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7.27.2008

Bum

Imagine if you had no friends, no family, no job, no home, no cell phone, no tv, no shower, no car, no anything. What if the only thing you had was yourself and the pity of a few generous people? That is basically the life of a hobo. I remember as a kid visiting Seattle with my grandparents I made my very first contact with such a person.
Seattle is a huge city by the Pacific Ocean. It was such a cool new thing for me as a kid. I remember driving past strange people and buildings. Tons of things I had never seen before. I was safe from all this new stuff as long as I stayed in the car, but once we found a spot to park I had to face the strange new world. One of the things i first noticed while walking the streets was a huge "campsite" off the side of the road under the freeway. I thought this was such a strange thing. I'd been to campsites before, but I would have never expected to see one in a huge city like this. My parents had to explain to me that homeless people lived in the tents and it wasn't for camping. Homeless people? This was the closest I'd ever been to a homeless person. I was always scared at the thought of them, but apparently this city was full of them. As we made our way further down the street I saw the familiar sight of the "golden arches" and wanted some Mcdonalds food. We walked towards the building, but as we got closer I could tell we weren't going to go in. We followed my grandparents to a bench right next to the Mcdonalds building where a weird man was sitting with his dog. I knew after one look that this man was a hobo and I was scared. He was your typical bum; ragged coat, a tin can for change, and a huge beard. I thought my grandparents were crazy when they started talking to him.
Apparently they had talked to this man before and had just started a conversation with him. I had no idea why they were talking to this scary and different man. After a few minutes of chatting we went into the Mcdonalds. FINALLY I would get my happy meal, but my parents refused to buy anything for our family and we had to wait for my grandparents to order their food. They got their one fish fillet and we went back to the homeless man on the bench. They gave him the sandwich which he then split and gave half to his dog. He said thank you to my grandparents and we walked off. Almost immediately I started asking my parents why that just happened. They told me everything. Every week my grandparents would talk to this man (to be friendly), then they would go buy a fish fillet for he and his dog (they didn't give him money to do it himself because he would have probably spent his $1.49 on something else.). I thought they were total suckers at the time for spending time and money on this helpless man, but now I realize that they did what they did out of love. This was way cool. I dont know if they still help this guy out or where he is now, but taught me a good lesson (I guess...). I was afraid of people who were different, and seeing this homeless person who had nothing but a dog and a coat frightened me. We are lucky to not have to bum money from people on the streets. We all have jobs and families and homes. Most of us don't frighten children or depend on old charitable people for food either. Our lives are good.
This was my first experience with a homeless man. haha. This was such a random story and topic, but I needed something to blog about. Has anybody ever talked to a homeless person?

In other news: Im excited to have Natalie back :) It sounds like she had a marvelous time. Britta Marie is now 17! She rocks. Tish gets back soon. School starts on the 25th for me. I have so much to do before that!
That's all I have for now.

Michaelface

6 comments:

Tish Tish said...

woo. that was an excellent blog :) i even occured in it :) sweet. and yeah. i have experiences like that mostly when i go to temple square. except, i just feel bad for them. my dad tells me i'm a sucker.. but i can't help it. i wish i could help them. thanks :) that twas a loverly blog :)

happy life. Tish

berto said...

I'm really grateful for the life that I have, that's for sure. We weren't exactly poor in Mexico, but we barely made enough to keep it together. That's why we moved here. And yeah, I've talked to a lot of homeless people. They're usually pretty nice. ha.

Love,
Berto

natalie said...

yay. natalie thinks of ideas, and michael makes them miraculous.
way to love the homeless...
they are such interesting people and such a strange stereo-type to be trapped in... can you ever get out??

Morgan said...

i used to get my arms full of cans of v8 juice from my mom's office in salt lake and hand them out to the homeless downtown

Britta Marie said...

I once was coming out of a Jazz game. I was about to cross the street to go to our car and I saw this kid sitting on the corner playing guitar. He was so good. I don't know if he was homeless, but he was obviously trying to get some money. I was half-way across the street, but I ran back and gave him like $10. He was very talented and I'm glad I went back to help out.

HeeHee Kim said...

Wow. I'm a poo. I don't remember that at all...