Monday, September 03, 2012


Yesterday morning I took one of my early drives.

I kinda ride the main roads in our area- Cross-town- 37- these are the overpasses that let you drive the whole region without having to stop at a ton of red lights.

On the way back- around 6-7 am- I got off by the area where I bought the Jesus carving last week [remember the pic?]

I have been wanting to kind of start an outreach to the guys in that area for a while [remember the dollar I offered to the Mexican brother- who thought I had a gun?]

Yeah- that’s how it works- you just walk up to the guys- say hi- and over time you make new friends.

Isn’t that risky John?

To be honest- yes.

But I determined a long time ago that we [I] would take the risk.

Have there been times where you thought- for real- that this might be the big one?

Yes- a couple of times.

A friend- freaking out over some stuff- walking around with his loaded gun- I did think he might have killed us both that day- for real.

Another friend- who actually attempted to murder a couple of cops- one day I was at his house.

He knew that everyone knew him to be crazy- and that everyone feared him.

One day at the Fire House- the guys were talking about one of the local gang type guys.

His name was Campos.

They come from a big drug family in Kingsville.

Anyway- they had some ambulance run the night before- a shooting or something- and this Campos guy was involved.

The guys who knew Campos- some of the younger Mexican firefighters who grew up in the area knew all the war stories about him- he was the local ‘infamous hero’ to them.

They were talking about all the stuff Campos has done- shootings and stuff.

I got tired of hearing it- I told them ‘heck- my buddy beat the crap out of him one night’.

They shut up.

Yeah- this is my friend with the reputation of being nuts.

So anyway- as I was at his house- he just got out of prison.

He is talking to me- and he pulls out a very large hunting knife.

I could see it’s a test- he wants to see my face.

I sat there- knew it was a test- and gave him the look like- ‘I have been here before my friend’.

I guess I passed the test.

Both of these friends [the gun guy and knife] are long dead.

My ‘knife’ friend- well I mentioned him the other day and didn’t want to say too much- his brother and nephew are friends on my Face Book page.

But I’m sure they know- one night at the firehouse we had a call that some guy was attempting to kill a cop [again? I don’t know the whole story- but that’s how we heard it].

Something of that nature.

He possibly swallowed a bag of coke and went into a coma.

It was my friend.

I visited with him and his family at the hospital for about a week- they finally took him off life support.

He’s the one that’s buried at the ranch picture I posted the other day- in Bishop- Texas.

Okay- enough of this.

The reason I bring this up is I always felt I would take the risk- that I was supposed to.

So- Sunday morning when I got off on Morgan street- I really wasn’t intending on meeting any new ‘friends’.

We were going to go to church and all- and I try not to do outreach on Sunday.

But to my surprise there were a couple of street guys sleeping right on the bus benches.

In the ‘olden days’ you couldn’t do that.

This road [Morgan and Cross-town] is a high crime spot.

A kid- Jacob- committed a triple murder right at the intersection not too long ago.

But as I saw the guys on the benches- I thought ‘damn- let me stop and get them breakfast’.

There’s a McDonalds right there.

I got a laugh- when I ordered the breakfasts- the girl asks ‘is this a senior discount’.

Hell- I just turned 50- but I told her ‘if you want it to be’.

Yeah- the Lord blessed me.

So I got the meals- and headed out to the street.

It’s funny- all the people driving by- you know- one of those spots where you make sure the doors are locked.

I took a few pics- hope to post this morn.

But I walked across the street and simply told the kid on the bench- ‘hey bro- you want breakfast’.

I woke him up- he said ‘yeah man- thanks’.

I talked to Arnold for a while- nice Hispanic kid.

I gave him a few bucks- and he ran across the street to get some coffee- on the way back I told him I was gonna go offer the other meal to the guy on the other bench.

Arnold grabbed a car rag out of his pocket- he was going to the car lot right off the main street- the guy pays him 10 bucks to simply wipe the dew off the cars in the morning.

I walked over to the other guy- sleeping too.

‘Hey man- you want a breakfast’.

‘Oh yes- thank you so much’.

Terri has been homeless for a while.

He’s around 57- used to print the Ad Sack- our local paper where you list the stuff you want to sell [you know- the caveman Craigslist]

I sat with Terri for a couple of hours.

He enjoyed the meal- told me how breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

We walked across the street- I offered to buy Terri some smokes- not beer.

We walked in the store [Stripes] and the girl kicked him out fast.

I guess they know him.

I told Terri ‘I’ll get the smokes- what do you want’?

He wanted Kite- they are the roll your own type- lots of the guys buy these when they are broke.

‘C-mon Terri- my treat- get what you want’.

No- he said the Kite were fine.

Sure enough- they don’t carry Kite- he got the classic- Marlboro Red.

I sat there- right on the street- having a good time talking to Terri.

It was obvious Terri was an alcoholic- I did tell him I’m trying to get clean myself.

I told Terri that I passed this road many times over the years.

When I was a firefighter in Kingsville we used to take the badly inured to the hospital that’s right across the street.

It used to be called Memorial- it was the highest rated Trauma hospital in the region- it was also the free public hospital for those who had no coverage.

So lots of the addicts and stuff use it.

I noticed Terri had a medical band on his wrist- and he was wearing the hospital type pants.

Yeah- he was probably what we call an MHMR patient.

Mental health pt.

Terri seemed like a nice guy- down on his luck- living on a bus bench- right across from Arnold- living on the other one.

Yeah- I finally made 2 new friends- I will go back at least once a week- maybe take the guys to the buffet.

This is how it’s done- I have been doing this for years- ever since the day my buddy pulled out the knife- or the other one with the gun.

Sure- you do take risks- but most of the guys are like Teri and Arnold- harmless people down on their luck.

It’s not a race thing- Black- White- Mexican- they all have had their hard times.

I will try and chronicle their stories as time moves on- I want you to see these people.

Even though Terri was obviously not all there- he still had his senses.

As I sat with him- a pack of dogs walks right by us- you know- those little dog gangs.

A few cute pups were in ‘this gang’.

I asked Terri ‘are these regular’s’

He said no- he has never seen them before.

I told him ‘I guess they just heard some guys giving out free food’.

Terri laughed.

Yeah- I made some new friends- living on bus benches.

I told them ‘hey- can I take your pics for the site’?

They loved it.

Enjoy the pics [if they post?]

NOTE- As I sat with the guys on this Sunday morning- I noticed not all of the cars driving by ignored us- some stopped and gave a few dollars- or a taco- to the guys.

They were wearing rosary beads and stuff- the people who also helped.

I felt like they were good Catholic people on their way to Mass- living out the teachings of their church- helping the poor.

May God bless them.

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 scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.

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