Thursday, August 28, 2014

She Don't Know Luther Vandross

A few quick scenes from last night...

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Ewan Horinger made his first Project HOPE adventure in the Gold Van.

"I can show ya if ya want?" he asked, in between bites of Doritos.

"Nah, that's all right," I responded.

"I'll show ya," he repeated.

"I don't want to put you through the trouble of..."

"No," he interrupted, "it comes out easy."

So despite my attempts to keep him from doing it, he plucked out his prosthetic eyeball (ceramic, he said) and rolled it around in his palm so I could see.

"Yep, that's your eyeball."

All because I wondered why he didn't see my offer for a handshake.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I like chili, but chili don't like me

We root for the underdogs in the movies: Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader, Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed, Harry Potter vs. Voldemort, Simba vs. Scar. The underdog is the good guy who battles arrogance, oppression, or evil.

In the real world, the underdog doesn't receive much rooting support. In fact, sometimes we blame them for their plight.

There's plenty written about the homeless that paints them in a negative light. Articles demonize the homeless as villains and lazy.  

It's easy to ignore villains and lazy people when they ask for help.

We see the poor as deserving their situation, "They brought it on themselves." This is a very useful mentality. Why are there poor and starving people on the planet? There are poor and starving people on the planet because they deserve to be so, because...well, because they are. This helps us deal with the starving in South Sudan or the poor in Bangladesh or the fact that 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.

Sometimes we say, "Why help those people in that country when we should be helping our own?" But we don't "help our own" because they're lazy and deserve to be where they are. Little by little, we narrow the population who deserves to the point of only those who have deserve.

I wonder if I can use the same perspective when teaching?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

4 Tries

Will, waiting for the V.A. to get him a place.
It took us four tries, but eventually we got Jesse and Brutus some food and water. Jesse was flying a sign, but we caught him moving from one spot to another, one intersection down on the access road to Route 8. We first left a couple of bags for Jesse and Brutus where we believed they waeres headed. We wanted to make sure they got the bags, so we circled around, down one road, up another, and another left turn, and we arrived to find out the bags we left for Jesse and Brutus were gone, taken by someone else. We didn't have anything prepared and the traffic light turned green, so we yelled that we'd be back, circling around again as before. Eventually, we got this right, and Jesse and his dog Brutus had their food and water and plenty of smiles.

Many people who are poor don't have bank accounts, and that makes them poorer. Read the Atlantic story.
Documentary Spent. How not having a bank account sucks.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

12 bucks and 18 years

Hadn't seen Elmer for a while. He was stuck in the hospital, and he's feeling a little old, but he jokes about it here...

In other news:  Rodney is a vet. He's having difficulty getting the VA and his primary care physician to cooperate. All he needs is a $12 prescription, but no one will pay for it, and, therefore, no one will give it to him. Eighteen years of service, and he can't get a $12 prescription.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wooden Legs

Rodney and Leroy
One after the other. Mayne, Conyetta, little William, a guy on his cell phone, and then Rodney and Leroy, who I had never met before, but they were very cordiale and interested in us being there.

Rodney asked about Butch Reynolds.

"He's probably well off," Leroy said, his head turned away, distracted by the distance.

"Probably so," I said without a clue.

"They tried to get him on drugs, right?" Rodney asked.

"I think so, but he was cleared of that," I responded, again, without a clue, and feelings a little guilty as a historian to be giving such weakly referenced information.

"What about that dude with the wooden legs who's on trial?" Leroy asked, again facing the winds rather than me.

"Pisistratus?" I asked, confusing the Ancient Athenian leader for the South African Pistorius.

"Yeah," Leroy said, sniffing the muggy air.

"Ya don't just shoot into a bathroom," Rodney declared. He continued on a fantastic explanation about the ongoing trial. It all made as much sense to me as any other explanation.

He thanked us, and we told him to return next week. A couple of new friends.