Last evening confirmed another inner city bias for me.
Actually, now that I think of it, I received two confirmations.
On my way home, well after dark, my front tire blew out. I wasn't going fast, but I was on a fairly dark, deserted side street not far from my office.
I hate it when that happens.
I don't enjoy changing tires, especially when I am already running late with take-out ordered from one of my favorite local "joints."
Of course I shouldn't complain because until last evening I had never had to change a tire on the car I'm driving these days. Have had a flat or two--after all, this is East Dallas!--but all within driving distance of our local tire shop that specializes in fixing East Dallas flats.
The flat confirmed my first bias--a negative one. The streets of my neighborhood have more nails per square foot than any where on earth!
My second confirmation was much more important.
As I was down on my knees trying to figure out my wonderful, compact jack system, a man appeared from nowhere. Just sort of emerged from the dark street. He was there so quickly that he startled me a bit.
He had a flashlight, a smile and a simple question, "Need some help?"
I love it when that happens!
My car had come to a stop in front of his house.
"I thought I heard someone bangin' around out here," he continued. "I can see you got trouble. Didn't want you to have it alone!"
Turns out that my new friend works in a used car lot and has daily experience with flats, blow-outs, brakes and auto finance!
We worked as a team for about 15 minutes and the job was done.
In that brief time lapse I find out that his birthday is today--mine is tomorrow! He is going to be 53, I'll be 56--where do the years go?
When I had the tools stowed and my friend thanked properly, we talked a bit more.
As I was getting into my car, he invited to come back and visit sometime soon.
Oh, and he gave me a brief lecture about getting on down to the tire shop for a new spare.
"Don't be driving around here without a solid spare now!"
My new buddy confirmed my bias: the vast majority of the people I know in the city are just great folks. Lots of good people living tough lives.
Nothing much to fear here, except missing the opportunity to meet as many neighbors as possible.
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Rising from Ashes
Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.
Today and throughout 2013, we need your support to continue our life-changing work in inner-city Dallas. Every day hundreds of our wonderful neighbors arrive at our doors seeking our assistance, offering their help and prepared to pursue a better life. Frankly, the folks we "serve" make essential contributions to the scope, nature and soul of the work we attempt. At CitySquare we honor and recognize the amazing value and richness of our low-income neighbors. During 2012, almost 55,000 different people received the benefit of our wide-ranging services designed to assist in the process of building better lives. We need your help TODAY as we continue to respond to the needs of our community. Even more, we need you to become our PARTNER in the work of compassion and community renewal--work that continues day after day at CitySquare.