Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Giving Tree

Maybe everything is going to be all right - Maybe (Everything Will Be Alright), The Giving Tree NYC

Con los pobres de la tierra
Quiero yo mi suerte echar
Con los pobres de la tierra
Quiero yo mi suerte echar
El arroyo de la sierra
Me complace mas que el mart - Guantanamera, José Fernández

Slim and his Sister
I met Slim on my way back from brunch today. He and two of his buddies were hanging out in front of the locksmiths on Second Avenue near 90th. The locksmith is just next door to the liquor store.

"We are hungry," said the man whose name I was later to learn was Slim. He held out his cup.

Now normally I don't give to panhandlers but there was something about Slim. Chutzpah, larrikinism, call it what you will ....

"Hungry?" I answered? Sure you mean thirsty?" And I gave him a dollar. He looked stunned.

Can I take your photo?" I asked. "Certainly," he smiled. "I'm Slim and I look after this block."

I took a few with my Canon Elph, and as I was leaving Slim asked if ever got them developed, could they see them? "You can leave them in the liquor store," he told me. "They know me there."

I crossed the road to our apartment building. A doorman opened the revolving door for me and the concierge said good afternoon. Two worlds ...

Back in the apartment I was about to slob around, watch some telly ... but I was thinking of Slim and his friends. "Stuff it," I thought, "I'll print the bloody photos for them now."

So I looked through my computer supplies and found some photo paper and stacked it in the printer tray. Was it glossy side up or down? As if that mattered. As with anything to do with computers, Murphy's law comes into play. I spent an hour trying to get the printer to print correctly.

Never buy an HP DeskJet. No matter how much ink you have in the color cartridge, it always blocks up when you need to print in color.

Slim et al came out in bright magenta. I reset the cartridge. The magenta was brighter. I googled, and found that I wasn't alone. Run it under warm water, offered a fellow HP DeskJet owner. I tried it. Still magenta. Boil the water. Still magenta. Use alcohol. I tried some merlot. Perhaps I was meant to drink it. In any case, nothing happened. I googled some more and found someone suggesting soaking the cartridge in Windex.

Eureka! It worked. I printed the photos. You can see some of them here.

And off I set back to the locksmith.

The Giving TreeIt was all worth it. As I walked towards the threesome I waved the photos in the air.

When I handed the photos over they were gob-smacked. "She's printed them," yelled Slim. "Look!" "Is there one of my sister?" "Yes Look at this!"

"No worries," I told them. "Can we have copies?" one asked. "You can have these," I answered.

As I walked off I looked back. They were still looking at the photos, and I wondered how long ago it was that these people had had their photos taken, let alone be given prints.

The hour I spent mucking about with the HP DeskJet had been worth it.

There's something wonderful about giving.

See, I'm not such a bad person .... Well not ALL the time, anyway.

My name is Kathleenwng and I approve this message.


Terry said...

Nice job Kate, and you were never such a bad person.

Anonymous said...

Inspirational Kate!
"Great acts are made from small deeds"(Lao Tzu)

Jaded NYer said...

What a sweet and wonderful thing to do. Glad you had a better Sunday then I did!!!

It is always amazing how much a small act of kindness touches people. That they were so thrilled about these pictures means they were thrilled that someone took the time to let these people know that they mattered!!. Too many people feel too alone in this world and something like this just inspires us all to be that much more human.

Great story Kate, you ARE a good person!!!

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