This is a bit off the beaten path for the Duchess of Earle, but here goes:
A few days ago, the Duchess of Earle was out with her Duke, assisting him in the work he was doing refurbishing a leather sofa in a swanky home on the shores of Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Minnetonka. On the way through the area after they were done, the Duke and Duchess stopped at the Bob’s Shoe Repair shop in Wayzata to say hello to the shop owner, Bob Fisher, from whom they have been receiving business referrals for a year or two. (This began when Bob put up a sign in his front window saying that his shop now offers repair for leather furniture. Bob himself only works on small leather goods and luggage, but he and his team graciously refer the big stuff on to the Duke – and Bob’s generosity has been indeed been a blessing.)
Now, you may not know who Bob Fisher is, but if you live in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, you may recognize the name ‘Shoe Bob.’ And if you know that name, you may also recall that Bob has been engaged for some years now in raising funding for the homeless. This all started out when he decided to sleep out in his tent in his back yard about a decade ago. It all turned into a spiritual journey for Bob – and others in the Wayzata community – and a benefit for those in need.
While chatting with him that afternoon, Bob offered an invitation for the fund-raising event this year and the Duchess thought she would share it with you. The invitation is for November 22nd. Bob is teaming up with former Minnesota Twins player Corey Koskie to have a sleep-out in cars in the parking lot at the Wayzata Bay Shopping Center , which is the location of his storefront. There will be festivities in the evening and, for those who hang in there over the night, breakfast with Bob and Corey in the morning.
This sleeping in cars stuff sounded like a novel approach to the Duchess, until she came across an article (in a recent AARP Bulletin – y’know those things they start sending you when you’re in your twenties – I guess they’re afraid they’re going to miss you when you get into your fifties and sixties, so they start early!) entitled, ‘No Place to call Home.’ This article begins with the story of a 55-year-old California woman who holds two jobs, but has lost the properties she once owned and is now sleeping in her car – unbeknownst to even her co-workers. The piece goes on to tell of 1.6 million other Americans in the same boat – er, automobile – in the past twelve months.
So the sleeping-in-the-car approach really is the real deal. People really do this – especially those that have recently wound up in foreclosure. Now that she gets to thinking more about it, the Duchess recalls reading about school children whose families live in cars after being forced from their rented homes without notice when the landlord lost the property to foreclosure.
So -back to Bob and the sleep-out in the cars under the stars. The goal for that evening of November 22nd is to raise $56,000. If you’re in the Twin Cities area and wish to help raise the funds, c’mon down and tell Bob the Duchess of Earle invited you. Get some sponsors, so you can help put a dent in that $56,ooo they’re raising. Then bring your food for the tailgating, wear your earmuffs and long handles for the chilly evening, toss your sleeping bag and pillow into the back seat – and oh! – bring your sweetie for moral support and a little extra warmth!
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