Everybody has a Story

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James Burdick
James Burdick

Beggars...panhandlers...swindlers or just people in need, we see them on street corners holding up signs asking for help, even in our community. Most folks simply drive by, but Sheridan Media's Judy Hagerott stopped and brings us this story.

We see them, those folks standing on the corner, usually by Wal Mart, cardboard sign in hand, asking for a handout. I'll admit it, I drive by, avoiding eye contact, not wanting to connect, not wanting to see them, not wanting to admit that there's somebody standing out there in the cold cardboard sign in hand.

Besides they might be wacky and dangerous and we've all thought it...”They just need to go out and get a job.” And who has the time to stop?

This time I did. Meet 65 year-old James Burdick from North Dakota. He's hitchhiking with a friend down to Colorado where he has family. Asking for help isn't easy.

Jobs are hard to find especially for a broken down, 65 year-old Viet Nam vet.

I just figured these people standing on corners asking for help made lots of money, taking advantage of the generosity of folks. For Burdick, spending time holding up a cardboard sign isn't a big money maker.

Sometimes you just got to do what you got to do, at least Burdick doesn't steal.

Now, I'm not saying everybody should be stopping and helping the people standing on street corners holding up cardboard signs. Use caution, use wisdom and yes, there are scammers out there. This time I stopped, other times I won't, but if you ask me if I helped out Burdick, I'd say yes, I gave everything I had.

Eye Care of the Big Horns
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