First, I have to apologize–I forgot -again- to ask our friend his name frown emoticon
I spoke with him at the Wobbly Kitchen’s early Thanksgiving, about two weeks ago. He was wearing boots that were much too small, and was in pain and having trouble walking. I posted that he needed some boots, and several people reached out to help! Jessica Rowland bought a pair and brought them over to the Tangent on Sunday, but I had already left…she handed them over to Danielle Doxie Kaltz –>
I saw him on Tuesday; he said he was sick with food poisoning and hadn’t been able to get up for a few days. I gave him a bag of food and told him to wait for me to come back –> drove over to pick up his boots from Anew Life Prosthetics and Orthotics, where Doxie had the box waiting for me –> drove back to his spot, but he was gone…
I drove around for a whole hour looking for him! I didn’t see him again, but I passed out three more bags of food (extras from the Burners without Borders backpack packing event). I made a new friend, Gregory, and spoke with an old friend from Cass Park, Dave. No luck on Wednesday, but I made another friend named Tony, over by Scripps Park….they all have their own stories heart emoticon
Today, he was back! We met up in a nearby parking lot, and he told me that his grandmother had just died…today. He was very emotional, and we talked for a few minutes before I showed him what I had in the trunk…the whole time, I was holding one of the McDonald’s gift cards, so I handed that to him first. -That- made him happy, and I think he thought it was all I had to give him…then I pulled out his boots!
Jessica, I wish you could have been there heart emoticon
I asked if he thought they would be ok, he said, “They are perfect!” I asked him to try them on before I left, to make sure they fit…he thanked me over and over again. I asked if it would be ok to take a picture, and he just kept talking about how much he loves his boots, “They are waterproof!”
His old boots were so tight, his feet were bruised, so he started wearing his tennis shoes. They aren’t waterproof, so his feet have been wet and getting blistered. “I take them off, but nothing dries when it’s cold outside.”
He went to a shelter, and someone stole his bag. I think his too-tight boots were stolen, as well. He showed me the bag he was carrying, “I had a better bag, but now I’m using this”…it was a pink backpack, torn at the top, so it can’t zip closed.
Then…I pulled out the bag from Burners without Borders! We talked about the bag for a few minutes, and he said he couldn’t wait to look through it all. He was excited to see some new socks, and some canned food. He said he had been getting canned food at the shelter, but now he can’t go back, because the guys who robbed him are always there. He thanked me again and again. He said, “You made my day.”
We talked about the next meal at Cass Park, and he’s looking forward to it heart emoticon
Thanks so much to everyone who took an interest in his story, and to everyone who helped make this happen heart emoticon