Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Letter To Sunny--Part Three

The magic called Marie...

When I woke up the next morning, the sky was clear and the sun was just beginning to rise. So I sat up,
tied my shoes, stood up, stretched, pulled the backpack over my shoulders and trudged down the stone steps.

I had no idea where to go.

But when  I got to the corner, I saw a store that is a standard, retail landmark. I crossed the street and
made a beeline for it.

After I heard the angels sing in the restroom, I sighed and wandered back out to the parking lot.

"Somebody please help me" I prayed to myself. And a few minutes later, someone did.

Her name is Marie.

And she is a very sweet, kind and perceptive individual with a good heart. Somehow, through the
swirling clouds of my own desperation, she saw me. But, unlike the cop that I met the night before, Marie
did not walk away.

She stayed.

I think that you'd like her, Sunny.

Marie had just finished up working a third-shift at the store. But she packed me up and took me home
with her. Then, she fixed me breakfast, helped me start some laundry, let me take a bath and then she and I
went to sleep. She laid down on the big sofa and I sacked-out on the smaller couch. And for the next 8 hours,
we shared each other's company...unconscious on our respective cushions.

When we woke up again, the sun was over on the other end of the sky. Marie told me about her family and I finished up my laundry and ate dinner. Marie and I compared notes about computers and significant others (she is a newlywed and her husband's job takes him away from home for days at a time) and life.

The next day, Marie packed up a nice bag full of  food, snacks, plastic utensils, sodas and water. She gave it to me and we headed back out the door of her home, together. Marie and I tried organizations, agencies and churches in the area...but no one wanted to help me.

That ticked Marie right off.

Finally, she drove me as far as she could and then she dropped me off. Little did she or I know just how bad things were going to get after that.

(--To Be Continued--)

Letter To Sunny--Part Two

Hello again, Sunny. This is the second part of my letter to you (and everyone else).

No, I never did get the kind assistance that I should have at the end of that day in Milford, Pennsylvania. Instead, I got this:


If not for the intervention of a concerned guy in a Jeep, I would have ended up in a very tough position. As it situation didn't get all that much better.

(Because some people have not seen my updates on Facebook, I am including some of the video updates here.)

The guy in the Jeep dropped me off at a State Park, just after sunset. Then he turned around (he had to go back to another road) and drove away. I walked up the steps of the split-log cabin office and opened the door. I was greeted by two young women, there.

They contacted the rangers who drove me out to a campsite that I considered to be a little too far out!!

Words From The Really Dark Woods

The next day, the whole area revealed itself in a totally different way.

Words From A Really Fair Forest

Anyway, you get the point.

So, I took a shower in the rustic park and then I tromped out to the highway. I eventually got a ride and made it to the Salvation Army shelter in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. And that is where, my dear Sunny, I ran into a problem that shouldn't exist.

I was told by the shelter staff that I could hang-out there for the evening but when the shelter closed down for the night, I would have to leave.


Because I am not a Pennsylvania resident. I don't own a Pennsylvania driver license or valid ID card. My ID proudly displays my smiling face...under the banner of the Great State of Oregon.

And for that reason...and that reason alone...I was sent out into a raging thunderstorm at ten o'clock that

I thought about my friends--> Phil, Dana and Andy back in Illinois...and I felt like I was miles and miles away from real humanity.

I walked up the sidewalk and tried to dodge the raindrops and the lightening. Then I saw a big Elks building.
It has a huge porch, which is covered by an overhang and supported by enormous white pillars. I ducked into that "shelter from the storm" and called the cops. I was out of answers and sitting in a private space,
therefor I had no choice but to contact the local po-po.

The Benevolent Protective Order For Roadies

Eventually a cop showed up. He turned out to be a man who was clearly caught between the rules of his job and doing the right thing. We talked for a few minutes and then he left me there, with his blessing, for the rest
of the night.

It is hard to imagine how he just turned around and walked away. But when he did, his shoulders hunched and he didn't appear to be happy with his community, his job or himself.

I sat as far back from the open sky as I could and listened to the thunder and watched the lightening lash out...over and over again. And as I sat there, on my backpack, I looked at the tall houses around me.

There was nothing more that I could do...and that was my last thought before I stretched out on the cold,
red bricks and finally fell asleep.

(-To Be Continued-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Letter To Sunny

                                   -ALL PHOTOS/EDITS BY RUTH RADER-

To My Beautiful Friend, Sunny...

I thought that I would get this post finished and published today. Unfortunately, that isn't going to happen.

I have too many photos that have to be edited and too much to say...and I have too little time to get it all done, today. But I will keep working on it...little by little and bit by bit.

I am going to be up against some tough odds in the next few hours. I am going to have to get picked up and driven to another community that is farther south tonight. Or get some help so that I am not stuck outside in the park again.

I spent the night before last in a rest area and last night I sat on a wooden bench in a small park. I have not bathed or really slept in three days.

I am in a village where people have quite a bit of money. That is why I cannot get any help. As you know, Sunny...those that have a fortune usually don't want to share any of it. They just want to guard it.

My second attempt to begin hitchhiking across New York State failed this past Sunday. Nobody stopped. When the sun began to set, the cops loaded me into one of their rigs and drove me back to Pennsylvania.

Now I need to wash my clothes...and take a bath...and eat a decent meal...and sleep in a bed. But I won't be able to do it anywhere around here. I am going to have to hitchhike approximately twenty-five miles farther south and see if the folks in that city will help me cover my basic human needs.

They could afford to help me do what I need to get done, here. But they just don't want to.

There are thunderstorms looming on the horizon now and heavy rain slated for tomorrow. On top of that, this village is going to undergo a power outage tonight which is related to some sort of maintenance that they do at the beginning of every Summer.

But I was way too tired to attempt to hitchhike out of here this morning. Instead, I took a nap while I waited for the library to open and then waited for all of caffeine that is in my system totally kick in. I am more awake now and I am praying that someone will stop and offer me some real assistance.

I doubt that anyone will walk up the road wearing a funny hat and a crooked you did. No, you're one in a million, Sunny and your son, Elijah, is very, very blessed to have you for his mother.

I thought about that when I was sitting on the bench last night. So many people ignored me because they just didn't care. But when I looked around at all of the fancy houses...hunched together in the stillness...I also realized that your chickens and roosters will never be welcome on any front porch in this village. No, Sunny, they never will.

This town is not yours.

(To Be Continued)