Humboldt: Where the Handouts Come from Surprising Places
Jim Kemp (family photo)
Visitors to the Humboldt area frequently have encounters that shift their world view. After reading my last post, my handsome and dapper engineer uncle, who while raised here has lived out of the area for many years, sent me an email:
Your blog reminds me of a year or two ago while I was visiting your folks.
I had gone into Phillipsville for a couple of things from the store. While
waiting to check out I started a conversation with the guy in front of me
concerning, what a beautiful day it was and hoped all was well with him, etc, etc. He responded back, yes it was a nice day, yadda, yadda, yadda.
He looked like someone that was on his last nickel, very shabby clothes,
unshaven, hair going every which way and probably hadn’t had a bath in some time. I have seen a lot of folks up your way that looked just like him over the years. Anyway he paid for his few cans of beans and such from some bills he had in his pocket and headed out the door.
I set my $20 or so of stuff on the counter and the young lady quickly bagged it and handed it to me. I said, “How much?”
She said, “Its paid for; the gentleman in front of you just paid for
After stuttering and stammering a bit I said OK and headed out the door just in time to see the guy leaving the parking lot in a beat up old VW Bug with a lady passenger that looked just as grubby as him.
I told Neil what had happened and he said the guy probably had just sold his crop, was feeling pretty good about it and figured you must be a nice guy and in-need. I was stunned while Neil chortled and seem to act as if this was an everyday thing for that time of year. Maybe it was, but I was certainly impressed.