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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


December 25, 1993

THE SHELTER

The night at the Salvation Army shelter in Tuscon, AZ. went okay. After a good hot breakfast, I left around 8:00 a.m. I decided to go to a church for the Christmas Morning service but the only service that I found was a Spanish one. I was able to follow most of it my checking out the prayer book. I could read some Spanish but not understand it by hearing.

After the service, I went over to the convention center to see if I could volunteer helping out serve the Christmas dinner. On the way, I stopped to give the candy and some of the cookies that I had gotten at the Salvation Army Sheter to two kids who were waiting at a bus stop with their mother. I thought they needed them more than I did.

When I got to the convention center, I found out that they didn't need any more help and that there would have been no place to store the bike safely. I decided to go on. A couple of blocks away, I came across a mobile soup kitchen near a Seven-Eleven. This had been set up by a church and provided a simple meal and some clothes to the homeless people. I stayed on for about an hour helping to serve meals to the people who stopped by. Before leaving, I was given a loaf of homemade bread to take along.

The last thing I did in Tuscon was stop at a laundromat that was open. After getting the laundry done, I headed up to Casa Grande along I-10. It was around dusk when I got into Casa Grande. I made my way over to the police station and they said that my only hope for a night out of the cold was to see if somebody was at the small mission on the other side of the railroad track. There was a train blocking the road crossings so I had a hard time getting across the tracks to the mission.

I was happy to find somebody there. They directed me to a room at the top of a stairs. There wasn't any heat in the room but there were some blankets that I could use along with my sleeping bag. A large pile of clothes was on top of one of the other bunk beds but nobody showed up. I was concerned that the door didn't have a lock on it but I was assured that when the gates were locked nobody would be coming into the mission's grounds.




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