I asked him where he was from as he sat in the sun in a small park next to Beale Street and he told me, “I’m from Southern California, I am not here to stay (talking about Memphis, TN).” “So, why are you here,” I asked? That’s when he told me about his mother who was ill. He also talked about a sister who passed away from cancer. He told me he came to Memphis to care for them about 7-years ago.
“Memphis is too violent for me to stay, I’m not used to that,” he said. “Not only is it violent, they are behind the times,” he said with a smile. As he talked he continued to smile and talk about how he loved to be moving, he loved activity. “In California I worked as a trainer at Golds Gym, I also worked at World Gym.”
His bike was sitting in front of him and he looked towards it with a laugh, “Sometimes I will see a group of bicycle riders heading through the streets of Memphis and I will just join in with them and ride.” I noticed he had an old school pair of boxing gloves with him and I asked the obvious question, “Do you box?” He said, “No, but I did when I was in my twenties. I loved it. I just keep these tied to my backpack for conversation.”