Emery Lambus, 63, an artist who works outside Smart & Final just East of Santa Monica, is fighting.
“Mental illness is not a dead-end street,” he says, sipping a coke under the October sun. “You can fight back. But you got to have some good support and be willing to take directions. You can bring yourself back from total insanity.”
Emery, a Phoenix native, battles schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, instability and drug addictions, he says. His is the cheering picture of societal dropouts who can work, with support networks and faith, to come back from the edge.
“I still hear the voices,” he says. “They harass me when I don’t go along with the program of doing aberrant things. They’re happy when I’m a total f—k-up. But they get mean and nasty when I’m doing to the right thing – enjoying myself, finding people who enjoy my art, holding conversations with people without mental problems.
Emery strikes the observer an easy-going local with loads of artistic talent. Recently, he was finishing a commissioned splash of pastel colors with four music stars: Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur and John Lennon. He called it “A Blast from the Past.”
Smart & Final shoppers have taken a liking to Emery, as evidence by more than one buying him a drink or snacks as they head to their cars. He’ll always have some friendly words to share with whoever wishes to engage him. Read the rest of the article.
Editor’s Note: Emery has accepted Jesus, but he believes a salad bowl of ideas. Really, I rejoice in all people’s efforts to reconstruct their lives and overcome their demons, regardless if their theology is not exactly mine.