Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.
Strange trip to town yesterday to get my town business taken care of. A guy was telling me about a bunch of ‘homeless people’ living down behind the Kerrville Public Library and the Guadalupe River, and I moseyed down for a looksee. Middling surprising.
Kerrville’s a fairly wealthy, relatively small community filled with mostly retirees from government, military, and top drawer private sector. It has golf courses the way most small towns in Texas used to have churches…. one-per-street-corner. The rest of the population mostly makes do fetching and carrying, ringing up cash-registers to fill the needs of the golf-coursers. Ingram used to be a different town a dozen miles down the road, but now it’s indistinguishable from Kerrville except for the population being part of the old-timers and people working to make life better for the rich retirees.
But here, out-of-sight in the midst of all this resides a colony of ruffled, smelly people sleeping on the grass and under the bridge over the Guadalupe. A cursory look would number them somewhere between 50 and 100. A good many do their washing up and hanging around in the library to get cool now, warm when it’s cold.
Not a homogenous group in any way I could see. Some are the usual ‘homeless’ stereotype in the larger urban areas, some younger, some drugees and alcoholics, some maybe ghetto types, and some you wouldn’t spot as any of this, just seeing them on the street.
Evidently the Kerrville city government’s getting enough complaints about it to cause them to try to figure out how they can drive them off to somewhere else where they won’t be a nuisance.
I’ve never been comfortable with the word, ‘homeless’ as a means of placing people into a tribal stereotype. The emphasis on the structure a person dwells in as a tribal name is just too damned lots-of-what-I-wish-different-about-America-disease. The straight fact is that every single one of us has a few thousand generations of ancestors who lived in similar homes to the ones these people sleep under, minus the library.
And the names we give our ancestors are peasants, serfs, nomads, hunter-gatherers, the whole range of words describing people who weren’t aristocrats, struggled to stay alive any way they could. People who were fetching and carrying for the aristocrats and starving/freezing-to-death-doing it. Filthy, stinking peasants, serfs, nomads, scratching out a living any way they could, stalking the game animals in the rich-man forests and getting hanged for it, or wandering around grubbing for nuts, plants and meat varmints they could eat because they hadn’t advanced far enough to have aristocrats.
What those people used to be was tramps, hobos, beggars, derelicts, which was nearer the truth, but still didn’t cover the subject. That place between the river and library is a hobo jungle minus a railroad track. But I don’t think the people living that life can qualify by any stereotype. For instance, my long-time-ago post about Stephen Schumpert, a guy I grew up with:
If the cats all croaked on me I think I might like to try that for a while to flesh out my life experience while I still have some.
Anyway, I was thinking about all this as I drove home when I blew out a tire on the RV…. another inside-rear. Sounded a lot like a shotgun when it went. After examining it I decided to nurse it home instead of trying to change it on the road.
The cost of a new tire’s going to set me back about a month in my best laid plans, and trying to get the RV off the ground high enough to change it’s going to be a day spent in hard labor. Haven’t decided whether to try to nurse it back to Kerrville and let one of the working-for-a-living serfs and peasants at the WalMart or Discount Tire do the work.
Maybe instead of ‘the homeless’ a better word to describe the colony of people down between the library and the river would be, ‘the blown tires’.
I sort of like that.