours as an Army infantryman, fighting in World War II. Musto returned to the U.S. in 1950 and, he says, has had many occupations ... professional photographer, private investigator, luncheonette operator, etc. He developed a fondness for cross-dressing and once owned a horse named Crafty Courier. In the 1960s and 1970s, he lived in Times Square with his wife, Janet Mecca. The couple, who never had children, divorced in 1983 and she died years later.
It sound like Musto is quite a character! Yes, he's still alive. The book is written in "free verse" ... so like a poem that doesn't rhyme. It took me a bit for get used to the style but after that it was okay. There are lots of pictures of Musto, his drawings and his city so you get a better flavour of his life.
You can download the first two chapters of The Life and Times of Richard Musto for free at www.lifeofmusto.com.