Thursday, February 26, 2009
Charity Begins at Home??
Yesterday, just yesterday, I was bemoaning the plight of the homeless. I still have empathy for the plight of the homeless..... A few minutes ago a man came into the office here at the campground wearing coveralls that were unzipped at the legs revealing some very unclean jeans. He was small of stature, but that didn't quell the prickly sensation on the back of my neck. He only wanted to get change for a dollar and directions to the interstate. You can see the interstate from my campground and the only thing you might need change for is the laundry or maybe the soda machine. He was lurking around the restrooms, so I locked the office. I am alone here because Drew is at work. To top it off the dogs are acting all hinky (is that a word?). I hate this feeling, but have learned to acknowledge it. I really miss my big dogs. There is nothing quite so comforting as having an animal big enough to take someone out on your side. I don't care what the love of my life says...I AM getting another big dog. Last July on a day such as this (Drew was at work) I was going about my business preparing for a big holiday weekend. I took my phone with me to the side of the building to tend my vegetable garden. Left the store unlocked, as was my habit, because I can see the entrance drive from the garden and make it in to register guests easily. I had several regulars already in the park for the long weekend and if they went into the store for ice or anything they will simply leave the money on the counter or pay me later. One of my regulars found me in the garden and told me he had seen a strange looking man, on foot, come into the park on the other side of the pond. He described him as being a tall white man carrying a rolled up towel and said he looked "European" to him. (I still don't know what that would be...) Knowing this particular camper to be a little strange himself I was doubting his story a little and was glad to see another couple coming up. They had not noticed the strange man and had been walking their little granddaughter through the park--now I am really having doubts. The strange man appears suddenly from the restroom side of the building. He was most definitely tall and was dressed in plaid shorts with a matching polo shirt and sandals and was carrying a shaving kit wrapped with a towel (European, I guess).Emboldened by the number of folks with me I walked right up to the man and asked what he was doing in my park. He said he was "looking" at my restrooms. I told him that he was on private property and not a registered guest; therefore he would either have to register or leave. He inquired about my rates and said they were too high, so I directed him to the state park down the road. He left on foot (Those sandals didn't look all that good for walking the mile he was in for). Having that prickly sensation on my neck I called the sheriff's office to report the incident---for all the good it would do. The next morning I went into "town" (there is a four-way stop with blinking caution lights) and purchased the necessities of the weekend (bread, buns, eggs, etc.). Upon my return Drew told me I had just missed the sheriff. Seems my stranger was an escaped rapist. There was a man hunt in progress, all the local constabulary were out in force trying to find the guy. Leaving me to wonder why they hadn't responded to my call the previous evening. Had they done so he would have been in custody and they wouldn't be searching all the caves and such in the area. So here I sit in my self-imposed prison with my yappy little dogs searching for that empathy of yesterday. The whole story of the rapist in the park is in the book I am currently writing about owning a campgound. Every day is a new adventure here and I try to capture as much as possible from my own unique point of view. Even if I never publish it, it will be good for a laugh or two.