While cleaning up our donation sorting room the other day, we ran across an old cowboy hat which I'm sure belonged to ‘Homeless Tom.'
I haven't seen him around for quite a few years, but I remember him well. Tall and lanky with his cowboy hat pushed back on his head and his glasses fitting crookedly across his nose.
He hailed from somewhere in Texas, lived in a tent behind Boston Hill and was waiting at the Mission door each morning when we opened and loved to come in and demonstrate his cowboy cooking skills.
He liked to say, ‘This ain't my first rodeo' when I'd question him about one of his cooking techniques, that at the time seemed rather doubtful, but usually turned out OK.
I heard that Tom's luck had run out and the law had caught up to him for one reason or another, but I still miss him and his Texas drawl and carefree manner.
We get quite a few characters down here at the Mission, many of them unforgettable.
If you'd like to meet some of the guys that you see hanging around town, come on down and lend a hand. All of them are people just like us, but may just be down on their luck or have an issue or two they are dealing with.
The Gospel Mission is open Monday through Friday from 8:30-1:30 and on weekends from 11-2.