The Other Half….

Our hardy brand of volunteers did a fabulous job cleaning the Creek about ten days ago Our timing was good because soon thereafter weather moved in with a vengeance. Our area of attack spanned a little over a mile on either side of the stream. There was one area where I could not let the troops venture. There were two or three active homeless encampments to be dealt with. I had done this once before with one of the park rangers and it ain’t fun.

These are not your average bedroll over a steam grate domiciles. They have tents and even makeshift cooking and refrigeration arrangements. In one two man tent last year four heads popped out when the gendarmes came a calling. This particular one today had two woebegone souls as tenants. We had a Denver policemen, case worker and a park ranger to handle the formalities. They were incredibly patient and courteous. But the interlopers had to go.

The campsites are borderline disgusting when one looks at the sanitation. The area is littered with beer cans and cheap booze bottles. Needles of every sort are very much in evidence and used toilet paper designates inhabitants within.Waste of every sort finds its way into the creek and therein lies the problem. People say how can you be so cruel but the sheer reality of an unhealthy and dangerous situation hits you smack in the face.

As we wait and watch, a woman probably in her thirties makes several treks up the hill to a shopping cart with all of her and her housemate’s earthly possessions. There is a look of sad resignation on her sallow face as she knows she will have to find another place to survive. The snow is beginning to fall and you have to feel horrible if you have anything in your soul. Thoughts of them have lingered for several days. How did they get here? Where will they go?

There are about 15,000 homeless here in Denver at last count. About 25% want to get out of their rut, another 50% are addicts or psychologically unstable and 25% just prefer being homeless. These numbers are somewhat unscientific but if you check in your own home town I think you will find them pretty close to true. At best you have a different floorpan every night and you learn a lot about meteorology. A beautiful day in Denver takes on a whole new meaning for them.

On a rainy and snowy Saturday we visited our nearby Costco. Bad move. There were a lot of people who had the same idea. Doesn’t take us long. Always buy a fresh roasted chicken which are huge and delicious. My daughters tell me they inject them with brine and of course that can’t be good for me. What a way to go!

Even at top speed you can’t avoid the long lines for free samples. There was one family with parents, four kids and a grandmother who were queuing up for what had to be a late lunch or early dinner in the free sample line. That poor octogenarian with the hairnet that was doling out whatever into cups or onto crackers was having a hard time keeping up. Your eye went from one group to another. You noted their dress, their mannerisms and their foreign language. These also are my city and country mates and I don’t have a clue as to what they are all about.

Back at home I picked up Friday’s Wall Street Journal that I hadn’t finished.I love going to the “Mansions” section. My well heeled buddy who lives in one of those houses decries the paper as inciting an Arab Spring in Palm Beach or La Jolla by the unwashed masses if they ever read it. I told him he had a point but I didn’t think there was a danger unless a copy was left at the local Arby’s or KFC. Still it got me thinking.

Since my highly upscale friends are far away,I looked up luxury magazines. Straight to the Robb Report(robbreport.com) which has to rank as the most ostentatious of all. Look it up. It really is a hoot. You will be privy to what the super swells consider to be appropriate for everything from, jewelry, fitness, cars, planes, houses and yachts. Dream along with me. You can rent a yacht for one week with 6 spacious state rooms for $300,000 a week. That is not a misprint. Of course there are less expensive alternatives but if you are going to do it, go big.

Now stop and think for a moment where my physical and mental travels have taken me as far as economic diversity. And every one of my encounters has been with as LBJ used to say, “My fellow Americans.” Now you can poo poo and dismiss all you want. We in some manner are all in this together. People go nuts about the Donald or Hilary but do you think either one is capable of changing our demographics? This is the hand we are dealt and the sooner we realize it and least try to work with it, the better off we and future generations are going to be.

Hissy fits and wrenching of hands might make your gut feel better but they are not going to solve our problems of infrastructure, education, medicine, the deficit and entitlements. I am not saying you put on a hair shirt and go quietly in the night. But at least have the tiniest inkling what the guy or gal across the street or the country is going through. Waiters,bus drivers, business moguls, cops, soldiers,tech titans are all cut from the same cloth….USA. Come out of your cocoon whether it is a gated community or a ghetto. I am pretty sure those two words have a different meaning but who knows?

I get it. All these halves total a lot more than one but somehow we have to have room for all. Maybe you are 1% or 47%. Maybe your percentage changes by color, religion and part of the country. Point being it really doesn’t matter. Sooner or later we are all going to figure out how to pull on the oars at the same time. We are in it together.

As always
Ted The Great

Factoids:
There are 323,000,000 inhabitants of the US. Even if the Donald deports 11,000,000 there are still 312,000,000 individual human beings of every origin and sort.We are 63% white, 16% Hispanic and 12% black.

It is projected our population in 2050 will be 402 million.
There were about 125.9 million adult women in the United States in 2014. The number of men was 119.4 million. Life expectancy for men is 77 and for woman 82.

There are 22 million veterans meaning less than 10% of our populace has served in the military.

There are around 100 different religions practice with 83% of the people claiming to being one of them. 17% saying they are atheists or have no specific religion

The median income for Asians is $57,000,whites $49,000, hispanics $34,000 and blacks $30,000.

In 2010, the average man weighed 194.7 pounds the average woman 164.7 pounds The height of an American man was 5 feet 9 inches and woman 5 feet 3.8 inches .

British Humor:
My 12 year old grandson,Aiden who is living with his family in London sent me the following in a birthday card He thought they were hilarious. So do I

Warning: Random fits of laughter may occur as per my man.

A bald guy get gets a comb for his birthday He says,”Thanks I will never part with it.

Jesus says “Want an ark? I Noah guy”

Why did the scarecrow get promoted? He was outstanding in his field.

A llama says,“Want to go on a picnic? Alpaca lunch”

What does the green grape say to a purple grape? “Will you breathe please?”

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