Man of the Streets

dadsshoes

PHOTO PROMPT submitted by Courtney Wright. © Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.

Man of the Streets…

Jerome. That’s the name we knew. A good man. Always polite when he chose to speak, which wasn’t often. This was his place for as long as I could remember. He guarded this small corner of the park. The kids all knew him. Many brought him sandwiches sneaked out of their Mom’s kitchen. He was a ‘shadow’ hero. A veteran of a long ago war who came home in body, but not soul. The park was his jungle to guard and defend. Everyone in town loved him…

I wonder if he knew how much?

Wc: 98 – title included!

 

Authors Note: It is May, and with May comes Memorial Day in the USA. As is my want this month, I sway towards tributes to soldiers, first responders, and the like. When I saw this picture I thought of the homeless man who helped me out of the street last May when I was hit by a car that took off after. He was the ONLY one to help. I don’t know his name, but I do know that he was a Veteran of Vietnam. This past winter, in sub-zero temps, he was found frozen to death on a park bench. So often, I feel that we overlook the homeless and even disparage their character based upon their appearance and living conditions. But, in my experiences over the years with both homeless peoples and homelessness, I can tell you that I’d rather spend a life with them than with most folks. Oddly enough, I’ve missed this gentleman and his gentle smile. So, this story is for him…

 

This work of fiction is written for  Friday Fictioneer ‘s 100 word writing challenge hosted weekly by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-fields.  Come on out and join us at: Friday Fictioneer ‘s if you’re up to a good challenge, or even a really great read. These little stories are well worth your time! A Huge thank you goes to Courtney Wright for sharing this week’s photo prompt with us.We’d love to see you around the table.

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37 thoughts on “Man of the Streets

    1. Thanks, Rochelle. Hard to follow yours this week. Just yesterday, I was listening to someone trashing a homeless woman who stopped into McD’s for a sandwich. She had a cell phone that she charged while eating… and the people I overheard were angry that she had a phone…asking why she would need a phone if she was homeless because she wouldn’t have anyone to call. Really rankled me to hear such stupidity.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Your story and the note afterward teared me up, Jelli. If only we realized the power of a little bit of love and compassion instead of a whole lot of judgement and criticism. well done, dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an awesome tribute and sad ending for the veteran. I am glad he was there to help you out. I’m so sorry he was forgotten like so many other homeless have been. They are human beings. It is a sad state of affairs our country is in….. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My brother had eggs thrown at him when he came home. I remember that. It was sooo very scary. I was only a little one then. Too young to understand why I was getting hit with eggs. Maybe it’s good I was too young to understand.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I still don’t understand it, Jelli. Most of those guys were drafted, and most who were drafted accepted it and went and did their best. Tumultuous political times here in the States—but then, I guess it’s always been that way.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Indeed. My brother was a draftie… didn’t want to fight, hated guns…so they put him in medi-vac. He was on choppers going in to pull the wounded out. All his living days, he refused to speak of it, refused to even acknowledge that he was ever in the service at all. But, I have his coffin flag (he died a few years ago), his discharge papers, and I have the memory of his coming home.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautifully done, Jelli. Your note was a punch in the gut. I feel for those vets who end up in these horrid situations. Disgusting, when you think of the lack of help they get.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In all honesty, some have such a mistrust of the “system” that they won’t seek help. Some have learned from experience that the “system” is more about punishing and humiliating than it is for helping so they help themselves as best they can. What we CAN all DO is love them in whatever way they will accept.

      Like

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