My time in Wagoner, OK has come to a close. I packed my life back into my four suitcases and me and Bandit headed down the road in search of a better tomorrow early in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Though things didn’t work out as well as I had hoped for in Oklahoma, I’m grateful for the opportunity and thankful for the companionship my host family provided me during my time there.
Adventures in Fund Raising
Friday, I finished up with my “Great Aluminum Can Adventure” by taking the cans I’d collected during my daily walks with Bandit to the local recycling center. It was a lot of fun and a bit of an adventure wandering the streets around Wagoner, snatching cans and taking photographs as we toured the area. I’d estimate we traversed a good twenty miles in the eight to ten hours we spent wandering around aimlessly. The final aluminum tally was twenty pounds collected and the payout was eight bucks (at forty cents a pound), leading to an average of a bit less than a dollar an hour payout. I wouldn’t recommend it as a career move, but I do enjoy walking with Bandit in the evenings for fun and health anyway. Getting paid for doing it is a bonus and better than paying out for a gym membership!
If you are feeling charitable you can help support me in my struggle to rebuild my life from scratch by tossing a nickel into my emergency relocation fund.
While I am working on soliciting donations to continue on my path down the road of life I am not sitting idly by twiddling my thumbs and toes just because there doesn’t seem to be an employer in my local vicinity who is interested in employing me at slave wages and exploiting my superlative set of skills. I don’t get too bummed out by that seemingly incomprehensible set of circumstances given the overall state of educational and economic depravity I’m surrounded by. It’s just further evidence of the bad decision making skills of the people in the area. LOL.
In the Meantime
In the meantime I’m spending my time doing what any able bodied homeless vet (or bag lady) would do given the ‘opportunities’ that present themselves in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I’m out collecting aluminum cans. I have no idea what they are worth as I have yet to actually sell any of them but they must have some intrinsic value greater than zero or our cities wouldn’t be overwhelmed with images of homeless folks pushing shopping carts stacked to the brim with them.
I’d mow lawns if I had a lawn mower. I’d do some other odd job if I hadn’t lost all my tools in my moves back and forth beyond the oceanic horizon. Lacking a vehicle does nothing to improve my situation one bit as I’m sure there are some jobs right outside my limited field of travel that I might be able to bag but given my experience to date I wouldn’t call that a ‘slam dunk’ either.
I’d put on a pair of roller skates and deliver your slush and corn dog order to your car at the local Sonic for that matter, but I guess the sight of a skinny ass old guy wheeling around in their parking lot isn’t as desirable in terms of public perception as I had otherwise hoped it would be when I wandered into the place based on their “Walk In applications welcome on Tuesdays” flashing sign, only to find that “walking in” for the application required I first do their online application (WTF?) which of course I did before returning for my walk-in application the following Tuesday! I’m nothing if not persistent and I’m trying to put to rest the tired stereotype that folks who want to work can easily find jobs because that’s as old a trope as “both parties in this country are the same, so why bother voting at all”. Vote for Bernie Sanders, 2016. Before it’s too late.
I did a best and worst of Iowa series while visiting my sister up north, so I figured I’d attempt to recapture that again in my final blog post from deep down in Dixie. I’ll be heading out of town next week to continue on my “Pike’s Peak or Bust” Mystery Tour. I’ll refrain from a “worst of” entry for Mississippi since there’s entirely too much of that on display in mainstream media already.
Special Thanks to Mike Parker
Bandit and I have been staying with a long-time and dear friend in the suburbs. We’ve been extremely well cared for by my good buddy Mike Parker. Mike is a successful restauranteur here in Jackson. Mike and his late partner Larry were highlighted in a local magazine article in 2012 as a Jackson area “Power Couple” and as the article above notes, their pizza business has received multiple awards since it’s opening in 2006. Sadly, Larry passed away of cancer a couple years before my wife Rita followed him to the great beyond. Mike has since found a new and loving partner to help him pick up the pieces of his life. I’m not ready for that kind of commitment again at this point in my life since I’m still mourning the more recent passing of my beloved mate (and best friend). Even though Mike has remarried, I know there’s still a void in his soul from the passing of Larry that will never be filled. It’s good to be staying in a house with such love and understanding of what I’ve been through in the last six months. I cannot say enough good things about the quality of support my friends here in the South have provided for both myself and my furry travel companion. Such blessings are hard to come by.
Fond Memories of Mississippi
Below is a slideshow of some of the highlights my hairy beast and I enjoyed here in Dixie during the last several months. Even as we make our way forward and on to new and exciting adventures, I will always cling to the pleasant memories of my stay here in Mississippi. There are others in my sphere who have also been essential in keeping our spirits high and our bellies full. I shall respect the anonymity I know they desire but I shall not fail to make note of them here in passing.