Archive for June 20th, 2010

Day 176 – Garrett P.

If you frequent the corner of Connecticut Avenue and N Street or the Adams Morgan neighborhood you might have seen this man.

Photo: Reed

As I was walking north on Connecticut Avenue I heard Garrett before I saw him.  Wearing a wrinkled t-shirt and standing behind a 1970s or 1980s Ross bicycle is a thin man with short cropped hair and stubble.  The 65-year-old DC resident who makes his living singing, shaking his maraca, tapping his tambourine, and offering kind words to those on the streets of Washington smiles at me as I walk up to him. 

After years of drug use and several stints in correctional facilities, he says that he has straightened his life out and found God.  He says that he is passionate about Jesus and music.  And his roots in music go deep.  He was in a rock’n’roll band when he was younger.

Garrett moved to DC in 1969 from Poughkeepsie, NY after ending his first marriage to a preacher’s daughter.  He seems to have his life together now.  He says the worst thing he does now is smoke cigarettes.  That may stop soon too as his doctor has advised him to stop smoking as a result of recent complaints of shortness of breath.

Garrett’s toothless smile is contagious.  Hidden behind his dark sunglasses is a man who warmly greats those walking by him.  “I love people,” he says.  He offers a smile to everyone.

Garrett's bicycle (photo: Reed)

Garrett plans to use the $10 to pay some bills, however he says that he regularly helps others out.  “If I see someone down, I stop and talk to them.”  He goes on to say, “I’m blessed.  I don’t ask for much.”  When pressed he did offer some items that he says he could use that you can find listed on the Lend a Hand page.

Take a minute and listen to Garrett’s rendition of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s version of Woke Up This Morning With Jesus On My Mind.  He also shared some of his views on life and what he plans to do with the $10.  Enjoy!

Read Full Post »