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This is a long leg and a short leg. It completes segment 21. The short leg enters California!
The states are gradually getting filled in.
Yesterday morning, I went to Kind Souper's. While there, I bought 3/4 pound of cole slaw to eat at the table outside. While eating, a man I estimated to be in his mid 50's walked by. He was about 5'10, normal weight and tanned. As he walked by, he looked like he wanted to join me, so I invited him over.
He was making the rounds on foot looking for work. He'd been to Wendy's and a few other places. He isn't homeless, but is living on the edge in a home. He hasn't been able to find work in eight months. There are some problems people living on the edge face. For instance, everyplace wants people to apply online. That works fine for people who can afford the internet. It works fine for people with their preconceived employment criteria. But it doesn't work so well for someone who has a felony from 1991 and is trying to get work. It doesn't work fine for someone with an employment gap. It doesn't work fine for someone who walks all day putting in applications and can't check their email. It doesn't work well for people who can't afford a cell phone. In other words, it doesn't work for people like him.
As I sat there, I realized he has another problem. He is deeply tanned. So am I. This was the second day in a row someone has sat outside at a table with me. Both were poor people living on the edge. I've come to realize having a deep tan is a mark of homelessness or living on the edge. There a rich people's tan and a poor people's tan. I can't really describe the difference except to say the poor people's tan is from many days in a row in the sun instead of a vacation tan. It's a little redder and the skin is a little rougher.
He didn't ask for money, but I gave him a few dollars. He said I didn't have to do it and I said I wanted to.
This morning, I walked a few miles along city streets. I found this grapevine hanging over a fence and took just one grape to taste it. Hope the owners wouldn't mind.
Further along in my journey, I met a guy riding his bicycle from Topeka to California. He had just the type of trailer I want to use for a push cart. He got it at WalMart. It looks like it would be perfect for me. He said he was carrying lots of gear because he liked to have fun. He has a lawn chair and stops to fish every chance he gets. Now that I think of it, I should have told him about the Arkansas River along the bicycle trail. He was headed in that general direction, so maybe he already knew about it.
We talked for 5 or 10 minutes and then we went on our way.