David Kasprzak.

David Kasprzak inside his pop-up shop, “Colpa Books and Video,” on Mission St.

David Kasprzak, an artist, art teacher and book publisher, moved to San Francisco 12 years ago. The trip he took to get here is far from ordinary.

In 2001, David was hopping freight trains to cross the country. Being arrested regularly for trespassing didn’t bother him because at least going to jail for the night meant he got a bed, a meal and a shower. One night, however, the police confiscated his Leatherman knife, one of the most valuable tools for a train-hopper.

“My friend and I got out of jail the next morning and started hitchhiking,” he said. “A guy picked us up in his truck and he was talking to us as we’re driving. We had told him what had just happened and we’re like, ‘Oh, it’s not so bad; the worst part is that they stole our Leathermans,’ and he started laughing.

“We’re like, ‘What’s so funny about that?’ And he said, ‘Well, I work for Leatherman and there’s a toolbox full of them behind your seat; take whatever you want.’”

His landing in San Francisco was as serendipitous.

He drove out from New York to escape the heat. “As soon as we pulled into the intersection of Mission St. and 16th St., a car ran a red light and T-boned me and totaled my car. By the time the insurance money came, I just decided to use it for a security deposit and stayed, and that was that.”

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