Years ago, I totally went off on this blog about a man who was walking around Downtown telling people he was collecting donations for St. Jude. He was not. He was scamming people and using the money to buy drugs. He was also one of Downtown’s most aggressive panhandlers, and was known to run the fake parking attendant scam, and really, every scam in the book. I hated him. I hated what he did to my neighborhood’s image. I personally had him arrested and thrown in jail twice out of the maybe 50 or 75 times total that he got locked up.
Today on my lunch break, I went to a grocery store near where I work in DeSoto County. As I approached the entrance, a man said, “Hey, man! I know you! It’s good to see you!” and reached out to shake my hand. It was him. He was sober. He told me that he’s thrown away his life time and time again on drugs. About three months ago, someone helped him find a program, a house he lives in near the grocery store with four other men who have led lives similar to his own. He has a full-time job now. He told me, “I could get an overnight pass to come back to Memphis, but I don’t want it because I don’t want to lose my life to drugs again. I know I have to be careful.” Over and over again, he said “God is good” and shook my hand and told me how good it was to see me. He was being genuine. It was not a scam. I’m not religious myself, but he found what works for him, so God IS good.
It was an uplifting conversation that reminded me that we can never completely give up on anyone. There’s always hope. Every human being has potential, no matter how many bad decisions they have made in the past.
On a lighter note, it was announced today that Johnny Manziel will not start for the Cleveland Browns. So does that make him Johnny Bench?
Start Co. has posted the official schedule for Demo Day 2014 at the Orpheum tomorrow. Find out when your favorite startup will make its pitch. Keynote speaker The Honorable Edward B. Montgomery takes the podium at 4,
The Church Health Center is hiring a director for The MEMPHIS Plan. This would be a very nice role for someone with a background in management in nonprofits.
The Westin Hotel just south of Beale is being honored for community service. Among the hotel’s efforts was an effort to help local career coach Angela Copeland turn Memphis to Moore from a small event into a major one that raised $34,000. The money raised went to rebuild Moore, Oklahoma, which was battered in a 2013 series of tornadoes.
Tube top alert: I mentioned in a previous post that I have been watching old episodes of Bar Rescue on Spike TV’s website. Full episodes are available until September 30 of this year. If you pull up the Brawlin’ Babes episode which originally aired December 8, 2013, there is a bartender named Keller who has on a very nice pink tube top in the first ten minutes of the show.
Home from work, out for beer. Back tomorrow.