Saturday, November 3, 2007

Unsung Heroes

Yesterday, I started a new post in the afternoon. It was going to be acontinuation of stories that would be, in effect, self promoting. You know, I was going to market myself for a job through the internet.

I am not ashamed of what I wrote yesterday. I thought the story of Charlie was fitting. The Lakers have been in the news because of Koby Bryant. Koby is from Philadelphia. The Dodgers were in the news because of Joe Torre. The O'Malleys went to Penn, in Philadelphia. I worked for both the Lakers and The Dodgers so I thought it was fitting. I seized the moment without being ostentatious and offensive.

However to continue, at least, later on yesterday, in the same vane would have been vulgar, in my view.
Something happened that changed my mind as well. I thought it more important to add someone to the Profiles of Courage Hall of Fame that Scribeskidrow created. We have a new addition.
Profiles of Courage

Yesterday afternoon, I started this, but I chose to finish today because time ran out. I was in this very spot, the Los Angeles Library. IT was the end of the week and I was feeling a bit down. It was a good week but it was over. I would not be able to see people until Monday. Furthermore, my computer time would be limited. I would not be able to upload pictures and it would be hard to publish. And I must make at least one deadline every day. I do not care how much shoe leather I wear out, how many different places I have to go, I must meet my daily deadline.

I opened my email.(and I just opened it again when I thought about it and an amazing thing happened. more on that later) and I saw an address I did not know but it was clearly a personal email, not spam. I opened it immediately. It was from a woman who I have not met but I think about quite a bit. You see, I will be having Thanksgiving dinner with her. Her name is Debbie Royce. She and her husband invited me for dinner.

I had to ask myself what kind of woman would tolerate a total stranger for Thanksgiving Dinner. A SPECIAL ONE. Her husband is quite special himself. We met while he was on duty at the Central Station, LAPD. We have become friends. He keeps me strong and gives me hope. But I will talk about him later. I want to talk about someone who I have not met but I know so well.

There are many people on Skid Row. There are residents and many types of workers. There are social workers, medical workers, clerical staff, grocery store operators, pollice and firemen. They all play a part in the equation that make up the macro support network of Skid Row.

My father was a teacher and he used to come home and talk about students about whom he cared and was worried. No doubt the workers of Skid Row do the same thing. They spend most of their time away from home. They spend most of their time on Skid Row. They see horrendous things every day. IT boggles their mind that people can survive and endure the challenges that face them every day.

It effects them. No one can care about people and work with people so closely everyday like people do on Skid Row and not be effected. They establish relationships with people. They wonder if they made it through the night. Anything can happen to anyone down here and it can happen at any time.

These workers go home and share their heart felt concerns with their husbands and wifes. The husbands and wifes who do not spend time on Skid Row, think about it everyday. Their mates are down their on the side of the good guys. They worry about the people that their mates talk about every day. They can feel their mates pain because of their frustration at not being able to change things fast enough for the people they serve.

Sometimes, I lay at night and I feel strength. I know it is not my own. I know it is coming from somewhere. Sometimes I can identify the spirit. Some times I have just talked with someone so I know it must be their spirit that carries me. Other people have talked of something in the air that carries them through the day or through the night.

There are times I know I feel something. It is in the evening about 9:00 or 10:00PM. IT is unmistakable.
Well, I know from where that spirit comes. IT comes from people who care about me that I have not met.
Like Debbie Royce. She is on the side of the goodguys. She cares about me and wishes me happiness and success. It is probably more frustrating for her than it is for her husband because she has to wait until he comes home to find out what happened during the day. Is so and so ok? Did this person get medical help? Was her husband able to find the person that a family is looking for? People do not realize that the workers on Skid Row do alot more than their job duties state just like the LAUSD teachers do a lot more than just teach. They probably teach least of all because other de facto duties take the greater portion of their time.

Many husbands and wifes of the Skid Row workers are cheering for us. We may not know it but they are.
Those are the spirits in the background. Those are the angels that are pulling for us. Nobody talks about them. I have a chance to talk about one person, at least. Debbie represents many like her who wait in the background to see if we are well. I look forward to meeting her. I look forward to listening to her concerns and her dreams. I look forward to hearing about someone related to Skid Row but not physically on Skid Row has to say about it. I wish news reporters from the main press would track them down and talk about them. They are the unsung heroes of the residents of Skid Row.

Thank you Debbie for showing me that you care and allowing me to let people of Skid Row know that there are others that care about them as well. Their husbands and wives are on the front lines but you are behind them 100 percent and thus are behind and with us. See you soon. Your grateful friend. Walter Melton

Good morning, world. I love you.

1 comment:

LCR said...


I am a good friend of Debbie's. Today we were talking about our plans for Thanksgiving and she talked, with great anticipation, about her family's plans to enjoy Thankgiving with you. For having not met her, you capture her spirit beautifully. She is indeed a wonderful person.

She spoke well of your blog and sent the link so that I could enjoy it as well. You've been bookmarked on our computer! I look forward to reading about your experiences and hope that they lead you to more good days and fewer tough ones. You have an incredible story to tell.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving...