Citizen Bill

By: bmshep

May 12 2010

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Male Citizens

1 Comment

Focal Length:35mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:FinePix S5Pro

This is Bill. I met Bill today at the Salvation Army. This is Bill’s second visit there in the past few months, between hospital stays. Bill is a Sac native, grew up in Fair Oaks and went to Del Campo High School. At 19, he married and went to work at Denny’s. He didn’t like restaurant work and apparently not marriage either. His first one only lasted 18 months and the second one didn’t last any longer. Bill doesn’t have any kids. He finally found his calling and drove trucks and other heavy machinery for 32 years. He enjoyed a life of work, fishing, and riding motorcycles until he had an accident in 2007 where he smashed his foot. That was the beginning of the end he says. He went on disability, began drinking heavily and struggled with depression. When the economy took a dive, he was layed off for good. He went through his boat, his bikes, and his camper, selling them to pay his mortgage. Finally, when there was nothing left, his house went into foreclosure. In November 2009, Bill went into the hospital for 58 days, having lost 100 pounds through drinking and not eating. He’s 6 months sober now but still has a hard time walking. In the next month, SSI and SSD will kick in and he hopes to get squared away in an apartment. He has never been homeless and doesn’t want to be. Still, he confides in a stranger and has a few laughs with me, tells me where his favorite fishing holes are (Loon Lake and Butt Lake). His biggest catch was a 22 inch brown trout. He likes 70’s music like the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan and the movies of Harrison Ford and Shwarzenegger. Bill is 55.

Favorite Accomplishments: I was really good at driving trucks and machinery, forklifts, backhoes. Anything like that, I could drive it.

Regrets: Drinking.

What are your passions and obsessions? Motorcycles (although I’d be a bit nervous to ride one now). Fishing and camping.

What surprises people most about you? My temper. I’m usually very mild-mannered, but when my temper blows, it blows big.

What’s your favorite memory, your happiest day? Once, in the 70’s, a bunch of friends and I were going deer hunting, but they all bailed out for one reason or another and I ended up going alone. I didn’t think the trip was going to be any good but I got a 6 point buck, I couldn’t believe my luck. I never went hunting again.

What’s the toughest thing you’ve gone through? This situation right now. Loosing my home, not knowing where I’m going to be tomorrow. It’s really stressful.

What would you do with a million dollars? Buy a home in the mountains. Maybe in Allegheny.

Sound Off! I wish they would get the whole Medical Insurance thing worked out. Seems like only the doctors, lawyers and politicians are making any money. And why do they have to keep running the homeless off? The city should give them an area, some portable toilets, and dumpsters to keep it clean.


One comment on “Citizen Bill”

  1. This is a very powerful piece.
    People find it tough to make it here anymore.
    It’s a sad comment on the U.S.

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