Spread these ashes, now
In honor of his freedom,
On the morning of Creation,
On the deep sea of Being,
On the waves of Becoming, his
At their end, in the on-going
Glory of life. Nothing left,
Bits and pieces, images, glimpses
Here and then gone, a hole
In the world, shaped
Like a man: Daniel Knapp
Poem written by Peter Marin
Daniel Knapp was born in Alhambra, Ca. Proudly of Finnish descent, he grew up in Minnesota and moved back out west when he was fifteen years old. He moved to Santa Barbara in 1978. Daniel played to the beat of his own drums, he saw life in his way. He was a philosopher and would engage in marvelous debates with people.
Dan was young and full of energy. He was funny, creative in formulating street theater and also played a mean blues guitar. He loved the Raiders and the Vikings. He deeply cared about people and he dedicated his life to homeless issues.
Daniel became homeless in the early ‘80s. In Santa Barbara he met like-minded individuals that were also fighting for homeless rights. He would come to volunteer for the Homeless Coalition. This is where he met the Executive Director of the Coalition who became the mother of his only son, Daniel Jr.
Dan drove the coalition van, providing the homeless with rides to the clinic and out of town meetings He became a marvelous homeless activist. He participated in the adventures of the Homeless Civil Rights movement. We called him…”Dan Dan the Media man” for he loved to contact the media for the many educational events we put on.
He and Bob Hansen became close friends and they eagerly formed a trio of “Bathroom Banditos” to protest the lack of public restrooms in Santa Barbara. They dressed up in Mexicali hats and Sarapes to torment the city council with skits and props. They were tired of people getting tickets for eliminating in public. Justice prevailed with the appearance of a public restroom near Marshalls. He also participated in the Housing Now Rallies in Washington DC, representing the Santa Barbara Homeless Coalition meeting several movie stars and National Homeless Activists along the way. The list went on for Daniel.
Speaking with one of his street friends we hear of a summer night on the back porch of SoHo Restaurant. The Pink Floyd tribute band was playing. “ Danny gave me an hour dissertation of life, music, and Philosophy. Danny, a Alameda Park Angel flying too close to the land. Bless You my Brother!” Neptune Public Radio reporting.
Daniel Knapp’s son writes…”And so my watch begins.
Through the magic of life, he passed a world of gifts to me. My love and ability for music, the gift of gab, connecting people and my unconditional love for all beings. I Love you Daddy-O Dan.”
Even as Daniel lay in his bed after a major stroke, unable to move his left side, turn his head or speak he was able to flip his friends off, fist bump, raise his thumb for yes and thumping on the bed for no. He never lost his sense of humor so we knew that Daniel was still with us. As complications became too much for him to handle we sat at his bedside playing the Eagles, the Beatles, singing to him and loving him until he jumped off of the planet.
Daniel is survived by his Brother Dave Knapp, his Sister Denean Flower and his beloved son, Danny Jr. He is survived by the many people he loved and who loved him on the streets of Santa Barbara. He was well loved by many advocates still working for the homeless of Santa Barbara.
It is a wish of Daniel Knapp for people to enjoy a documentary on U tube called “Streets of Paradise/a graphic documentary of the homeless. Many of the people in movie are no longer with us but we see Daniel playing Stormy Monday in the opening credits with his guitar. Rest in Peace our brother.
Memorial for Daniel will be held at Alameda Park on the 8th of November. 3 to 5 PM.
Obituary written by: Nancy McCradie and Krystal Freedom