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Ron Buss

"I got tired of rain," says Ron Buss, who grew up in the Seattle/Tacoma area, but spent high school summer vacations with his older brother in Modesto, moving furniture for Beacon Van Lines. "I started when I was 14." After graduation, Buss moved south to work for his brother, then spent a decade at warehouse work. He eventually got a truck and a PUC license, and returned to household moving. "I made a hundred thousand a year," says Buss, who was supporting a house, a wife, and three kids. "But I got injured a lot." When moving work grew scarce, he took a job at a can factory. A fourth child arrived, the couple grew apart, and the wife and kids moved to Florence, Oregon. "I stayed another three years," says Buss, who moved north in 2011. Slowed by back injuries, he lived for a year off a 401k, then took shelter at the Eugene Mission. He currently camps at one of Eugene's Safe Spots. Early in 2012, he got a job selling David Gerber's Oregon Vagabond Motivator, a street paper featuring stories, poems, and artwork by the homeless, at a location outside the Kiva market downtown. When OVM's funding dried up, Buss stepped in with a new one-dollar monthly paper, Our Streets of Eugene, in October of 2013. "At first we had a lot of dramatic stories, train-hopping, etc.," he says. "Now it's gone more towards poetry and current issues." Central Printing inks the first 50 copies in exchange for an ad. Another 300 or so are run off on a copy machine. Ad space is available for five dollars.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 6 August 2014

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