Author: Ron Hall, Denver Moore with Lynn Vincent
Edition: 2006, 1st Edition
Read: March 2013
Rated: 3 out of 5
Ron Hall is an art dealer who got rich by falling into the profits of selling art. In a different turn of events he and his wife Deborah would have been on the streets-that is if his initial gamble had fallen through. Instead, he lived very comfortably amongst the upper crust of Ft Worth society.
Denver Moore was born and raise in the plantations of Louisiana. As a black, there was no way to escape from the sharecropper life, except to runaway. That is what he did, winding up in Ft Worth, living on the streets 30-40 years, with a stint in the worst of Louisiana's prison. He was feared on the streets.
Deborah was Ron Hall's wife, the one who was in tune with God. God gave her a vision for a work she could do-be in Ft Worth's rescue mission in the food line. During this time, she understood that there was a man whom she would meet who would change the city.
This is the story about how these pieces come together and the city starts on the course to be changed.
When we use labels, we lose relationship.
Relationships are what round is into real people.
A catch and release program of friendship is not friendship but manipulation.
The book title comes at the end where Denver is talking about how different he is than everybody else. He is even different from those who are homeless and definitely different from the Hall's. This is the root of Denver's concerns-how can people accept him if he is that much different than everybody else? His realization is that everybody is different, hence the title.
This true story is told in two voices: Ron Hall's and Denver Moore's. Most of the time, this is effective-because Moore's voice is that of a black, Southern, while Hall's is more white, sophisticated. The contrasts does work, but occasionally, there is less of a difference and you need to figure out who is talking.
What it does do is give a picture of the naivety of Hall and the distrust of Moore as the relationship is forming. Hall does not want to leave the comfort of what he has earned, the station of where is at. While Moore has figured out how to live homeless person and does not leave his life. Also his experience is that white people no matter how full of goodwill, are not to be trusted to be there for him.
There are lessons which the authors would like us to learn:
- oppression is not a thing to be studied as in past history, but is practiced today in different forms, but with the same results
- see beyond the outer shell of a person. Understand what is there inside.
- we do not understand nor comprehend the workings of God. But that does not mean we are emotionless when we are hurt.
- commitment is part of friendship.
Notes from my book group:
- How did the back and forth stories work for you?
- After reading about the hamburger scam, are you looking at the freeway panhandler's any differently?
- How believable is this story for you?
- What did you learn by reading this book?
- Who would you recommend this book to?
- Do you agree that everybody is different? If so, how? How are we the same?
- First Line: Until Miss Debbie, I'd never spoke to no white women before
- Last Line: so in a way, we all is homeless--just working our way toward home.