David Johnson and he is a well-known San Francisco attraction. No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf to experience a “Bushman” performance. On our last trip to SF we were lucky enough to sit down and chat with the “World Famous Bushman”.
Date: Saturday, March 11, 2006
Bushman: This is the first time I get to tape while I’m eatin’
Em: Your name is David Johnson, right? Also known as the Bushman
E: Mr. Johnson where are you from?
Bushman: Hammond, Indiana
E: How long have you been in SF?
Bushman: 26 years
E: How you like it, you must like it if you’ve been here 26 years
Bushman: I like it a lot. When I got here I called it the land of opportunity, I liked that the opportunity is here. I got here and started workin’, gotta do it, I know I wouldn’t go back home too soon.
E: It gets cold back that way don’t it.
Bushman: All the businesses and stuff closed down like the steel mill closed down and all of the stores, everything closed down. When I went back to visit everything was closed so it ain’t nowhere that I want to go
.E: How old are you?
Bushman: 54, no 53.
Em: So when are you turning 54?
Bushman: January, I’m a Capricorn
E: How long have you been doing this?
Bushman: 26 years
E: The whole 26 years you’ve been out here?
E: Did you do anything before you were the Bushman?
Bushman: I started the shoeshine business out on the streets of San Francisco. They wasn’t a shoeshine man out there ‘till I started it. And after I saw all of the shoeshine stands start building up and they started working I became the shoeshine man/the bushman.
E: How long did you do the shoeshine before you switched over?
Bushman: I was doing them both. I used to go on Market Street, you know, I would decorate my shoeshine with a lot of trees and bushes and put on bamboo skirts. I would do some crazy stuff out there. Just about every week they would call the police on me.
E: That’s a good question. How many times have you been arrested?
Bushman: Over the years, I give you a good thousand. And it still don’t stop, every year there’s somethin’ new, I go to jail for doin’ something wrong but I ain’t doin’ nothing wrong. It’s just constant harassment