While shooting the photos in the previous post “Clothes Lines,” I had a significant encounter with an elderly homeless man who, rather than ask for change, said, “May you take my picture? Then, I will tell you my story, and maybe you will write it down.” Hesitant at first, I took his picture, and was immediately put at ease by his smile. He said, “I am 72 years old and i have a 17 year old cat. 20 years ago I got prostate cancer and now I have been homeless for 14 days. If it would not be too much trouble for you, it would mean the world to me if you could mail me those pictures.” I said of course, and without him asking, gave him the spare bills in my wallet. He smiled and said, “I will use this to buy good cat food.” He gave me his address to mail the photographs to, and and thanked me many times, also adding, “It’s smiles and kindness from people like you that make my day great.” As I said good bye and walked away, he sat there mumbling, “I love kind people. I love kind people.”
As I write this, I realize that I did not get his name, but that adds the perfect dimension of mystery to the story. It was a memorable day.
I love kind people.