38.The Good Samaritan Saves Wanderingvet

Now after the Pilot Fuel Stop, Birmingham Police, and Ralph Miller of Wackenhut Security,( I would go on by the truck stop there and say hello to him and Mr. Panchsoo the Manager there but I am still probably never allowed on the property there) were done ruining a nice Sunday afternoon, and I was completely wasted from hiking through the most gorgeous rail yards, unpainted slum lord homes (section 8 dwellings I suppose since no one in their right mind would WANT to live in them), weed choked lots, unsidewalked, garbage strewn, unmown, curbsides, fenced in underpasses, and 5 miles to Interstate 65 north from the Pilot fuel stop with my overstuffed pack, I was a steaming dead man walking. I was looking and saw another truck stop and walked up, and looked joyously, but my hopes were immediately dashed. I heard sitar music and the wafting smell of curry from the door way and there were plastic bags over the diesel pump handles. There was a trucker coming outside with a case of beer! This is also a dry county in Alabama on Sunday as well. There was not to be a ride to be had here either. The truckers were truly resting here. I bought a water, and sat down weighing my options. I pulled my journal and wrote down the names and what had occurred so far to forever emblazon this day in the days of homeless infamy. Having accomplished this menial task and regaining my composure and steadying myself, I put on my pack and headed east toward the overpass. On arrival, I pulled out my Vet N-Ville sign and stood my Post with hope. I watched a lot of police cars go past east and west in front of me. I was standing there wondering why the city wasted money putting chain link fencing around 75% of the underpass and not block the whole thing. As it was getting late and my hopes were fading, I was looking at places where I was going to sleep for the night. I have a fear of large cities. I prefer to stay in the smaller cities and if I have to go to a VA center or into a large city I like to arrive early so I can leave town before 4PM (yes I am the party animal of the homeless). I am in the sack at dark. I was in despair, it was 5:40PM, and the sun was getting low. I was still in Birmingham. There was a low gully area but it looked dangerous and if it rained it would be bad, and the section of town was not safe, but there is not anywhere safe in the dark of a large city when you are homeless and alone. I was really down and really more worried than I have ever been in my entire life and that says it all.

A white pick up truck stopped in front of me, and asked me something. I was so worn down he could have been speaking mandarin because I could not understand at all because I was so out of it. Finally I understood him asking me if I was going north. I was ready to cry and would have taken a ride even if it was just to the next exit I wanted out of there so badly. I introduced my self and he told me he could take me as far as Columbia, Tennessee. I was so relieved. It was like Christmas Day for me. We talked about many things. This gentleman is a good soul. Not very well off at all. He had stopped for gas and bought me a bottle of water and a bag of peanuts, and just had a nice talk about things that strangers talk about like god, and other thoughts. This gentleman has started a tile business in Florida: Jay T. Aldis Discount Ceramic Tile in Panama City Beach, FL (850) 625-7686 This man though not a veteran, reached out to a veteran when everyone else turned their backs.

Regarding the City of Birmingham: I am sure there are many good citizens there. I am not exactly sure though how you managed to concentrate the worst in the same spot in one location at the same time including a lazy careless police officer that cares not for the public, a hateful security guard and a manager of a fuel center that has no clue about what is his property and that which is the publics.

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