By Sarah Ford
Long-time supporters of the VOICE may recognize Richard Wolfe. He worked as a vendor in the years after the paper began re-publishing in 2008, and is credited by longtime vendor Albert Bland as being the one who paved 18th and California as a prime location for future VOICE vendors.
But he left Denver and has since travelled throughout the U.S., vending street papers like the VOICE in Seattle, Portland, Chicago, and Salt Lake City. Of the many cities he visited, Richard says his favorite was Portland.
“The people there were like a throwback to the 60s, you could walk around with green or blue hair and nobody would say anything,” he says.
Eventually, he wound up in Maine. He lived there several years, enjoying the resort atmosphere of the state’s coastal towns.
“There’s this pristine white sand there in the southeast part of the state, that’s why [rent] is so high there,” Richard says.
However, that was where he suffered an injury that has remained a major source of discomfort and difficulty for him. On the way to breakfast one morning, Richard slipped on black ice and broke his wrist. He has not had full use of his hand or full circulation since.
To fix it, he will need surgery, but is waiting until he has the money and can get into an operating room.
“I’ve waited two years, what’s a few more months?” he says. He hopes to use his time in Denver to work further towards that goal. But he hopes to soon be on his way, back on his journeys.
He wants to make his way to Ogden, Utah, where he says he will feel safer than he does in Denver or any other city he’s been in. While he is finding more opportunities for work in Denver, he desires a smaller town.
“But it’s fine being here,” Richard says of Denver. “Selling the paper and reminiscing about the past.” ■