Hyde Street Studio C, where I do all my recording, is located in SF’s most troubled area, the Tenderloin. It’s a place where drug deals go down by the minute, taxis won’t pick you up and cops prefer to patrol in squad cars. Everywhere you look are people in severe distress, some know it, some are too far gone to care, all could use a helping hand, though they might very well refuse it. So the other day, when I lost my balance in the middle of the street, fell, and sent my camera and the contents of my small bag of snacks for the session I was heading to skittering across the asphalt, the last thing I expected was help. But there they were, society’s forgotten surrounding me in an instant and offering to get me a new grocery bag, handing me a piece from my camera and inquiring, earnestly, if I was okay. Then I fell again (happens!) and suggestions of an ambulance came from the small crowd, more inquiries about what was wrong with me (I was now twitching quite a bit), but I assured everyone I was okay, I just needed to sit down for a minute. Traffic was blocked as I made my way back to the sidewalk, where the man who runs the Cadillac Market, the grocery store I always visit before sessions, greeted me with a fresh bag (mine was torn) and offered me any assistance I might need. The sheer decency of everyone -- and I mean everyone -- who witnessed my mishap was profound and heartfelt and their generosity of spirit was immediate and given without the slightest hint of expecting anything in return — though I am sure they all needed far more than I ever will. So on this Thanksgiving day, I give thanks to the residents of the the Tenderloin. Truly, I have not been moved like that in quite awhile.