Friday, July 10, 2009


“Arloa!” I was in the center of Chicago striding toward the train. I swung around to see who was calling my name.

My heart nearly leapt out of my skin. It was Jerry with his rugged tan face outlining crinkly eyes and a huge white toothed smile. It had been nearly ten years since I had seen him but he looked just the same, the story book picture of a gypsy man, his worn hat doffed to the side, curly brown hair wafting from underneath, good wrinkles patterned from years of smiling just like he was doing now.

Jerry always rode a bike, an old, thick tire one with a horn and baskets, lots of baskets stuffed with little happy teddy bears and toys and trinkets, gadgets and widgets hanging everywhere.

He had been part of the early Breakthrough family and had moved on, not wanting to be tied down to anyone’s rules. He never asked us for anything and didn’t really want any assistance into housing. He prefers to live off the land, sleeping and finding food where ever he can and occasionally stopping in to visit family and friends. He doesn’t drink alcohol or use drugs to my knowledge, and is one of the happiest people I know. He is at peace with just his bike, the shirt on his back and his love for God and people.

Sometimes I envy him.

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