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Saturday, September 30, 2006

TALKING TO STRANGERS

How many times did your mother say, "DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS!" Mine said it many times and when I am tempted, even now, I hear her stern voice remind me.

How many times have you seen a sight like the one below? A weary worn and forlorn looking soul. Alone in the world?

 

Today I took a drive around my little town of Fairhaven and ended up at Marine Park on the Bay.
As I drove in I noticed a gentleman sitting at a park bench, his back to me, looking out at the sea. There was a sleeping bag rolled up beside him and a back pack on the table along with a grocery bag and a few cans.
It was a cloudy day so the park was fairly quiet except for the ever hungry seagulls.

I grabbed my purse and camera and walked around taking pictures of the bay, trees, grasses, etc.
I was eventually on the beach and turned to take a picture of a sea-worn log when I got a look at this man. Although he was quite a distance from me, I could see the lines in his face and the glint of silver in his long unruly, hair. Immediately my shutterbug instincts kicked in and I did NOT hear mother say 'don't talk to strangers.' OH MY GOSH DID I EVER WANT TO GET A PICTURE OF HIM!

I know I could have, should have asked but I was afraid he would refuse. So I nonchalantly snapped pictures of everything in his direction, carefully adjusting my camera and zoomed in on him.
The picture does not do him justice.

His hair and long beard were white, he had lost his left hand and wore a metal appliance.
It seemed he was looking directly at me.
Slowly I worked my way to his table and started a conversation. It was about this time that I 'DID' hear my mother's warning, but It was too late.

This is what I learned about this gentleman who had the most beautifully colored bluegreen eyes I have ever seen,
He was born in Massachusetts, and left home at around 12. Worked at many jobs and loved President Kennedy whose advise he took and joined the army, to do something for our country.
Since then he has traveled mostly by foot across the US and around it's perimeters at least twice, he said.

I stood a good distance away while this lonely fellow told me of his life, but could smell alcohol. He was drinking beer from a can and had more in the bag on the table.
He said he didn't have any use for TV evangelists but quoted Billy Graham's "If America don't straighten up soon she will have to appologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."

I believe he would have talked all night If I had stayed to listen. He was very lonely. When I was about to leave he asked for a handout.
I told him I would pray for him and asked his name.
"Shamrock, just call me Shamrock, and thanks for the visit ma'am."

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