This is Butch. I met him Monday afternoon while taking pictures in downtown Bloomington. He told me he arrived via Greyhound bus from L.A. Sunday afternoon and spent the night at the Salvation Army shelter. He seemed eager to talk to someone, so I listened. He told me he was originally from Bloomington and had worked here as a nuclear physicist several years ago. He knew the area well and even knew someone I knew. He walked with the aid of a walker so I asked him what had happened. He replied he had been hit by a car going 45mph and his right leg had been shattered. I suspected he was homeless, so in my usual direct manner, I asked him how he got here, how the street became his home. He gave me the gist of his story, but never elaborated. Life was hard he said, and he had suffered a lot of loss. I asked about his family; two children, no contact. His eyes welled up and I saw tears start to form. He said he had a niece in town and was on his way to her house, on foot, some mile and a half away. I told him it was a long walk and he should flag a cab and get a ride. No money for that. I offered to pay and with some urging, he accepted. He gave me a hug and said I love you. He let me take his picture, I promised to share his story, and we went our separate ways. I don't know if he ever took that cab ride, but I hope he found a hot meal and a home for the night.
Explore #229 02.06.08
Icon of the Day: TWTME 02.07.08