Author: Andrew Warburton

  • LAST WORD: Charles

    LAST WORD: Charles

    Next time you’re downtown during the day, look out for Spare Change News vendor Charles. You’ll find him on Tremont Street between Downtown Crossing and Park Street T station. I met him on a fine fall day earlier this month and took him for a stroll through the Common to talk about his experience of […]

  • LAST WORD: Barbara “Susan” Holden

    LAST WORD: Barbara “Susan” Holden

    Living in Florida with her partner Walter, who’s also a vendor for Spare Change News, Barbara “Susan” Holden knew to avoid the cops on the last Friday of the month. “ID Friday” is what she’d call it, because that was the day the police would run their IDs, hoping they’d find a record so they […]

  • LAST WORD: Birdy

    LAST WORD: Birdy

    His friends may know him as Birdy but the name you’ll see on this vendor’s badge is Odell. How did Odell come by this nickname? Well, growing up, he enjoyed riding his bike, and one day, riding up a steep ramp, he went flying in the air—almost like a bird, his friend said. From that […]

  • LAST WORD: Walter Stewart

    LAST WORD: Walter Stewart

    Walter Stewart was born in Gary, Indiana, a city founded by the United States Steel Corporation in 1906. Steel production ran in the blood of Garyites for over a hundred years and still, today, the city produces 7.5 million tons annually. With their combined careers, Walter’s father and grandfather worked in steelmaking for over 70 […]

  • LAST WORD: Marc D. Goldfinger

    LAST WORD: Marc D. Goldfinger

    This week’s Last Word features an interview with Marc D. Goldfinger, Spare Change News’ resident writer and poet and the newspaper’s poetry editor for the last ten years. With the help of the poet Lee Varon, Goldfinger is currently putting together a poetry anthology featuring work published in Spare Change News over the years. Writing […]

  • LAST WORD: Jerry Harrell

    LAST WORD: Jerry Harrell

    Jerry Harrell is one of Spare Change News’ “old guard.” Alongside Algia Benjamin and James Shearer, he was among the original lineup of vendors who sold the first issue of the newspaper in May 1992. The cover of that issue—a photograph of a man selling catnip for $2 a bag—embodies what the newspaper is all about: […]

  • LAST WORD: James Shearer

    LAST WORD: James Shearer

    If it wasn’t for James Shearer and the independent news outlet he co-founded in 1992, homeless people on the streets of this city would be seen but not necessarily heard. While mainstream publications like the Boston Globe occasionally run stories on homelessness, their perspective is usually limited to a trip to a shelter and a […]

  • CAZWELL PRIDE: Worcester native and gay rapper talks pride and sexuality

    CAZWELL PRIDE: Worcester native and gay rapper talks pride and sexuality

    With the attention-grabbing All Over Your Face and the viral smash Ice Cream Truck, rapper Cazwell dragged hip hop kicking and screaming into the LGBT community. Known for his steaming-hot videos and frank depiction of gay sexuality, Cazwell is also arguably the most famous gay rapper in the world. And yet, for all the sensational […]

  • LAST WORD: Michael Shorey

    LAST WORD: Michael Shorey

    “You’re interviewing me now?” says Michael, with disbelief in his voice, when I corner him after the weekly vendor meeting at the Spare Change News headquarters. Michael is in the office to pick up his papers and the last thing on his mind is an interview with me. However, when we get started, he has […]

  • LAST WORD: Gregory Currie

    LAST WORD: Gregory Currie

    When Gregory Currie said he came from a political family, I had no idea he was the son of Jackie Currie, a woman described as a “Detroit legend” after serving many years as Detroit city clerk and Wayne County commissioner. As he was growing up, Currie sometimes felt like he was being groomed to be […]