A man walks down the street
He says why am I soft in the middle now
Why am I soft in the middle
The rest of my life is so hard
I need a photo-opportunity
I want a shot at redemption
Don't want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard

I guess that in a certain sense many of us don’t realize just how fortunate we are. In my case, for the most part, I take whatever blessings that I have for granted and most of the bad stuff that has happened has been left behind to gather dust.

Sometimes though, when you view life through another set of eyeballs it puts things in a brand new perspective. Awhile back I told the tale about some of our local watering holes engaging in some friendly competition about which establishment could raise the most canned foods to donate to a local charity and it was a pretty successful.

This time around, what a few special people managed to put together went above and beyond that. It started out to raise $1,600 to send a child with autism off to summer camp since his mom couldn’t afford the costs and was due for a much needed break. Round one began at my home away from home and the bartender who set this all up set a goal of raising half of that.
I guess we all love a good cause because when the money was counted at the end of the night, over $1,500 was in the till.

A man walks down the street
He says why am I short of attention
Got a short little span of attention
And wo my nights are so long
Where's my wife and family
What if I die here
Who'll be my role-model
Now that my role-model is gone

A week or so later, round two was scheduled for a Sunday afternoon at another local establishment that caters to a mostly gay crowd. Being a creature of habit I decided to skip that one but donated my fair share anyway. I guess a good time was had by all and in a way, I’m sorry I missed it because when all was said and done over $1,600 was added to the cause. I guess I don't have to wonder who my role models should be.

A man walks down the street
It's a street in a strange world
Maybe it's the Third World
Maybe it's his first time around
He doesn't speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man
He is surrounded by the sound
The sound
Cattle in the marketplace
Scatterlings and orphanages
He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity
He says Amen and Hallelujah!

Round three was to be held at a place that I had been to maybe once or twice in my life. Since I didn’t want to be a stranger in a strange land I decided to skip that one as well but kicked in my fair share. I guess it was the mother of the child’s “home bar” and they rose up to the occasion and raised over $1,800.

So, in the end when everything was counted over $5,400 was raised. We know one family will have their dream come true if only for a little while and hopefully that’s enough for the time being.

People say she's crazy
She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Well, that's one way to lose these walking blues
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

I think the young lady that took this worthy cause upon herself is contacting the local chapter of the autism folks to decide how best to use the rest. Maybe it will go to send another couple of kids afflicted with autism off to camp or maybe it will go into some type of fund. As for the young lady herself, I don’t know whether or not she’s got diamonds on the souls of shoes but I’m pretty sure she’s got them in her heart. That sentiment also goes out for everybody else who donated their time, money and efforts to make a difference in people’s lives.
It seems once you get started, it’s hard to stop.

If you'll be my bodyguard
I can be your long lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty when you call me
You can call me Al

I also learned a thing or two about bodyguards. It seems they can come out of nowhere when you need them the most and they come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life.
Not bad, not bad at all.

Selected lyrics lifted from Paul Simon and his songs “You Can Call Me Al” and “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes”.

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