I have a commercial building that’s for rent. I played the “legal” game and spent too much money and four months to get a non-paying tenant evicted. It’s a large property with some out-buildings and a fence around it. But, with a little ingenuity, and some climbing skills scaling the buildings on the next-door property, a person can gain access to the grounds. There is nothing to steal or damage there, but it does give one some shelter from the elements if that’s needed.
A few months ago I noticed a homeless dude and his two dogs had built a lean-to at the back of my property. The dogs were part pit bull and just the name pit bull scares me. I yelled at him to corral his dogs before I went in the gate to throw him out. He said they don’t bite. They didn’t.
Sammy was a nice guy; a small skinny man with gray stubble on his head and face. I asked him if he had a place to go.
He said, “I’m always where I’m supposed to be until somebody decides I’m not supposed to be there. I’ve been on the street for 20 years and this is where I’ll die. I told you my dogs are gentle.”
They were and so was Sammy. I told him he could hang around there until I rented the place and then he would need to move on. He agreed. We became friends.
Sammy is a Vietnam vet and down on his luck. He gets a $500 “guvmunt” check every month and somehow gets by. He and the dogs walk to the Kentucky Street Post Office to get the check from his Postal Box. Like so many homeless folks, he feeds the dogs before himself. When you think about it, dogs are the only love a homeless person gets.
Sammy found a new place last week, but sometimes his dogs come back to my building sniffing around looking for me or the other friends they made for a few months.
I write tunes. I write blues, funk, jazz, and country tunes. I write silly songs, love songs, and sometimes songs about stories people like Sammy tell me.
Here’s one of my songs I dedicate to Sammy.
Bless you Sammy and thank you for your service to our country.
The song is called “Battles”.