Everybody has a story. Whenever I have taken the time to talk to people – to show interest in their lives – I am amazed at how willing they are to tell me their story. Traveling has provided Lisa and I an opportunity to meet some fascinating people who have lived really amazing lives in places all over the world. Often we are surprised to learn the fascinating stories people can tell about themselves. Most of the time – we pass by people with no knowledge of where they came from or the incredible hardships most have endured. But everyone has a story.
For the past couple of days I noticed a man sitting in a parking lot here in Kingman that I was interested in talking to. The bicycle he was sitting on was a homemade contraption that served as both transportation and living quarters. A sign on the back said he needed part-time work and/or bicycle parts. I watched as some people stopped to offer some money and he seemed appreciative.
Today I stopped to talk to him and find out about his story. My first comment was regarding his bicycle and he told me he had made it himself. He went on to say that he had traveled 1300 miles on the bike from Bellingham, Washington and was on his way to somewhere in New York to see his girlfriend. He left Bellingham on May 1st and had been in Kingman for a couple of days. I asked how long it would take him to get to New York and he said six months. We talked some and I asked if I could get a picture of his unique ride. He was friendly, well spoken and even smiled for the camera. I noticed he was reading a little New Testament when I first walked up and after a few minutes I gave him a little money, shook his hand and wished him good luck. He told me his name was Eric.
I don’t know if he was telling me the truth or not. He may be scamming people with a different story each time someone asks. It seems a little out of the way to be coming from Washington state to Arizona on one’s way to New York. But I liked Eric. I liked his demeanor – the way he smiled – the way he sat back on his bicycle like there was no concern in the world. And I’m glad I stopped and talked to him. He may not have a home and he may be six months away from his final destination.
But he has a story.