Sunday, July 29, 2007


My favorite homeless guy got on my bus the other day. It was good to see him. I hadn't seen him in about a year and was hoping he was alright. His name is David. He always wants you to sign something of his...his coat, his big stick he carries around or whatever he is carrying at the time. This time he actually had a notebook. He had so many names in it I told him he'd never find mine. He gave me an orange marker to sign with, since most of the other names were in black. I wrote my first name and my drivers number and a little note saying it was good to see him again. He gave me a big smile and thanked me. He said he was trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records with all the names he's collected. Other drivers have told me he actually wants you to tip him to sign his stuff. I pretend I never heard that and he's never asked me for money. It's not a good idea to get into the habit of giving out money. Some people tend to expect it then and it also sets you up to get robbed if they think you always carry extra cash.

David usually is in south Minneapolis. One time he showed me his place as we drove down Franklin avenue on the 2 route. It was a big blue tarp held in place by boards and a shopping cart. He seemed quite proud of his place. Unfortunately, the city came along and made him dismantle it a while back.

I used to let David ride in the winter when it was really cold. Our deal was that he could ride as long as he didn't ask other passengers for money while he was on the bus and I'd let him ride as long as he wanted. He never seems to be drunk or high, so I didn't have a problem with that. He does seem to have some mental health issues, but he doesn't normally act out. My head tells me I should be wary of him, but my heart just has a soft spot for the poor guy. I can't imagine being homeless in Minnesota. It gets so cold. I'm just glad to see he's survived the winter once again and is in good spirits.

It's so easy to look the other way when you see someone who is homeless. I challenge you to actually meet and speak with a homeless person. They all have a story and it is usually quite interesting. Most of the homeless that I have met are down on their luck due to the economy or medical issues. Many others have mental issues and are left out on their own. There are also the drug addicts and be a little careful who you chose to talk with. I would also suggest that instead of giving them money, buy them a burger or something to eat and/or drink. That is usually what they really need and they appreciate it just as much. If their story really touches your heart, give your money to charities that help them. That way you know your money doesn't end up at the liquor store or in the dope mans' hands and you will REALLY be helping someone in need.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey! i'm going to cali this weekend and won't be back until is the website i was talking about where i made extra summer cash. Later! the website is here

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I drive the 16 and have two live aboards, at times they might be pests but....I,ve gotton attached to them ,they ride all day sometimes as long as they don,t bother any one, They try to stay off the buses at rush hours, because we ask them to, and it,s too croude4d to watch all their stuff, they have been robbed on buses before and sexually assalted, it it so sad

1:34 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Looks like I'm going to have to screen my comments. I don't know what that "knicksgrl" is trying to do but I would not suggest clicking on her site. It is obviously spam mail...or worse. What does her going to Cali have to do with anything? I've never seen her here before. I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree, but I'll see if I can get rid of that message.

Anonymous - I bet you know the little old lady I gave the strawberries to. She has white hair and speaks with an accent. She usually doesn't talk much unless you speak to her first. Nice lady. Thanks for your comment. It's fun to hear from other drivers! :)

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have any idea where David has been? I also saw him recently, but it had been quite a while. I had been wondering about him. I like him, too.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

David told me he's been hanging out in a different area. I think he said it was near the U of M. I know I haven't seen him on the south side in quite a while. The good news is, he's alive and well.

Thanks for your concern. If I see him, I'll be sure to tell him that I'm not the only person that's been worried about him ... he'll like that.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Joel said...

I just had to go back and post on this one. In case you're still wondering, I saw David downtown last week (09/08). He's been getting around lately - I've seen him in Uptown and Northeast within the last couple of months; he's got to be close to that record.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Joel - I've seen David lately downtown and around Franklin again. Seems he's back to his ol' stompin' grounds. I told him he was known globally because of us talking about him on this blog. He just thinks that's great. Hope he is OK for the winter...I don't know how he does it!

3:45 PM  

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