Rhyme and reason in Watts
By Erin Aubry Kaplan
Instead of despairing, Eric is furious. He is still waging a court battle, though he has no lawyer and is learning legal procedures on the fly. His many arguments for staying are not purely legal. He says he’s not a tenant (he never paid rent, after all) and therefore should not be subject to eviction. He says the city never informed him that it owned the warehouse. He says he’s kept up the property (he’s a bricklayer and handyman when he’s not a writer). For the last eight years, he’s been a neighborhood watch captain with the LAPD’s Southeast Division, surely the most thankless volunteer gig in town. He’s the unofficial flame-keeper of the Watts Writers Workshop, the one member who stuck around Watts while other alumni — Quincy Troupe, Stanley Crouch — made their fortunes elsewhere.