Saturday, May 28, 2011

Our newspaper delivery man

I love people. I love to talk to people and listent to people and hear their stories and ask for more information and hear them talk some more. That's how I know so much about the man who delivers our newspapers, reliably, every day.

His young son and the son;s mother live with him. She used to collect Aid for Dependent Children for their son, before he moved in but she no longer is eligible. He told us that as an independent contractor, he makes $1100.00 a week. But he has to pay all his own taxes, insurance, social security, etc. and it's not as much as it seems. Apparently, $57,200.00 doesn't go as far as it used to.

His mother lives near Asbury Park and her boyfriend used to be in the Secret Service with the responsibility of protecting the President. He said that the boyfriend never told him details - but I wonder. I would love to meet him and, as they say in Hawaii, "talk story."

He has stopped by our house on two different occasions and has come in, in spite of the nervous worries of our New York City friends and relativesw. One time, he couldn't find his cell phone and has to call home so his family could find it. And they did. We were eating our breakfast of oatmeal with chocolate cocoa powder and coffee. I think he still doesn't believe that that is what we were eating.

and the second time, he was distraught. turns out that his utility bills had not been paid and he needed money. We watch Judge Judy and know enough not to lend money. We told him we had 20 or 30 dollars in the wallet and could give him that. He thanked us, but turned us down. I operate on the idea that each penny counts and 20 or 30 dollars is at least a start in paying down a big bill. In the year 2011, I guess I'm in the minority in that philosophy.

Then he told us that his mother and her boyfriend had turned him down asnd that his son;s other grandparents also turned him down.

I looked up some social service and legal agencies for him and gave him the phone numbers. the next week he said that everything was OK.

He is an interesting character - tall and thin, follows the Phillies and the Eagles, tends hi garden, goes to the river at low tide to collect river rocks and takes pride in his outside decorating skills. Last summer he was amazed that we could grow corn on our tiny plot of ground. He said that he had always been told that you need at least a plot of ground that is ten by ten to grow corn. We disproved that old wives' tale. I expect him to be even more impressed this year if all the little corn shoots produce, we should have a bumper crop.

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