Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bookfield, End of Homelessness

Start reading Bookfield here.

The trooper managed to drive us all the way back to town without further delay. Finally we were back in town. Mary and I planned to meet back at 9:00 PM in the parking lot of the MacDonald’s on Prince Avenue. I set off on foot to my territory. In neighborhoods adjacent to Milledge Road I made about eight demos by eight o’clock, and started back on the hour walk to MacDonald’s. I met Mary there. She had called Beverly, who found a potential place for us to stay, with a friend of the family, Mrs. Epps. Mary had already seen the room, and seemed set on it. It was just on Meigs Street a couple of blocks west of Milledge and we were expected at 10:00 PM so that I could see the room.

It was a nice old neighborhood that we had seen houses in before. I was surprised when Mary pointed it out to me, because the house was enormous. The Greek Revival house had three floors and white columns out front. We rang the bell on the side door, they never used the front, and the maid answered. She let us in and took us to see Mrs. Epps. The house had that southern close musty, smell of mildew, but otherwise smelled okay. Mr. and Mrs. Epps were in a small television room immediately left of the door. Apparently, Mr. Epps was not ambulatory and lived his days in that room. Mrs. Epps rose from her lazyboy chair to look us over. She was a nondescript thin elderly lady. She took us up to see the room herself. It was available starting Thursday night. The room was on the second floor in the right front corner of the house. The dimensions looked to be 18 feet by 18 feet and a cool breeze came through the curtained windows on the front and side walls of the house (a good sign). The floors were wide plank hard wood and there was a hooked rug with a rose design on it. There were two single beds and one wooden chair painted white. The walls were painted very light blue and the bed quilts and curtains were cotton with a small blue flowered pattern. It was clean and cozy looking. We would have to share a bathroom with another tenant, a man. There was no shower and the old white bathtub was huge and its feet were shaped like clawed animal paws.

The room was $20 a week, and Mary and I could split that amount. We also would have use of the house kitchen which seemed to take up one quarter of the downstairs, it was so big. The kitchen was not as clean as the room, though, and smelled like moldy bread. We took it, and were to move in the following morning. On Wednesday night, the room was not available; but Mrs. Epps said that she had a sun room with two beds in it that we could stay in until Thursday. We would stay at
Beverly’s that night and she would drive us and our things there first thing Wednesday. What a relief to have a place to stay.