Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Homeless in Oklahoma City: Alphonso y Salvador

Salvador, holding a Bible on the left, and Alphonso
Photo by Al Griffin

I have spent a lot of time with Alphonso and written about him already in this blog. This image was taken the first time I met him as I walked an alley in Oklahoma City near the old bus station. Passing behind a small blue-plate diner that closed the doors years before, I found two men sitting on buckets and talking earnestly. One quickly asked if I owned the building and said they would leave if I wished, reminding me of how polite and wary many among the homeless are, but when I said I didn’t own the building, they started talking to me. 

This alley was their regular Bible study location, a testament to their humanity. Even in the most humble conditions, we all seek to understand the meaning and purpose of life.

The older man, Alphonso, also spoke about his home near Mexico City, but said he left it as a boy to live in the United States. The younger man holding a Bible in this image is Salvador. Polite and quiet spoken, he let Alphonso do most of the talking, but would occasionally interject a thought to punctuate a point Alphonso made. 

Over the years, I saw much less of Salvador than Alphonso, but still managed to visit with them both from time to time.