A true story.
We had run into the man we call Little John on a bench in this park. (photo below)
The story starts many years ago when I was walking my kids home from school.
Little John is just one of many that I chose to meet, talk to and get to know. John is not a young boy. He was about thirty-five, six-three and well over two hundred pounds when we met. He must be in his mid-forties now.
Stepping in to help and knowing when to step out of the way.
This shot was from 2017 on street view, the park where we talked.
There were no smart phones back when I bought it. It was the last thing that I have ever bought using a signature with twelve months of slavery attached to it (payments). I had to have it, my very own, first ever, digital camera. The LCD screen took up 90% of the back of it, photos and videos were saved to an SD card.
Before I even had it paid off, the first touch screen phones were coming out. Cameras were better on the latest cellular phones. Somehow my digital camera ended up in a drawer. I had stopped taking it out for birthdays and holidays. My phone did the job. I did end up needing it one day though.
Flash forward to last week's post, we left off with an "Oh, and one more thing...." moment as I left Little John. He had asked me if I had a camera he could use. So when I got home, I looked for it. There it was in the desk drawer, battery still holding a charge. The most recent photos were a couple years old. I had to look for the charger and when I found it, I cleared the old photos from the memory and bagged it to take with me next Friday.
I approached the school about four in the afternoon. I could see Little John sitting at the park. I pulled out my money clip and separated two hundred, and put those two bills in my back pocket. I have always done that. It is a good idea to have loose tens and twenties in a different pocket. I don't carry a wallet so the lose bills go in my back pocket, easy to grab for when approached by someone in need. If I am carrying a thousand dollars, I would not want to pull out all my money in front of a stranger and motivate them to rob me.
I walked on past the school and headed down the hill toward the park. John got to his feet and we shook hands. I suggested we walk to a shadier spot, pointing to the rubber tree. We sat down and talked. I pulled out the two hundred and handed to him. I have learned not to hand him money on the sidewalk with so many cars passing by, people at bus stops, plus in full view of the park. I have never been robbed and I do not want to start now. John held up the money as usual. I wondered if there were others in the park that watched for that gesture as a sign or something. No matter, nobody ever tried to steal from me there.
We talked about plans. Since I was now giving him much more than I pay for rent every month, I wanted to find out if he had been able to get a place to stay. I know he had found a place to clean up, shave and his hair was shorter, not so bushy. He said that he was trying to rent a room but they want a copy of his ID, even if it is just for a week. At that, I broke out the camera and showed him how the zoom works.
John was giddy. He took a selfie and a couple pictures of me. I took a picture of him for his ID application. We talked about jobs that he could do once he has a place to keep his belongings. He has a plan to get a food cart and sell hot dogs or hamburgers from it. I thought that was a good idea but it would depend on where he is able to rent a room. Will they allow him to bring a cart up and down the stairs every day. A coffee cart may work better.
It was hard to keep Little John on the subject of a business plan as he played with his new camera. I was not planning to ask for it back. I showed him how to take the battery out and gave him the charger. He saw me checking my watch as it was getting close to five o'clock. He knew our time had run out. I wished him the best on getting his ID squared away and told him to keep the camera. He tucked the charger into his pocket and said thank you over and over. Then he grabbed me and gave me a teddy bear hug. Unexpected.
I did not get any of those photos. I did not make a habit of taking my phone out at the park, but even if I had a photo of Little John, I would not publish it without his permission.
More coming in part six and onward here on Steemit.
Not @done yet. To be continued...