|Jamie is sitting on the left with his friend (click to enlarge)|
A blog reader emailed me about a little known, highly littered bike trail just west of the Redmond Target parking lot. (See a map below.) She thought cleaning it out and recycling the cans would be a good community project. Out of curiosity I took a look.
On the trail I saw these two Mexican men sitting next to each other with a grocery cart and an opened rack of beer. They waved. Hidden behind trees and bushes my first thought was they were homeless so I continued on, avoiding eye contact.
On the way back to my car I decided to engage with them. Jamie was very open, friendly and warm-hearted. He was clean, well-groomed, with two missing front teeth. Proudly pointing at the dirt on his knees he said he finds temporary day-labor work at the nearby Home Depot. Jamie insisted he was resting with only one beer after building a cement ramp on Redmond Ridge. He was waiting for a bus to take him to his apartment in Bellevue. I couldn't believe he could afford to live here, but he manages to get by -- sharing an apartment with three others paying $1200/mo rent. I asked if he or his friend would like to know about the City's human services but he wasn't interested. Jamie said he has lived in America over 20 years and has 5 children in Mexico. He mentioned Obama and the Recession.
Jamie's friend had nothing to say -- I don't think he could speak English. He was wearing good working boots. He didn't appear drunk. This man reminded me of an Italian immigrant I worked with on a golf course when I was a teenager.
After Jamie distanced himself from his friend and the grocery cart he reluctantly allowed me to take this picture.
"Read More" for a map of the bike trail
PLEASE E-MAIL ME AT REDMONDBLOG@GMAIL.COM IF YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER SOME TIME TO CLEANING UP THE TRAIL. Scouts? Bike groups? Hikers? Kiwanis? Churches? Anyone! 802-2523