Many of us have an image of homelessness: the raggedy man who sleeps under a bridge, pushes a grocery cart, lives in a cardboard box. Maybe he panhandles during the day, probably to support an alcohol problem.
That problem doesn't really exist in Douglas County, right?
Wrong. According to various social service agencies in the county, homelessness is on the rise, right here. But homelessness isn't a single, or simple, profile.
And it never has been.
Since this column comes out so close to Independence Day, let me recommend a
book. It's called "The Founding Brothers: A Revolutionary Generation," by
Joseph Ellis. It's available from our libraries in several formats: book,
large type, CD, Cassette, and now, even on VHS and DVD.
It's a shame they don't teach history this way. Instead, we get elementary
school fiction, in which the Founding Fathers did boring things, building to
the inevitable climax of our own perfect government.
There seem to be two things that everybody knows about public libraries.
First, we collect fines. The collective guilt of America about overdues is staggering.
People, please! For most things, we charge the same rate we did 20 years ago: a nickel a day. It always caps out way, way less than the cost of the item. We just want you to bring things back so other people can use them. Relax!
The second thing people know is the phrase, "the Dewey Decimal System."
One of the things I do for fun is to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the Castle Rock Band. The band, under Bandmaster Kent Brandebery, was formed in 1999, and plays concerts at the Castle Rock Community Bandstand, the Douglas County Fair, and other occasional locations.
Mainly, my job is to let these fine musicians catch their breath. To pass the time, I talk about the history of the next piece -- that research usually provided by the Bandmaster. Along the way, I've had the chance to learn a little bit about the American band movement.