So long Calvin Spalding… He was one of the nicest humans I have met in recent years. Always talkative and kind to others. But, he had struggles with health and addiction over the years and I witnessed some of those ups and downs.
At one point, he was living under a bridge and later he lived in a storage unit. He eventually got kicked out of the rental unit because he wasn’t supposed to make his bed there. He then went to a motel, but that got too expensive to remain in. Then, positive things happened and he moved to Christiana.
Just past the City Limits of Murfreesboro he lived in a small home in tranquil Christiana. He would ride his bike from that home to Murfreesboro almost daily to run what he called his errands, or to see friends in several homeless camps offering encouragement at times and on other trips, those friends listening to him talk about his life.
It wasn’t too long ago that Calvin sat by the bedside of Ms. Margarita as she recovered from back surgery after she was released from the hospital. Some of you reading this helped pay for that motel room for Margarita and never knew that Calvin was the friend who helped nurse her back to health. He stayed with her in that dark and quiet room serving her every need.
From time to time I would receive a phone call from Calvin who would tell me he was greatly confused on how to pack up unneeded items to put in his storage unit. He would say, “Scott, I just don’t know what I will need and not need, but I have too much stuff…. Could you help me sort it out?” At times, my wife and I would visit him and help him decide what would be needed for the summer and what could be stored away for the winter. The confusion he often felt about small things was at times, overwhelming.
In 2015 I took a photo of Calvin when he lived under a bridge and he was so proud of that picture. Another person who was homeless told Calvin that she saw his photo online and it was as if he became a celebrity. He smiled so big when he told me that story.
I always called Calvin by the nickname of Mick Jagger, as he told me himself that he resembled the infamous Rolling Stone. He would always chuckle when I called him that.
Calvin turned 56 on June 3rd.
In the end, Calvin was back to living in a tent and at times a motel in Murfreesboro. In the end, Calvin was still Calvin, aiming to make others smile despite his pains of mental illness and heart problems.
“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP”― Leonard Nimoy