Never get too far from your trousers and boots.
Ever since I heard this proverb I've been careful about how I keep the things I want around me. I never have to go looking for clothes to wear when I wake up. I know where my important papers are and the books I want to keep. I'm not compulsively organized about it but several times in my vagabond life I have had to pick up in a great hurry and move on, leaving behind some precious things, so I have some experience.
Down the street from me is a big old building, much like many other buildings in this old town. It's an apartment building which housed four tenants. The other day it was set on fire by someone and burned out. All the tenants escaped and no one was hurt but now the building is not able to be lived in.
One of those tenants is someone I know. Colleen is an artist and an excellent photographer. She had a successful sole-employee business in publicity and promotion. She escaped from the fire with her purse and the clothes she was wearing. She lost all of her art work, her photographs, her negatives, her cameras, her equipment, her computer and all of her personal possessions.
I'm sure she has tenants insurance, but her business is wiped out and she has no place to live. She's staying temporarily with a kind friend. She can afford a month's rent but not the double rent and security that so many of the landlords are expecting in this part of the country. In other words she's homeless. I would point to her whenever I hear some ignorant, sarcastic bigot say that people are homeless because they refuse to work.
Colleen wall pull herself together, in spite of the terrible tragedy, and reestablish her business because she has more spirit and energy in her than a room full of girl scouts. And fortunately she has friends who will help out as best they can along the way.
I don't know all the details but the fire was started by a woman who was evidently trying to kill her ex. Now she's in serious trouble for arson and attempted homicide, plus a string of other charges. That doesn't help Colleen and the other uprooted tenants. But at least no one was injured.
There is a lesson and warning in this story. No matter how well organized and careful Colleen was, how could she ever have protected all her "boots and trousers" from such an unexpected attack. It makes me look around my apartment and take stock. I'm not far from my trousers, but what about some other things.
Colleen is a member of the same artists group that I am, the Artists of Bristol. She was one of the most important promoters and organizers of it. Now she's out of business. Please send you good thoughts to my friend Colleen.
DB - The Vagabond
Who are these important people?
First place winner gets a blue hat.