Jeremiah Spelas: Weed Panhandler

Jeremiah Spelas says he grew up in Pennsylvania and has been hitchhiking for the last year-and-a-half “since the lockdown.” He doesn’t seem to be the average panhandler one might see outside local businesses, especially with his handmade signs, sparked with a bit of humor. The other side of his sign says “My ex had a better lawyer.”

Spelas said he has a YouTube account and was in Taos to “document the Rainbow Gathering” this summer in the mountains nearby. He said he was “trying to shed some light on what those people are doing up on the mountain.”

Asked what that might be, he replied, “They’re trying to spread peace and love and inclusivity, kind of the old ‘60s way. A lot of people, the elders up there, they spend a lot of money and energy, especially the locals making sure everyone feels very welcome. One guy dropped $10,000, a guy who lives in Taos, just on food.” He said this was his first gathering. “You know, you hear rumors and can make assumptions, but, ah, the beginning people that you see … they keep the rough and gruff people as their ‘face’ but that’s just the people they keep as security."

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