Chuck "Kid At Heart"

Photography by    Randy Bacon

Photography by Randy Bacon

I was born in St. Louis. I was raised up in foster homes in the Bootheel - is Sikeston, MO, that area. I have a sister that lives down in Branson. I moved to Mississippi and came back to visit, and she asked me to stay the summer to help her husband with the grandkids. Which I love; kids out there playing. I’m still a kid at heart. I just haven’t left yet. I was going to go back to Mississippi. I have a lot of good friends and, you know. Got a cat named CiCi and five kittens so I can’t just get up and go. Good old CiCi.

This time I’ve been in Springfield about five years. I used to be a traveler - I can’t say that anymore. I’ve been stuck in limbo here.

The hardest part about being homeless is the mosquitos. That and tornadoes. The mosquitos scare me more than the tornadoes! The sirens scare me more than anything. They make me nervous. But those mosquitos, I can’t stand them buzzing around my ears at night. Come up and you look like you have chicken pox or something.

If I could point to one thing that led to my homelessness, I would say it’s freedom. Really, it’s not a rat race world no more. You just do your own thing. No one trying to run your life. Basically, you know, I’m not very good with authority at all. At all - I’ve proved that over the last twenty years. But I’m a good guy.

Life lessons I’ve learned? Generally I would say have a heart. Share. I’m kind of quiet and sink into my own world. It’s not that I’m shy, I’m just quiet. I always check my territory out, my environment. But really, just realize in this world, be nice to each other.

(Story chronicled in 2016)