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Down By The River

November 20, 2018

Well said, Jake!

Jake Owensby

Jerry had chosen his spot strategically. Every car entering the grocery store’s parking lot passed within a couple of feet of him. As drivers turned in, they would spot him and his hand-made sign.

Etched on a bit of cardboard large block letters announced, “NEED HELP.”Several shoppers ahead of me slid down their passenger-side windows and passed over some change or a few bills to him. I pulled into the nearest parking spot and strolled over to where he stood.

“I’m Jake,” I said as I stuck out my hand. He shook my hand, smiled, and said, “I’m Jerry.”

We talked for a while, interrupted from time to time by passersby offering money. Jerry told me that he and his wife live on the banks of the Red River. Gathering discarded bits and pieces from trash piles and old construction sites, they had built a structure they called home.


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