Friday, December 3, 2010

Yes Virginia There is Homeless people in Kingman!

This is an ed I got in the local newspaper right before Christmas. It was actually written on a bet with April, that I could get in the paper----This was printed in two seperate ones so far. I have now been homeless---- and proably could fix this one up even more.   I just think it's the time of  year to re-post this.  Two more editoriels of mine that got published are below.   I have two other ideas roaming around in my head, but havn't gotten them on paper yet. 

Yes Virginia there is homeless people in Kingman!

Before explaining that first line, let me ask you to take a look at your own financial status. How many of us are not more than a paycheck or two away from being in a very sticky situation for yourself and your family? Perhaps you have a nest egg or two or have made some great choices, so that you will not need to find two cardboard refrigerator boxes and call them your new double-wide! I recently lost my job, Merry Christmas to me! I am not asking for any sympathy, it just opened my eyes to how close my family is to being in trouble.

Last time I was in town, a homeless man was hanging out in front of a coffee joint I frequent. He had no shoes on and was huddled over a warm cup of joe. What I noticed first was the way he was dressed. And sadly my thoughts went first to not helping him, because the cash would go to booze. The longer I watched him from inside the coffee joint, the more I realized he had just made a few mistakes to many. And could easily enough be myself if un employed much longer. I stepped outside and gave him what cash I could spare. Not much, but the smile and honest thanks was enough. As I sat back down, I noticed more people donate to him. A bag of food, a nice winter hat, and some more cash. What I noticed more, were the looks on 90 percent of the passers by. They looked at him in total disgust. Some seemed to have really wanted to cross the street so as not to pass to close to him.

The looks started to really disgust me. Any time of year we should give to others, or at least tolerate them, but this close to Christmas it should hit home even harder. Stop worrying about what Christmas gift is perfect for your uncle Joe, and that dude at work that just became a female. This guy on the street does not even have a place to put a Christmas tree. He would love to have even half of the "problems" you are experiencing this holiday season. I am not saying go out and help everyone. Start by focusing on what the season REALLY means to you.

This brings me to my last point. Helping others may not be your gig, it might not even be the smartest thing in the world to do. I have been taken a few times lately by people that seemed much nicer than they really were. They seemed to want a hand out, and actually wanted to bite the hand that feed them. But to steal from a movie our family just watched, changing the world, changing even your world, starts with simple random acts of kindness. ARK

        There has been a lot of talk lately about how safe or un safe Sheridan is. It is true, some very bad events have happened in the last few months. I am a Wyoming native, and things have actually changed very little since I last lived here in 1998. Crime sadly will happen every were. But in my travels, I have never been anywere that felt so down home, and safe. I am a nomad at heart, and have traveled a LOT since moving out of Wyoming.
One small town in Arizona , about the size of Sheridan. We witnessed a slum landlord, the principal from the next school down arrested by the FBI for kiddie pictures, the next door neighbor finding bags of needles in his front yard tree, two home robberies, etc etc. And we only lived in that town for two years. By the time we were moving quickly away from Arizona, people were stealing back-ho’s from construction sights, digging up ATM machines, and driving off with them!
Some of the news of late, might make people want to move away. But I truly believe few towns as pure and crime free exsist anymore. With the bad economy and few jobs, crime might get worse before it gets better. But I deffinatly have no problem walking home in the dark or leaving my house un- guarded while at work here.
With all the safe feelings and low crime rate of Sheridan I also feel people are way to lack and feel just a little to safe. I see actions daily, that in most towns would be an instant crime. People don’t need to walk around watching every person that walks by them. But please watch your back just a little.
Watch your purses—especially while shopping. Tie the straps through the cart handles, take it with you-don’t leave it in the cart even. When it goes back to winter wheather—don’t leave your car running while quickly buying anything unless you have a spare set of keys with yours locked inside the vehicle. Print check ID on your credit/debit cards--- A lot of items can be bought quickly with a stolen card, no pin number or id verication needed. Mail facing up on your car seat or dash while you are eating out or shopping –shows your home address, and that you are not home at the moment.
These are just a few basics that sometimes people over look. People are moving here that did not grow up here. And some have that everything is mine out look. And please recall that Sheridan really is one of the true great, safe little towns left.

Another possiable topic----

I moved back to Sheridan recently not excatly out of want, but needed to come home and re-group and re-start my life in general. I am a Wyoming native, but have to admit, I returned with a negative attutde and a large chip on my shoulder, that is smaller but still pressent. On my days off work I explored the surrounding area. And than one day, Sheridan’s great down town district.
I am overly impressed with all the improvements and how awsome Main Street and beyond looks! All of the sculptures are great. And it has been a long time since I have seen such a thriving downtown. Every town I have lived in the last thirteen years, and their have been upwards to sixty, had a very depressing shopping district. Most business were closed or on the way out of business. Store fronts had not been painted in years. Signs were falling down. Sidewalks in huge need of repair.
As far as I could see, every shop on Main Street was up and running. And I stopped at some great coffee joints along my stroll. I also noticed how friendly all the shop keepers were. They were more than fine with me just browsing. And not one shop owner followed me around the store, to make sure I was not a shoplifter. Something I can not even say in most major retail stores.
The sidewalks all looked great, and 90% of the store fronts looked perfect. Sheridan residents, do not lose this gem of a downtown. Tourists to the area, can only support things so much. Support all your down town business as much as you can. I know things are tight, and big box stores have everything cheaper, always but buy locally whenever you have the means. That is what big retail thrives on. And in every town of my past that had tumbleweed floating around, a huge Mart store was in the town. With no other compitition, they had amazingly high prices, always!
So, visit that locally owned coffee shop. S bucks will still be around. If nothing else, go into a few shops or window shop. Show some support.

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