I know a few of you read the piece that I wrote (My Friend Alan) about my homeless friend, Alan, on my site a while back. It was recently re-published on the Huffington Post, and I received many questions about how Alan is today, and whether or not I still see him.
I have seen Alan since I wrote that post, however, it’s been at least a few months since Barb and I have seen him. Last night, Barb and I went to pick up a new pair of shoes for school and we stopped afterwards at In N’ Out for dinner. Alan happens to live at the gas station across the street from where we were, so we grabbed him a burger and drove across the street to see him.
First off, he looked great! He had surely gained some weight, which was definitely needed. He looked very happy, which prompted me ask a few questions.
Apparently, he has been really active in his church lately and they are helping him try to bring his dream to fruition, “Spirit Angel Foundation: Wings of Angels” which is a shelter that Alan has always dreamed about opening, and also mentioned to me in the past. Currently, there are two potential options for the shelter, one being just a bit north of here, near Riverside, California.
He went on to tell me that he hopes to set up the foundation in a manner than facilitates not just individuals who find themselves homeless, like Alan, but terminally ill patients, and abused women & children; he explained that he wants to aid not just the homeless, but others who are struggling and in need, too.
We chatted for a bit, and I read him that piece that I’d written about him and he was deeply humbled. He told me how much that meant to him, but the next thing he asked was why the post didn’t have his actual picture on it, which I won’t lie; I thought was sort of funny. So, I told him we could take a couple photos and I’d add them, so people would know what he actually looks like.
His second request? That I print the article out for him and bring it back so that when he does open his shelter, he can frame it and put it on the wall. What a guy, right? He’s pretty awesome.
Lastly, I noticed that he had a vehicle that he’d acquired since our last visit. Apparently, he’d saved up his money and was able to purchase the vehicle for $1,000. He said that it’s been working great for him because he can drive to church, and he can also use it as his home. (As sad as that sounds to all of us, this honestly made him so proud. He was telling me all about the features his new car had, power seats, a CD player; he was definitely proud and grateful for his new car that also serves as his home.)
However, he then shared with me that the person who sold it to him failed to mention that the car would not pass emissions testing here in California. So, Alan has until September 2nd to get the car in a condition where it can pass California’s smog & emission test. He told me he spent the remainder of what he had to try (twice) to get it to pass the smog check. Both times its failed and now he’s trying to figure out his next move. The sad part is, he is only failing his emissions test by ONE POINT. Ugh.
I called my brother-in-law in Arizona (who is the go-to guy for anything car related) to see if Alan can register the car in another state that doesn’t preform or require emission/smog testing (Alan told me he has a driver’s license issued by the state of Arizona) but apparently, our neighboring state of Arizona, does require smog/emission tests on older vehicles.
So, I know a customer of ours that works in the smog/emissions business and I am going to see if I might be able to negotiate a trade or something with him in order to have a look at Alan’s car, and see if he can get it to par with California’s smog/emissions regulations.
The shitty part about cars is that they are completely unpredictable. Alan said that he has paid twice to have ‘this and that’ repaired, and after both repairs, the car still failed emissions. As we all know, just because we fix one thing, that doesn’t mean it fixes the problem. In actuality, oftentimes, fixing one problem leads to the unveiling of another.
Anyhow, Alan said that if all fails, he will sell the car to the junkyard and then continue saving again so he can purchase another vehicle. It kind of breaks my heart, I won’t lie. We see it as a car; Alan sees it as a car and his home…
However, on the other hand, Alan is still cheerful and happy as ever. I asked him continuously if I could go and grab him anything else aside from the In N’ Out—all to which he responded “No, thank-you! You have blessed me very, very much already this evening just by stopping by.” Clearly, his outlook on life and overall disposition hasn’t changed one bit; he’s still just as happy, giving, and loving as he is each time I’ve visited in the past.
So, there’s the update on Awesome Alan. 🙂
If anyone knows anything about passing emissions, especially in California, or anyone has ideas that might be useful, please let me know.
I am hopeful one of my husband and I’s customer’s might be able to help us out!
I hope you all have a wonderful week! And please, don’t forget to click the banner below on your way out!! xo-Smash