If you've ever driven west across the Ross Island Bridge, coming off Barbur and heading to Powell...
you've probably seen him.
He's there most days.
And he's sort of hard to miss.
Unlike most people panhandling, who stand with dour faces and a sign, this man takes an interest in the drivers from whom he's soliciting donations.
You see, it's a stupid intersection, it's impossible to have a clear view of oncoming traffic unless you turn your car to a ridiculous angle.
Or you listen to the man.
I don't know his name, much to my chargrin I have never asked.
He's got long hair he ties back in a ponytail, and a full beard. If I had to guess, I'd say he's in his early 60s, but I am not a good judge of time in general...
I always try to have something in the glove compartment of my truck if I'm going that route, in case he's there to wave me on when the road is clear.
And he's always got a smile and a nice word, even those times where I didn't hold up my end of the bargain.
There's something noble about him, and something sad too.
Each time I see him, I think "This could be my uncle, or my father in law. How can I drive past and pretend I don't have way more than I need?"