Today was the Best Day Ever at TLPTC! Spring gives way to summer and we appreciated every single minute of this perfect day.
Mary K and Karl had some of our fellas lined up to do a little Spring Cleaning with the hair clippers. They set up the “barber chair” outside and got to work. When it was Vern Vern’s turn, he wasn’t so sure. He lets his beard and his hair get pretty wild in the winter ~ it’s his insulation. We told him "Vern! We miss your face!"
So he said, ok – go for ...it. Mary K fired up the clippers. We ooohhh'd and aaahhh'd and took pictures and commented on his twinkly blue eyes while she worked. He needed that.
To us, Vern is the most adored man in West Nashville. He’s a talented musician and a total bookworm and he knows every country song written before 1979 by heart and if he loves you, he will sing to you and if he really loves you, he might ask you to dance.
Luckily, we fall into that category and we waltz around with him whenever he asks. But, to the general public, he’s an old guy who digs in the trash and lives in an alley on the cold concrete with not so much as a tree to shelter him from the elements.
To them, he’s quiet and doesn’t make eye contact and his clothes are worn and dirty and his face is covered with this wild insulation. But they don’t know what’s underneath all this. They don’t know how much we miss his face.
Vern just turned 62. His life is hard. He’s skinny and his knees hurt. He’s been hit by cars that barely stopped to see how they had dented him. He’s been bitten by frost and unkind and ignorant words from strangers. Sometimes we will look at each other and say – what will we do if we ever lose Vern Vern?
We can only say that so often – the thought is unbearable. So, today we showered him with all the love we have and reminded him how special he is. We watched the insulation fall away and took turns memorizing this day and this face that we never want to miss.
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