I have a story!
I was pulling up at my house tonight and there was an old man limping, pushing a walker up the icy hill near my street. It's 0 degrees outside. So I parked and asked if he needed help.
He was trying to get to the homeless shelter.
He was sober and harmless so I offered to give him a ride. After about a 10 minutes trying to figure out how to fit his walker into my car, we were off.
He called himself Lawrence "the hobo" Duarte.
Turns out, he was a jazz musician. Played trumpet. Went to school with Less McCann and Charlie Haden.
Said, Mark Diamond is one of the best bassists anywhere." and "Paul Romaine is a great drummer. He works all the time."
Said, "Joe Bonner! Now that's a crazy person."
Said, "I'm disabled. I need surgery on my hip." (He can barely walk). "But the shelter is full and so I have to go walk and find another place to say. There needs to be a shelter for disabled people."
He was clearly frustrated with the situation, but had a sense of humor about it.
Turned out he was miles away from where he needed to be.
I asked, "What would you have done if someone hadn't given you a ride?"
He said, "We'll, I guess I would have just used my wings to fly to Hawaii!"
We laughed. He said, "A silly question gets a silly answer."
He asked to hear my music. I showed him. He said he liked it.
We finally found the church he would be staying at.
(In order to help with overflow in the cold months - there are around 100 homeless people in Boulder - churches in the area are donating a night a week to the homeless community).
So, I help him out of the car and to his walker just as a volunteer at the church shows up.
The volunteer introduces himself by saying,
"Oh, I see you found Lawrence. He always finds someone to give him a ride to the shelter. Looks like tonight he found you. Thanks for bringing him here."
Lawrence thanked me. I said goodnight to both of them.
I've never felt so grateful for my Toyota Corolla and my tiny, messy room.
Also, I'm a little afraid, that maybe jazz makes you homeless.
But only a little afraid.
I will help you. If you have an idea, I will help you. Really. If you are trying to do something good and you need help, I will help you.
Find something you believe and then do work. Then you find someone else who believes in it, too.
Then you work together. Then you find more like-minded people. Then the work goes more quickly.
Soon, there is change.
We can do great things if we do them together.