Balancing act: Homeless man puts on show for support - CBS46 News

Balancing act: Homeless man puts on show for support

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(Source: KTXL via CNN) (Source: KTXL via CNN)

(CNN/KTXL) – Jack Walcott of California is just hungry, just trying to make a couple bucks and just balancing a bicycle upside down on his head.

Standing on a concrete island at March and Pacific lanes, Walcott, also known as "Jack Jack," is arguably the most obscure local celebrity you’ll see in Stockton.

“I multi-task with it,” Walcott said.

He can kneel down and then stand back up. He can tip toe in between cars to collect cash.

Walcott can steady his neck walking backwards in traffic and throw up a peace sign at the same time. He can bob and weave his body as the bike leans without breaking a sweat.

“There’s the, 'Oh my god, he’s gonna drop it on my bike.' There’s the, 'Look at this weirdo.' There’s the, 'Oh my God, that’s so awesome!'” Walcott said.

The more he’s been seen, the more he’s been posted about online.

Day after day, for the past year, people post pictures of Walcott balancing all kinds of stuff. Water bottles topped with backpacks, inverted traffic cones, towers of Tupperware, Christmas trees -- just about anything and everything goes on his head for money.

“The only thing I haven’t balanced is a person. A car,” he said.

And his shtick is sparking an online debate about whether he’s a skilled street performer, or just a strange panhandler.

“'Get a job,'” said Dona Rivera, who is an admin for "Stockton WTF Moments." "The same rhetoric of he's a drug addict, you know?"

Those are some of the comments Rivera sees as an admin on that Facebook page that helped make Walcott Facebook famous.

“You don’t know the whole story, you know?” she said.

Rivera said she sees Walcott as a "person with a lot of potential who has fallen.” Walcott is the first person to admit that. He admits that he’s a recovering addict.

“It makes it really heard because when I bust that out people are like, 'OK, later,'” he said.

Walcott says he's taking doctor-prescribed methadone to wean off opiates.

“Starting using opiates, thinking I’d be able to quit that as quickly as amphetamines, but hit a brick wall when I tried,” Walcott told FOX40.

He said he eventually lost his job at a grocery store. The 30-year-old has been homeless now for four years.

“I felt really just alone... ” he said.

So he found himself on the streets of Stockton, holding a sign, and holding more than the weight of a bicycle on his shoulders.

“It's not anybody's fault, except for mine,” Walcott said.

Walcott found something in his balancing act that he hasn’t found elsewhere. He says it’s “relaxing,” it’s the least of his struggles.

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