1846- FOOTBALL JIM
I’ll probably get with the homeless guys today- so let me pick up where I left off the last time I spoke about Mike.
Every so often- I might be friends with one of the brothers for 20 years- and as fate [God] would have it- I might spend more time with one of them at set times.
So the last few weeks this is what’s happened with my friend Mike.
For years I have seen Mike walking the streets where I live.
He sought of reminds me of the story of Cain and Able.
Cain killed his brother Able and Cain was ‘marked’.
The story is found in the bible- it is sort of strange in a way.
The curse of Cain was no man could kill him- but he would be condemned to wander the land and never settle.
When I saw Mike over the years- him being a friend- I would stop and see if he wanted to do lunch- or spend a few hours at the house- get off the streets a little.
But I wondered how Mike got into this situation.
He’s about 8 years younger than me [I’m 49] and he seems like such a nice ‘kid’.
The other day Mike was at my house and he looked up his daughter on Facebook- she’s up in Austin.
Mike told me more of his story this day.
Mike grew up in an abusive home- his dad was [is] an alcoholic.
He has 2 brothers.
One day- when Mike was 16- his dad came in the room and yelled at him for something.
He told Mike ‘you think you’re ready to take me on- go for it’.
Mike gave his dad a mean look- and that’s what his dad told him.
Mike got up- grabbed a bat by his bed- and almost killed his dad.
He told me that after he hit him the first time- his dad held Mike’s face- and you could see he felt like he was going to die.
Mike said he knew one more hit would kill him- and he stopped.
His dad went to the hospital and from that point on Mike lived in the garage.
Over time he moved to the streets.
He did marry a girl from school- had a daughter- and eventually divorced.
Mike told me his mom and dad still live here in Corpus.
I never knew that.
I thought it must be strange seeing your son living on the streets.
The last post I wrote on Mike- he was staying at a local hotel.
He’s back under the bridge where we live.
He’s working every day- and has asked the boss to save his checks until he saves up enough for a better place.
Yeah- Old ‘football’ died.
I just found out the other day- he was a friend for lots of years.
Football wasn’t really homeless- he lived with his bachelor brother for years.
They had a small apt. where they split the bills.
But football [all the guys have nicknames- Carpenter Tim- Painter bill- etc.
Tim [carpenter] told me a funny story one day. His family knew he was on the streets in Corpus.
So one year they told Tim they were going to come visit him.
Tim is a straight up guy- a good friend- and works his tail off.
But he lives in the brush- by the way- he builds the best camps out of all the guys- he is a carpenter after all.
So anyway- he tells them ‘when you get to Corpus- you can find me at this spot- all the guys know me- just ask for Tim’.
He finds out later- after he met with his mom and dad- that they asked ‘where looking for our son Tim, do you know him’.
One of the street guys said ‘oh yeah- Drunk Tim- yeah I know him’.
Obviously this is another Tim- but his folks did not know.
Tim got a real laugh out of that.]
Okay- Jim was part of the street crowd- and he would go to the buffets a lot.
One time I took the guys to the buffet- and sure enough Jim was already there.
It was funny- one of the close friends who was with me- painter Bill- also was friends with Jim [they were both in their 70’s].
So at the buffet [Sirloin Stockade] Bill goes right to the pecan pies.
He’s mad- there already all gone!
The guys like those the best- so if they get a chance- they grab them when they can.
On our way to get a seat- sure enough- there was Jim- with about 6 pecan pies slices on his table.
Yeah- the guys have no pride.
So Jim died- kinda sad.
I did speak with Jim over the years- he kept more to himself.
One time I heard Jim was in the hospital- he had some problem.
So every week or so I would ask at the mission ‘how’s Jim doing’.
They would fill me in.
When Jim got out- he came to talk to me.
I could tell he heard I was asking about him.
The guys want to know some of their friends were worried about them.
So they must have told Jim ‘yeah- John was asking about you’.
Jim- who never talked about the Lord- told me a short testimony.
He was a believer- and that being saved was accepting Jesus.
I told him ‘yes Jim- your right’.
It was funny- even though I knew Jim for years- he never told me this until he realized I was concerned about him.
Yeah- Jim was a good man- he loved keeping up with the football scores [thus the nickname] and I was sad to have heard he died.
The bible says ‘it is appointed unto men once to die- after that the judgment’.
Jim kept his appointment.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to ‘click’ the note App on my Facebook Profile- I have posted lots.