Friday, 5 June 2009



Would you rescue this sad lady? ---pictured here flopping along in house slippers 20 miles south of Gold Beach, Oregon on busy highway 101, dragging a shopping cart with all her possessions.
I maneuvered to get this surreptitious picture through my window.
She approached and posed for this shot, flashing the "peace" sign. I had a quick silent debate with myself--- knowing she smells bad----but that she has 20 hard dangerous miles to trudge---And I could have her there in 30 minutes---AND GET THE STORY!
Easy enough to put her stuff in my trailer. But reminding myself that every good deed will be punished. (that is the conclusion of the book: ( Victim, Rescuer, Persecutor Syndrome-----bottom line: As the drama progress these three will shift roles; the victim will become a persecutor; the rescuer a victim) Knowing this to be fact, I still occasionally rescue, and take my punishment. We all have a need to give.
As I was loading, this wierd thing fell out. It is a flattened,dried up, no longer smelly, skunk pelt. She seemed a bit embarassed that she would keep such a thing and seeing my face as it fell, said "we can leave that here." I left it there not making an issue of it but have since thought a bit about it. Imagine as I will, I can get no intuitive grip on why she would want it. Somebody help me understand.
In Gold Beach, shopping cart reloaded, she smiled a toothless goodbye. I watched as she shuffled away in her pink houseslippers. Then unseen and with binoculars I watched her settle for the night in a patch of woods, dragging and jerking her cart till both were out of sight. Then I went inside my cozy rig and cried.

I gathered myself, drove a few miles and settled in a lovely spot beside the Rogue river to consider what I had learned, Here's the Story she told: Her father is a college professor---they've not spoken in 2 years. She gets $600 a month SSI but lives full time on the road, sleeping in the bushes. Her dog died recently and is sorely missed. She still carries his dish (note rear of cart) She is making her way to the Rainbow Family Festival in New Mexico July,1-7. Last night a ranger found her in the woods and gave her a warning ticket for her fire. She was heating beans. Her hands were dirty, the left one badly skinned---said she fell. I estimate the weight of her accumulated stuff at 100 lbs in two bags. I've had some thoughts about this unlovely but heartbreaking lady and the estimated million like her which I will share in another blog.

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