Americana: Pulling the Plug

To the list of individualists that Boston's Beacon Hill has nurtured over the centuries, add Richard White, 24, a day laborer, writer and naturalist who shuns, literally, current affairs: his apartment on Myrtle Street has no electricity or gas. He explains: "I eat only natural food, and I buy enough to last me only a day, so I don't need a refrigerator. I don't need gas because I don't believe in heating food. It destroys the nutrients."

Last year, when White decided he wanted no electricity, his meter was removed. Last month, on unrelated business, a housing inspector came by and politely...

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