ON THE TRAIL WITH TY: JULY 13, 2019
I went out to visit some of my supporters from last years special election today. This is the best part of being a city councilor. Today I sat down with an 82 year old man who lives with his cat along Oak Hill Ave. I’m at my best when I’m listening… and he wanted me to come inside and listen. His family has all moved on and live elsewhere. He’s watched the world change mightily in the 60 some years he’s lived in his home. He remembers when Oak Hill seemed more like a dirt pathway than the busy thoroughfare it’s become today. He remembers walking thru Capron Park to go to the old high school.
He still gets out sometimes and likes to help the veterans by transporting them to the VA Hospitals for appointments. Sometimes he checks in with Joe at the Senior Center and really appreciates the help he gets down folks at the Larson Center, especially with his income taxes.
We relaxed at the kitchen table, while the cat purred on his backside underneath the table. This is the same cat he rescued outside when she was just a kitten. Now they are the best of old friends.
But mostly he enjoyed sharing memories while shaking his head about the changes in this fast-paced world all around him. I discovered that he has a small income and advised him to check on the possibility of getting $700 off his property tax bill. He wasn’t complaining about his taxes.
My friend believes in good education and supports the new school. He simply pulls his belt a little tighter and survives on social security and a small savings account. He wishes for the old days when life was slower, when he was working among friends, and living with his wife and children. He isn’t feeling sorry for himself…. but he does miss the old days.
When I finally had to leave he thanked me for knocking and listening to him. "It’s good to have someone look in on me", he said. Then he noticed my bicycle, gave a big smile and waved as I pedaled away.
I hope he goes down to city hall and gets his $700 tax abatement. But I’m not sure he thinks he deserves it and he might not even bother.
My new friend is old school. He’ll get by somehow. He always has. Without complaining.
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