Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Meet George

Meet George.

He grew up in Wilson.

He lives in the woods.

He goes through people's trash and recycling to find cans to take to the recycling center where he gets $.80/lb. This is his only job.

I first "met" George about a month ago when he was riding against the flow of traffic in front of the hospital with two HUGE garbage bags balanced on his bike. I was angry. He almost made me wreck--busy traffic, he was coming at me and I practically had to stop the car because I couldn't swing out to pass him. The car behind me wasn't paying good attention and almost rear ended me with all three children in the car. I was angry at him. I ranted, I raved--If you are on the road you should be able to get a ticket. I still feel this way. All those on the road should obey the laws and bikes need to ride WITH the flow of traffic, pediastrians need to walk AGAINST the flow of traffic.

I saw him again last week riding through our neighborhood searching through the recycling bins. I felt so sad for him. It was cold. I complain because of all my stuff and how I hate this new commute and how tired I am. I don't have to provide for my family this way. It isn't fair.

I saw him today--one of his bags had split on Forest Hills road and there were cans everywhere. He bungee cords them to the handlebars and balances 5-10 bags in front of him. His bike is falling apart. I started crying. I put on my hazard lights, pulled over and asked him to come to my house.

Beth and I turned around, drove home and walked the three blocks to where he was still trying to pick up his cans. We walked and he rode to our house. I opened the garage, moved our BOXES of stuff and got my bike (well really hubby's bike as mine has 2 flat tires) and the kids bike trailer. He just looked at me. I told him I was giving these things to him. I told him to pile the bags in the trailer and not the handlebars and to ride with the traffic.

You know what I HATE. I hate that George looked surprised when I shook his hand and talked to him like a human. I hate that George thought that I was kidding about the bike. I hate that George started crying when I handed him Bethany to hold while I did something (he was just thrilled to hold a baby). I hate that there was nothing else Icould do to help him.

But there is . . .

George is coming to my house next Wednesday. George needs big black garbage bags for his cans. George needs steel cans. Do you have any steel cans in your recycling? Do you have any large black yard bags? Could you crush your cans and bring them to my house this week so George can earn a little bit of extra income?


bethany said...

I love you for doing this. This is the most incredible gesture. Do I have your address? I can't remember?

Covey and Justin said...

FB you the address-please don't mail me cans :)

melissafields said...

covey, that is awesome if we use cans on Sunday I will see about saving them for you.

Jackie Tait said...

I have some big black trash bags I will drop them by in the morning:)

Alysun said...

You continue to amaze me and make me want to be a better person!!