Thursday, September 13, 2012

People of the bus: Big hat. Plastic bags.

Anyone that rides the bus or commutes or runs errands in a regular way is sure to run into the same people. I usually am on the same bus routes each week - and probably 50% of the bus contains familiar faces. These segments are meant to highlight these amazing characters, especially as you learn something fascinating - as I did this morning.

There is this short-ish man that always gets on the bus in Pleasant Ridge. He's older, kind of hunched over, and is always wearing some sort of huge hat. Khakis and a jacket. He's also one of those people I see all over downtown Detroit - sometimes in my office building, sometimes on the street at lunch or after work. One thing I always have noticed is that he has an insane amount of plastic grocery bags full of stuff with him. Like dude bought groceries for the week, and decided to drag them all over on the bus and downtown. Every. single. day.

Today, I happened to get off the bus in behind him and noticed that there were many people kind of standing and maybe waiting for him. When he stepped off the bus, these folks kind of descended quickly upon him - so I was kind of keeping an eye out (he's a bus buddy, gotta watch out for each other!). Then he opens the plastic bags and he starts handing things out. Food from what I saw. Sandwiches. He's asking people what they'd like - was there a specific sandwich they wanted. Wow.

And here I just thought he was a crazy dude that really loved his grocery shopping.

The people of the bus. The people of Detroit. Full of surprises - and compassion.



  1. What an amazing story. Goes to show you, you never know a person's story until you take the time to step back, remove the general assumptions, and learn that there is still humanity in the world.

    Sometimes the most 'unique looking' people have the most intriguing stories. As I always like to think, "there is a method to the madness", and this amazing man has shown his method is helping those in need.

    Truly outstanding. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I like Stephanie's comment about the "method to the madness". What has been lost generation upon generation is the source of magic... that is innovating. Taking what appears to be common and doing uncommon things with it. Innovation shows up for some people all the time, because they look at the world saying "why" and "why not".

    The man you witnessed is doing something that many have forgotten, that we are our brother's and sister's keeper. If we continue to refuse responsibility nothing will be left in our hour of need.

    You can take a whole lot of common and it'll never amount to much, and a seed of uncommon can spark the growth of ages. Perception (listening) is the key to seeing through the common and finding more.

    I'm going to add your blog to the sidebar of the TransitDetroit (Occupy Detroit Transit) blog.