My dear reader, I never got to say goodbye, but the month of October has seen me relocate from Beltsville to Dallas. I accepted a transfer at work. Living here has been an interesting adjustment. In the mid 1990's I lived briefly in Brooklyn, New York, and it was fun...young, single (for a while), and 24 hours awake. New York does not shut down. Then in 2007, leaving the Caribbean island of St. Kitts-Nevis to relocate to Beltsville to join my family was a challenge...and now this. Dallas is H-U-G-E!!!
Driving 1,374 miles from Beltsville to Dallas twice was an adventure. In mid-August, I drove the moving rental truck with my wife's car in tow on a trailer. With a top speed of 55 mph, we left Beltsville at 2:30 am Thursday morning and pulled up in Dallas at 5:34 am Saturday morning,
My last day at work in Baltimore was September 27, and so driving down the second time around was a bit more relaxing.
So, although I am now in Texas, Beltsville is still home for a lot of reasons, so I will be back and forth. My friends, family, and even me, are happy that I no longer work in West Baltimore. For almost ten years, my delivery route for FedEx Express was in the worst part of Baltimore...“The Hood” as we call it. I was there when the riots started...right in the middle of my route. I was there the day after...delivering. I look back at all the crazy things I saw out there. Countless police car chases...the start...the middle, and sometimes the end result.
Fast forward to Dallas. My delivery route is downtown Dallas. I sometimes feel like a tourist at work learning the roads and the area. I am slowly establishing a route to work. I have a 45-minute commute but on the highway....no tolls and no traffic. I have had to adapt to people driving fast and crazy...over the 70-mph posted limit on the roads. Even the person driving a van with ladders on the top feels like a NASCAR driver. I have seen a few accidents where I wonder how the car got in the position where it ended.
The bit that hurts me the most is downtown; I am seeing a lot of homeless people and panhandlers. This is where we as individuals can help them out. Sometimes all they need is someone to talk to and give them hope.
Three weeks before I left Beltsville, I met a young man, James (not his real name). He was at a gas station in Elkridge along with his 5-year-old daughter begging for help. In the next “Jive” I will share his story with you in the hope that it has a happy ending and together we can help change a life. Agreed he made some mistakes in life when he was younger, but here is a man who wants to work and cannot get a job for a few reasons. I befriended James and with the help of social media, and with some of my close friends, we were able to get him a cell phone so he can be reached for a job. We also got him a bicycle, food from my church pantry, clothes for him and his daughter, a wagon, a tent and, other things.
I will share his story over the next two “Jives.” All I need at this stage is someone with contacts in Elkridge/Columbia by the Gateway Overlook area to help with getting him a simple job at Home Depot, the Goodwill Store, or Lowes. Let us work together, my dear reader, to give hope to a young man and his daughter. To all who have already helped, thank you so much. More details in the next “Jive.”