Monday, August 15, 2011

The High Plains Drifter

In late-February, Curtine Metcalf was with us during a photo expedition to the Band Shell.  (See the February 27 post.)  There, she met Hope and Baby and subsequently wrote their story.  Today, Curtine and I caught up with each other again.  This time, she introduced me to Don, the High Plains Drifter.

Curtine wrote the Drifter's story over a month ago.  However, Don had traveled to Missouri to visit with his brother and we had not been able to meet so that I could take his photograph.  That changed today.

Don was back in Boulder, and was at his usual spot on a bench near the southeast corner of the Post Office building at 15th and Walnut.  I introduced myself to Don - said that I expected Curtine to join us.  With the exchange of a couple of my questions and his answers, it was like the Drifter and I were old friends.  The conversation came easily and we spoke of his travels, his time in the Air Force, his family, how he gets by on the street, his avoidance of tobacco and alcohol, and what he does with the money he gets from "flying" a sign (requesting money via a cardboard sign).

The sunlight was too harsh for me and the photograph I wanted to capture.  Plus, given this morning's temps in the high 70's, I didn't want the four coats over Don's shirt to overheat him.  So, we moved into the shade of the building just across 15th Street from the Post Office.  Curtine joined us there.

He told me that today was the ten-year anniversary of his coming to Boulder.

The Drifter helped me with some of my equipment set-up and tear-down.  He is a kind and careful man.  I am richer, having met and shared time this morning with Don.

This is the photograph I captured of Don, the High Plains Drifter.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Faith Community

Churches and synagogues have long been associated with aid to the homeless.  From preparation and serving of meals; to collection, storage and distribution of clothing; the faith community has led and supported programs to assist the homeless.  Many describe this as helping "the least of these."

In Boulder last winter, five Christian churches and one Jewish synagogue participated in BOHO - Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow.  Those communities open their doors to the homeless on cold or wet winter nights.  That way, those that either are unable or are unwilling to stay indoors at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless can be off the street.

During the 2010 - 2011 winter season the following organizations provided overnight BOHO shelter:

  • Cornerstone Church
  • St. Aidan's Episcopal Church
  • Boulder Mennonite Church
  • St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
  • Congregation Har HaShem
  • Crestview Church

Learn more about BOHO at

I recently had the privilege of photographing and speaking with Rabbi Deborah Bronstein of Congregation Har HaShem.  Lisa Trank-Greene will interview Rabbi Bronstein and will write her story.